Counseling for teens

Are you worried about your teen’s risky behavior, moods, or anxiety?
Are you wondering if your their emotional reactions are normal?
Is your teen struggling to get along with friends and family?
Are you feeling anxious, frustrated, or worried about poor choices and rebellious behavior?
Are you scared you can’t trust your teen?

Being a teenager is hard. Adolescents are struggling to form their own identity, fit in socially, gain independence, and manage academic pressure. They experience physical changes, increased academic demands, social pressure, and more freedom – which means more choices. While some teens manage these changes and choices well, others struggle. As a parent, it’s hard to know if intense emotions, anger, withdrawal, or rebellious behavior are normal development or a sign that something is wrong. You might notice the ways you communicated and set limits with your child aren’t working now that he or she is older. As a result, there might be more arguments or tension at home.

Teen anxiety

Does your teen always seem stressed or worried? Do they avoid social situations or get embarrassed and self-conscious? Is your teen showing signs of perfectionism? Do you wish you could help your teen to build confidence and stay calm?

While a certain amount of stress can be normal, high levels of anxiety affect adolescents physically and emotionally. Anxiety can impact family and social relationships, academics, sleep, and overall wellbeing. If you believe your child is struggling with anxiety, it’s important to address the symptoms early so they don’t continue into adulthood. Your teen can learn skills they can use throughout their life to manage anxiety.  Our teen counselors incorporate art, meditation, and other powerful relaxation tools.

Teen depression and mood

Are you wondering if your teenager’s mood swings are normal or a sign of depression? Is your teen withdrawn, sad, or hopeless? Is your teen struggling in school or avoiding the things he or she used to do for fun? Do you wish you could take away their pain?

As a parent, it’s very hard to watch your teen struggling with pain or depression. You might wonder what happened to your fun, upbeat child and if they will ever get back to normal. It’s hard to sit by and not know how to help, especially when your teen won’t open up and you don’t know what’s wrong.  Teen counseling at Virginia Beach Counseling and Wellness can help your teen feel happy again.

LGBT Teens

We help lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens with coming out, bullying, and other issues related to sexual identity in a safe, affirming environment.  Our goal is to help LGBT teens find the confidence to be their true self.

If you’re the parent of a teen who has just come out as LGBT or is questioning their identity, you may be wondering how to help.  We can help your family work through your feelings and provide a safe, affirming environment for your teen.

Teen Eating Disorders

If you suspect your teen is struggling with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, or another form of disordered eating it is important to get help as soon as possible.  We provide expert help for teen eating disorders.

There is hope. Teen counseling can help.

When you and your teen have the right tools, you can manage these changes and bring a sense of balance back to your life. Teens can beat anxiety and depression and make better choices.

We believe family therapy is an important component to teen therapy

When a teen is struggling with a mental health condition, behavioral problems, or substance use, family therapy is a critical part of their recovery. Everyone in the family plays a part in the current challenges and it is important to understand their part in the healing process. When one family member is struggling, it impacts each family member differently. Family therapy strengthens the family unit and gives everyone the opportunity to heal together.

Other benefits of family therapy include:

  • Improved communication and trust
  • Improved conflict resolution and problem solving
  • Setting appropriate limits and boundaries
  • Understanding how the family functions as a unit

At Virginia Beach Counseling and Wellness, we believe family therapy is so critical to a teens recovery that we work only with teens whose families are willing to participate in family therapy. If you do not already have a family therapist, we will schedule you with one on our team.

You might have questions or concerns about teen therapy.

I think my teen needs help but he or she refuses to come.
     Many teenagers aren’t excited about the idea of going to therapy. They might feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, they might not want to admit there is anything wrong, or they might want to spend the time doing something more fun. As a parent, gently explain your concerns to your teen, while letting them know therapy is non-negotiable. Also let them know you would like to give them the opportunity to choose their therapist. Many teens are more open to therapy after the first session with the right therapist. They begin to see the therapist as an ally rather than a threat.  Read more about ending power struggles with your teen here. 

I’m afraid medication will be necessary.
     Medication is rarely the first treatment for general behavioral and emotional concerns. We believe in trying therapeutic tools first in most situations. If other options have been exhausted, there are times when medication can be helpful. For many teens, medication is a temporary adjunct to therapy, where they learn positive coping skills. Once they have a strong foundation, medication may be discontinued with the help of a psychiatrist. Ultimately, the choice to try medication is up to you and your teen. If you decide medication may be helpful, we can help with referring you to a trained psychiatrist.

My teen seems stressed and moody but I don’t know if it’s serious enough for therapy.
     Trust your instinct – no one knows your teen better than you do. If you’re worried something is wrong, there is a good chance your teen can use support. A trained therapist can help you figure out if your child is going through normal adolescent angst or if something more serious is going on. Our teen specialists have provided teen therapy in schools, residential, and outpatient settings. We have seen even the most resistant teens come around to therapy. Many have overcome depression, anxiety and behavioral problems. They start to make better choices, participate in the fun things they used to love, and do better in school. As a result, their family and social relationships improve and they feel happier and more confident.


Recent articles about teens:

Counselors who work with teens:

Kriston Nixon, LPC
Lilani Reagan, Resident in Counseling
Natalie Wingfield, LPC

If you're worried about your teen, call today.