Therapy for Teens

Common Adolescent Issues

  • The preteen and teen years are a time when communication with parents often declines and conflict may increase.
  • Depression and/or anxiety may cause further withdrawal.
  • It can be difficult for parents to determine when a teen's irritability and withdrawal are a normal part of growing up or a problem that needs to be addressed.
  • Teens often turn to alcohol and other drugs to self-medicate.

How can therapy help?

  • Because of their growing need for independence, teenagers will often share their feelings and problems more readily with a therapist than they will with their parents.
  • Rather than indicating a flaw in your parenting, seeking help at this time shows that you want what is best for your son or daughter.
  • Often, teens are intimidated by their parents' well-developed and clearly expressed solutions to problems.
  • It takes patience, objectivity, and some humor to encourage teens to begin to come up with their own ideas to solve their problems.
  • Parent's fears make this process difficult, and a few sessions with a skilled therapist can make it easier.

How does therapy work at this age?

  • A psychologist can assess how your teen's emotional and behavioral issues compare to others in the same age range
  • Communicating this information to the teen and parents can be helpful in itself.
  • Therapy increases a teen's skill and confidence in communicating with parents.
  • Increasing independence for the adolescent is a goal of therapy.