Some teenagers are excited to visit a counselor. They love talking to an impartial adult who can help with their various problems. However, not all teenagers agree with counseling, and persuading a hesitant teenager to go to a counselor feels like a never-ending struggle.
This constant struggle can leave us, parents, wondering, “Do I need to force my teen to see a counselor? Can I bribe my way to him? Or should I surrender to the idea of counseling for him?”
If you are suspicious that your teenager is suffering from a mental health condition, substance use concern, or behavioral problem, then treatment is vital. You can try numerous things to help your teenager get the treatment he needs from a counselor.
Forcing Your Teen To Visit The Counselor
A young adult who is obliged to get counseling help won’t probably be determined to change. Even if he is hauled to their consultations, they won’t likely open up about their concerns – at least not constructively. But it doesn’t mean that you should not make it obligatory for him to go to his consults.
Often, experienced counselors are capable of making a teenager feel more relaxed after several visits. Sometimes, teens that express their hatred for counseling or claim that they are fine without it might begin to open up to a counselor. It may just be that your teenager doesn’t want to admit to you that he actually likes to go to counseling.
Certainly, there may be moments when your young loved one requires help, whether they approve or not. If there is a danger of harming himself or others, do call 911 or bring him to the emergency department. If he is presenting with dangerous behavior, having him treated must be obligatory.
Telling Your Teenager About Counseling
If you believe that your teen can benefit from counseling, the manner you tell him about it is vital. The initial conversation that you are going to have will most likely set the stage for your young adult’s approach towards counseling.
It’s not unusual for teenagers to be shy about their problems, and this could make it difficult for them to confess that they are struggling. So you mustn’t send him a message that could cause them to feel embarrassed. Please do not suggest that your teenager is insane or not intelligent enough to decide for himself. Rather, tell him why you believe that he can benefit from talking to a seasoned and trusted counselor. Allow your teen to ask questions and hear him out when he expresses his opinions about it.
It can be more engaging to him if you say, “I was wondering if it would be beneficial for you to be talking to someone other than me.” Or you could say, “I don’t know all the answers to your questions, so I was wondering if you would agree that talking to someone professional would work for you.”
If you’ve had some experience with counseling yourself, telling your teenager about it would most probably eliminate the stigma and further normalize the situation.
Discussing It With Your Teenager’s PCP
Whatever your concerns are about your teen, whether it’s depression, anxiety, ADHD, or PTSD, the initial step would be to talk to your teenager’s primary physician, who is very much capable of evaluating his needs and can help assess whether or not he would improve with counseling. If additional management is needed, the physician can pinpoint the proper regimen and professionals for your teen. And though your teen is hesitant to go through these regimens, knowing your options is very important.
Your teen may not welcome your suggestions about how a counselor can help him. Still, they will probably listen to their physician, who he believes can explain how counseling can help and how treating him can manage his symptoms.
What To Do When Your Teenager Declines Counseling
If your young adult does not want to see a counselor, do not worry. Here are some helpful options that might work.
- Make a written contract with your teenager. If it’s a minor concern that you’re worried about, make a contract with your teen, both agreeing that he attend one or two counseling sessions before he decides whether or not he will continue his visits regularly.
- Find A Counselor By Yourself Without Your Teenager. Usually, parent training is effective in helping your teen. A counselor is capable of educating you on how to instruct your young adult. If he is aware that you are talking to a counselor about him, he might be curious and interested in telling his side of the story.
- Talk To Your Teenager’s Guidance Counselor. Ask the school counselor if there are available services that your teen can have access to. A teenager who is hesitant to consult a qualified professional outside of school might be more comfortable talking with his school counselor.
- Consider Counseling Online. Occasionally, teenagers who are embarrassed or reluctant to speak with a counselor personally will perhaps benefit from online counseling. Although online counseling is not effective for everyone, you must talk to a counselor or your teen’s doctor about the possible advantages and disadvantages before starting with the sessions.