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Emotional Crisis | Guiding Your Teen Through

emotional crisis, Teen counseling, Pinehurst, NC

Emotional Crisis | Guiding Your Teen Through


It can be expected for teens to experience emotional highs and lows. They may feel great one minute; the next, sad and upset. Like their changing bodies, their moods swiftly swing due to a lot of pressures, such as added responsibilities at home, measuring up to peers, tougher challenges in school, etc.

With the many challenges to confront and so many important decisions, teens may need to develop the skills necessary to reduce stress or face the demands of the adolescence years. For now, however, they may not be adequately equipped emotionally to tackle the tough times, so they need a lot of support, especially from trusted adults like their parents.


Seeing Your Teen Struggling Emotionally

As a parent, you may be used to seeing your adolescent child having a bad day. Knowing it happens to most teenagers, you are likely inclined to dismiss it as common growing pains. A string of bad days, however, in which your teen child cannot sleep, eat, find pleasure in enjoyable activities or keep up with school work could be a sign of an emotional crisis.

A state of emotional overwhelm is characterized by the presence of intense emotions that can result in difficulties, especially if it affects a young person. It can impair his/her ability to think rationally and act or perform efficiently and functionally. Whether the condition is a result of stress at home or work, a traumatic life experience, relationship issues, and other issues, your child could require help which can originate by you taking action.

It is during this time when you can let your child know you are concerned about their welfare and that you are available to them. Guiding your child through emotional crisis does not mean interfering in their personal life, but it is about helping them confront whatever difficulties are at hand and encouraging them to take appropriate action to the extent of seeking professional intervention.


Spotting the Red Flags of Emotional Crisis in Your Teenager

There are certain signs that can reveal the struggles your teen child may be going through during emotional crisis. Beyond the typical adolescent turmoil and defiance, there are more than 8 ways to tell your child needs counseling for being on a path toward emotional disturbance. You know your child the best and you know when help is needed upon noticing some of these alarming signs.

  • Disengagement from school
  • Avoiding friends and peers
  • Violent actions or physical aggression
  • Change in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Self-harm or reckless self-destructive behavior
  • Persistent distress or depression
  • Lack of self-care and disregard of health and hygiene
  • Addiction to electronic gadgets
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Physically, verbally and emotionally abusive at home

A teen child who is beyond defiance and is exhibiting more than one of these warning signs that indicate emotional distress is more likely to have an underlying cognitive, emotional or behavioral issue that may need to be appropriately addressed. Seeing some of these behaviors in your teen can mean it is time to take the necessary steps to get the right kind of help.

However, it can take more than red flags to understand clearly the nature of your teen’s emotional crisis. Open dialogue and disclosure remain as vital ingredients to gain full knowledge about the specific nature of your teen’s emotional turbulence. There may be more work involved to discover the underlying cause of the crisis itself.


What Parents Can Do to Help  

When you know that a loved one, specifically your child, is intensely suffering, responding to emotional crisis can be difficult. It is understandable to feel overwhelmed, confused and afraid. The gravity of the situation can lead to an overreaction and more feelings of helplessness, believing you may not have the skills to assist your teen in crisis.

During childhood, your teen can be more be dependent on your family, However, as they mature they will continue to strive for more independence. School friends, peers and other social groups may begin to form a large part of their support network, your teen may begin to see the family as less of a primary support system like it may have been during their younger years.

As a parent, you may feel sidelined and disregarded, however your role as a beacon to guide your child in difficult times is no less vital than it was before, though, it is different in some ways. Your child still needs you to be a trusted home base to help with painful events and to gain more emotional understanding. Despite your teen’s tough posturing, you can respond to his/her emotional needs at further developmental stages to help them meet the demands they may not be prepared for.

Throughout your child’s teen years, they will increasingly become more and more independent. For most of these years, it is important to remain an emotional and moral guide to your child.  They may begin to explore, including experimenting with different relationships other than the family. For your son or daughter to be successful, you can invite your child to rely more on you, so they can be emotionally strong enough to make those difficult decisions.


Knowing When to Seek External Assistance

Apart from the red flags that indicate your child is struggling with emotional crisis, there are some circumstances that may impel you to push the help button. If your teenager is no longer communicative, whether about themselves or their activities, it may be time to seek advice from someone trained to understand teens and emotional crises.

The good news is that emotional crises are treatable. It is important is to get help early for treatment to be the most effective in preventing the onset of further complications. Noticing changes in your teenage child’s conduct is a healthy initial step to finding the most appropriate help. An inadequate response can allow the situation to worsen and reduce the success rate of future interventions.

Whether the emotional crisis becomes a turning point or not can lie on whether an appropriate treatment method is given and followed through. It is true that your love and support cannot be duplicated, but seeing your teen child overwhelmed by intense feelings justifies the reason to seek counseling for him or her. It usually takes a professional to trace one or more factors to characterize the evolution of the crisis. Bearing this in mind, when seeking treatment for your child, it is critical to connect them to the right therapist, approach and treatment to ensure that the appropriate response can be successfully achieved.

You can do this with the right fit counselor contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC. If it is difficult for your child to attend the session at first, you may take their place and benefit from the chance to gain strategies from a therapist independently contracted with CCS – Pinehurst, NC. It can be the best thing you can do if you desire to provide hands-on help for your child. Your personal guidance in times of emotional overwhelm can be the most effective step toward resolution. Call and request an appointment today!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, Hoke County, Chatham County

Areas: Pinehurst NC, West End NC, Taylortown NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Jackson Springs NC, Foxfire NC, Candor NC, Norman NC, Ellerbe NC, Rockingham NC

Zip Codes: 27281, 27376, 28315, 28347, 28350, 28373, 28374, 28387, 28388, 28394

Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
Insurance: BCBSTricare Prime/Select, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Robin Caswell, MSW, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 5+), Individuals, Adults, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Loss, ADHD, ODD, Trauma/PTSD, LGBTQ, Self-Harm, Military Family Life, Mood Disorders, OCD, Phobias
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Counseling Information

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: 910-420-3600 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Other Contact Info

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Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

45 Dowd Circle Suite 5
PinehurstNC 28374

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311