Trauma can happen at any age. A loss of a loved one, medical issues, divorce, abuse, bullying, and many other negative experiences can leave a scar on a teen. In trying to cope, you may have started to isolate and found it difficult to open up to your friends and family. You may have tried to shut down all negative emotions and pretend that everything is okay (an effective strategy… until that ball of emotions comes hurling back at you). You may be feeling overwhelmed with anger towards yourself, your loved ones, and perhaps even the whole world. At Kasi Shan Therapy, I offer counselling for teens, as well as support for parents. While trauma can impact anyone, it can also be treated.
I can’t talk to you! You’re old!
It’s true! It’s been a while since I’ve been a teen, and that can feel really off-putting at first. After all, how will you know if I really and truly get it? The reality is there will be many issues that I can appreciate, and help you explore. Other times, you may have to speak slowly and walk me through the newest slang from urban dictionary (you’ll have to use the same painstaking patience you use with your parents in these moments).
What’s different about therapy is that, in this relationship, it is all about you. It’s about your goals, what you’re hoping to achieve, what you would like to process, and how we can work together to help you get there. Therapy is a safe space for you to talk without judgement and without reprimands. It’s a space where you can be as vulnerable as you would like, or take the time to work through things.
The end result
When clients leave at the end of their therapy journey, they feel they have more options in life. They feel empowered to take action, and can finally have the time and space to focus on their ambitions. They feel the ability to speak assertively and set boundaries. They are able to sleep at night without feeling frustrated, overwhelmed or scared.
Photo by Soulsana on Unsplash
How do parents fit in?
I make it clear to parents when we start therapy that this journey is about their child. I invite parents to be a part of the intake process and share their concerns and goals for counselling. However, after this onset, I ask that parents participate in sessions when their teens feel ready and provide permission. This can be very frustrating for parents, but I do this in order to offer a safe and trusting space for youth. I try to encourage teens to allow this collaboration as their parents play a substantial role in their emotional growth and well-being. To learn more, review my policy for Adolescent Services.
For parents whose teens are not ready to reach out, please feel free to connect on your own. While a therapist is helpful, you are the most significant person in your child’s life (even though your child may deny this fact). Skills such as validation, emotional coaching, effective reinforcement, and setting limits are some ways in which you can foster positive change in your home.