A lot of children and teens may be hesitant to attend therapy because they think that it will label them as being crazy. They might be afraid of being misunderstood or of a therapist not believing what they're going through and just considering them 'children.'
All too often teens are discounted and their opinions not considered or not considered fully because they are young. In teen therapy, it's important to explain to your teenager that they are going to be believed and that the therapist does want to help them feel more like themselves again.
As children are growing into adolescence and further into adulthood, it creates a very scary time for them. Everything around them is changing, and everything within them is changing as well. Their bodies are changing; their mental processing is changing; their brain chemistry is changing. Outside of themselves, their friends are changing in all of the same ways and sometimes this leads to changes in friendships, loss of friendships, and a whole lot more. Not to mention they will generally be going to a new school, experiencing entirely new stressors and even experiencing even more pressure, both with school and with positive and negative influences in their lives.
This is a terrifying place to be, and it's a place that nearly every teenager is going to find themselves in at some point. For some, it's possible to push through and to survive. However, most will do better if they're given some assistance along the way. Therapy is one way that they can get the help that they need and get the support that they're looking for as they're going through these types of situations. Children and teens want to know that they're doing the right thing and when their family is telling them one thing, and their mind is telling them one thing and their friends are telling them something else it creates a difficult place to be.
Getting your teen therapy allows the teen to express themselves and to talk about the things that are bothering them or that they are experiencing without fear of being judged or being labeled. It also allows them to be open and honest about things that they may have done without the fear of punishment from their parents. It's important to explain to your child that therapy is a safe place. Their therapist is not allowed to talk about what's happening in the sessions specifically and can only give a general overview for the parents of possible outcomes, with few exceptions like active suicidal plans or reports of abuse.
For example, a therapist could explain to the parents that they believe the minor child has depression or that they have anger problems or any number of other mental health conditions. They are not able to express any of the specific situations or instances that the teen has told them unless they believe that the child is an imminent danger to themselves or others. There are very few other exceptions to the law that requires therapists to keep their patient's secrets. This means that your teen can open up to their therapist completely, knowing that no one else will ever know what they say in their sessions.
If your teen seems to be struggling with their peers or friends or if they seem to be changing a great deal in their personality or temperament, then it might be a good idea to have them attend at least a couple sessions with a therapist. If they are self-harming, experiencing suicidal ideation or attempts or if they are using alcohol or drugs it's even more important to have them talk with someone.
Talking with a professional will allow them to express their thoughts and feelings and whether they are currently experiencing a mental health crisis or disorder or whether they're facing the normal stress of being a teenager, it's not going to hurt anything to have them talk with someone. In fact, it's only going to help.
Teen therapy is a great idea for just about anyone, whether they're struggling or not. Being able to be open and honest with someone is something that many people struggle with, even when they seem to be doing okay. By having a therapist that is always there and available for these types of things it's going to be easier for the teen to feel comfortable about the choices that they're making in life. Even though a therapist is not going to give them specific advice or tell them what to do, having someone there to bounce their thoughts and ideas off of makes it easier for them to feel confident and to start believing in themselves.
There are several different types of therapy that your teen could have, but the general aspects are individual, group or family therapy.
With individual therapy, your teen can talk with a therapist entirely alone. Everything that they say will be completely confidential, but it will be one-on-one with the therapist. They will get personalized help, and they may have their homework that they are expected to work on to keep moving forward and to work through the problems that they might be experiencing in different areas.
Group therapy allows different teens to be put into a teen therapy session together. The idea here is that teens can all help each other because they're experiencing similar problems in their lives or similar mental health disorders. The group is generally kept small so that the leader or therapist will be able to manage everyone and keep the discussion focused around certain topics. It can be easier for teens to open up to each other and to help each other in these types of settings because there are some who have been getting help longer to motivate them and some who have been getting help for a shorter time that they can mentor.
Finally, family therapy can be a great idea if there has been any dramatic change in the family environment. Families that have gone through loss or divorce can benefit from this. If anger problems or suicidal attempts have affected the entire family, this could also be a great way to work through the thoughts and feelings everyone has. The best part about this kind of teen therapy is that everyone in the family gets to talk about what they feel, what they think and what they need to be happy.
When it comes down to it, the most important thing is to get the professional help that your teen feels comfortable with. Walking into a therapist's office can be difficult, especially if you live in a smaller area. Your teen may be embarrassed about seeking help for mental health and they might worry that they will be shamed or stigmatized by their peers. Because of these fears, your teen may be worried about being seen by someone they know while walking into their therapist’s office. And if they’re battling these fears, teen therapy might be an added stress instead of a welcome relief. Obviously, you don’t want your child to experience needless distress, and that's why online mental health help can be a very important step. It allows your teen to get the help that they need without forcing them into a physical location that can very easily be judged by those around them.
