Counseling for Teens with ADD/ADHD
Does Your Teen Feel Life With ADD Or ADHD Is Just Too Hard?
Has your teenager been neglecting responsibilities and struggling to keep up in school? Maybe, it’s after school and your child is having another meltdown because they feel overwhelmed and think no one likes them. Do they have a hard time focusing and staying organized? Perhaps they daydream constantly and their mind is always wandering off in the middle of classes. They may not think before they speak or blurt things out that they regret later. These issues could make it hard for your teen to build healthy relationships with others.
If your teenager is dealing with Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), they may be constantly misunderstood by others. Their teachers are likely getting frustrated with them, accusing them of laziness when they can’t keep up in school. If they’re indulging in risky behaviors, other people may mischaracterize them as rebels.
The truth is, few people understand how ADD/ADHD truly works, which makes it hard for those living with it to be taken seriously. Deep down, your teen probably just wants to feel normal. They may think differently, but they probably wish other people didn’t treat them differently. Thankfully, in Therapy, your teen has a chance to share their problems with someone who understands ADD and won’t make them feel ashamed for it.
ADD/ADHD Is Even More Difficult For Teens Then It Is For Adults
Imagine that your teenager is succeeding in school. They’re getting their homework in on time and receiving good grades. They have teachers who help them stay organized and give them all the extra time they need on assignments. What’s more, your teen is fitting in and making friends. They’ve found a group of peers who are accepting of their differences and appreciate them for who they are.
With the right help and support, this scenario doesn’t have to remain a fantasy. Many teens with ADD are able to find success, acceptance and love for themselves. Oftentimes, the first step toward healing is helping others understand how the condition works. People with ADD/ADHD have reduced executive functioning in their brains. Essentially, this means that they aren’t able to focus their attention on a single subject like other people can. Although there is growing awareness about ADD, many people aren’t educated on how it works, which is why those dealing from it continue to feel ostracized.
As hard as ADD/ADHD is for adults, it’s even more difficult for teens. After all, their brains haven’t fully developed yet. They already struggle with poor judgment and impulsivity, but these qualities are intensified by ADD. That’s why it’s important for them to seek help. By working together, I am confident that we can empower your teen to find skills and strategies to help them thrive with their ADD.
ADD/ADHD Counseling Gives Teens A chance To Learn Adapting Skills And To Reach For The Stars
The first thing I want your teen to know is that they do not have something wrong with them. I am not here to “fix” them or lecture them on how to behave. This is a space where they can be themselves and won’t have to face any judgment for their impulsivity. My goal is to help them explore their feelings, adapt to their challenges and pursue their hopes and dreams.
In the initial intake process, I will generally meet with both you and your teen together (however, if you prefer not to, you can meet with me alone). In subsequent sessions, I will meet with your teenager one-on-one to discuss their needs and goals. If needed, you and I can collaborate with their school to draft a 504 plan. The goal of this plan is to help your teen receive accommodations for their schooling, such as added time on tests or extra assistance with organization.
In sessions together, I will focus on what your teen sees as the problems in their life and what they want to fix. This is their time, and that’s why I want them to have a say over their treatment plan for ADD/ADHD. I will help them explore ways to adapt to their struggles, reduce impulsivity and establish healthier relationships. Most importantly, I want them to know that they are not lazy, rebellious or unintelligent. They may learn and think differently from others, but they can still be brilliant, creative and resilient.
At the same time, I will equip you with the skills to help your child navigate the difficulties of ADD. You will learn to diffuse meltdowns, help them stay on task and be an advocate for them. In the end, I believe you will come to see your teenager’s struggles with ADD in a new light.
The atmosphere of my therapy sessions is relaxed and fun. Your teenager is encouraged to do whatever makes them comfortable here, whether it’s drawing or something else. The goal of counseling is not to lecture your teen, but to help them express themselves and come to see their identity in a new light. To that end, I may even conduct role-playing scenarios with them in which we rehearse real-life scenarios that teach them how to react appropriately and utilize their stop button if they’re feeling impulsive.
No matter how hopeless things feel, I am confident that your child can not only manage their ADD/ADHD, but also achieve their hopes and dreams. People with ADD challenges can still excel in life. Oftentimes, their uniqueness allows for greater creativity and insight. With my help and your support, I believe we can empower your teenager to weather the storms of life and reach for the stars.
You May Have Some Concerns Counseling For Teens With ADD Or ADHD…
My Teen Doesn’t Want To Come To Therapy
Many teenagers with ADD/ADHD have faced judgment and condescension from adults, so it’s only natural that they feel intimidated by therapy. With me, however, your teen will be honored and valued for their thoughts and feelings. They are free to be themselves in a way they can’t with other adults. If they’re really hesitant about coming, I would remind them they can use art materials and creative writing to help them express themselves.
I Don’t Want My Teen To Feel Like They Need Fixing
ADD/ADHD counseling is a time for teens to address strengths and weaknesses and focus on adapting skills. The goal is not to fix your teen, but to embolden them to solve what they see as the problems in their life. A huge focus of mine is letting them have control over their goals. My role is simply to help them tap into the strength and resilience that they already have.
Should I Put My Teen On Medication?
Before evaluating whether or not your child requires medication, we will focus on giving them all the support they can get. We will equip them with the skills to adapt to ADD/ADHD and provide accommodations wherever needed in their life. Afterwards, if it is still a concern, we will revisit the question of medication. As a therapist, I am not able to provide pharmaceutical interventions myself, but I can help connect your teen to an ADD/ADHD psychiatrist who can.
Let Me Help You Build A Stronger Support System For Your Teen
If ADD/ADHD is holding your teen back from succeeding in school or connecting with others, I encourage you to contact me. Together, we can empower them to thrive in with their struggles. To get started, you can call me at 631-289-8765 for a free 20-minute phone consultation or fill out the contact form.
Right now, because of COVID-19, all counseling services for teens with ADD are online. The platform I utilize is secure, free and HIPAA-compliant. See my online counseling page for teens for more information.