5 Reasons Why Your Teen Should be in therapy This Summer.
Young lives are marked by summer vacations.
Even a mention of a certain summer can take you right back to where you were, who you were with, and what you were doing that memorable year.
For teenagers summer breaks act as a bookmark in life.
Milestones marking monumental changes in friend groups, relationships, development, and their sense of self.
As parents, it is sometimes difficult to know how to best support your teen over the summer: wanting to help them find a balance between structure and relaxation.
Want to help your teen have a memorable summer they’ll never forget?
the 5 reasons why your teen should be in therapy this summer :
During the school year your teen is surrounded by teachers, school staff, coaches, and other adults checking in with them on a regular basis. They are able to access a support system of trusted adults, other than their parents or family. Having these relationships helps teenagers develop their own perspectives and values. The confidentiality of the therapist-client relationship is incredibly valuable in adolescent development, as youth create their own identity separate from their parents for the first time. Having regular sessions with a therapist over the summer encourages teens to process the big choices and changes that accompany the memories of summer. It is a great way to lower your stress and worry about what choices your teen may be making over the summer, knowing they have the support of a trusted adult to help them.
Teens undergo a great deal of social stress during the school year from peers and friends. Most of the teens I work with share that they look forward to summer as a chance to get away from that ongoing pressure of trying to measure up. Summer vacation offers a break from the heavy weight of social and academic stress, and it frees up emotional and mental space. Having a break from these stresses offers a valuable opportunity for reflection, insight, and growth for teens. Social development is crucial during this stage, and a primary topic for most teens in therapy. Many teens feel safer processing social issues over the summer months, because they know they have a break from the ongoing social stresses they feel at school
3. Start Strong
Any therapist who work with kids, youth, and families would tell you that their phones and emails start to ping like clockwork at two times a year: a month or so after school starts and around the holiday season. These tend to be the most stressful times for families. People most often seek therapy when their problems have gotten too difficult to manage. They have most often tried everything within their own power before reaching out to someone else to ask for help. But, there is unbelievable value in seeking support on issues before they get out of control. Teens who seek therapy proactively feel more in control in their sessions, and have motivation towards achieving progress towards their goals. Asking for help while the problem is still manageable also models excellent regulation for your teen. This shows teens the valuable lesson that proactively managing a small issue can prevent it from becoming a bigger one. Encourage your teen to take the time to slow down and invest in change that will last longer than the summer.
Most teens spend the summer sleeping until noon, and eliminating all memory of the rigid routines they abide by during the school year. As parents, we try to provide and encourage a delicate balance of unstructured structure to our teens over the summer. Weekly therapy appointments can offer that minimal consistency that teens thrive off of over the summer months. Many therapists have more flexible availability during the summer, ask if twice weekly sessions are possible to be able to meet goals twice as fast. Empower Family Therapy offers home, office, and community-based therapy sessions; encouraging teens to be outside in the nice weather with walk-and-talk therapy. Our convenient office location allows responsible teens to be in charge of their own transportation to and from sessions- by bus, bike, or walking. These small routines encourage teens to be invested in their treatment and see their own capabilities to make change a reality in their lives.
School issues are one of the main reasons why teens seek therapy. The pace of the academic year doesn’t allow much time for teens to learn new skills to help them exceed academically. Many times students struggle to keep up with the academic material while they are learning the valuable skills of time management, study skills, and balance. These invaluable skills are a necessary part of teen development, but they are often rushed through in an effort to not fall behind academically. It’s common for teens and parents to disregard these concerns over the summer months, when the lack of school structure tends to shift the focus. But, when they present again next school year there is often not enough time to find support before the ‘falling behind’ pattern begins again. Teens who prioritize learning, practicing, and building these life skills over the summer are better prepared for the upcoming school year with renewed confidence.