LAC counseling ministry is here to help you find the services you need for your counseling needs. We have serveral resources for you:

  1. Referral — We encourage you to take advantage of our extensive Pasadena area referral list for Christian counselors and clinics at the bottom of this page.
  2. Counseling — We offer counseling from our supervised Marriage and Family Therapist trainees on the LAC campus for individuals, couples, children, and families.
  3. Support Groups — We routinely offer a variety of support groups. Please check our current listings.

Call our intake line at 626.844.4794

Leave your name and phone number and our coordinators will call you back to guide you in the process of finding the right counselor in our community or at our church counseling center.

FAQ

Parenting Teens

Unique Challenges Amidst COVID-19

By: Janelle Froehlich, LMFT

Our families find themselves in uncharted territory. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I transitioned all clients to Telehealth over the past few weeks - the majority being teens. I began to notice unique challenges and patterns emerging, and hope that these observations may be helpful for parents navigating parenting adolescents during this season.

ENGAGE EMPATHY

For a moment, remember what it was like to be a teen. Now imagine that someone told you that you were no longer allowed to see your friends, participate in social activities, and had to remain indoors (with your family!) for the majority of the day. How would you have reacted? Rebelled? What emotions might you have felt?

Would you have been angry? Confused? Sad? Hopeless?

If we approach our teens from a place of empathy, it may help to explain some of the behavior we are witnessing as events and restrictions continue to unfold.

DEVELOPMENTAL FACTORS

Developmentally, adolescents are “all about their friends.” They’re supposed to be! This is the time when they are spending the most time with friends, and “pulling away” from the family unit. This reorientation to the social prepares them for the fast-approaching launch after high school, where they venture on the journey to adulthood.

And now we are asking them to do the exact opposite of what they’re supposed to be doing developmentally: don’t see you friends, don’t socialize, and stay inside. It is my belief that the self-quarantine and isolation will be hardest on our teens.

Additionally, teens may have a more difficult time engaging, valuing, or understanding the perspective of others. For example, you may have heard your teen say, “No one understands what I’m going through.” This is also a developmental factor.

However, this may prove particularly challenging when you are asking them to “self-quarantine” out of empathy for others, or understand that their actions could affect the public at large. Pursue repetitive gentle communication, rather than anger, as you assist them in engaging their empathy and consequences of their actions regarding others.

VALIDATE THE LOSS

Over the past few weeks, I have observed teens grieving unique losses. Although these losses may look different, it is important to validate that it is a loss TO THEM.

For example, many students did not have an opportunity to say good by to their friends. Students are struggling with the loss of connection and communication through classes and going to school. Many students are fearful that they will not be able to succeed in class, without the structure of class and in-person access to teachers and study groups. Student athletes who rely on athletics for stress management no longer have their primary coping. Seniors are grieving the loss of activities which they have looked forward to for years: prom, senior trips, and possibly graduation.

Keep in mind, they are experiencing loss today. But they are also considering the losses that may accumulate the longer that “shelter-in-place” mandates last. Validate and help teens talk about these losses, rather than minimize. It may not be a life or death issue, but it is a loss to them. And it matters.

LOSS OF PRIMARY COPING

What are your teens go-to coping skills? Is it spending time with friends? Participating in sports? Engaging in activities like school clubs or dance class? While teens are asked to spend a majority of their time indoors, this also means that they may have lost access to their primary coping - at a time when they need it most.

Help them re-identify healthy coping behaviors that can be engaged indoors, such as drawing, journaling, etc. Additionally (and depending on your comfort level), solitary mental health walks and runs may have an incredibly positive outcome.

However, it is important that you communicate that you are trusting them to abide by the solitary guideline, and not abuse this privilege by using it as an opportunity to sneak out to see their friends.

RETHINKING TECHNOLOGY

I have had many parents ask over the past few weeks, “How do we monitor phone use and screen time?” Keep in mind, these are unique circumstances. Perhaps we can pursue flexibility on this point temporarily. After all, technology is their only way to connect with friends. And right now, they really need their friends. At this time, technology is a very helpful tool in battling the challenges of isolation and loneliness. And yes, their screen time will increase.

Additionally, how can you help them find creative ways to stay social? Can they create a group video chat to have lunch or dinner together? Study groups? Video chat one another while they watch a movie?

Teens will also provide the most creative solutions for staying connected via technology, and I believe they can provide leadership on this front. I am always amazed at the creative solutions teens come up with.

However, it may be appropriate to empower your teen to restrict their exposure to the news and fear-based reporting and social media communication surrounding COVID-19. Help them to differentiate between editorials and non-biased, factual reporting (although that also remains difficult to navigate).

OPPORTUNITIES FOR INDEPENDENCE

Developmentally, it is important for teens to pursue independence. Are there ways that teens can remain independent, having independent schedules and activities during self-quarantine?

Additionally, how can you empower them to find structure for their day? Structure often defends against other mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. What can they count on day-to-day? Look forward to?

OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH

What is something they want to get really good at during this time? Help the teen brainstorm areas of personal growth, whether that is learning a new instrument, editing photos and video, or becoming a phenomenal graphic designer. This may provide a sense of purpose, when they are bored and the hours seem to drag by.

DIFFERENTIATE: MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES VS. UNDERSTANDABLE REACTIONS

With new self-quarantine and “shelter-in-place” guidelines enacted, I have heard many teens say, “I think I’m getting depressed again.” For many teens, spending hours alone in their room and isolating were signs of surfacing depression.

It is important to help them differentiate, that “this is not that.” Yes, you are spending more time in your room, and you do not have the same access to your friends. But that does not mean you will automatically become depressed. Help them to get preventative by setting up structure that will battle the old habits and behaviors of depressive seasons.

