How To Help My Teen Find a Counselor
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How To Help My Teen Find a Counselor

It can be very challenging to find a good therapist, or any therapist, for your teen. Some teens are very motivated to go to therapy, others are not.

 

Mental health is just as important in teens as it is any other age group. Below are some commonly asked questions and thorough guidelines to help your teen have a successful therapy experience.

 

 

 

Table of Contents

(click on a question below to be directed quickly)

Does therapy help teenagers?
Do teenagers need therapy?
Are there therapists that just work with teens?
How to help my depressed teen?
What to Do If Your Teen Refuses to Go to Counseling?
References

 

Does therapy help teenagers?

 

Simple answer, yes, therapy can most definitely help a teenager. Adolescence, which includes people 10-19 years of age, is the transitional period between childhood and adulthood that is often accompanied by many difficult and confusing changes. Due to these many changes, it can be incredibly beneficial for a teen to have a skilled and trusted therapist to ask questions and receive guidance about how best to navigate these sometimes scary and unsettling changes.

 

 

 

 

Do teenagers need therapy?

 

If they are struggling with their mental health, then yes. Like any other person, a teenager will benefit from having a trained mental health professional. Additionally, they may feel comfortable to talk to about things they are finding difficult. It is common for teenagers to struggle with a variety of mental health issues throughout the transitional stage of adolescence.

 

If you or other family members are worried that your teen may be struggling, it may be time to have a conversation about seeking out additional support. Be sure to approach any conversation with empathy and curiosity. Be careful to not make your teen feel judged or at fault for struggling. Feelings of guilt and shame often closely accompany any person when they are struggling, so gently normalize that everyone struggles at different times, and that you are there to help them through this difficult time.

 

 

Is my teen depressed

 

 

 

Are there therapists that just work with teens?

 

Yes, there are many therapists that primarily work with teens. However, there are also many therapists that see adults while they also see teens. It depends on the comfortability and preferences of the therapist, so when in doubt, feel free to ask!

 

Mental health professionals, including therapists, counselors, social workers and psychologists, are often very open to discussing their areas of expertise and interest. Be sure to communicate what you and your teen want.

 

 

 

How to help my depressed teen?

 

Signs of depression include increased isolation and feelings of hopelessness and loneliness. So, most importantly, be sure to check in on them and remind your teen that you are there to support them. Struggling is never easy, but it can be especially complex and scary as an adolescent.

 

 

Check in often, actively listen to their concerns, and again, normalize (not minimize!) that it is okay to struggle. Additionally, consider if it is time to start looking for additional support. Learn about the available resources in your community. Also, think of what your teen might want and include that into the plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to Do If Your Teen Refuses to Go to Counseling?

 

It is important for your teen to eventually buy into the idea of therapy, Afterall, they are the person responsible for their progress. However, there are some tips and tricks to help them along with that process. 

  • Step one: be sure to have an open, non judgmental, conversation with your teen about why you think they might benefit from therapy. Be sure to normalize the experience that many people seek counseling for a variety of reasons, and that it is okay and healthy to ask for help. 

 

  • Second step, encourage your teen to be an active participant in finding their therapist. Try asking questions such as; if they would prefer a specific gender, if it is important the person has experience working with LGBTQ youth or if they would prefer to see their therapist face to face versus virtually. 

 

  • Third and final step: assure your teen that if they have concerns about a therapist, or don’t feel it is a good fit after a couple of sessions, you will support their decision to try another. Reassure your teen that it is important for them to feel comfortable and that it is okay for them to speak up if they don’t feel it’s a good fit. 

 

 

 

 

References

 

American Psychological Association https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2011-11699-001

 

Journal of Adolescent Health https://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(12)00703-3/fulltext

 

Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007

 

Psychology and Psychotherapy https://bpspsychub.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1348/147608306X109654

 

World Health Organization https://apps.who.int/adolescent/second-decade/section2/page1/recognizing-adolescence.html

 

 

Photo by Raphael Brasileiro from Pexels

 

Disclaimer: ALL IN Therapy Clinic aims to improve people’s lives. We do this through providing effective mental health counseling by passionate professionals. Inspired by this, we write content for your own education. Also, our content is researched, cited, reviewed, and edited by licensed mental health professionals.  However, the information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Additionally, it should not be used in place of the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

 

 

 

 

 

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