Sometimes it’s good for parents to seek an outside ear for their teen, whether it is simply for a new perspective or a potential struggle.

We asked clinical social worker Feliz Fraser for her expert advice on finding the right counselor and how. 


Q:  I am struggling with my kid’s reaction to a separation. It seems that now the trust my kid had in us likely has been broken. Should he be seeing a counselor?

Felicidad: Absolutely. Because think about what it is: you have a relationship, and he only knows that relationship and that relationship falls apart, for whatever reason, good or bad, it falls apart. And kids by design want to make their parents happy. So, now you have a broken relationship and, “Okay, when I’m with Dad, I’m going to make dad happy. With Mom, I’m going to make mom happy.” And so, the loyalty is to no one. They’re afraid to speak up because they don’t want to hurt either parent. And so, they say nothing, and they internalize. 

When you say counseling, we shouldn’t say it as a punishment. You’re not going to counseling because there’s something wrong with you. We’re going to counseling because I want to give you a different avenue, unbiased, that you can talk to somebody freely without having to feel like you have some loyalty to one or the other. It’s a free space for you to just be uniquely you and not have to worry about pleasing anybody, just share what you’re feeling.

“When you’re looking for a counselor, it has to be a good fit. You don’t have to stay with one person just because that’s the only person that you find.”

Q: Do you have any direction to share with parents about how to find a counselor? And what if I can’t afford a counselor?

Felicidad: If you have insurance, you can go through your insurance. If you choose not to use your insurance, ask a friend, go to Psychology Today, go to the National Association of Social Workers, go to the American Psychological Association. Just go to any of the public boards where they have listings. Go on Facebook — believe it or not — the Graduate School of Social Work’s Friends and Resources page, there’s a Denver Therapist Connection page. There is the crisis line. It’s 493-TALK where they can refer you.

And a lot of therapists, counselors, whatever their designator is, now do pro bono work. So, just look everywhere, don’t stop looking.

And, when you’re looking for a counselor, it has to be a good fit. You don’t have to stay with one person just because that’s the only person that you find. Don’t stop until your soul is settled, until you go, “Ah, this is the person I need to speak to. This is where I need to be.”


Feliz Fraser

Felicidad Fraser, LCSW, received her BS in Social Work from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2009, and her MS in Social Work from the University of Denver in 2010.  She is the president of the Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW) Colorado Chapter. She is also president of Give An Hour, an organization that donates pro-bono mental health services to active and inactive members of the armed forces and their families. Felicidad is also a school social worker at Independence Academy. Much of her time is dedicated to her students, her family, and blossoming social workers new to the field.

Want More Support for Your Teen?

The world can be a tough place. Speaking to a therapist can help a child with complex feelings. Now, it’s available for free.

Visit IMatterColorado.org to learn more and help your child sign up for three confidential and free therapy sessions with a professional.

What’s your Reaction?
Like
Like
0
Love
Love
0
Smile
Smile
0
Think
Think
0
Sad
Sad
0