Is your teen at the point where they seem a lot different from the person you’re used to? Have they become problematic — argumentative or even hostile towards yourself and everyone else — and much different from how they were before? Maybe they’re more withdrawn or moody.
While each of these things mentioned above could be part of their growing up process and the changes that are going through as they become teens and adults, they could also be signs of something else going on. Even more important to watch for are signs of substance abuse, self-harm or suicidal ideation or attempts.
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Why therapy is important for your teen
Growing into adolescence and further into adulthood, can be a very scary time for children. Not only is everything around them changing, within, everything 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.
Does your teen have to go to therapy?
It might be a good idea to have your child attend at least a couple of sessions with a therapist if they seem to be struggling with their peers or friends or if they seem to be changing a great deal in their personality or temperament. It becomes even more important to have them talk with someone if they are self-harming, experiencing suicidal ideation and attempts, or if they are using alcohol or drugs.
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.
Therapy is a great idea for just about anyone, whatever their struggle might be. 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.
Types Of Therapy For Your Teen
There are several different types of therapy that your teen could have, but the general aspects are individual, and group or family therapy. BetterHelp.com has all these types better explained.
The teen will 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.
As the name suggests, this type allows different teens to be put into 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 than they can mentor.
Getting help online
When it comes down to it, the most important thing is to get 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. The idea of being recognized getting mental help can be difficult for teens and could make things harder on them instead of improving them. That’s where 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 health providers like BetterHelp.com, allow 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.
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This article on the need for teem therapy is part of a series JBKlutse.com is developing to educate the public about mental health and therapy.
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