Teens and young adults are under more stress now than young people of earlier generations. Resilience and healthy ways to cope are keys to helping them navigate their distress. Counseling can help build those skills and support young people as they discover who they are and how they can do well in the world. Most young people are working on their sense of autonomy and privacy. Counseling gives them a private, confidential place to share their honest thoughts and feelings without worrying about how their peers or parents will react. Counselors are bound by therapist-client confidentiality, and this applies to minors as well as adults. This means that young clients are free to engage in open dialogue with their counselor. Many teens and young adults consider counseling because they are having academic or behavioral issues. It is important to know that these issues are symptoms of not being able to effectively handle the pressure and stress they are under, and that it is normal to struggle when stress levels get too high. A counselor can help them find the tools they need to reduce their feelings of distress and better meet their challenges. The establishment of rapport and trust is crucial to the counseling process, and so every session may not stay serious and focused. It is good to have fun, to laugh together, and to enjoy the experience of having support! Situations with family and friends will especially be discussed, because these are relationships that especially shape a young person’s sense of self. Counseling for teens and young adults is a way to help young people develop the resilience they need in order to navigate the ever increasing pressures of growing up. It provides both a safe space to express their thoughts, insights, and fears, and a way to learn healthy coping skills that will serve them as they mature.
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