If you are like most parents/guardians you knew perfectly well that having a child wasn’t going to be easy. When your child initially started having some problems, you probably thought that this was just going to be another phase that they would pass through quickly. But now you may be starting to wonder: What exactly is going on? Is my child always going to be like this? Or, If my child continues to act this way what kind of future will they have?
To see your child struggle is extremely painful to watch. To have your son withdraw from you and not tell you exactly what is going on, or to have your child say that nothing is wrong when you know perfectly well that they are in pain, is one of the hardest things that you have ever dealt with. YOU WANT BETTER FOR YOUR CHILD.
FACT: Most Teenagers have issues and “act-out” and have issues.
Adolescence (aka Teens) usually starts at approximately age 12 and lasts until the late teen years or even
the early 20’s. This is a stage defined by many changes, both physically and emotionally/psychologically.
Most of these changes are fueled by the hormones, which affects nearly every aspect of the child’s life.
A teenagers’ brain is not fully developed yet, and will not be until their early 20’s when new brain cells
develop a full coat of myelin. Due to the undeveloped brain and chemical changes in their bodies and minds, most children DO start “acting-out” to some degree in-order to redefine themselves.
FACT: Counseling can help teenagers
In my experience, I have seen a countless number of teenagers (and their families) benefit directly from counseling. I myself have benefited greatly from counseling in my life. I believe that people strive to be the best they can be. Unfortunately, when trying to balance stressors, expectations, responsibilities, and relationships people often experience difficulties in their personal life. I believe counseling helps us clarify and understand our thoughts and feelings, which increases awareness, and helps us make better decisions. Research shows that as teens naturally start pushing away from their parents they actually need truth-worthy adults in their lives who are not their actual parents/guardians.
FACT: Counseling does not need to be a long-term process
I believe that short-term counseling (less than 12 sessions) is the most beneficial to teenagers and their families. Often times in order to achieve your goals, long term therapy – the kind that lasts months or even years – is not necessary. Counseling can be a brief process that directly addresses the problem at hand and creates a plan of action to address it. Growth can be achieved in as few as 1 - 12 therapy sessions.
Facts & Myths
What seems like just the other day, there were no secrets between you and your child; you knew everything about them. Now, they may seem like a stranger living in your home, a complete enigma. You may even be asking yourself: who is this person and where did they come from?
More importantly you are most likely asking yourself, “What can I do to help?”. Even though all you want to do is help your child, it is extremely difficult to) know what to do or say – I want you to know that I hear you loud and clear, and I am here to help.
My name is Max Weissman, and I am a licensed professional counselor in Asheville, NC. I have spent the last 15 years helping children, teens, young-adults, and their families in Western North Carolina and throughout the country. As a therapist I have worked with clients and their families to promote change and growth in their lives, creating a more successful and brighter future (filled with less worry for you)…
MYTH: So this is a stage, and it to will pass – nothing to worry about, just wait it out.
The word adolescence stems from the Latin word alescere: to be nourished, as well as from the Hebrew word dolaq: kindling the fire. The age of adolescence (ages 12-20) is a critical time and tends to be the crossroads in one’s early life. It is the age where one is to address and examine many thoughts, feelings, and actions. If issues/problems are not properly dealt with during this stage they can metastasize into greater life-long issues (life-long depression, anger issues, drug addiction, etc.). In short adolescence is just a stage, but a critical one, and without nourishment (or “kindeling of the fire” ) during this stage can lead to many life-long issues. This is not the time to “wait it out”, this is the time to put in great effort and energy to help your child.
MYTH: Counseling is for crazy people.
This is like saying gyms are for weak people, doctors are for the terminally ill, or libraries are for stupid people. Counseling should be used proactively, and teenagers who attend counseling are generally healthier mentally, than those who do not attend (counseling is for “normal” people). Counseling is a venue for looking inside, finding room for growth, and developing skills and a plan to help you reach your goals. Therapy can help anyone and everyone clarify their lives; be it working through issues, or just as a form of self-examination and self-enrichment.
MYTH: Talking to you (or another counselor) will solve our family’s problems
What your child is experiencing, and the frustration you’re experiencing is not necessarily a “problem”, which means there is NO cure. This is a life stage, and one that is to be navigated, not cured or solved. Be cautious of those who say they can cure your child – counseling is the starting place, not the cure.
The counseling process requires commitment and “buy-in” from both the teenager and the larger family. You will be required to examine your families’ beliefs and strategies in dealing with the teenager at home. You may be required to do home-work in between sessions. You may be required to change certain aspects of home-life, as change cannot happen in a vacuum. As a counselor/therapist it is not my job to “fix” things- It is my job and duty to be the Facilitator as well as the Advisor Advocate, Subject expert, and technician to address specific issues
Adolescent Counseling Services of WNC
The office of Max Weissman LPC-S NCC