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How therapy for teens can help combat anxiety and stress.

Teen development

It is estimated by the National Institutes of Healthnearly 1 in 3 of all adolescents ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder.

There are four developmental tasks teens must accomplish to become healthy, thriving, mentally well adults. These tasks are independence, peer relations, body image, and identity. With the world we live in today there are many obstacles between teens and strong mental health. Therapy for teens can help combat anxiety.

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The move adolescents take toward independence in their teens can be difficult for parents to navigate.

In early adolescence, teens move away from their parents and families toward finding the peers who will become their people.

This looks like, your teen wanting to be dropped off away from the entrance of the movies. Teens might be moody and adamant about privacy.

In middle adolescence, teens tend to show their independence secretly away from parents. Teens may be hostile and rebellious during this phase.

In late adolescence, most of the growing pains of shifting behavior and boundaries are behind you and teens come back to seeking advice from parents-though not always following it.

This stage is almost like a delicate dance between the pushing of the boundaries of teens and the pulling of parents. Finding the healthy pace to expand boundaries can be quite difficult, especially with certain teens. Parents being too anxious and too controlling in this stage can make things more difficult on themselves and their teens. Counseling for teens or for the parents of teens with Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama, can help you navigate this importance developmental stage.

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Peer Relations

In adolescence, teens are actually supposed to distance from their family and find their tribe of peers. That is why during this stage the opinion and judgment of peers is so important. Teens tend to think they are always in the spotlight and everyone is always watching and judging. Social media aggravates this already dysfunctional thinking.

It is easy for teens to focus all of their energy on what others think of them and what others expect of them. If this happens, it is difficult for teens to find their own identity, which is another task of this stage of development. However, if teens do not find at least a couple of friends that they experience connection and belonging with, they will struggle in all others areas, including academics.

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Body Image

With the beginning of adolescence comes significant changes to the body. At this stage, teens are extremely concerned with being “normal”. They compare their size and features to others. If females bloom early, they can experience anxiety. Males are more likely to experience anxiety if they are late bloomers. In the middle of adolescence, teens typically become more at ease with their bodies and focus on making the most of their appearances.

If teens are perfectionists, overly critical of their bodies as a whole or parts of their bodies, disordered eating can become a concern. At least 15% of female teens struggle with disordered behaviors and attitudes toward food. I would argue this number is very low based on how many female’s Empower Counseling has seen over the years. Most women struggle with how their bodies look and their relationships with food. You don’t have to have an eating order diagnosis to struggle with anxiety about how you look and what you eat. This starts early and is difficult to work through on your own. Ninety percent of those with eating disorders are women between the ages of 12 and 25.

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Early teens are at the beginning of abstract thinking and tend to think in all or nothing terms. In early adolescence, teens tend to share the morals and values of their parents. In middle adolescence, teens tend toward the values of their friends, then come back around to share parents’ values once again in late adolescence.

Moving from adolescence to adulthood can be a difficult life transition.

Without the right coping skills, navigating these 4 tasks to move from adolescence to adulthood can be extremely difficult. Empower counseling has experts who can teach these coping skills along with more helpful thinking.

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Symptoms of anxiety in teens: Therapy for Teens

It is estimated by the National Institutes of Healthnearly 1 in 3 of all adolescents ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety can be a difficult and debilitating issue for teens, and teen anxiety can manifest in physical symptoms such as:

Fear and worries about everyday parts of life


Extreme self-consciousness

Withdrawel from socializing

Avoidance of new or difficult situations.

Teens with anxiety can also experience:



Stomach aches

Difficulty breathing

Teens may also feel emotionally overwhelmed and have difficulty controlling their worries and fears. Some teens might develop irrational phobias or avoidant behaviors to cope with their anxiety.

Other signs of teen anxiety may include sleeping too much or too little, becoming easily irritated or agitated, having difficulty concentrating, and feelings of worthlessness.

It is important to recognize these signs of anxiety as early as possible so that you can seek teen counseling from mental health professionals, like Kathryn, Marti, and Savannah with Empower Counseling. If left untreated, anxiety can lead to depression, self harm, and other mental health conditions. If your teen is not yet successfully moving toward adulthood, if you have mental health concerns, or you worry about low self-esteem begin by contacting a mental health professional and seeking therapy.

