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Navigating Through the Ups and Downs of Adolescence


Navigating Through the Ups and Downs of Adolescence


Some of the experiences a child carries with them can contribute to their developing a strong foundation that can help them remain optimistic and confident throughout the teen years. However, there could still be some issues affecting their overall self-esteem and positivity.

Because these formative years can be inherently challenging, it can be advantageous to seek help when they are faced with difficulty. Adults need help from time to time, and the same can apply to your teenager. The trials of growing up can be overwhelming, particularly if combined with a traumatic event. To address the challenges that can arise or to ease the effects of a difficult experience, a professional counselor can help you navigate the “ups and downs” of adolescence.


Changes During Adolescence

Adolescence is the transitional phase from childhood to adulthood; and it represents one of the most dynamic and instrumental stages of human development. The growth and maturity which occurs, comprises physical, emotional and behavioral functioning. The extent of these changes can determine their degree of difficulty, given that one area may impact other aspects of life. How one responds can define a child’s adolescence as being unique and satisfying or confusing and overwhelming.

Some of the principal changes can be attributed to shifting levels of hormones and the physical development of the body. The only other time comparable to this rate of growth is during infancy. The hormonal changes can impact emotional development as well, this is one of the reasons why it is common for teens to experience mood swings and unpredictable behaviors. During adolescence, the tendency to be restless, sensitive, self-conscious, and even argumentative, may all be contributing to discord in the home.

There can be a lot of self-discovery and changes in the way your child’s growing sense of independence and self-sufficiency develop. This is also a time when their social world expands, so personal and recreational concerns may take centerstage in their lives. Therefore, they may begin to discover their own identity, and feel a desire for more freedom.


Ups: Being a Teen Can Be Fun

Various transitions happen for a good reason – they can prepare someone for the independence and responsibilities of becoming an adult. While this is important, adolescence can also be fun. Many different interests and activities will come to the fore. Along with your teen’s desire to be independent, the physical and social changes can bring about confusion.

The quest for identity, combined with boundless energy, curiosity and increasing knowledge, can all be a big part of gaining maturity. Young adults may be interacting differently in the world which can bring about new challenges. Along with the many newly gained interests, the social aspects of the teen years may seem to take precedent. This can be an exciting time, however, it is common for many young people to feel a sense of pressure.


Downs: Growing Up Can Be Difficult at Times

While the changes of growing up can bring about exciting and memorable experiences, they may also bring about “growing pains” or rough spots. An adolescent may feel like they’re becoming a new person, which in a sense, they are; and the many fluctuations can influence their life and future in ways they don’t realize yet. It can be a confusing and overwhelming time, which can result in misunderstood or unwanted moods.

The physical changes can result in feelings of self-consciousness, general insecurity, or wanting more privacy. These may also be signs that the brain is developing, which means understanding the intense emotions involved can present more challenges. Furthermore, mood shifts can happen more often, which can affect relationships at home and at school.

When on the verge of adulthood, seeking independence and self-identity are important processes. However, they can also become obstacles that can be difficult to face. If your teen is having these kinds of issues at home, they may be resulting in feelings of vulnerability to emotional conditions, such as teen depression or anxiety.


What Can You Do to Help?

Emotional “ups and downs” can be a big part of life, particularly for teenagers who are undergoing lots of changes. If you feel like your child may benefit from talking to a trained professional, calling Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC may be the right strategy. Sometimes it is easier for teens to open up to another trusted adult.

Adolescent counseling can be valuable to you, as a parent, and especially helpful for your son or daughter. With the assistance of a therapist or counselor independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC, you and your child can work toward resolving your issues together. Call today to make an appointment!

Confidential / Private Sessions

Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC contracts with Licensed professional counselors/therapists/psychologists who provide a friendly, caring, and relaxed atmosphere in the Southern Pines/Pinehurst/Aberdeen/Raeford area. These independently contracted therapists/counselors assist adult individuals, couples, families, and children with resolving issues and getting back to enjoying their lives. Whether you are non-military or military, the independently contracted therapists with Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC are able and happy to assist you!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, NC, Montgomery County, NC, Richmond County, NC, Randolph County, NC, Chatham County, NC

Cities: Southern Pines NC, Pinehurst NC, Aberdeen NC, Taylortown NC, Pinebluff NC, West End NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Ashley Heights NC, Ashmont NC, Five Points NC, Wind Blow NC, Jackson Springs NC, Whispering Pines NC, Vass NC, Cameron NC, Carthage NC, Eastwood NC, Lakeview NC, Narrow Ridge NC, Robbins NC, Roseland NC, Tramway NC, Troy NC, Zion Grove NC, Biscoe NC

We are located at:

Carolina Counseling Services - Southern Pines, NC
780 NW Broad St. Suite 210
Southern Pines, NC 28387

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 585-6745 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Choose your Therapist

  • Kristin Vernon, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Adolescents, Couples, Families, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem Issues, Grief and Loss, Communication Skills, Divorce, Adjustment Disorders, Mood Disorders, Coping Skills, Parenting, Family Conflict, Marital Conflict, Relationship Issues
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, cash
    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Gretchen Montesanto, MA, LPC, NCC

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Teens, Individuals, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem Issues, Grief and Loss, Stress, LGBT, Adjustment Disorder, Motivation, Life Transitions, Mood Disorders, Military Spouses

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare and Cash
    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Jaime J. Fitzpatrick MS, LPCS, LCAS

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Adults, Families and Couples, Anxiety, PTSD, Trauma and Abuse Recovery, Depression, Military Life Issues, Adjustment Disorder, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Focused Therapy, Addictions, Emotional Disturbance, Coping Skills, Impulsivity, Grief and Loss, Self-Esteem
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
    Insurance: BCBS, Medicare,  Tricare Prime/Select and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Pinehurst, NC and Southern Pines, NC
  • Kathryn Wiens, PsyD. HSP-P

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Adult, Individuals, Couples and Families.
    Insurance: BCBS, Medicare, Tricare Prime/Select, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Pinehurst, NC and Southern Pines, NC
  • Tracy Goldberg, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Individuals, Adolescents, Adults, Couples, Children and Families. Attention Deficit, Oppositional Defiance, Behavioral Issues, Peer Relationships, Family Conflict, Depression, Anxiety, Parenting Anxiety, ADHD, Self-Esteem Issues, Family Conflict/Divorce, Marriage Counseling, Adjustment Disorders, Relationship Issues, Grief and Loss, Communication Skills, Behavioral Issues, Coping Skills, Mood Disorders, Parent Skill Building, Christian Counseling upon request
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, Cash, HRA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC