If you haven’t read the Part One of this blog, then I suggest that you start with that to get an understanding of what the whole idea is all about. For those who have already read Part 1 or don’t have the time to do it, I hope you enjoy and learn a thing or two from this article.
Assisting Mental Health Counselors – Part 2
As already said in Part 1 of this blog, counseling troubled teenagers is not an easy task. Why? Well, the main reason is that teenagers are stubborn and hard-headed. They think that they are on top of everything and won’t listen to anyone, not even their parents. It’s the reason why they are troubled in the first place; you understand that, right?
So what makes you assume that they will listen to you for the whole hour that you’re supposedly helping him or her? It’s tough luck, really, but then again, this blog is all about making them think that they need therapy. And you, their counselor (or their parent), can employ ways on how to handle their headstrong minds.
Three Creative Methods For Influencing Teenagers To Partake In Counseling/Therapy
All in all, there are five techniques recommended by Elisabeth D. Bennett and her team of experts from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. They are the same professionals who manage the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Department of the university.
Anyway, the first two ways mentioned in their study were Breathing Room and Talk Meter. These two compose Part 1.
For Part 2, these three methods are explained further: Music, The Paper Bag Story, and Social Media Profile. Learning about these techniques can help you, their counselor and the parents as well, in reaching out to the teenager and helping them to improve themselves.
Listening to music, however loud it is, can help the teenager process their repressed feelings. Have you noticed that the millennials are always raving about this singer or that song? Well, if you can’t beat them, join them! Set aside a session where the two of you can listen to music. You’d be surprised that after a few songs, the teenager will be responsive to your inquiries.
First, you need to acknowledge the fact that opening up to new people and building trust is difficult. It may also be awkward and uncomfortable at first. The teenager must understand that you are an empathic and considerate person. And since he or she is a music lover, you can both listen to music while in session.
The music that you will be playing must be the choice of the teenager, of course. If he says NO initially, find a way to “change” his or her mind. Equip your Breathing Room with several music genres and singers or bands.
After listening together, start the talking and therapy.
The Paper Bag Story
You will need brown paper bags of medium size (not too big and not too small), art and craft materials, scissors, glue and the likes. These items are for therapy purposes. Let the teenager tell you his or her story through the brown paper bags by making a collage. If the teenager has difficulty in reaching out, then this story-telling type of therapy can help.
(Telling a story through the bags can improve the teen’s ability to organize his cognitive function, as well as enhance his creative skills. He will also strengthen his way of accepting new facts and realities in life.)
For more details on how to do this technique, read this pdf file.
Social Media Profile
One technique to connect with a disengaged teenager is by using Social Media Profile. Let the client know that you, the counselor, will be honored to open his social media pages and view them. From there, you will have an idea on how to reach and appeal to the minds of these troubled youngsters.
With that, you have to create a Social Media Profile copy. On top of the page is the name of the teen. The cover photo portion is a drawing created by the teenager-client, and the idea is to generate a LIFE PATH. Ask the teen to draw or write how his future looks like, in his design.
After that, put his 2×2 picture, complete with birthday, Astro sign, place of birth/place of residence, and school attended. Next is the description space. The first item is HOW I SEE MYSELF and the second item is HOW OTHERS SEE ME.
The profile must also include a short list of people whom the teenager feels is supportive of him or her. Lastly, there must be an ACCOMPLISHMENT space – What did I accomplish this year?
These methods are out of the box, indeed. They’re uncommon, and they’re interactive. If you ask Ms. Bennett, her techniques can help bring out the real emotions of a “trouble” kid. From there, it is possible to heal and become a well-rounded adult.