What Qualities Should I Look For In A Teen Therapist Near Me?
Individuals seeking therapy for teens should be meticulous in their search efforts. There are numerous options available for teen and adolescent therapists, but they are not a one-size-fits-all option. Before scheduling an appointment with a therapist for your teen, ensure that the preferred therapist can successfully meet their needs.
Adolescent therapy presents an opportunity for teenagers to meet in a safe environment to engage in counseling sessions with a certified and experienced therapist. The counselor is a neutral party with training in helping teens open up about their emotions, feelings, and anxieties. The duration of these sessions varies among teens.
Teens should be made to feel comfortable about their visit. For them to do so, the selected therapist should be able to communicate with during sessions comfortably. Today, it is common for teens to enter therapy to help them express themselves, gain clarity about their thoughts, and understand why they behave or react a certain way. These are all issues that aren't categorized as disorders but could eventually impact esteem issues.
Understanding The Types Of Teen Therapist Near Me
Teen and adolescent therapists are grouped into several categories. Because individual needs vary, the therapeutic approach will vary also. When seeking a therapist, it is important to find one trained to address the child's needs. In certain cases, a combination of options is necessary. Ultimately, the category of therapy is usually determined by the issue or issues being addressed.
Here are category options to consider.
- Individual teen therapy: In individual therapy for the teen session, teens meet with the therapist one-on-one to discuss their issues. The sessions typically last about 45 minutes to an hour, and during this time, teens may be asked to describe their feelings regarding issues they're facing. Some therapists give take-home assignments designed to help teens learn to cope with and face their home issues. This rule applies to all therapy counseling sessions and doesn't change unless the therapist determines that the teen is a threat to themselves or another person. In some cases, it may prove helpful and necessary for the therapist to speak with parents, school administrators, or law enforcement about certain issues.
- Group teen therapy: Group therapy for teens takes place in a setting of their peers. It permits an opportunity for teens to see how others like them deal with or address issues they may be having. It may be a little overwhelming to begin teen group therapy because of the unfamiliarity. Usually, after a few group sessions, the atmosphere becomes more comfortable. Groups vary in size but usually consist of at least five other teens with one or two counselors or leaders. Topics are presented for discussion, and questions can be asked and answered during the session. It is encouraged that teens ask questions or address concerns or conflicts they have. Group teen therapy sessions vary in time but are usually up to 90 minutes long.
- Family therapy for teens: Just as the name implies, family therapy usually includes teenagers and their parents. Some instances include other people within the family if the therapist feels it will help. This setting permits teenagers to address and work through issues that involve the family. This is a controlled session that doesn't allow interruptions from others or speak in a disrespectful tone. The therapist guides the family throughout the session and will often give guidance for at-home exercises as well.
How To Find A Quality Teen Therapist Near Me
A quality teen therapist is essentially one that is certified and experienced in working with teenagers. The sessions should be conducted in a safe and comfortable environment, and all credentials should be displayed for public viewing. A quality therapist will be able to break barriers and help them reach a certain degree of comfort. This doesn't always take place immediately, but over time, it should happen. Your child must have a trusting relationship with the therapist they see. It should be easy to determine if the therapist and teenager are a good fit after two or three sessions. If a teen doesn't like or connect well with a therapist, keep looking until they find one that works for them.
When seeking a quality therapist, keep a few things in mind.
- Therapy is only beneficial if your child is committed to doing the work.
- A quality therapist is there to offer support and recommend helpful approaches to problems.
- The relationship with a therapist should remain professional at all times.
In the search for therapy for a teen, remember to consider location and reputation, it is not enough to just look for "teen counseling near me". A convenient location makes it possible for the teen to attend most or all sessions. Most importantly, the selected therapist must have an upstanding reputation in the industry. Both these considerations will help to deliver the best results for teens who are dealing with issues.
Reasons To Seek Therapy For Teens
Teenagers may need therapy for a variety of reasons. Most people relate negative associations with therapy, but it's a positive contribution for many reasons. Some teens seek counseling or therapy to help them feel better about a certain situation in life. Others may need it due to a dramatic life-changing event or mental health issues. Teenagers from various demographic categories view anxiety and depression as a serious issue that impacts their peers. More than 65% cited mental health as a major issue, while less named bullying or substance use as a major issue for teenagers.
