Back to school time is a great time to get started with therapy.
Refreshed after a long break away from the stressors and pressure of school, and faced with the challenges of a brand new year, this time of year lends itself very well to self reflection and self improvement.
And every new start provides the opportunity to form new habits and set new goals! While some people wait for the new year to set resolutions, the new school year is also a great time to set new goals.
There are many benefits students can get from therapy, including:
- Coping skills for depression/anxiety symptoms
- Learning to identify symptoms as they arise
- A strengthened sense of self
- Empowered decision making
- Increased confidence and self esteem
- Cultivation of a support system
So why is the new school year a good time to get started with therapy? Here are 4 reasons:
It’s a time of forming new routines:
While summer is a time of freedom and flexibility, returning to school means returning to a new daily routine. Your child or teen will be getting used to new classes, new teachers, new clubs, etc. Instead of trying to work therapy into the routine after the fact, why not use this time of forming new routines and intentionally work therapy in? It’s also good to get therapy into your routine before the other components become too demanding–at the start of the new school year the homework or after school requirements for clubs & teas won’t be as intense as they are a month into the school year. This gives them a little time to get to know their therapist before the demands on them become stressful.
They’ll be encountering new stressors:
New school year means new routines, new classes, new teachers, new peers, new activities, etc. It’s a lot of new all at once–and it can be stressful to be surrounded by so much unfamiliarity. And, as they advance in their academics, the school work may become more stressful. In fact, 45% of teens say they are stressed by school pressures. That’s nearly half of all students feeling overwhelmed! Therapy is a great place to get that support and learn new coping skills so they are better equipped to handle stress as it comes up in their life.
It’s a helpful resource for students:
There are a lot of opportunities available to students. From clubs, internships, volunteer programs, shadowing opportunities, support groups, etc. There are so many things out there, students might not know where to begin when looking for new opportunities! A counselor can help them navigate the process of finding groups + clubs and organizations that are right for them, as well as direct them to resources they might not be aware of!
The pandemic has been really hard on students:
56% of students say their school stress increased during COVID. The concern becomes even larger when you look at the physical health issues brought on by this increased stress. 84% of remote students reported stress related ailments including headaches, nausea, and insomnia. For partially remote students that number was 82%, and for full time in person students, 78% still reported these same ailments.
Therapy is a great way to provide them space to work through their stress. They can address the root of it and gain helpful skills to manage it as it comes up. It can also help them explore any feelings they may be having about returning to school while still facing the dangers of a pandemic.
Read our tips on what to do before taking your teen to therapy here.