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Recognizing Signs That Your Teen May Need Therapy for teens

If your teen is not doing well in school, you have mental health concerns, or worry about low self-esteem then contact a mental health professional and seek therapy.

If you think your teen is making dangerous or reckless choices, reaching out to a licensed mental health counselor can be helpful. If your teen is spending all of her time in her room and avoiding doing anything social, she may have a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression.

If your teen is struggling to make friends, her mental wellness may be at risk. At Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama we specialize in offering in person therapy and online counseling for teens, along with other mental health services. We understand adolescent mental health and know the healthy coping mechanisms teens need to thrive.

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Therapy for Teens to Combat Anxiety and Stress

If you are a parent of a teen, you have already discovered that sometimes teens listen to everyone else other than their parents. If you know your teen is struggling and you either don’t know what to do or your teen will not listen to you, google teen counseling Birmingham, find a mental health professional specializing in teen mental health and ask for a teen therapist.

School counselors are not there to provide therapy. Instead reach out to a licensed therapist or licensed counselor whose primary focus is in person visits or online therapy for teens. You would be amazed at what teens will open up and share about with a mental health professional they trust.

At Empower Counseling we specialize in Acceptance Commitment Therapy for teens. Whether your teen has severe mental health problems, low self-esteem, or is simply overwhelmed easily, counseling sessions can help.

Through Acceptance Commitment Therapy our trained counselors at Empower Counseling will uncover any dysfunctional thinking contributing to anxiety or depression in your teen. We will assess for negative self-criticism and suicidal thoughts. We will teach your teens how to move away from negative thoughts and toward seeing themselves in a more positive light.

Our licensed therapists will help you teen get in touch with her values and begin focusing on what she wants her life to look like and who she wants to be.

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Strategies to Help Teens Reduce Stress and Socialize

In addition to counseling for your teen with an in person or online therapist, there are things you can do as a parent to help your teen navigate this stage of development.

Allow your teen independence in small bites. Let your teen prove she is worthy of trust and responsibility a little at a time. Just as you didn’t have your teen driving on the interstate on her first day behind the wheel, don’t throw her into the deep end, but slowly give her wider boundaries.

Recognize the importance of friends and being social. If the social part of life is non existent or not working well, academics will be more difficult. The need for connection and belonging is strong. If it is not met, your teen will have difficulty focusing on personal goals.

When it comes to body image we have to not only be careful what we say to our teens, we also have to be careful what they see us do. If we are complaining about not being thin enough or always concerned with appearances, then the likely hood of your teen having an eating disorder goes up.

Focusing on fueling our bodies well so they can do what we need encourages a healthy body image. To foster our teens developing their own identities, ask questions instead of forcing your own views.

Ask them what they think about important issues and ask them to back up their opinions. This lets them know you are listening and their opinions are important. This is positive reinforcement for them continuing to share and develop deep thinking.

Counseling can be an invaluable resource for teens in becoming mentally healthy adults. Through counseling, teens are provided with a safe space to express their feelings and communicate their concerns. They learn the skills necessary to cope with life’s ups and downs, identify triggers for stress, and develop better communication skills.

Counseling also helps teens to build self-esteem, recognize social cues, and practice problem solving techniques. With the guidance of a professional counselor, teens gain the insight needed to build meaningful relationships with others and handle difficult situations constructively. Counseling builds resilience which is what teens need most before leaving for college or moving out on their own.

Ultimately, counseling encourages teens to confront their worries while learning helpful strategies for managing mental health challenges that will stay with them long after adolescence.

At Empower Counseling, each of our trained counselors provides therapy for teens. It is simple to get started with Kathryn, Marti, or Savannah.

  1. Click here, scroll to the bottom of the Home Page and send us a message.
  2. We will respond ASAP.
  3. We will schedule your first appointment.

Counseling for teens is not the only mental health service we provide at our Birmingham, Alabama Counseling clinic. We offer counseling for college students, counseling for young adults, and counseling for professionals.

We offer in person and online counseling for the state of Alabama. Empower uses ACT for counseling for anxiety, depression counseling and counseling for trauma and PTSD. ACT is a clinically proven method of therapy that gets results.

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