While most parents hope that their teen’s lives are ideal, many teens experience bumps on the road to adulthood. For these teens, crisis counseling can prove useful. Professional counselors can provide teens with the guidance they need to manage their emotions. Without counseling, some teens may struggle well into adulthood to overcome the traumas of their youth.
Reasons for Crisis Counseling
Teens can require crisis counseling for many reasons. Some need crisis counseling to overcome abuse or neglect from childhood. Other teens have a rocky road growing up and require counseling to overcome teenage addiction or family issues. Still others experience a specific trauma during their teen years for which they require counseling.
With the assistance of a professional counselor, teens can sort through the emotional struggles standing in the way of proper emotional development. While some teens can sift through these issues independently, many struggle to come to terms with them and, as a result, allow past traumas to impact their future. For teens who have already developed patterns of addiction as a result of their crisis, counseling is even more important.
Finding a Counselor
If a teen in your life could benefit from crisis counseling, finding a counselor is the first step on the road to healing. Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center recommends that you start your search by contacting the counselor at the teen’s school. This school counselor can likely refer you to a professional counselor. If this attempt proves unsuccessful, express your concerns to the teen’s pediatrician. Ask for a referral to a mental health practitioner who specializes in teens.
When teens seek crisis counseling, it is important that they realize that counselors, just like doctors and teachers, are mandated reporters. This means that if the teen tells the counselor about a plan to hurt himself or others, or of abuse within the home, the counselor is legally obligated to report this disclosed information to the local Children and Family Services. Most counselors make this fact known to the patient up front to ensure that trust is not damaged later in the relationship.
Teens who require crisis counseling but can’t, or don’t want to, visit a counselor may find success through the use of hotline counseling. As the Palo Alto Medical Center reports, hotlines are available to help teens who struggle with everything from sexual abuse to obesity. Many hotlines are anonymous, allowing teens to get things off their chest without exposing their identities. While these hotlines can be useful to teens, they should not be used as a way to avoid official medical treatment.