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Why teens should talk to a psychologist

BY: Johanes Francis Kuwornu
Teens should talk to psychologist

From general changes during adolescence, issues at school to the kind of parental, every teen faces some peculiar and general problems. Some of such issues get to critical stages that call for the intervention of an expert.

Talking to a psychologist does not always mean one is suffering from severe mental  challenges or simply put ‘crazy’.

Sometimes, knowing what you are going through and being  advised professionally on ways to deal with them help prevent some mistakes or prevent the situation from getting worse.

The work of a psychologist goes beyond mental illness.

Below are three key reasons why most teens should see a psychologist once in a while.

1. A psychologist can help with your Identity.

Your identity can be understood from different areas:  
Family Identity — Your place of birth, parents, family history, siblings among others.
Social Identity — Your ethnicity, race, the language you speak, the kind of friends you have,  your religious beliefs and  interests.
Physical Identity — This talks about your skin and hair colour, hair style, facial  characteristics, height, age and weight.

What we do not know is these elements affect how we feel about ourselves and how we  portray ourselves and they go a long way to affect our self-esteem. A psychologist can help us channel our identities to motivate and help us achieve our goals.

2. A psychologist can help identify your sources of motivation.

What keeps you going? This can be divided into two groups.  
Intrinsic/Internal Motivation — They are the internal elements that keep you going.  
For example; personal interest, fear of failure, autonomy and meaning.
Extrinsic/External Motivation — What is outside your control that is meant to keep you  going? Rewards (including money), peer pressure, rules and regulations, competition with others and role models.

3. Finally, a psychologist can help you reach your goals.
A goal refers to a well-planned desired outcome. These include: family, financial, career, health and educational goals. There are types of goals.
Long-term/ stretch goal - This refers to goals that span over years.
Short-term/S.M.A.R.T. — Goals that are for the moment which help us reach our stretch goals. We call them smart because when planning for them, you must put into consideration five key points; namely; they must be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound.

S — Specific
In goal setting, it is important to be clear or specific about your target. This is not a plan on how to achieve the goal, but it must answer the 3 ‘W’ questions Who, What and Which.
M — Measurable in the sense that you the individual most importantly can identity that  milestone reached.
A — Attainable in a sense that our goals should not be too outrageous and  unrealistic; though it is good to dream big.
R — Relevant speaks to the fact that our goals must be pertinent to our lives or our  environment.
T — Time

Everything we do on earth must be limited by time. What we must know is that no man can control the flow of time, yet still, we can get the most out of it. Set a stretch goal for each of the categories above, break one stretch goal down into smart  
goals.

Good luck with your goals and remember to make them attainable.

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