Therapy for Teenagers

Fuller Living and Associates is committed to helping your teenager and their family navigate during challenging family times.

Maybe your teenager suddenly became withdrawn, sad, angry or anxious and never wants to leave their bedroom. Possibly your teenager lacks motivation for even the most basic hygiene or self-care routines. Perhaps their friend group changed and their motivation for academic grades became “I do not care”. Or suddenly your child began experimenting with vaping, alcohol or drugs of the unknown variety. In addition to, they stopped using proper language, and every word is a cussword and most conversations become a yelling match, ending with frustrating and slammed doors.

At Fuller Living, we have practitioners that are not only parents to teenagers, we have practitioners that specialize in and have a passion for working with teenagers and their families.

You’re not alone. Teenagers and parents today are dealing with an unprecedented amount of social expectations and daily scrutiny. We know, that during adolescence, teens begin to test parents’ rules, authority, morals and anything that is important to their family. Mental, physical and spiritual development during the teen years is greatly influenced by your child feeling heard and understood, then respected and trusted. Yet, many times, feeling heard or understood rarely leads to a mutual respect and trust ~ this is where we come in.

How Counseling Can Help your Teenager.

At Fuller Living Counseling, we specialize in working with teens struggling with social anxiety, depression, anger management, panic attaches, social media & digital devise misuse & abuse, athletic performance anxiety, peer-group challenges, suicidal ideology, clashes with law enforcement and resultant legal problems, self-harm and family relationship problems.

Blending a solution-focused approach with cognitive-behavioral therapy {CBT}, Fuller Living’s practitioners work in a team approach to create positive change for the teenager and modify communication techniques within their family. At Fuller Living we understand that life transitions from adolescent to teenager to adult can be extremely difficult. Every child is part of a family. It is the goal of counseling to begin to teach children how to healthily communicate within their family, peer groups and community.

Benefits of Teen Counseling:

  • Healthier relationships with friends and family
  • Feeling more comfortable/confident with their appearance
  • Feeling more creative and joyful during daily activities
  • More confidence and self-assurance with their academic or athletic performance
  • Uncovering personal strengths and using them in challenging times
  • Discovering academic strengths and how to use them successfully outside of school

Working with the mental health of adolescents and teenagers takes a specialized approach. The same techniques that assist adults may not be the same techniques that are helpful with children or young adults.

Over the years, Dr. Katy Karas of Fuller Living Counseling has developed an approach she calls Family Law Therapy. Family Law Therapy simply means that she conducts all her teenage therapy sessions much the same way we talk during family outings, meals or recreation. In other words, Dr. Karas’s sessions sound much like the way we naturally talk to people in different circumstances, without premeditated rules, protocols, or scripts. People who are perceived as not sounding natural or real are considered phony, arrogant or distrustful. Of all clients, teenagers are the most protective of their vulnerable sense of dignity and are particularly unforgiving of adults who seem to talk down to them or assume a verbal one-up stance. Teenagers respond well to active, authentic and respectful conversation with direct feedback and advice.

As a parent or primary caregiver, you know your child better than anyone. Below is list of some common symptoms that may indicate mental health counseling is needed. Always listen to your “parental intuition”. If you believe your child is struggling, never hesitate to seek professional guidance.

  • Being the victim of bullying, either face-to-face or cyber
  • Not “fitting in”
  • Difficulty making or keeping friends
  • Struggles with self-esteem and self confidence
  • Suddenly develops poor grades
  • Excessive worry or anxiety
  • A sudden change of friends or mood
  • Risky sexual behaviors
  • Feelings or thoughts of suicide
  • Developing an illness or disability
  • Using drugs, alcohol or illegal substances
  • Tragic events in the community or the world
  • Changes in mood, weight, appetite, friends, etc
  • Problems at school – academically or behaviorally
  • Violent or illegal behaviors – fighting, stealing, drug possession, etc.
  • Changes in family life – moving, divorce, death or serious illness of a family member
  • The loss of a close friend, girlfriend/boyfriend through death, a breakup, or moving
  • Oppositional and defiant behaviors
  • Frequent temper tantrums or rages
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Self-injury, such as cutting
  • Aggressive behaviors resulting in disciplinary actions
  • Unhealthy dating relationships
  • Rapid weight gain or loss
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Social withdrawal
  • Lack of interest in activities they used to like
  • Angry or emotional outbursts

Scheduling the first appointment.

It is most crucial when discussing mental health counseling with your teenager, that your frame the struggle as a family struggle. It is a struggle that will only be solved when both the teenager and the family participate in counseling. Sometimes “family participation” means that the practitioner has phone consultation with the parents and other times parents and family members may join in some therapy sessions. Fuller Living understands that teenagers must feel comfortable and trust the practitioner that are working with. If appropriate, share the company website page that introduces the practitioner. Invite your teen to call or email any questions they may have prior to their first session. You as the parent or guardian are also more than welcome to schedule for you adolescent.