While all adults were once adolescents, they often discuss adolescent behavior as if they were describing an alien life form. Professional experience suggests that you can gain access to any adolescent if they are being treated with dignity and respect. Their social lives are a maze that you can help them plot a course through if you are willing to be a student of their perception and can avoid forcing your own.

Adolescents enter counseling for a wide variety of reasons. It might be because their parents have insisted that they get help and the adolescent can not speak up for themselves; or because “there needs to be an attitude change” and their care takers have the ability to reward or punish the adolescent’s decision on whether or not to enter counseling; or because they are in need of an objective ear to discuss the challenges they are facing.

While it is true that adolescents seldom enter counseling on their own volition, they are not really any more reluctant to seek help than their adult counterparts when you consider the age difference. Life experience, in sufficient quantities, will help you see what is not working, even if you do not know what to do to fix it. Most adolescents do not have enough life experience to see their role in the problem so they assume the problem must be outside of themselves and they expect everyone else to change.

Adolescents can learn to identify the problem, can be aided in developing strategies for addressing the problem, and respond in loving and responsible ways. Adolescent counseling can help your adolescent develop a process of self discovery which will encourage behavior realization and coping skills to last them a lifetime.