Therapist Taylor Allesh in a therapy session with a teen

Therapy for Teens

Helping Teens Walk the Halls

At this point, you are most likely pretty used to walking the halls of school and then all of the sudden you are facing new halls daily. You are on the journey of finding what halls you want to walk down in your own life. You feel like you are in this constant battle of leaving your childhood and entering into halls you have never seen before. You are greeted by new temptations, learning more about the people you surround yourself with, an abundance of choices, and thinking about who you want to become.

There are so many different halls to choose from, you are probably wondering how you are supposed to figure this out and I don’t blame you. How do you know who you love? What even is love? How do you know when you are ready to engage in sexual behavior? How do you manage the whispers you hear from the outside and the ones you tell yourself?

These questions are so valid and can seem really scary, which they are! I’m here to tell you that when it feels like there is no way you can make the “right” decision of which hall to go down, there is help and support to guide you.

Therapy for Teens

Helping Teens Walk the Halls

Therapist Taylor Allesh in a therapy session with a teen

At this point, you are most likely pretty used to walking the halls of school and then all of the sudden you are facing new halls daily. You are on the journey of finding what halls you want to walk down in your own life. You feel like you are in this constant battle of leaving your childhood and entering into halls you have never seen before. You are greeted by new temptations, learning more about the people you surround yourself with, an abundance of choices, and thinking about who you want to become.

There are so many different halls to choose from, you are probably wondering how you are supposed to figure this out and I don’t blame you. How do you know who you love? What even is love? How do you know when you are ready to engage in sexual behavior? How do you manage the whispers you hear from the outside and the ones you tell yourself?

These questions are so valid and can seem really scary, which they are! I’m here to tell you that when it feels like there is no way you can make the “right” decision of which hall to go down, there is help and support to guide you.

We’re here to help guide you through making decisions

We’re not here to tell you what to do or to judge you. We are here to listen. We’re here to help guide you to make the best decision for yourself. We’re here to sit with you in the hard stuff and help you untangle the unthinkable.

Common Thoughts and Challenges of Teens

As a teen you might feel like you are always labelled together with your peers which might seem pretty frustrating at times. After reading the title of this heading you might be thinking “Oh great, another adult telling me what I think and feel.” If you are, totally valid! I want you to know, that this list is not meant to categorize you, my hope is to normalize for you that you are not the only one that has had these thoughts or face these challenges, and it’s okay to have them. Lastly, it would be nearly impossible to include all of the thoughts and challenges you face every day, I want you to know that you are not alone.

  • The challenge of “coming out”
    • How will my parents react?
    • Will they kick me out?
    • Will I be rejected from my family and/or my community?
  • I’m not skinny enough
  • I’m not strong enough
  • What if I get my period during gym class?
  • How do I tell my best friend I love them?
    • What if they don’t want to be my best friend anymore?
  • I don’t feel comfortable in my relationship, but I don’t want to be alone.
  • My friends are not going to accept me when I tell them my sexual orientation.
  • What if I’m a bad kisser?
  • Why is my body changing?
  • I don’t want to be alive anymore.
  • I don’t want to have sex, but my partner does. Or, I want to have sex, but my partner doesn’t?
  • Peer Pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Social Media
  • Depression
  • Substance Use

Counseling can Help in Choosing Your Halls

After reading the list provided above, I felt overwhelmed! You may face those challenges and have those thoughts every day. It can be pretty exhausting trying to figure out who you are and who you want to become. Then there is so much pressure put on you by people other than yourself. Make sure you get good grades, don’t smoke, make good choices, do not have sex, do not fall in love with the “wrong” person.

All of this pressure starts to build up and it might feel like you have no one to turn to nor have the energy to ask for help. I want you to know that even when it may seem like there is no way you could possibly choose your hall or that no one is there to walk down the hall with you, there is, and you can. Most importantly, counseling can help you become your biggest strength.

I’ve worked with a handful of teens who are experiencing or have experienced what you are. I’ve seen the tears in our first session that are letting out all of their experiences and hardships. Then, I’ve seen them in our last session sharing about how they found what halls were meant to be theirs.

