Family & Parenting, Difficult Teenager? Here's what to look for.

by BETH LEVINE - Date: 2008-07-14 - Word Count: 282 Share This!

Are you feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, worried, sad or at your wits end about your child's behavior? Have you been trying many different things to get your child on the right track? It may be time to get some outside help. Even if you think they're acting out just to get attention, teenagers need counseling or therapy when any one of the following is present:

1. Alcohol and/or drug abuse
2. Long-standing academic decline
3. Frequent truancy
4. Isolation from peers over a long period of time
5. Poor self-esteem
6. Repeated defiance of parents' rules and limits
7. Any verbal reference to wanting to hurt or kill self
8. Any self-harming gesture
9. Any eating disorder
10. Any other long-standing, disturbing behavior

A teenager's world can often be dramatic and hidden. Therapy can help the teenager sort through thoughts and feelings to make choices that work better for him or herself. Sometimes the work involves coordinating with the school system. Sometimes, working with the whole family is helpful so everyone can begin to enjoy each other's company again.

As a parent, you are in a key position to help your child go out in to the world feeling confident and compassionate and able to navigate the twists and turns of life. Finding a counselor that you trust can be an important tool in this process.

Beth Levine, LCSW, based in Rockville, Bethesda and the surrounding Maryland (MD) and Virginia suburbs, is a social worker, therapist, counselor and psychotherapist who provides marriage counseling, family therapy, individual psychotherapy and emotionally focused therapy ( EFT ) to help people deal with divorce, pre-marital issues, teenage children, anxiety, depression, loss and grief. Visit to learn more.

Related Tags: social, family, marriage, counseling, therapist, counselor, maryland, virginia, teenager, couple, va, marital, worker, md, lcsw-c, lcsw

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