When Your Teen Needs Counseling

By: Dr Michael Shery
A variety of behavioral and psychological problems afflict teens today. For example, some of them resist the following of rules and deliberately misbehave.

They are often viewed by other children, adults or social agencies as bad apples, bipolar, ADHD or troublemakers. If your teenager exhibits some of the following behaviors, you should consider counseling for him or her:

1. Hostile or violent behavior toward people or animals,

2. The use of threatening, bullying or intimidating behavior,

3. The starting of fights,

4. Carries a dangerous weapon that could cause serious harm to others.g. a bat, brick, broken bottle, knife or gun),

5. Behaves cruelly, physically or emotionally, to either people or animals,

6. Steals,

7. Highly aggressive or demanding sexually,

8. Destroys property,

9. Sets fires, intending to cause damage,

10. Is deceitful,

11. Has broken into a building, house, or car belonging to someone else,

12. Lies to avoid responsibilities,

13. Shoplifts,

14. Often stays out at night, despite your objections,

15. Has run away from home,

16. Has been truant.

If your child has exhibited any of these behaviors, you should seek a comprehensive evaluation of him by a psychologist. He or she may also have parallel conditions such as a mood disorder, anxiety, PTSD, a substance abuse problem, ADHD, or a thought disorder, all of which should also be evaluated.

Your youngster is likely to have ongoing problems if he or she fails to receive early and comprehensive counseling. Without it, he or she will continue to be unable to adapt to the demands of adulthood.

Unfortunately, he or she will continue to be at high risk for having problems with relationships, school, effective socialization and even maintaining a job. If your kid relishes the breaking of laws and behaves dangerously, numerous factors may be contributing, including brain damage, history of child abuse, genetics, persistent academic failure and/or traumatic life experiences.

Treatment of your son or daughter can be complex and challenging. However, it can be provided in a variety of different settings depending on the severity of the behavior.

Counseling with these kids can be very challenging because they often have an uncooperative attitude and a fear and distrust of adults and other authority figures. In developing a comprehensive treatment plan, a child and adolescent psychologist will likely use information gleaned from your child, your family members, his or her teachers and other behavioral specialists in order to understand the causes of his or her problems.

Counseling and psychotherapy is usually necessary to help your child in appropriately expressing and controlling anger; special education programs may also be needed if he or she has any learning disabilities.

You will probably need expert help in carrying out any special management or educational programs that may be prescribed for use at home or in his or her school. Besides counseling, treatment may also include medication if your youngster has difficulty paying attention, managing his or her impulses or coping with high levels of depression or anxiety.

Treatment may not be brief since establishing new attitudes and behavior patterns for him or her will take time. However, early treatment offers your child a better chance for considerable improvement and hope for a more successful future.
Kids and Teens
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