Counseling, in general, takes wit and unprecedented courage; no wonder it is primarily a reserve for the chosen few. Even after years of training, one can fail terribly at the job. Now imagine taking up the job of counseling a bunch of teenagers and young adults whose hormones are flying all over the place? This is truly a high calling.
Youths, especially teenagers are sensitive creatures. Many, if not all of them, struggle with self-esteem, peer-pressure and identity issues. They desperately want to grow wings of their own but still hang around adults for guidance and mostly, financial assistance. As a result of this, many of them often go through depression, substance abuse’s negative effects, sexual immorality issues, behavior problems, stress, low self-esteem and school-related challenges such as bullying, cliques, low grades.
Youth critical incident counseling helps these teenagers and young adults release steam by expressing their challenges and difficulties to an understanding and neutral party. This goes a long way in enhancing their mental and emotional well-being so they can go through life without negative thoughts that can damage their lives permanently.
What are some of the effective critical incident counselling strategies for youths?
This sounds counter-productive but the opposite is actually true. It works because it is a source of assurance that the youth is not alone; his or her peers go through the challenges too. When in a group setting, youths are bound to open up more because they feel they can relate to what their friends are putting forth.
It is easy for a youth counselor to push a client away by pumping pieces of information over every issue. Instead, use questions to spring the teenager or young adult into sober thinking. A question helps them rethink their statements and how negative they sound. Always remember that the goal of counseling is not really to solve all issues faced by youths but to help them discover different solutions to their own problems.
To really score big on youth critical incident counselling, have a solid follow up routine on all your clients. Set a reminder, ask your spouse to remind you, do whatever you can as long as you create a healthy habit of doing follow-ups. Ask the youth how he or she is doing since the last time you spoke. This fosters trust and good rapport between the two of you.
If you have a teenager whom you think needs counseling, you can try pulling these techniques on him or her. They are tried and proven provided they are accompanied with by right environment and intention.