Online mental help, like with BetterHelp, allows your teen more access to therapists as well. It allows them to work with someone that they can feel comfortable with and that doesn't have to be located anywhere near them. Because the sessions are entirely online, there's no need for proximity. The therapist could be across the state or the country, making sure that they have access to the best therapist, not just the closest one.
Does my teenager need therapy?
Therapy can be beneficial for everyone, so don’t assume that your teen has to be struggling with a specific mental health issue in order to “need” therapy! Growing up can be stressful and your teen may find it helpful to have a therapist to talk to. But this is especially true if your teen is dealing with depression, bullying, or any other mental health issues. So, if your child appears to be struggling with anything at all, they may benefit from specialized therapy for teens.
How do I find a good therapist for my teenager?
If you’re looking for a good therapist for your teenager, BetterHelp is here for you. Online therapy can be uniquely helpful for your teen because it removes the apprehension that some teens may associate with the act of physically walking into a therapist's office can be difficult. Your teen may be embarrassed about seeking help for mental health and they might worry that they will be shamed or stigmatized by their peers. Obviously, you don’t want your child to experience needless distress, and that's why online mental health help can be a very important step. It allows your teen to get the help that they need without forcing them into a physical location that can very easily be judged by those around them.
BetterHelp can connect your teen with a professional therapist from the comfort of your own home. This can be especially helpful if you live in a remote area and you don’t have access to a teen therapist nearby. By utilizing resources such as text therapy, video chats, or therapy over the phone, your therapist can work with you and your child to create a safe space where your teen feels comfortable sharing their struggles and working through them in complete confidentiality. BetterHelp therapists are fully licensed and qualified to help with any issues your child might experience.
What are the 3 types of therapy?
If you and your teen are considering therapy, a variety of mental health resources are accessible to you. The three most common types of therapy for teens are individual, group or family therapy. As the names imply, individual therapy enables your teen to speak with a therapist one-on-one while group therapy helps them to connect with other teens who are experiencing the same problems. Lastly, family therapy involves your entire family and you allows your teen
How do I know if my child needs therapy?
Everyone can benefit from therapy, so your teen doesn’t have to be struggling with mental health issues in order to benefit from professional counseling. But if you begin to notice the signs of eating disorders, depression, abuse, or addiction, these are good indicators that your child might need an intervention in the form of professional therapy for teens.
What are the signs of a troubled teenager?
Being a teenager is all about growing up and figuring out who you are, so it can be difficult to separate the symptoms of mental illness from typical teenage moodiness. Hormones surge throughout adolescence and this means that teens are prone to a variety of mood swings that may make it difficult for them to control and understand their own behavior. So, while it is totally possible and normal for your teen to be happy one minute and crying the next, persistent and extreme mood swings may be indicators that something is wrong. If your teen is routinely skipping school, getting in fights, or their grades are rapidly slipping, they may be experiencing trouble at school or struggling with their mental health. And although it’s normal for a parent and child to clash over various rules and restrictions, if your teen has become exceptionally aggressive, argumentative, apathetic or depressed at home, these are signs of mental health issues including depression.
What are the signs of anxiety in a teenager?
If your teen is struggling with anxiety, they might feel embarrassed, nervous, or weird, and they might try to avoid sharing this struggle with anyone else. So, if you’re worried that your teen is battling hidden anxiety, you can keep an eye out for signs such as unexpected outbursts of irritability, difficulty concentrating, and a general vibe of nervousness. You can also look for signs of changes in their social life such as avoiding social interactions with friends and unexpected changes in the people they hang out with (for example, suddenly avoiding a close friend or shifting into a radically different group of friends). Teens who are quietly struggling with anxiety may also avoid extracurricular activities, even ones they previously enjoyed. They might isolate themselves from their peers entirely or spend an excessive amount of time alone.
What is the difference between therapy and counseling?
Psychiatry and psychology have a lot in common, but they are very different professions at the core. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who is licensed to prescribe medication, write prescriptions, and assess the physical issues that may contribute to mental illness. A psychologist is not a medical doctor, but they have a doctorate in Psychology and they are well-educated in the study of the mind and mental illness. They are able to provide counseling and psychotherapy, administer psychological tests, and provide treatment for mental disorders. Understanding these differences can help us identify the differences between therapy and counseling.
