By guest author
Licensed Christian Counselor
Specialist in Child & Adolescent Therapy
Life Training Christian Counseling
As a Christian Counselor for teens, my job goes beyond providing teenage depression counseling, teenage anxiety counseling, or teenage substance abuse counseling. I have the opportunity to help adolescents seek God in the midst of their biggest struggles, one of those being the adults in their lives choosing not to grow, placing them in adult roles and to handle adult emotions. There are multiple things that need to be addressed in these scenarios.
Teens Are Not Responsible For Other People’s Emotions
“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”Matthew 18:6 NIV
Jesus uses some harsh language here. I choose to believe it’s because He means business. Some of these teens biggest wounds come from having to take responsibilities from adults who do not accept them. They have accepted the belief that they must carry the emotions of parents, friends, teachers, etc., on their shoulders. Part of my job is teaching these teens where boundaries should be set in their lives. They are learning how to decipher what is their responsibility and what is not. I teach them Philippians 4:6, which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” This verse reminds them to release the things that are not their responsibility and give them to God. It is a slow process, but as they learn what things they can and can’t control, they become freed from the weight of others.
Learning To Cope With Big Emotions Is Critical
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”Psalm 34:18 NIV
As these adolescents learn how to place boundaries in their lives, they are left with big emotions they are not equipped to handle, often not even knowing how to identify them. Part of helping them to grow is giving them a space to be vulnerable, ask questions, and place a name to the things they are feeling. As they do this, they can learn how to use their God-given emotions for the tools they were designed for. Anger is a sign of a boundary being crossed and can notify us we need to do something different. Sadness signifies loss and can bring closeness to God and to those we love and who love us. Joy signifies goodness and life and connects us through celebration. Emotions have a purpose, and they are Biblical! If you read through Psalms, you will see David share a range of emotions, all presenting an opportunity for growing closer to God and gaining an understanding of God and himself.
Teens Need Reminded They Can’t Change Their Parents
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is good, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”Philippians 4:8
The key in helping these teens find peace in their homes is not equipping them to change their surroundings, but to change their perspective. I teach them where boundaries need to be set and how to work through their emotions, and then I teach them to not dwell on the negative things. Does that mean ignore the negatives? Absolutely not. Yet, as we are working to accept the realities of things we cannot control, we are going to fix our eyes on the hope that is to come. Create short-term and long-term goals for the teens to work towards. Help them find a greater support system in their church, schools, or families to encourage them and empower them. Lead them in building habits that will draw them near to Christ and strengthen their relationship with God. This perspective change may not change the reality of their “now”, but it can change the trajectory of their future, and that is what I love about being a teen counselor.
Kayla Wright joined the counseling team at Life Training Christian Counseling in May of this year. The passion of her counseling work is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of TEENS AND PRE-TEENS.
Kayla is nationally licensed as a Christian Counselor by the National Christian Counselors Association, with an advanced board certification in Child & Adolescent Therapy. Kayla gained extensive experience and credibility in providing counseling to teens and pre-teens during her tenure on the staff of Revive Christian Counseling in Owensboro and Madisonville, Kentucky.
Kayla Wright, as well as each of our other counselors, offers convenient sessions at our office in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as online counseling via Zoom or FaceTime. Please click on this link to learn much more about how our COUNSELING FOR TEENS & PRE-TEENS in Louisville, Kentucky can help the child you love find the highly-effective, Christ-centered help they need. Contact us today at 502-717-5433, or by email at email@example.com