Why should I consider therapy for my teen?

Psychotherapy with adolescents can be both effective and exciting. Due to significant changes in their fluctuating psychological state, adolescents tend to be the most creative-and challenging-clients. Their internal drives, emotions and thoughts are affecting them at the same time that the external world is asking them to adapt to life's fast-paced changes. Helping adolescents articulate their internal issues as well as the world's demands and expectations is one of therapy's tasks.

If your adolescent is experiencing one of the following problems, you may want to consider adolescent therapy:
  • Depression
  • Suicidal gestures or attempts
  • Inability to form positive relationships with peers or adults
  • Lack of motivation regarding educational and vocational goals
  • Oppositional or aggressive behavior toward parents and authority figures
  • Incidents of running away from home or school or chronic truancy
  • Engaging in excessive risk-taking behaviors
  • Delinquent behavior
  • Substance abuse
  • Sexual misbehavior

What happens during counseling?

Therapy with adolescents is directed toward sharing and clarification of competing thoughts and feelings. This process helps adolescents understand and better respond to guidance in making decisions regarding external influences, such as friends and parents. The first few sessions are typically focused on developing sufficient trust with the adolescent to have him or her share those thoughts and feelings.

Should I consider family counseling?

We may involve the parents in a family therapy setting depending on the adolescent's maturity level. Improving communication and understanding of conflict resolution often results in significant improvements in family relationships. If there is one element in the child's life that improves their chances for success in school and life, it is the family with positive, constructive communication. Therefore, it is important that parents not feel defensive if the therapist focuses on necessary changes for effective communication with their teenager.

February 2020
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