Guidance counselors can help teens with a plethora of psychological and academic issues. Teenage boys are coping with many emotional challenges, some of them may have a mental illness, some of them may be dealing with regular teen issues such as academic success or the ability to perform to the extent that their parents want them to. Many people in high school don’t even know who their guidance counselor is. The reason that they would not investigate this is that there are quite a few individuals who assume that guidance counselors don’t help teens. With the advent of 13 reasons why, where (spoiler alert) the guidance counselor’s lack of empathy and understanding is an integral part of the reason the main character takes her own life, deters teens from seeking help. The protagonist in “13 Reasons Why” is female, but in this article, we’re focusing on why teen boys are resistant to finding appropriate mental health services from their guidance counselor.
Who’s My Guidance Counselor?
As previously mentioned, many adolescent boys don’t even know the guidance counselor’s identity. If you’re unaware of the person that plays this role in your high school, you might not seek them out. In many schools, the guidance counselor‘s primary purpose is to help teens get into college. They may not see this person until that time comes. And then in other schools that role may to someone else, besides the guidance counselor, so theoretically a teenage boy could go their entire academic career in high school without meeting the guidance counselor at all. Another role that the guidance counselor is a providing a safe lace is helping teens with severe emotional and psychological issues. For example, if they are coming from an abusive home, there are many instances where guidance counselors help them. Perhaps a teenage boy is struggling with dating and romantic relationship; a guidance counselor can help in this area too. But in order for her guidance counselor to do their job they have to know the students they’re working with. Part of this falls upon the guidance counselor to introduce themselves, and the other part is teens being willing to seek that person out.
I’m a Dude – I Don’t Want People to Know I Care About Mental Health
This statement also applies to teenage boys. If they don’t want to seek help because they’re afraid, a guidance counselor can help them conquer this fear. The reason they might be afraid of because they don’t want their peers to know they’re seeking mental health treatment. Peer pressure is hugely prevalent in the 21st century. Let’s say a teen says to his friends that he wants to see the guidance counselor to talk about his abusive home environment. But his homeboys tell him don’t do it. They say that he’s a wimp and that he can manage his stuff on his own. They do this because of societal stigma, and they are unaware that they are not helping him. He may relent and not seek treatment because his friends are people he wants to impress. What happens next? It could be severe; perhaps he has suicidal ideation and takes his own life. That’s an extreme example, but the point is that we need to find a way to encourage teens to see their guidance counselor if they’re in crisis.
One of the things that kind counselors do is help teens achieve academic success. They foster this within the clients are seeing. So people that are high achievers, teenage boys that want to go to Harvard or Yale, will see the guidance counselor more frequently than say somebody who is feeling academically. The exception to this is if it is required for academic probation. A teen who is on the verge of getting kicked out of school could see the guidance counselor frequently if they have no other option. So the guidance counselor has a captive audience no matter what is happening. They do not have to focus primarily on academics they can take this opportunity to get to know their kids, and it mentioned the importance of mental health and reminded them that this is a safe place for them to reveal feelings and if they are concerned about something they can tell the guidance counselor was happening. It’s even warm it is crucial to guidance counseling.
Counselors: Put Yourself into Their Shoes
Remember what it was like to be a teenager? It was not easy likely. Were you bullied? You may have had tremendous pressure from your parents to succeed. Regardless of if you were feeling academically or you are a rock star on the road to being valedictorian, the stress that teenage boys are under is on real. Crucial to put yourself in the adolescent boy’s shoes, not literally because you might not fit into them, but if you understand where they’re coming from your likely to be able to help them more. Empathy goes a long way, but you can’t be empathetic if you don’t know it’s going on.
Parents – Talk to Your Teens
Some parents struggle to talk to their teenage boys because they don’t know how to relate to them. Also, teenage boys may isolate because they want to develop an independent identity From their parents, and this is a natural state of being. However, it’s good to let them take the lead. But it doesn’t mean you can’t talk to your child. Even though they’re not saying anything they do want your help. You can back up the fact that the guidance counselor is somebody that they can talk to you if they don’t feel comfortable talking to you. Now many people have memories of their guidance counselor is being complacent or unhelpful. But if you are the parent have a good experience with the guidance counselor share that with your team. They might be more apt to ask for help.
A Safe Space to Change Lives
A guidance counselor has the potential to change lives. The more we realize the powerful nature of this role the better likelihood teens are to get the help that they need. Whether they’re experiencing bullying, wanting to achieve academics, an abusive home life, or more there are ways a guidance counselor can save lives.
This is a featured post by site sponsor Better Help.
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