Supporting teens through their unique struggles

teenagers at the computer

I’ve been asked, more than once, “How do you work with teens?!” typically respond by saying, With care.” I recognize that the underlying question here is more about the inquiring individual’s own misunderstandings associated with Millennials and Post-Millennials, also known as Generations Y and Z. I imagine there are many people who are often perplexed to learn that someone would take on such a challenge. I get it. Helping teens to process their personal thoughts and emotions while they are also struggling with other issues including hormonal changes, juggling academic pressures, and maintaining very demanding social lives is not for the faint of heartBut, behind these complex layers is a young person that is often very vulnerable, lonely, and often confused by all of life’s challenges 

People from more experienced generations sometimes express their own frustrations about young adults with comments like, “I had to work a full-time job while going to school and I was married with kids all at the same time!”, “They have it made!”, or “What do they have to complain about?” While we shouldn’t be quick to dismiss the physical, mental and financial struggles that our parents and grandparents endured, we cannot ignore the fact that are youth are simply not dealing with the same social construct or daily demands as the generations before them

A major source of stress for younger individuals today is the need for increased productivity while simultaneously maintaining a job, perfect grades, extra-curricular activities, and social media accounts. For younger individuals, it seems that life is spinning at the speed of light with no sign of stopping; butthe pressures and expectations for this group continue to increase dailyThe fast-paced demands that our younger generations continue to face can lead to symptoms of loneliness, sadness, anger and even self-harming thoughts. It’s no wonder that the second-leading cause of death among individuals ages 10 to 34 is suicide. Read that again. Suicide. Yet, young people are not taking their lives, or even having thoughts about it, simply because they are “lazy” or “disaffected”. It seems quite the opposite: they have passion.  

Our youth are suffering, every single dayAs a society, we cannot afford to simply turn our backs on our them. They need us -- parents, grandparents, coaches, teachers, principals, school counselors, and therapists. Teens deserve a listening ear from a trusted adult who will not judge their thoughts, emotions or behaviors. They deserve to express themselves openly without shame or guilt from those they assumed they could trust. They deserve acknowledgement, appreciation, and encouragement. After all, despite the generational differences, is this not what we all want? 

If you know of a teen in need of a safe space to share their thoughts and feelings-without judgment -- please reach out to me. I have a passion for working with teens to help them understand their emotions and how to cope with their feelings in healthy ways so they can live well-balanced lives. If you have any concerns for a young person in your life, don’t wait until they are in the depths of a complex emotional struggle before seeking professional help. Having access to a supportive and empathetic therapist may just be the difference in life or death.  


teen counselor laughing


Amanda Brown is passionate about working with teens and their families to help them move through a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, stress, and relationship issues. She graduated from The University of Georgia School of Social work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Georgia. 


4411 Suwanee Dam Road, Suite 450
Suwanee, GA 30024

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