This category involves teen's reactions or feelings regarding obstacles that occur in life. Almost everyone will encounter a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable or lost. However, not everyone is mentally prepared to deal with the situation. Once feelings of anxiety or uncertainty become a regular occurrence, they could be related to mental health issues. Teen therapy is designed to help teens process these feelings appropriately.
Mental health issues may be brought on by:
- Violent encounters. If a person experiences a traumatic or violent encounter, it could disturb their mental well-being. This could be something they witnessed or experienced personally.
- Emotional stress. Stress is a normal occurrence that affects almost everyone at one point or another in life. Enduring large amounts of stress can interfere with a teen's mental well-being and cause them to become emotionally disturbed.
- Loss of a relationship or a loved one. Losing a loved one to death, relocation, or other circumstances can be life-changing. It can cause an onset of sadness, fear, or loneliness. This feeling can become so bad that it begins to impact other areas of life negatively.
- It is common for teens to begin experiencing mood swings early on. Sometimes, if left untreated, mood disorders can evolve into depression and progress into the adult ages. If you have noticed signs of irritability, sadness, and withdrawal, speak with their medical provider. To get effective treatment, early intervention is essential.
- Teens who begin to display negative changes in their behavior may need counseling. Episodes such as breaking curfew repeatedly, school suspensions, and aggressive attitudes could indicate severe issues. A teen therapist is trained to help them address and cope with these issues and identify potential mental health issues.
- Anxiety disorders. Teens are forced to deal with many issues in today's society. It's normal for feelings of extreme anxiety to surface. In fact, anxiety impacts up to 40 million adults in the United States. The condition is treatable with therapy, and receiving treatment early on could prevent the condition from worsening as teens grow older. It may be challenging for some teens to speak in front of others, making it difficult for them to participate in class. Some live in fear that something bad will happen to them; this is when therapy for teens should be considered.
- Social or school-related problems. Teens can be rude or fail to regard others' feelings when expressing themselves, which can sometimes lead to bullying. Teenagers who find it challenging to achieve good grades, make friends, or maintain a positive social identity can benefit from therapy. They can acquire the support they need and learn productive skills to better maneuver their social and school environments.
- Substance use. While unfortunate, it is common for teens to be introduced to a world of alcohol and drugs. Quality therapy for teens can help evaluate the teen's abuse of substances and recommend the best treatment options. Some substance use requires individual or group therapy, detox, or in-house residential therapy or treatment.
- Self-esteem issues. Almost every teen will experience issues with their self-esteem at some point in life. Some instances are more severe than others, and when gone untreated, the teen becomes at risk of experiencing other issues such as substance use disorder or depression. Therapy is a positive approach to help teens cope with low self-esteem.
- Divorce of parents. Changes in the home or life can make it difficult for teens to deal with life in general. It may prove helpful for teenagers who are dealing with divorce to seek professional counseling. It may be helpful to speak with someone outside the family who has a neutral position in the situation. Most often, in divorce cases, the teen needs someone to listen to how they feel about the divorce.
These and similar issues of mental health are reasons to seek therapy for teens. It provides an outlet of expression and healing to regain the confidence needed to resume a healthy mentality.
Before Scheduling The Initial Teen Therapy Appointment
Before scheduling the initial appointment, ask a couple of questions about the potential selection. These questions should be presented during the consultation. Getting the answers could help assess the therapist's quality to ensure that money and time aren't wasted.
- Does the therapist treat teens?
It is important to make sure that the therapist you choose has training and experience in treating teens. Some therapists are only trained in adult therapy.
- What areas does the therapist specialize in?
The therapist should be selected based on their areas of specialty. Ensure that the therapist is knowledgeable in treating symptoms that the teen presents.
- Is the therapist confident and comfortable with treating the condition that the teen has?
Some therapists aren't comfortable accepting certain conditions that teens have because they aren't sure they possess the necessary training to counsel them adequately. Ask them directly if they have experience treating cases like the teen is experiencing.
Following the initial appointment, encourage the teen to discuss how they feel about the therapist and sessions. The strongest indicators that the process will be successful are that the teen is comfortable and feels that they are a great match. It may help schedule therapy intake sessions with multiple therapists to determine which one would best fit. After that's decided, choose the most aligned with the needs and comfort of the teenager. It's acceptable to look around until you find a therapist that feels right.
