The teenage years can be a tumultuous time for both teens and their parents. Teens may struggle to find direction, while parents may feel overwhelmed by the changes they see in their son or daughter. One way to help both parents and teens navigate this difficult stage of life is through the services of a behavioral mental health counselor. But what exactly do these counselors do, and how might they benefit your teen? Here is a closer look.
What Does a Behavioral Mental Health Counselor Do?
It is important to understand that behavioral mental health counselors are not psychiatrists or psychologists—they don't prescribe medications like psychiatrists or conduct psychological tests like psychologists. Instead, behavioral mental health counselors specialize in 'talk' therapy for adolescents who are experiencing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, substance abuse, academic stressors, relationship problems, family conflicts, and more. They also provide parent coaching as part of the treatment process, which can help you better support and understand your teen's needs.
What Are the Benefits of Behavioral Mental Health Counseling for Teens?
By working with an experienced behavioral mental health counselor, teens can learn valuable coping tools to help them manage their emotions more effectively and make better decisions that will lead to positive outcomes. A good counselor will also offer support during difficult times and advocate for the teen when needed. In addition, counselors know how to communicate effectively with both teens and parents, so they can help facilitate better communication between the two parties, which may be strained.
In addition to teaching teens how to cope more effectively with stressors in their lives, behavioral mental health counselors can also help them identify underlying issues that are contributing to their behavior or feelings of distress. These types of issues could range from body image issues or problems with family dynamics to low self-esteem or difficulty expressing emotions in healthy ways. By addressing these underlying issues head-on, teens can develop healthier habits that will last long after counseling has ended.
Working with a qualified behavioral mental health counselor can help your teen gain insight into themselves while developing new coping mechanisms to guide them through life's toughest challenges. Not only is it beneficial for your teen, but it can also improve communication between parent and child. If you are considering working with a behavioral mental health counselor, choose someone who is experienced in working with teenagers so they receive age-appropriate care.
Contact a counselor in your area for more information.