DBT Skills that can help

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was created specifically to help adolescents, with the understanding that the developmental stage you are going through is not easy. There are five main sections of DBT: Mindfulness, Distress tolerance, Walking the Middle Path, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. Once you begin DBT therapy you will be provided with more of a background of which each component means, for the purpose of this page I want to give you a few skills you can utilize that will be most helpful for you.

When you are faced with a decision on which hall you want to walk down, take a step back and think about where your mind is in the moment. In DBT there are three states of mind: Reasonable, Wise, and Emotion. Reasonable mind is when you are thinking logically, and your feelings are not as important. Emotion Mind is when you are completely ruled by your feelings or urges. When you recognize that you are thinking just in reasonable or emotional mind, try to learn what your wise mind feels like. Allow yourself to take from the logic and your emotions to make a decision. This takes time and practice so don’t feel discouraged if this is hard!

Distress Tolerance Skills

Distress Tolerance skills are going to be especially beneficial! These skills help you when you are feeling a lot of emotions that just seem awful and won’t go away. One of the most helpful distress tolerance skills is known as TIPP (Temperature, Intense Exercise, Paced Breathing, Progressive Muscle Relaxation). Let’s say you just told your best friend that you love them, and they haven’t responded. You are feeling overwhelmed, scared, maybe even shame or guilt? When these emotions seem so unbearable use TIPP! Splash some cold water on your face, run in place for 10-15 minutes, or tense all of your muscles from your toe to head and then muscle by muscle release the tension.

Sometimes it may feel like your parents or friends just do not understand you or what you are going through. This can at times lead to conflict, the screaming matches in the kitchen with your parents or ignoring your friends. Walking the Middle Path skills help you in thinking from the other person’s point of view and communicating your needs and thoughts effectively. One of the most helpful in communicating our needs or thoughts are “I Statements”. For example, you and your parents are having a conversation about sex. You want to tell them that you are not feeling heard or understood. Rather than saying “You don’t understand what I am feeling”, try and say, ” I feel like I am not being heard.” This allows you the autonomy to reflect on your experience without attacking the other persons.

Emotion Regulation skills are used to help you have more control of your emotions, which may seem incredibly difficult these days! A skill from this section that I want you to try and utilize is self-validation. Self-validation is telling yourself “Hey, it’s okay that I feel confused and sad right now.” It’s allowing yourself to acknowledge that what you are feeling, and experiencing is okay! This is how you can start to become your biggest strength.

Lastly, Interpersonal Effectiveness skills help us maintain our relationships and communicate effectively. As a teen, it may feel like you are trying to please everyone else all of the time, whether it is your parents, your friends, or your romantic partner. Remember, your needs are just as important. Try using the FAST skills when communicating with others. The F stands for being fair to yourself and your needs. The A stand for no over apologizing, this means not apologizing for what you are feeling (super challenging)! The S stands for sticking to your values. For you, that might mean expressing that you support the LGBTQ community to someone who doesn’t have the same perspective. And lastly, the T stands for being truthful, not only to yourself but the person you are communicating with as well.

Next Steps

Begin Teen Counseling in Ohio or Kentucky…

If you are a teen and having difficulty navigating decision making, our team of therapists is here to help you decide what the next steps should be. To begin counseling in Cincinnati, OH, online therapy in Ohio, or online therapy in Kentucky, follow these steps:

Contact our Office

Contact hey emma to ask all your questions.

Schedule a Free Consult

Meet with one of our skilled Therapist.

Start Your Therapy

Begin therapy and begin your journey towards healing.

Other Services offered at Hey Emma

More to check out…

The therapy team at Hey Emma specializes in offering sex therapy. But that’s not the only therapy service they provide at one of the offices or online across Ohio,and Kentucky. In addition to sex therapy, our therapists treat general mental health and relationship concerns. We treat many different sexual concerns including sexual pain and erectile dysfunction, and we offer anxiety treatment, depression treatment, trauma and PTSD treatment, EMDR, and relationship and couples therapy. We offer therapy in Cincinnati, OH, West Chester, OH, and Ft. Mitchell, KY. Contact our office to learn more about the many ways our team of skilled clinicians can help you thrive.