If you're a parent or guardian and considering therapy for your teen, you should reach out to a professional therapist. Most people are reluctant to talk about their problems, but therapists are trained to build a relationship before asking personal questions.
Please encourage them to attend a few sessions before making a final decision on whether they feel it works for them or not. Tell them that the topic can be revisited at that time, and you'll consider other options that they may feel would work better for them.
When teenagers refuse therapy, you should schedule a visit to meet with a therapist yourself. They could advise on the best way to get through to your teen and recommend techniques or strategies to help teens cope with their issues. It is imperative that unresolved feelings, negative behavior, and anxiety issues are never ignored but always addressed with professional treatment measures.
If your teen's behavior and search for a mental health provider are causing stress on your relationship with your spouse or partner, you could also benefit from therapy. It is important that couples remain strong and connected to offer their teens' support when dealing with life's issues.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I find a therapist for my teenager?
To find a mental health professional that offers teen counseling, you can get in contact with your teen’s school and inquire about their free services; most schools have a counselor or psychologist on staff. If your teenager doesn’t want to talk to the mental health professionals at their school, you can still call them to ask for a referral or recommendation to other qualified professionals in the area. These resources can provide teen counseling.
You can choose to make an appointment in person or online. In recent years, online counseling through chat, phone calls, and video sessions has become increasingly popular and affordable. Even apps available will have you matched with a licensed mental health professional for in-person or online counseling. With so many mental health professionals and licensed therapists in the field today, getting matched with a licensed therapist that provides teen counseling may be easier than trying to find the perfect mental health professional yourself.
Be sure to ask your teenager’s preferences regarding whether they want a male or female mental health professional; most people feel more comfortable with one over the other. After their first session, ask them what they thought of their counselor. Your teen must find someone they click with who is easy to talk to, so it’s totally acceptable to shop around until you find a mental health professional that your teen likes.
How much does teenage therapy cost?
First, contact your teenager’s school and ask what kinds of professional counseling services they offer. Most schools offer free guidance and teen counseling from a school counselor or school psychologist. The school’s mental health professionals can also provide recommendations and referrals to other professional counseling services and licensed therapists in the area that offer teen counseling. You can also contact the hospital and nearby universities to inquire about their teen counseling services and get matched with a licensed professional.
Each session averages from $60 to $120. If you have insurance, there’s a good chance that therapy for your teenager will be covered, and you’ll have a much smaller co-pay. A more affordable option may be support groups. You may be able to find support groups through your teen’s school or in your local area. These support groups can help with many issues, including school struggles, self-esteem, and mental health disorders. Oftentimes, support groups are run by mental health professionals, such as licensed therapists.
Online professional counseling and also tends to be lower in cost than in-person teen counseling with licensed therapists. In many cases, teenagers find it easy to talk to mental health professionals online rather than face-to-face. There are plenty of options for online teen counseling, including chat, phone, and video sessions. For therapy and support groups to function properly, your teenager must be willing to engage and put in the necessary effort. If they do, you’ll see amazing growth when you measure the effectiveness of their treatment later on.
Can a teenager get therapy?
Yes, teenagers and even children can get therapy. Support groups are also a great option for teens to talk to others who truly understand what they’re going through. Many support groups are led by mental health professionals, such as licensed therapists. There are even online support groups and online counseling conducted through chat, phone conversations, or video sessions. These resources can provide your teenager with improved mental health and insight into their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
- Should my teenager see a therapist?
It can be difficult to know when to seek professional counseling for your teenager. Therapy, support groups, or even online counseling through chat, phone calls, or video sessions could be beneficial for your teen and could help you in dealing with teenagers who are facing a big life change or stressful situation. Your teenager could also benefit from the help of licensed therapists or other mental health professionals if their problems seem to be getting worse with age, if you’ve noticed a personality change, or if your teenager has been having problems in school. If your teenager comes to you and asks to see a mental health professional or join support groups, be sure to get them the help they need.
- What are the 3 types of therapy?
There are dozens of different therapy types, but three commonly used kinds include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and client-centered therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to change behaviors by first changing harmful or negative patterns of thought. This change in thought brings about a change in emotions, which then affects behaviors.
