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Tips for Counseling Teenagers to Help Them Make Wise and Healthy Decisions

May 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 160

Many teenagers often make decisions without bearing in mind the consequences thereafter. Thus counseling teenagers requires one to be more open, patient, flexible, knowledgeable, and above all understand the developmental challenges the teens are undergoing in order to provide effective counseling.

Counseling young adults can be tough, but it is be very rewarding helping teenagers make wise and healthy decisions. Here are some of the tips for counseling teenagers: -

Openness and flexibility: Teenagers need to know that no question is wrong, not even the most embarrassing topics. A good counselor or parent should talk about any issues teenagers want to discuss. Instead of being quick to share, make sure you are really paying attention and internalizing what they are saying.

Keeping time: Teenagers easily lose concentration and focus, so it is advisable to avoid long sessions. Adults can typically go for 45-50 minutes sessions, but this is not the same case with adolescents.

Never judge: A good counselor should be understanding. For example, recall how you felt when you were once a teenager. Do not judge and look down upon them. To fight against this, tell yourself that although, you may not be engaged in their mistakes, it does not mean that you are exempted from your own personal flaws. Show respect and do not talk down to them.

Be trustworthy: Honesty is crucial to young clients. You should try as much as possible to be honest, and the information you give needs to be believable. If you do not know an answer, say so. Give simple, direct answers in plain words.

Confidentiality: Make clear that you will not tell anyone else about his or her visit, the discussion, and the decisions.

Be approachable: When counseling a teenager, do not get upset or too excited. Keep cool and find little things to talk about to the teenagers, which are essential. For example, try to know their schedules, interests, and generally what is going on in their lives. It lowers resistance and tensions, making them feel connected. You must have something to talk to them about beyond their problem.

Do not over identify: There is a risk of trying to match teenager's experiences in order to gain credibility. Do not feel obliged to have or share a similar experience to help them. If you do happen to have one, avoid telling the whole story. Say something like, "I might know what you are going through but I've been through a similar situation in life." This opens way for sharing and if they want to hear more, but if they do not ask, do not identify.

Be patient: Many times when teenagers come to us for counseling, we right away feel as if we have words of insight that we need to tell. Young people may take time to get to the point or to reach a decision. Sometimes it takes several meetings to make progress.

Teenage counseling is intended to help the youngsters make sense of their feelings and behavior. Good counseling tips for parents and counselors for teenage children include patience, honesty, confidentiality, not judging and openness. If you are a parent who is having a hard time with his/her teenage kids, it is good to keep the above points in mind.

Source: EzineArticles
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Tips For Counseling Teenagers To Help Them Make Wise And Healthy Decisions

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