Navigating adolescence can be a challenge. On top of dealing with new social pressures, physical changes, and academic stress, Beyond Blue statistics have shown that half of all the mental health concerns we experience begin surfacing at around age 14.
While this life stage can be a fragile time for your teenager, they also represent the age group less likely to seek professional help when necessary. Encouraging them to share, discuss, and examine the changes in their life with trusted experts is thus an often overlooked, yet extremely beneficial practice for their emotional development.
Below, we break down the top eight benefits in encouraging your teen to attend counselling, as well as ways to explore the field yourself.
Here are the benefits of having your teenager attend counselling:
- It helps them navigate/regulate their emotions.
- It equips them with "life skills" for adulthood.
- It can strengthen your bond and understanding of them.
- It provides them a safe place to discuss private matters.
- It can help build their self-confidence.
- Helps them better adjust to life circumstances or transitions.
- It allows them to build healthier relationships.
- Helps foster better mental health.
1. It helps them navigate/regulate their emotions.
A prime benefit to having your teen attend counselling is the opportunity for them to navigate their feelings, reactions, and behavioural patterns, as well as learning to regulate them.
The ability to discuss their emotions with an expert can help them form a better understanding of emotions in certain situations; whether in times of general stress, conflict, significant change – or simply in their day-to-day interactions with others.
This, as a result, helps them distinguish between healthy and unhealthy emotional patterns; equipping them with better, more effective responses to specific circumstances.
2. It equips them with “life skills” for adulthood.
With adolescence comes plenty of mental and physical changes, often leaving teenagers anxious, confused, or even troubled in their efforts to deal and manage them. Raging hormones may be the source of newfound mood swings, emotions, and impulses – further exacerbated through environmental or social pressures.
Attending counselling can thus help your teenager assess these developments and sources of stress; helping them form healthy behaviours, coping methods, and communicative skills for an easier transition into adulthood.
3. It can strengthen your bond and understanding of them.
Just as being a teenager can be a confusing, sensitive time for your child – so can it be for parents who wish to have a better grasp of the emotional and behavioural changes their teen is going though.
As a transitional stage prone to social stresses, conflicts, and sudden fluctuations in mood, understanding your youngster may prove a challenge. Through counselling, however – not only will they build a better grip of their current experiences, but with your participation, so can you.
In some instances, parents are encouraged to attend counselling sessions with their teen to help address any problematic conflicts or behaviours in their home environment. This allows you to foster a healthier, happier, and more stable relationship with your child, as you’ll equip yourself with a deeper knowledge of their behaviours and mental processes.
4. It provides them a safe place to discuss private matters.
In other instances, your teen may prefer to attend counselling on their own private time. Counselling can thus benefit them emotionally by providing them with a safe, trusted environment to talk through their concerns and any current problems they may be facing.
In these cases, simply providing your support throughout their counselling journey (and inquiring them on their progress when necessary), is enough to gain a better understanding of their current experiences.
5. It can help build their self-confidence.
The stark changes your teen is going through may have a significant impact on their self-esteem or self-confidence. While major physical developments can lead to better self-image in certain cases, they can also have the opposing effect: confusion, concerns, or negative perceptions on their physical appearance. As a stage in life where your child is most likely to be concerned with looks, such responses can lead to damaged self-esteem.
Adolescence is additionally ripe with a multitude of body image pressures, bullying, trauma, and school-related stress – all having a negative impact on your child’s self-confidence. Through counselling, they may just equip themselves with healthier communicative and emotional tools - helping repair (or maintain) their self-worth and value.
6. Helps them better adjust to life circumstances or transitions.
Transitional life events – such as attending a new school, moving houses, or experiencing parental divorce – are common sources of stress and anxiety among teenagers, often leading to long standing negative moods, attitudes, and behaviours.
Counselling provides your teen with the opportunity to talk through and assess these concerns with both you and an expert, helping them better manage these new circumstantial changes, and allowing for healthier adjustment.
7. It allows them to build healthier relationships.
Social experiences build a core part of your teen’s adolescent life, and the improved communication and behavioural skills they learn through counselling can help make these the best they can be.
By learning to better control, manage, and understand their emotions and desires, your teenager will be better equipped to build and foster new social connections. They’ll learn healthier ways of responding to certain social situations, build skills in interpersonal communication, and regulate negative attitudes or behavioural outbursts.
8. Helps foster better mental health.
Last, though certainly not least, counselling can have an overall positive effect on your teenager’s mental and emotional well-being.
This benefit encompasses all those previously discussed: by providing your child with healthy space to talk through their problems, concerns, and social experiences; you’re helping them build their social skills, self-confidence, and relationships with others – leading to overall healthier mental health.
With almost one-fifth of young Australians experiencing high to very high levels of psychological distress, such outcome shouldn’t be overlooked. A stable, positive mental state is critical for the healthy development, sense of achievement (and belonging), and academic performance of your teen. Counselling helps ensure this by equipping them with the skills and emotional tools needed to successfully build and navigate through such experiences.
Becoming a counsellor with a diploma qualification
Building your knowledge of counselling services can benefit both you and your loved ones – though perhaps you’re looking to enter the sector yourself.
Aspiring counsellors in Australia typically pursue counselling study through a diploma course, currently held by 13.4% workers in the industry. Once acquired, they can then consider specialised training or undertaking an undergraduate degree.
Qualified professionals can choose to work within a school environment, community centres, health or government organisations, or in private practice. They are also encouraged to acquire an Australian Counselling Association (ACA) or Psychotherapy Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) membership to further verify their skills and gain access to various forms of professional development.
Study counselling online with Upskilled today!
Those seeking to step foot in counselling can get a head start through Upskilled
’s CHC51015 – Diploma of Counselling
. This 24-month program offers aspiring professionals an in-depth look into one of Australia’s most in-demand industries, equipping them with vital skills in case management, counselling therapies, fostering healthy client relationships; and knowledge of the necessary personality, development, and learning theories.