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The Best Counseling for your Adolescent: From Mchenry and Barrington, IL

Mar 6, 2008
When teens become overloaded with stress and, as is often the case, it is ineffectively managed, it leads to frequent worrying, isolation, acting-out, illness or destructive attempts to cope, such as drug and/or alcohol abuse. When kids perceive a situation as difficult or painful, mental and physical changes take place that prepare them to protect themselves from danger.

This is called the fight, flight, or freeze response. It is characterized by a more rapid pulse, heart palpitations, increased flow of blood to the arms and legs, and/or a piercing sense of dread. However, this same mechanism that turns on this fight or flight response can turn it off as well.

As soon as our kids perceive that a situation is no longer threatening, changes occur which help them to calm down. This is called the relaxation response and is characterized by a decreased pulse rate and a greater feeling of well being. Teens that develop or can induce this relaxation response feel more confident, more effective and have more functional choices from which to choose when responding to stress.

Psychological counseling or psychotherapy refers to a variety of methods used to help teenagers who are experiencing stress-related emotional or behavioral difficulties. Although there are different types
of counseling, each relies on dialogue as the basic tool for bringing about change.

Psychological counseling or psychotherapy may involve an individual child, group or family. For adolescents, talking, teaching and training are the most important ways of resolving their problems.

As part of the initial assessment, a psychologist or other mental health professional will determine the need for psychotherapy. This decision will be based upon such things as your teens current problems, history, level of maturity, level of cooperation and what interventions have the greatest chance to help.

Psychotherapy or counseling is often used in combination with other treatments, such as medication, behavior modification or work with the school. The relationship that develops between the therapist and your teen is very important.

He or she must feel comfortable, safe and understood by the counselor. This type of environment makes it much easier for your child to express his/her thoughts and feelings and to use the therapy in a useful way.

Counseling can help your teen in a variety of ways. He or she receives emotional support while learning to resolve conflicts, understand the feelings and problems of self and others and test new solutions to old problems.

Goals for your teens therapy may be specific (better grades, improved relations with friends or family etc.) or more general (less anxiety, better self-esteem etc.). The length of your childs psychotherapy depends on the complexity and severity of problems and level of progress.

Clinical Psychologists are specifically trained and skilled to provide psychotherapy, while psychiatrists usually treat by using medication. You should ask the following questions regarding your teens treatment:

Why is psychotherapy being recommended?

What are some of the results I can expect?

How long can I expect my child to be involved in counseling?

How frequent will the visits to the doctor be?

Will the doctor ever be meeting with the entire family?

How much do these psychotherapy or counseling sessions cost?

How will we be informed about our son or daughters progress? How can we help?

How soon can we expect to see changes?

A clinical psychologist or professional counselor will be able to provide you with answers to your questions and concerns. Do not forget that if you feel doubt, you can always get a second opinion.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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