How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Steven Olsen Your Own Question
Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1765
Experience:  More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Steven Olsen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My daughter is a freshman in high school, ever since she was

This answer was rated:

Hi, My daughter is a freshman in high school, ever since she was little we have been told by teachers that she doesn't participate in class discussions, otherwise she has been an A+ student, in high school she has almost all honors classes but her grades are somewhere in the B grade, she is trying her best but still not participating in class discussions, all teachers are saying that she is very quiet in class. I don't know how to help her come out of her shell and feel confident in class. I am worried that she will face lot of difficulties when she is in college if she doesn't ask questions or take part in discussions.

I liked this question on many levels. I am a therapist and have a teenage daughter near the same age and with the same temperament as your own. I also have worked with families in similar situations.

Essentially, at th age of 14-15 most girls are mature and showing signs of developing identity and self confidence. However, at this same age about 25% of these girls are very shy, introverted and quiet, almost to the point of concern. Teachers often say they have great ability but need to participate more, etc.

What is known is that this pattern tends to diminish markedly, and on its own, by 16-17 when maturity takes over. I have seen it many times, both with counseling and without. If the situation is caused by anxiety the counseling helps. In that case it is useful and beneficial to have the assistance of a counselor to help your daughter to overcome fears etc.

However, in many cases this is a maturity issue. It is frustrating for a parent who would naturally worry that their child will be impacted by this introversion and hesitancy. But, as I mentioned, in a few years this naturally takes care of itself, without intervention. Pressure from others seems to make this worse.

What would I do?

I would encourage your daughter to see a therapist one or two times. If the issue is anxiety it will be identified and treated. If not, time will naturally modify this trait and in most situations that is exactly what happens. Your daughter will come out of her shell and be more interactive, but this usually waits a few more years to occur. In truth, I would not be too concerned. I was here myself a few years ago and have been with many families in similar circumstances. If it is anxiety it can be helped, and if maturity...well, that will be overcome on its own. Steven

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the answer, when you say a therapist you mean a psychologist? How can I find a good psychologist in my area.

If anxiety is diagnosed, how is it treated, please explain.

Therapist is a general term in the field of psychology. I am a licensed and board certified mental health counselor, but clinical social workers, psychologist and others are all professional titles that can conduct "therapy" sessions.

How do you find a good therapist? I always encourage families to start with a call to the teen's doctor or your family doctor. These professionals are asked so many times, who can I take my child/myself to see...that they usually have several good local resources.

The web link below can also narrow the choices and is very useful http://therapists.psychologytoday.coms (If by some chance the link does not come through google "psychology today find a therapist" and it will come up as the first link.) Steven

Steven Olsen and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you