Additionally, I have heard many students say, “My anxiety is coming back.” Assist the teen in differentiating between what is often theoretical fear, ie., “I am afraid something really bad could happen,” and an understandable response to something actually happening. There are difficult things happening in the world, and of course they may have a fear reaction to what they are hearing and seeing.

COMMUNICATION NOT CONTROL

Already, parents are facing challenges regarding teen compliance for staying at home and not seeing their friends. As adults, it is important that you put guidelines in place, even if they don’t like it.

However, the how is important. Rather than approaching guidelines from a position of control, ie., “You have to do what I say,” attempt to explain the reasoning behind the guidelines. We may not have had time to do this before, as things were shifting radically day-to-day. Now would be a great time.

Teens respond to the honest, non-reactive communication of feelings from their parents. For example, “I know how hard it is for you to not get to see you friends right now, but I’m really concerned for you grandmother. I am fearful that if you continue to see your friends, it might impact her safety.”

EXPRESS GRATITUDE

The media has communicated negative messaging around millennials and teens. We have an opportunity to express our gratitude to teens for their participation, compliance, and consideration of others. As human beings, we always respond better to positive reinforcement, rather than negative and shaming communication.

If you see the best in your teen, and praise them for their participation, they will rise to the challenge. They will step up. And it is important to treat them as valued and important participants in the safety of the family and our nation.

RESOURCES

There are continued opportunities for counseling! Many therapists have transitioned to Telehealth, and can continue to provide care via video and online sessions. Our doors are not closed. If you observe that your teen is in need of extra support during this season, there are many trained professionals that would love to come alongside your family.

Referrals

Disclaimer

The information listed below is provided by the individual therapist or clinic. Lake Avenue Church does not make any representations as to the qualifications or the competence of those listed or endorse their services. All arrangements, financial or otherwise, are to be made directly with the therapist.

Aleta Klein

Aleta Klein

MA, LMFT

Specialty

Individuals, Couples and Families

626.795.2905
$125 or Pro-Bono for Missionaries
Clifford and Joyce Penner

Clifford and Joyce Penner

Specialty

Couples, Individuals

626.793.5241
Janelle Froehlich

Janelle Froehlich

LMFT

Specialty

Adolescent and Family Counseling

626.529.5780
Jennifer Shim Lovers

Jennifer Shim Lovers

M.S., M.DIV, MFT

Specialty

Individuals, Couples, Children and Families

626.344.8708
Allie Ramsey

Allie Ramsey

LMFT

Specialty

Women, Children, Couples

(323)739-8984
Westminister Counseling Center

Westminister Counseling Center

Specialty

Counseling for Couples, Individuals, Children and Families

626.798.0915
Salvation Army

Salvation Army

Specialty

Addiction

626.795.8075
Walter Hoving Home

Walter Hoving Home

Specialty

Addiction, Women

626.405.0950
Fuller Psychological And Family Services

Fuller Psychological And Family Services

Specialty

Adults, Couples, Families and Children

626.584.5555
La Vie Counseling Center

La Vie Counseling Center

Specialty

Children, Adolescents, Families, Couples and Adults

626.351.9616
Laura Depp

Laura Depp

MFT

Specialty

Individuals and Adolescents

818.397.0636
Lorraine Cummings

Lorraine Cummings

LCSW, C-ASWCM

Specialty

Individuals

626.201.1717
Marvin Warman, MFT

Marvin Warman, MFT

Specialty

Couples, Individuals

818.790.9276
Mark Hastings M.S., MFT

Mark Hastings M.S., MFT

Specialty

Men's Anger and Depression, Marriages, Codependency

626.429.5469
Stan Rushing, MFT

Stan Rushing, MFT

Specialty

Individuals, Couples and Families

626.794.8532
50-200
Tan Cheung

Tan Cheung

PhD, MA-Theology

Specialty

Individuals

626.219.2316
Richard Rupp, MFT

Richard Rupp, MFT

Specialty

Individuals, Couples, Sex

626.449.1419
150
Rose City Counseling Center

Rose City Counseling Center

Specialty

Adults, Couples, Children (age 12+) and Families

626.793.8609
Prototypes

Prototypes

Specialty

Services for women who are struggling with addiction and other serious issues such as domestic violence and mental illness.

213.542.3838
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Specialty

grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness

626.577.6697, ext. 2550
Suicide Prevention Center

Suicide Prevention Center

877.727.4747
Teen Line: 24-Hour Crisis Number

Teen Line: 24-Hour Crisis Number

Specialty

text teen to 839863

310.855.4673
SAMHSA’s National Helpline

SAMHSA’s National Helpline

1.800.662.4357
Phillip Kiehl

Phillip Kiehl

LMFT

Specialty

individuals, couples, families

(626)791-1488
$120
Michelle Bodwell

Michelle Bodwell

MFT, ATR

Specialty

women (only), art therapy, groups

(626)390-8212
Pasadena Relationship Center

Pasadena Relationship Center

Specialty

adults, couples, family, adolescents

626.720.4867
Tamar Sevajian

Tamar Sevajian

Intern, IMF

626.755.8078
Migum Gweon

Migum Gweon

MFT

Specialty

Individuals, Couples and Families

626.584.5523
Ashley McDaniel

Ashley McDaniel

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #115550

Specialty

Teens, Young Adults and Families

626.470.7511
Gregory Swift

Gregory Swift

M.S., M.Div., LMFT

Specialty

Christian Therapist, Individuals, Couples, Spiritual Issues, Depression and Anxiety

(626) 394-6797