The Benefits Of Teen Therapy For Your Struggling Teen

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated March 12, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Adolescence can be a challenging life stage. Teens may experience the physical changes of puberty, new social circles, changing schools, and a higher expectation of responsibility than previously awarded. For that reason, many adolescents report feeling challenged mentally and emotionally as they become young adults. There are different stages of adolescence and parents must be aware of the adolescent age range to fully understand the scientific reasons behind the experiences of their teens. The adolescent age range is broken down into three phases, each having different challenges and goals. According to a 2021 statistical report, nearly 14% of teens aged 12-17 in the United States experienced a major depressive episode within one year of the report, and 40% of teens with depression reached out for support from a professional. 

If your teen is struggling with mental health issues, you may be concerned about the negative impact it has on their life. Many parents worry about the problems their teens face such as excessive screen time, skipping school, or other destructive behaviors. In such situations, seeking help from a treatment provider can help develop healthy coping skills for teens, which can prove to be extremely important for their emotional wellbeing. Through therapy, your teen can learn to identify and manage their intense emotions, and carry these new skills with them into adulthood.

Offer Your Teen The Support They Need.

Should You Enroll Your Teen In Counseling? 

It's important to recognize that different mental health approaches may affect individuals differently. Thus, determining whether teen counseling is an effective option for your family requires careful consideration. According to recent research, teen therapy can provide a leg of support for troubled teens facing emotional reactions and stress during their teenage years. This is especially true when combined with an effective support network of trusted adults and healthy coping mechanisms.

Studies have found that offering mental health intervention programs like therapy to teenagers can help dissuade disruptive behavior, lessen affective symptoms of mood disorders like depression and anxiety, offer a constructive social skill-building environment, and allow for a stronger sense of personal well-being.  

When Should A Teenager See A Therapist?

The warning signs your teen should see a therapist can be personal and vary from individual to individual. You might consider teenage counseling if they require additional support that cannot be offered by friends, family, or other existing support options. A more structured treatment plan for teen mental health conditions affecting their life may be found through therapy. However, therapy can benefit anyone; a teen without a mental health condition may also benefit from professional advice as they navigate life. 

Discuss therapy options with your teen to see whether they believe it would be appropriate to begin treatment. For a struggling teen therapy may be the best option to help them cope with their emotions in a healthy way. This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it is an important one that will help your teen in the long run. You may also discuss the idea with your child’s primary care physician, they're professionals and good for helping teens with anxiety.

Types Of Therapy For Your Teen

There are many types of therapy available for teens experiencing mental health challenges, including individual and group therapies. 

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy involves a one-on-one meeting with a mental health professional to address concerns and build strategies for managing mental health.

These therapies may benefit teenagers struggling with feeling insecure, embarrassed, or ashamed of their concerns. The environment of individual therapy may help them feel more comfortable and capable of addressing their mental health problems. 

Some forms of individual therapy for teens can include

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), is a psychotherapeutic approach that targets behavioral problems by reorganizing patterns of thinking to be more constructive

  • Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT), that aims to help individuals achieve a better understanding of themselves and their emotions. DBT emphasizes personal responsibility and conflict resolution

  • Acceptance And Commitment Therapy (ACT) which involves learning to accept your emotional state and addressing it in a healthy, positive way in the future

Group Therapy

Talking directly with others can be the most effective way for some teens to address their concerns. Group therapy, in particular, can be extremely beneficial for teens as it can make them feel less isolated and more supported. Through talking with their peers, teens can learn to interact constructively and develop valuable communication skills.

Group therapy sessions may be held within small groups of individuals guided by a professional through various exercises and discussions. These sessions for teenagers often focus on using group dynamics to explore and resolve various mental health concerns.

Some forms of group therapy for teens can include

  • Family Therapy, which can be a transformative approach for the whole family, as it aims to build a more supportive and productive family dynamic

  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), which focuses specifically on offering real-time coaching for parents and their children to establish positive interaction patterns

  • Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT), which may sometimes include group sessions to help build social skills and a sense of responsibility for one’s actions

Offer Your Teen The Support They Need.

Online Therapy For Your Teen

If you believe your teen would benefit from therapy, there are many forms of therapy you can try. Online therapy can also be beneficial for teens or families struggling with scheduling or finding time to commute to sessions. With internet-based treatment, you can stay connected to a counselor through video, phone, or live chat sessions. Additionally, you can message your counselor anytime, responding to challenges as they happen rather than delaying them until the next session. 

Online therapy is on the rise in the modern world, and research suggests that it can be as effective as in-person counterparts in treating various mental health conditions, including mood disorders like anxiety and depression, which are common among teens. It has been proven particularly effective for teens due to their familiarity with online platforms in general.

If your troubled teen is open to trying online counseling, they can sign up through an online platform like TeenCounseling with parental approval. If you, as a parent or caregiver, would also benefit from counseling, platforms like BetterHelp offer appointments for adults and get to a growing database of licensed counselors. 


Adolescence can be a difficult period of life for many individuals. With a rapid change in physical, mental, emotional, and societal norms, teens may feel overwhelmed or challenged. If you feel your teen could use professional support, seeking a therapist matched to their needs might be valuable. Don't hesitate to reach out and learn more about how therapy can help your teen cope with life's challenges and grow into a more confident, independent adult.

For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns

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