In the past month, many counseling offices across the country have made the switch to telehealth (video sessions). While this is not ideal for everyone, especially our younger clientele, we are all doing our part to protect the health of our global community.
As the days have turned into weeks, that initial “Spring Break High” and enjoying a break from our normal schedule is starting to wear off. Online schooling is stressful for students and parents. Teens are feeling isolated. Many are missing out on the highlights of high school: sporting events, school dances, and social events. If your teen is struggling to adjust to the “new normal,” give us a call. We can help.
For those who are already seeking help from a trusted counselor or who are considering beginning counseling, we’ve outlined the following 4 tips to help teens have a counseling session that’s focused and effective.
1. Find a private place to have your call. This could be a bedroom, car (while parked) or any room where you know your teen won’t be interrupted by other family members. Parents can you imagine your teen opening up about their day if their parent or a sibling were sitting in the therapy office with them? They won’t feel comfortable opening up on a video call with others in the room either. Allow them their privacy.
2. Find a place that’s free from distractions. In addition to other people, television screens, video games or music can be equally distracting. Try to create a quiet environment where they can focus and listen. Having a notepad to draw or take notes on may also help some clients focus better. You can also offer a fidget toy that will keep their hands busy but still allow them to talk.
3. Consider using a desktop or laptop. In some cases using a desktop rather than a smartphone for your session will help teens feel more connected and present instead of just holding up a smart phone. This also allows their hands to be free and their therapist can better read their body language and posture.
4. Have your teen take a few minutes to prepare for their session and transition their brain for therapy. During an in-office session you have the drive to the office and time in the waiting room to prepare mentally for their session. Just being in the office tells their brain its time to “work” emotionally. When a therapy session takes place at home and comes immediately after another activity like talking with friends or doing school work it may be harder to transition their brain for therapy. Take 5-10 minutes before the session starts to sit quietly, write down some questions or meditate so they can be ready to work when the session starts.
If you’re interested in learning more about Telehealth counseling for your teen, young adult or for your family, give us call and find out how we can help.