Photograph: Pexels-Zen Chung
You have high expectations for yourself and others around you do as well. You’re in upper level classes (honors and A.P.), maybe some extracurriculars, and are often really busy. People praise you for your dedication and hard work, but inside, you’re really struggling. You get anxious every time something gets added to your plate.
You are so worried about getting into college, stressed about what people think about you, tired from overthinking and overextending yourself, and uncomfortable in your own skin at times. Everyone around you thinks you’re doing amazing, but you’re struggling to make everything work. You’re either in a relationship you’re unsure of or really want to be in one and feel lonely. You have some friends, but find yourself comparing your looks and successes to them. You scroll on social media for hours to avoid doing work/de-stress and then beat yourself up for getting behind. It feels like other people are doing so much better than you.
Sometimes you find it hard to say no and set boundaries with others. Conflict can be really stressful for you and you don’t want to disappoint anyone, so you feel obligated to agree to things you don’t want to. Then you feel resentful about having more to do and get mad at yourself for not speaking up.
You find that you compare yourself to others often: what they look like, what they’re doing, what they have. Everyone gives you compliments and praise, but you often feel insecure anyway. You think too much about what you wear and what pictures/videos you post. You replay conversations in your head over and over and criticize what you said and did. You have a ton of ambition, but feel so exhausted with just getting through the day that it’s too hard to focus on what’s next. You feel anxious/nervous/stressed more than you feel “normal.”
Photograph: Pexels-John Diez
Photograph: Pexels-Cotton Bro
Imagine feeling more in control over your thoughts and emotions. Being more confident in what you wear and how you look. Having the ability to say “no” to others when you need to.
To have a clearer idea of who you are, what you want to be, and how to get there. To feel like you have healthier relationships with others and yourself. To have a sense of peace.
You deserve to worry less and enjoy your life more. Counseling can help you achieve that version of you.
Therapy sessions with me are typically pretty casual. We start each session catching up on the past week and decide what issue we are going to address. Sometimes we talk about heavy things, things that you’ve never said out loud or have trouble talking about because they’re uncomfortable. But there’s growth that happens when you do that!
Some sessions, we are talking about what is working well for you and try to figure out why things are going so well so that we can keep going! As an anxiety therapist for teens in Charlotte, NC (and an online anxiety therapist in North Carolina and Virginia), I want therapy to be a great experience.
Photograph: Unsplash-Katy Anne
I love incorporating personal things into sessions. If you saw a TikTok that perfectly describes your experience, bring it to the session! If you had a dance competition last weekend and are feeling good about your performance, let’s watch it and work on building your confidence up. Got into an argument with a friend and are unsure of how to move forward? Let’s dissect the disagreement and work on how respond in the healthiest way. If you have a pet, I’m going to need to see pics for sure.
I’m not going to make you read a bunch of books or do a ton of therapy homework. But there will be small tasks to do occasionally between sessions, like practicing a new skill you’ve learned in sessions or setting a boundary.
I want you to love coming to sessions! To feel comfortable, heard, and understood when you leave. You can get to a point where you feel more comfortable with yourself, both physically and mentally. You can make a decision and feel good about it, without spending hours or days overthinking it. You can say no to someone without feeling sick about it afterwards. You can learn how to be nicer to yourself and hopefully learn to love yourself.
In therapy, you can learn ways to help you become your best self. If you come to sessions and put in the work, you will get something out of it. Imagine, if you’re starting this work as a teen, you can be such an amazing, mentally healthy, confident adult.