Are you feeling frustrated because your teen seems to frequently display anger towards you? Are you unsure as to what to do when your teen is angry? To help understand why teens in general may display feelings of anger and what a parent can do to deal with their teen’s anger, I have interviewed Dr. Sarah Villarreal.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am a licensed psychologist with over fifteen years of experience working with teens and women; my two areas of specialty. I have a non-judgmental approach to therapy that includes interpersonal theory, life-coaching and cognitive behavioral techniques. I am the founder of The Entelechy Wellness Center; a Psychotherapy Center for children, teens and adults. We have Centers in Palo Alto and San Francisco, CA. I am the Co-Founder of Bay Area Therapists Specializing in Adolescents (BATSA). I am currently writing a self-help book for women.”
“I use cognitive behavioral and interpersonal theory approaches. These styles of therapy are both researched and proven to be effective. A constant primary therapy goal is always to help the individual realize and live up to their potential.”
Once a child reaches their teen years it seems displays of anger are more frequent. Where does the anger stem from for teens?
“Of course, each teen is different. However, common general reasons for this type of anger come from a lack of power and control. Teens struggle with a constant conflict of both wanting to individuate and wanting security. Often times parents of teens will complain that every matter, regardless of how small, is turned into some sort of power struggle.”
How can a parent deal with their teen’s anger?
“It is important to pick your battles. It is also important to validate and acknowledge the teen’s anger. A common mistake many parents make is to be dismissive of their child’s emotions, which often leads to increased anger.”
When should a parent seek professional help for their teen’s anger?
“Some “red flags” that indicate your child may need to seek professional help include initiating majority of conflicts at home, negatively compare themselves to others often, perform below his/her academic or social potential, becomes easily overwhelmed or often seems irritable and/or closed off.”
What last advice would you like to leave for a parent who is dealing with their teen’s anger?
“It is important to know when to get some therapeutic support. Teens do more care-taking for their parents then a lot of people realize. It is extremely common for a teen in treatment to tell me that they worry about their parent and often do not express feelings because they are afraid of upsetting the parent. It is a lovely gift to give a teen a safe place to sift through what can be a very challenging and confusing time.”
Thank you Dr. Villarreal for the interview on how to deal with your teen’s anger. If you would like more information on Dr. Sarah Villarreal you can check out her website on www.EntelechyWellness.com.
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