Adolescents (roughly 12–18-year-olds) often struggle with feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, or otherwise unhappy. Therapy can help teens express their feelings and then learn how to manage them.
Adolescents may not know that they need therapy, so parents may have to take the initiative. Some signs that an adolescent may need therapy include sudden changes in behavior, sleep difficulties, loss of interest in activities they previous enjoyed, changes in behavior with or toward friends, frequent emotional outbursts, or slipping grades at school.
Adolescent therapy should never feel like or be used as a punishment. In fact, it can really only work if the teen is invested in their own treatment. Parents can help their adolescent understand that therapy is not about trying to “change them.” The purpose of therapy is to help people feel happier, healthier, and more themselves.
The First Appointment
Most adolescent therapy will happen one-on-one. However, for the first session, I may meet with the parent, too, either with or without the teenager, usually both. This gives parents the chance to get a sense of who I am and if I will be a good fit for their teen. I will ask a lot of questions to get a good understanding of the concerns that brought the patient in for treatment. Parents and adolescents alike will have an opportunity to ask me questions and we will identify some preliminary desired outcomes. We will also discuss how to establish appropriate boundaries so that adolescents really feel like they are in the driver’s seat of their own mental health.
If you are a teenager looking for help or if you are looking to get your adolescent the help they need, contact me today.