You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

What tough topics do teens talk about in therapy?


The toughest part of my job is to create an environment where kids trust me enough to say what they really feel.

This isn’t easy, particularly with teens who are suspicious that a therapist will tell parents about their conversations. In some instances, psychologists are legally and ethically required to disclose personal information, such as when a youngster tells a counselor about being sexually abused.

When that trust is developed, teens finally let go of their defenses and deal with some issues that are really bothering them. Here are three topics that teens have the most difficult time talking about in therapy.

1. Sexuality. This is a complicated subject for many teens, most of whom are the victims of being bombarded with media messages and images that are very different than their parents’ generations. The internet has changed everything about sexuality. Teens tell me stuff they’ve seen or read that leaves them bewildered about what’s normal or abnormal, and what’s morally right and wrong.

Sexual feelings scare teens. What makes sexual experiences acceptable outside of a committed relationship? Is an occasional attraction to your best friend, an adult teacher or younger kids a normal feeling or a reflection of some pathology? This is tough stuff to figure out on your own.

2. Parents. While it’s normal for teens to have some tension with their moms and dads, some kids just don’t like their parents and haven’t for many years. They can’t tolerate their parents’ lifestyle, bad marriages, drinking problems or excessive materialism. In other cases, there is just not a fit between a child’s personality and those of his parents. Other kids feel guilty about liking one parent more than another.

3. Being real. The gap between acting one way but feeling differently in your private world is tricky for teens to reconcile. Most youngsters are good kids who want to please their parents and meet the expectations of others.

However, it’s hard to appear happy on the outside while feeling depressed within your own world. There are times when kids, like the rest of us, get tired of pretending and want to go through just one day where they say what they truly think and feel.

This is really scary for teens, many of whom are fearful that love and acceptance from others is dependent upon acting a certain way. It is far better to be phony and loved rather than be real and rejected.

There is a tremendous sense of relief when kids can finally voice their real concerns. It truly is the rewarding part of being a therapist to be a part of that process.

Next Week: How to listen so your kids will talk


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Elephant ranch lets visitors bathe, feed, ride elephants
Elephant ranch lets visitors bathe, feed, ride elephants

A private central Florida elephant preserve offers a unique, hands-on experience to visitors. The Elephant Ranch allows tourists to get up close and personal with the majestic animals. >> Read more trending news The Two Tails Ranch located near Gainesville lets people feed, bathe and even ride the eight elephants living at the ranch. The nonprofit...
Idaho woman blames car crash on deer-chasing Bigfoot
Idaho woman blames car crash on deer-chasing Bigfoot

A northern Idaho woman blamed a car crash with a deer on a Sasquatch sighting last week. >> Read more trending news The woman told police she collided with the deer after spotting a Bigfoot on a highway near Potlatch near the Washington border, according to NBC Montana. The woman said the Sasquatch was chasing the deer Wednesday night along the...
D.L. Stewart: A non-review of ‘Beauty and the Beast’
D.L. Stewart: A non-review of ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Due to a number of factors, I’m not a movie critic. One factor is that I have a hearing loss, making it difficult to evaluate technical stuff, such as dialogue. Another is that apparently I don’t know the difference between great movies and mediocre ones. Take “Citizen Kane,” which virtually every critic agrees is the greatest...
Coupon deals of the week
Coupon deals of the week

Coupon availability and coupon values may vary within different regions or neighborhoods. Brut Deodorant This week at both Walgreens and Rite-Aid, Brut deodorant is on sale for $1.99. Use the $1 off one Brut deodorant coupon found in most of today’s SmartSource inserts and you will pay just 99 cents for this item. Clairol Hair Color This week...
4 things parents should never ignore

I spend lots of time talking with parents about how to get their kids to clean their rooms, complete their homework, and do routine household chores. I understand why these things matter to parents. They are important in some ways. One of the many challenges of being a parent is figuring out what to ignore, and what to discipline. We don’t want...
More Stories