Thoughts on professional counseling for teens?


Senior Member
A young boy in a situation like this usually does enjoy doing things with a father figure, even though they may not admit it, but on the flip side it reminds them that they haven't had a father in their life, or if there is one, why doesn't he want to spend time with me ? It depends on what the young man dwells on, in my case my stepson enjoyed doing things with me, but it also made him angrier at his real dad because he chose not to do those things with his son.

One thing I reminded my stepson of more than once was I wasn't trying to replace his father,, I was simply trying to help him learn things I thought every young man needed to know, and do things I didn't want him to miss out on, and hopefully show him to act and handle things once he was grown and out in the world.

Thats why I think another young person pointing out to the young man that your involvement is a good thing can be valueable, A church can be very beneficial to some young people, just depends on their outlook of life, if they are very realistic and put stock in what is tangible, it may not help, it all depends on the child or young person, most young people aren't philosophers or deep thinkers,


Senior Member
My son has been a councilor out west. Their method was to take them camping and teach them what we all learned coming up. He thinks the " learning new things part" is what helped them the most.
My 2-cents is to have patience. With patience being defined in every way you can think of. And it ain't easy.


Senior Member
We fostered over 43 children over a period of years. I have hauled kids to appointments for literally years to see councilors. I wish I could tell you of one kid that it seemed to help.

Of course, my kids had all kinds of attachment issues and rejection issues. They often came with an inferiority complex of sorts, and blamed the world for all their problems. Most of the time they blamed DFCS or 'them' when it was all on the birth parents from alcohol or drug use.
Pappy, 43 is a staggering number of kids you've helped !!!

You are to be commended for that. No telling what those kids would have had to go through had it not been for you !!

So. I know it don't mean much for lil' ole' me to give you accolades. You have them from me none the less !!
I haven’t read all the comments yet but there is some good advice here. Abandonment is a tough wound to heal from but I think you are on the right track by looking into getting a neutral third party involved. My dad was abandoned by both of his parents at a very young age and was farmed out to different relatives all during his childhood. He finally found a place with his grandmother but years of emotional damage had been done to him by that point. My dad was hands down the toughest man I’ve ever known. His life story would make a really good book. But even as tough as he was that wound was still there. He handled what happened to him about as well as anybody possibly could but from time to time I would realize what a number his childhood had done on him.

I think you are right to be cautious of these counselor types, especially psychiatrists and drugs, but if you keep looking and find the right counselor it can be beneficial. The main thing is going to be finding someone he can relate to in some way and learn to trust.

I am about the last guy in the world who would ever have gone to any type of counseling. I honestly thought that was for people who were soft and definitely not something a real man would do. But when it became obvious that my first marriage was going in the ditch, this was seventeen years ago, I asked my then wife if she thought marriage counseling was a good idea. She said she thought it was. Long story short, after two meetings she refused to go again. I decided to continue. It was helpful to get some perspective from someone who had no dog in the fight and I was able to see some things I hadnt been able to see. One word of free advice, as a man, I don’t think I ever could have set down with another man and opened up. It was a woman that I talked to and that was a lot easier.


Senior Member
The term, "you just have to get them through it" seemingly has worked in many cases. After reading all the responses, many reveal that the underlying issue is "adolescence". It's a hard time for teens as they try to figure out how to navigate this world. I will refrain from telling how I have experience in this since I feel that it's not my story to tell, but rather one of my children's, however I can say that all is well now. But there was a time period where we could not have ever expected things to be as good as they are now. I can't point to anything that I contribute to the good outcoming other than God answering prayers. I don't ask God for much, but we were struggling. I can't claim that parental skills, keeping my cool, discipline, etc.... had any effect


Senior Member
When my ex and split, a woman she works with told my ex to put our daughter in counselling. The coworker used to be a child physiologist and insisted kids need counselling. That coworker hasnt been certified since 1967 and is one of those old hippies that refuse to just die off. {smells dead but wont lay down}

Anyway, my ex took her advice and did it. Things didnt turn out the way she hoped or her smart coworker expected. During her "therapy", my daughter informed the counselor that she was not only fine with our split up, but was much happier and that she would prefers to live with me full time because her mother just yells at her, spends no time with her, and berates her in front of others.

Before attending custody court, it is required kids speak with a court reporter to get whats called a "child's view" report. this report is then read by the judge before any hearing. Again, my daughter reiterated herself.

So, in my opinion, if the child is willing to state what is happening and what their thoughts are, counselling could be a good thing and it could be a bad thing. Whether or not counselling is a requirement is child/parent relationship dependent.

Ive always had a great, open relationship with my daughter. She knows she can come to me with anything. The very same things she told the counselor and the court reporter are the same things she had told me. But, no one would listen when I tried to tell them.

Talk to your kids. Get them to know and trust you. If you do this, a counselor isnt a requirement. If you feel they are holding back, then a 3rd ear may be necessary