Adolescents are neither children nor adults, but they are in the process of transitioning from one to the other. They are forming their own personality and beginning to separate from their family. As a result, many young people are hesitant to discuss personal matters in front of their entire family. This difficulty, however, is simply solved by providing them with individual counselling.
Because teenagers have more complicated cognitive processes and advanced cognitive skills than children, a counsellor can utilise more advanced therapeutic tactics than youngsters. It is also critical for the counsellor to recognise the young person as an individual who wants to make their own decisions rather than someone who wants to be told what to do.
Geldard and Geldard suggest a proactive method for counselling adolescents to satisfy the particular counselling requirements of young people. In the proactive therapy approach, the counsellor:
- is authentic and open
- is proactive in introducing creative, experiential, cognitive and psycho-educational strategies
- is responsive to the young person’s developmental needs
- matches the adolescent style of communication
- uses particular counselling skills
1. Adolescent Issues
Adolescents transition from being part of a family group to being part of a peer group and eventually standing alone as adults. He progresses from reliance to independence, autonomy, and maturity. As a result, he must deal with not only biological changes, but also cognitive, psychological, social, moral, and spiritual difficulties.
2. Cognitive Changes
Adolescents are constantly exploring, challenging, and changing their perceptions of the world. They acquire egocentric thinking to the point where they believe everyone is watching them on stage. They believe they are unique, omnipotent, and untouchable, and that they cannot be damaged. However, this is all part of the intricate process of becoming a unique individual on the path to adulthood.
3. Psychological Changes
The creation of a personal identity is the most crucial psychological undertaking for an adolescent. They are constantly adjusting to new experiences, events, and situations while also responding to bodily, cognitive, and psychological changes as they embark on a path of self-discovery. These are naturally stressful and anxious situations. Adolescents’ relationships will suffer as a result of their emotional sensitivity and high intensity of emotional response.
4. Social Changes
Adolescents are challenged to adapt their social behaviour as a result of societal, parental, family, and peer group expectations. Unrealistic expectations may arise as a result of parents’ lack of preparation for their child’s adolescence. This causes family tensions, which stresses family connections.
5. Influence of Peer Pressure
Adolescents face intense social pressures to conform to group norms. They begin the process of individuation by defining their social identity in the peer group. However, if their actions are self-destructive or antisocial, the adolescent is likely to suffer unpleasant consequences. Parents grow concerned when their children alter their physical appearance in ways that they do not find acceptable. Fashion and group membership influence how adolescents present themselves.
6. Risk Taking Behaviour
Adolescence is a time for trying out new behaviours in response to new surroundings. The influence of peers, who may encourage such behaviour by exhibiting their own willingness to take risks or by a desire to get vicarious pleasure from seeing another adolescent’s risk-taking behaviour, increases this urge to take risks. Because adolescents fight for status and attention, there is significant pressure to engage in life-threatening and risk-taking behaviour.
7. Dealing with Sexuality Issues
Adolescents are more prone to form romantic bonds based on sexual attraction, especially in opposite-sex partnerships but also in same-sex relationships. However, these interactions may be transient, unstable, and subject to change. Because most adolescents have strong feelings of romantic love, being rejected by the person they love can be damaging to their self-esteem. The case of some adolescents who, due to their personality or a lack of social skills, are unable to have a connection with someone they find attractive. This can be detrimental to their self-esteem and may lead to depression.