When a teenager in a Christian family begins having emotional problems and acting out in negative ways, the school might suggest bringing the youngster to a psychological counselor. The parents may feel conflicted. Their faith may have already carried the family through some difficult times, and they wonder why it's not enough for their teenage son or daughter.
One beneficial option to consider is Christian counseling, both for the teenager and the entire family. With this type of therapy, the parents know their religion remains part of the focus and they also can learn about family dynamics that may contribute to the problem.
The Troubles of Teens
Teenagers are prone to a combination of issues that often characterize adolescence. Puberty may have begun while the individual was still a preteen, but puberty is not just one brief moment. Teenagers continue deal with a changing body and new physical desires.
They also often deal with relationship drama that has a root cause in physical changes, including hormonal issues. Two close friends may grow apart as one matures more quickly. Romantic feelings intensify. Adolescents can't easily escape the relationship drama because they are in school with many of these people.
These young men and women have to make decisions that can be challenging even for adults, and they don't yet have much life experience to help them figure out what to do. They may act impulsively if they feel pressured or have an intense longing to fit in and regret it later.
What Counseling Can Accomplish
Counseling sessions help the client process thoughts and feelings and find healthy ways to cope with problematic situations.
In this non-threatening environment, a young person learns to trust the therapist and is able to confide private thoughts that they would not feel comfortable talking about with family members -- or sometimes, even with close friends. It helps the teen gain more clarity and calmness. There is a substantial relief of stress and anxiety that may have sometimes felt overwhelming.
Family group sessions can shine a light on ways that the behavior of parents and children can lead to unhealthy reactions. Often, parents don't even realize there is a problem in the family structure, or they don't realize how serious it has become for the teenager who is acting out.
Unfortunately, sometimes this can be even more problematic for a family that defines itself by its Christian faith. They don't want to think they could have the same problems that a secular family would, or they believe the problems can be solved through prayer and faith alone.
How Christian Counseling Is Different
Having counseling sessions in a Christian atmosphere brings parents peace of mind that their conservative morals and values will be upheld.
An adolescent struggling with temptations that the Bible says are sinful will receive compassion and empathy from the counselor, but will need to look at those urges from a Biblical standpoint. The counselor may point out the relevant Bible verses about specific sins and temptation, while also providing support with verses about love, understanding and forgiveness from Jesus.
Parents and youngsters are encouraged to turn to God for help, and the sessions may include praying together.
This is all provided in addition to more standard psychotherapy methods. The combination of Christian counseling, family support, and continued attendance in church and a youth group can be very helpful in turning a teen's life around or keeping them on the right path.
What This Means for You
Seek help from a Christian counseling organization from a site like http://www.thecstonegroup.com so your teenager and your entire family can begin repeating the benefits of this service. If you are still hesitant and feel that you're somehow not being a good Christian by needing therapy, consider that most Christians don't avoid necessary medical care.