Peer Counseling for Teenagers Could Be a Great Help
With society’s priorities shifting and the ever-present digital landscape, teens of today face a whole host of challenges on top of simply dealing with the ups and downs of adolescence. According to research, a core vulnerability of being a teenager in the U.S. today is that mental illness can often prompt the onset of other issues like substance abuse, self-harm or bullying.
Considering the influx of hormones and the influences of social media, there’s a lot teens are expected to control and manage, which can feel overwhelming at the best of times. This also means that there’s more responsibility than ever on the adults in their lives to guide them and that’s why an avenue like online peer counseling could be a good place to start.
The importance of support systems
It’s often difficult for teenagers to solidify their identities in a constructive manner. Between the ages of 13 and 18, they’re trying to figure out who they are while simultaneously being surrounded by a lot of distraction and noise. Teenagers need strong support and guidance so that they feel heard and acknowledged despite the messiness of the world. Whether this looks like attentive parenting or online peer counseling, it’s crucial that teenagers know that they have a safe place to share their thoughts and feelings. Remember, they’re on the brink of entering the real world — a place that can be unkind and unfair — so preparing them to handle this in the best way possible is pivotal to their development.
The benefits of peer counseling for teenagers
Many teenagers try to ‘suck it up’ because showing any signs of weakness may make them feel vulnerable and under threat by their peers. They often develop coping mechanisms that can materialize into unhealthy patterns of behavior, like not expressing what’s truly affecting them.
Peer counseling is a way to encourage openness and the sharing of their fears in a safe environment. It is not like traditional therapy nor is it a substitution for it. They will have the freedom of choosing a counselor that resonates with them best, be able to set their own schedule and attend virtual sessions from the comfort of their own room.
Independence and choice can be empowering for a young person and will encourage them to take control of their own wellbeing. The more young people feel they are understood and heard, the higher the chances of a happier future generation of individuals.
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