Psychodynamic therapy is a long-term approach that looks at the unconscious mind and discovers patterns and influences from the past. It gives clients insight into the way they think and why. Client-centered therapy is a type of humanistic therapy, and it focuses on the client as much as possible. In client-centered therapy, the therapist’s goal is to encourage the client to take control of their lives. They tend to be more empathetic and caring than other types of therapists.
- Will my therapist tell my parents?
However, if you’re a minor, there are certain things your teen counseling provider may be required to tell your parents. There are different laws surrounding minors’ rights in each of the United States, so you may need additional research to determine what specific laws affect you.
In general, therapists and leaders of support groups will inform your parents if there’s a risk that you will harm yourself or others. They must also report suspected cases of neglect or abuse. Also, depending on laws of consent in your state, your therapist or the person who leads your support groups may report certain sexual encounters, especially in cases of rape.
- How can I get counseling without my parents knowing?
You could try joining online or in-person support groups. There are many online support groups available for free! Support groups are often made up of many other people your age, so they’re a great place to talk about your feelings and be understood. Support groups are typically led by a mental health professional who can help teach you healthy coping skills and answer any questions. If you’re shy, you may find online support groups to be a great option. Online support groups are also much easier to attend without your parents knowing.
Some other options are to check out different clubs and groups at your school or in your area. You could make an appointment with your school counselor for teen counseling as well. Unfortunately, in the United States, it’s nearly impossible to attain teen counseling services without having your parents involved.
- Is therapy worth the money?
As long as you are willing to put in the effort to improve your mental health, teen counseling will function properly and is absolutely worth the money. Good mental health is essential to your quality of life. Teen counseling and support groups help you work through issues, including past traumas, current struggles, and future goals. These resources teach you lifelong skills that can enable you to handle mental health disorders and cope with any problems in life. When you measure the effectiveness of therapy against the amount of money it costs, the value of teen counseling and support groups' benefits becomes clear.
If you’re looking for the lowest-cost option, be sure to check out local support groups as well as support groups offered by your school. Support groups can be in-person or online, and they’re often free. Support groups can be a valuable resource for teenagers because they give them a chance to talk to others experiencing the same problems. Support groups can help you feel like you belong. Also, support groups are a great community that can offer up a wealth of advice.
- What should you not tell a therapist?
Try to avoid just talking about the facts of what happened; your therapist wants to hear the thought processes and emotions behind the events. You should also not ask for or expect your therapist to “fix” you. Your therapist can help you help yourself, but they are not capable of “fixing” you; nobody is. In general, though, you should be as open and honest with your therapist as possible if you want to make progress. For teen counseling to function properly, it’s necessary to put in the effort to improve. This way, you'll see much more growth when measuring teen counseling or support groups' effectiveness.
- Is therapy free for minors?
Minors can often receive free therapy or counseling through their school. Online and in-person support groups are usually low-cost or free as well. Otherwise, therapy is typically not free for minors. However, many providers use a sliding fee scale based on your income and how many people support it. Some services can be as affordable as $10 per hour!
One option that tends to be cheaper or even free is support groups. Support groups offer a different type of teen counseling by giving teens a safe space to talk about their problems with people their age who are going through the same thing. Support groups cover many issues, including substance misuse, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, school problems, family issues, and many more. Your teen may even prefer support groups over individual teen counseling because they might find that people their age are easy to talk to.
- What is normal for teenage behavior?
It’s normal for teenagers to stay up late and sleep in. It’s common for teens to worry about homework or not to want to do their homework. Some defiance is to be expected as well. Teenagers commonly change their appearance and prefer to spend more time with friends than with family. Most teens also experiment with alcohol and marijuana during their high school and college years.
If your teenager is engaged in behavior that seems more troubled than typical, don’t hesitate to get them the help they need. Get matched with a licensed mental health professional online or through an app, or seek mental health professionals in your area that offer teen counseling services. Support groups can also be a wonderful resource for teenagers. Since teens often feel misunderstood, support groups offer a chance to hear from others dealing with the same issues, including problems with mental health, school, family, and relationships. Often, teenagers find it easy to talk to other teenagers about their going through.
- Previous ArticleTherapy for Schizophrenia: What Options Are Available?
- Next ArticleHaving Intimacy Issues? A Sex Therapist Can Help