But how do you know when your teenager needs to work out problems with your help, and when they need to get professional help?
You know your own teen the best. If your teen is dealing with bullying, a divorce, having trouble concentrating on schoolwork. dealing with a recent breakup, etc., and having trouble getting through the day, a therapist may be able to help.
What problems can therapists help with?
Therapists can help your teen cope with feelings such as:
They can also help teens with conditions such as:
How can I talk to my teen about the need for therapy?
Teens often need therapy when they can’t cope with their problems on their own. And many times, they may not fully realize the impact their mental health is having on their life and thus not understand why they need to see a therapist.
As a parent, you can try to help your teen see why it’s important to get help. In many ways, seeing a therapist for mental health issues is like going to a doctor for a physical injury. If they were to break their leg, for example, they would go to an orthopedic doctor. Similarly, if they are dealing with depression, a mental health professional can help them develop the tools they need to solve their problems in a healthy way.
What are different types of therapy?
During their first visit, your teen’s therapist will talk with them, listen to their problems, and discuss with you how they plan to go about the therapy sessions.
Depending on the problem, the therapist may suggest one of three main types of therapies for teens, or a combination of these therapies.
1. Individual therapy
In individual therapy, your teen meets with a therapist alone at each session. The therapist may encourage them to talk about their problems and ask questions, such as how they feel about the problem. They may ask your teen to do some homework in the form of activities.
Many teens do not feel comfortable talking about their problems in front of their families. Individual therapy sessions therefore play an important role in understanding their true feelings. Therapists usually do not divulge details of what is discussed in each session with you unless there is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.
Each individual therapy session typically lasts about 50 minutes.
2. Group therapy
A group therapy session usually consists of about five people with a group leader. The group leader picks up a few topics and seeks the opinion of each teen in the group by asking questions. Your teen is also encouraged to ask questions, which are answered by other teens in the group.
Group therapy helps your teen connect with other teens who are dealing with similar problems. It allows them to see how others handle difficult situations. In the first few initial sessions, don’t be worried if your teen is uncomfortable. It may take them some time to settle in.
Each session of group therapy typically takes around 90 minutes.
3. Family therapy
Family therapy is usually designed for teens who are dealing with depression or anxiety due to problems at home, such as conflicts within the family or the impact of a family member’s substance abuse on the teen or entire family.
During family therapy sessions, the therapist calls your teen along with you and your family members, whether individually or as a group. They listen to each member of the family and identify each of their challenges as well as how they are handling them. The therapist sets goals for each individual and the family as a whole and encourages everybody to work on ways to achieve them.
Each family therapy session typically takes about 50 minutes to an hour.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Kids Health. Taking Your Child to a Therapist. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/finding-therapist.html
WebMD. Therapy for Teens: What to Expect. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/therapy-for-teens
Top Should My Teenager See a Therapist? Related Articles
13 Tips for Parenting a Teen With ADHDParenting a teenager who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be challenging. Parents can use specific strategies to help their teen cope with school and homework. Special care should be taken to help an ADHD teen drive safely and avoid alcohol and drug use.
Alcohol and TeensAlcohol is the most frequently used drug by American teenagers. Teens that drink are more likely to drive under the influence, have unprotected sex, and use other drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Symptoms of alcohol abuse in teens include lying, breaking curfew, becoming verbally or physically abusive toward others, making excuses, smelling like alcohol, having mood swings, and stealing.
At What Age Is a Parent Not Legally Responsible?Parents have a responsibility for their children until a certain age. Find out what age this is and what is expected of you.
Learn to Spot Depression: Symptoms, Warning Signs, MedicationKnow when you or someone else is depressed. Get information on depression symptoms, signs, tests, and treatments for many types of depression chronic depression and postpartum depression.
How Do I Deal With My 16-Year-Old Son?A 16-year-old boy feels that he is a grown-up, yet he behaves like a kid. Deal with your 16-year-old son by allowing him to explore his interests, giving him space, praising him when he takes responsibility and using other strategies.
How Do I Deal With My Teenager's Attitude?How do I deal with my teenager's attitude? Learn about tips that may help you deal with your teenager’s attitude.
How Do You Deal with a Manipulative Teenager Girl?Teenage manipulation is a form of bullying. The six ways your teen may manipulate you include asking for forbidden things, using emotional blackmail, being angry, retaliating, guilt tripping and strategic lying.
Depression Physical SymptomsDepression can cause physical problems such as insomnia, chest pain, fatigue, headaches, and more. Learn the signs of depression that show up in the body.
Teen DepressionDepression in teenagers may be caused by many factors. Symptoms of teen depression include apathy, irresponsible behavior, sadness, sudden drop in grades, withdrawal from friends, and alcohol and drug use. Treatment of depression in adolescents may involve psychotherapy and medications.
Teen Drug AbuseDrugs commonly abused by teens include tobacco products, marijuana, cold medications, inhalants, depressants, stimulants, narcotics, hallucinogens, PCP, ketamine, Ecstasy, and anabolic steroids. Some of the symptoms and warning signs of teen drug abuse include reddened whites of eyes, paranoia, sleepiness, excessive happiness, seizures, memory loss, increased appetite, discolored fingertips, lips or teeth, and irritability. Treatment of drug addiction may involve a combination of medication, individual, and familial interventions.
Teen Drug Abuse SlideshowTeen drug abuse is a growing concern today. Learn statistics, facts, warning signs, and effects related to teen substance abuse of over-the-counter (OTC) medications, prescription drugs, alcohol, illegal street drugs and more.
Teen Drama: Handling Mean Girls, Cyber Bullying, and TextingHere are tips on dealing with teen dating, sexting, cyber bullying, mean girls, periods, bad breath, and more as health experts explain when and how to get help.
What Are Teenager Problems with Parents?Teenhood is a complex phase of life in which there are so many physical, emotional, and intellectual changes. The teenager might be coping with a variety of issues at this age. They may have a constant conflict with their parents because they want to assert their independence and be in control of their lives.
Why Does Teenage Rebellion Happen?Teenage rebellion is a leading cause of conflict between parents and their teenagers. Teen rebellion happens due to their brain development, need for control, struggle for acceptance, attention seeking, over worried parents, hormone changes and the teens' fight for independence.