Although the terms “counseling” and “therapy” are used interchangeably, a licensed therapist provides very different services than those that are offered by a counselor. Because the term “counselor” literally means “advisor,” a counselor can just be someone who gives advice. For example, someone on Instagram who has no background in psychology could call themselves a counselor because they provide life-coaching advice. Similarly, an accountant might offer their services as a “financial counselor” because they are qualified to give financial advice. But of course, a financial counselor offers very different services from a licensed mental health professional and a life coach on Instagram might not be licensed to provide help for your mental health.
By contrast, a therapist-- whether they are a psychologist or a psychiatrist-- is both licensed and highly educated. The only difference in this case is that a psychiatrist is able to prescribe medicine and a psychologist is not. So, if you’re interested in considering medication as a form of help for your mental health, you might prefer to seek the services of a psychiatrist over a psychologist or a counselor.
What type of therapy is best for trauma?
The answer to this question depends on the type of trauma you or your teen have experienced. Although most therapists are qualified to treat a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, and PTSD, you may prefer to find someone who specializes in your particular type of trauma. For example, if your teen has been the victim of a sexual assault or bullying trauma, you might seek the help of a therapist who specializes in treating the PTSD that arises from sexual trauma or bullying. BetterHelp can connect you with a wide variety of qualified mental health professionals who specialize in these issues.
What is a child therapist called?
Child therapists are simply called “child psychologists” and they have a vast array of special skills that make them uniquely qualified to treat children and adolescents. So, if your teen needs help with stress management or mental health issues, they might benefit from having a therapist to talk to. A qualified child psychologist will know how to address teen mental health and they can help your teen work through whatever they are experiencing.
What is the most psychologically damaging thing you can say to a child?
Although it would be nice to identify a singular answer to big questions like this one, the truth is that everybody is different, so it isn’t really possible to identify one statement that is the most psychologically damaging thing you can say to a child. However, a few things are fairly universal and any child will be heartbroken by statements like, “You’re stupid,” “You’re not good enough,” or “You always get everything wrong.” Actions that imply this are just as hurtful as words. So, even when you’re frustrated or upset by your child’s choices, please try to avoid making harmful statements of this nature.
How do I regain control of my teenager?
If you are the parent of a troubled teen, it can be frustrating and upsetting when you feel like your child is out of control. You may feel like you’re at the end of your rope as you struggle to know what to do. The good news is that a therapist can help you work through these struggles in a family therapy setting or by working one-on-one with your teen. In the meantime, you can protect yourself and your energy by trying a few coping mechanisms. For example, try to monitor your own stress levels and find the right times to communicate with your teen. If you’re already feeling stressed and angry, this may not be the best time to address their behavior, as it might be more harmful for you and for them. You can also try to find common ground with your teen wherever possible and try to listen without giving judgment or advice. All of these strategies can go a long way towards improving your communication with your teen and helping you regain a sense of harmony and control.
How does an angry parent affect a child?
There is a strong relationship between parental anger and teenage delinquency. Tension in the home can affect your children more than you might think. Even if they don’t say anything about it, teens are very sensitive to the impression that their parents are angry all the time. And they feel even worse if it seems that their parents are specifically angry at them all the time. This stress can impact their brain development and their socialization, especially if your anger is never addressed through healthy communication. Years of repressed stress and anxiety can manifest in violence, depression, and suicidal tendencies. Your child might even grow up to abuse their children and/or romantic partners in later life.
Can yelling at a child cause anxiety?
Absolutely! Someone yelling can also cause anxiety in adults, so this is even more likely if you’re yelling at a vulnerable and impressionable child. Remember that teenagers are still very emotionally fragile-- even when they try to appear grown-up and impenetrable-- and your actions can have a profound impact on their mental health. So, wherever possible, try to avoid yelling at your child; instead, make an effort to communicate your feelings through calm, rational discourse.
How can a teenager deal with an angry parent?
If you are the child of an angry or abusive parent, please reach out to someone you trust and ask for help. You can also seek help from a therapist with BetterHelp and talk to a qualified professional who can help you cope and advise you about how to stay safe. You may also find it helpful to volunteer somewhere in your neighborhood or join after- school clubs so you can develop a support network and form positive relationships with other people.
How do you calm down an angry teenager?
It can be scary when your teen is angry and out of control. But fortunately, there are some practical tips you can apply to diffuse the situation. For starters, don’t be afraid to let everyone take a break when necessary. If the conversation is getting too heated and aggressive, take a step back and assert that you will discuss this again when everyone can do so more calmly. You can also try to avoid responding in anger yourself. As hard as that may be, try not to snap when your teen says something shocking; just try to listen and respond without judgement. These tips can help to diffuse the situation and calm your angry teenager so you can have a healthy discussion.