How Teen Therapy Works

How Therapy Works with Teenagers

Are you concerned about your teen’s mental health and now you’re considering therapy, but don’t know how it works or if it will be effective for your teen’s specific needs? Here are three key elements of teen therapy to be aware of as you consider reaching out for help.


First, It is important to respect your teen’s confidentiality.


Your teen’s therapist will have a conversation with you at the beginning of treatment to explain how confidentiality works and how it is extremely beneficial for your teen to have a place where they can share their thoughts and feelings without the fear of their parents hearing all the details of their vulnerable process.

Therapists do not encourage secrecy from parents as that is rarely an effective way to promote healthy parent-child relationships. In fact, your teen’s therapist will likely encourage your child to consider how they can effectively communicate their struggles with you and if they would like their therapist’s help in doing so.

In addition, all therapists are required to communicate any information regarding behavior that could be harmful to the teenager or others. With this understanding of respecting your teen’s privacy, remember to voice your thoughts, desires and concerns at the start of your work with a therapist and they can help brainstorm ways to involve parents and caregivers throughout the process.

One option that is frequently practiced by our therapists at Bloom is the use of a parent feedback session, where once a month your teen’s therapist will dedicate one whole session to meeting with and informing parents or caregivers of general progress on set goals as well as hear from those parents or caregivers about the ways in which the therapist can support them through this process. If this sounds important to you, let your teen’s therapist know before therapy begins.


Second, It may take time to build trust between your teen and their therapist.


Engaging in therapy can be uncomfortable for many people and your teen may be reluctant to open up about their mental health struggles, especially if their parent is asking or requiring them to go to therapy. Therapists who work with teens are prepared for reluctant teens and have strategies for building trust and rapport.

Regardless of how skilled the therapist may be, this process can take time and you should be prepared for the possibility of your teen taking more than 4 sessions to start opening up to their therapist about the primary issue that brought them to therapy in the first place. This is where the parent is asked to trust the process and recognize that all the work being done to build rapport is just as important as the specific primary issue and will lead to long term growth.

One way to help reduce the time spent helping your teen open up is by letting the teen be a part of the process of choosing a therapist. If they have a specific connection to one therapist’s profile page before the work begins they may be more likely to dive into their primary issues sooner.


Finally, you are most likely your teen’s primary role model.


If you are bringing your teen to therapy you are already modeling healthy choice making. It is important for your teen to see you exhibit a willingness to grow alongside them, as that can improve your parent-child relationship.

For example, if you want your teen to communicate more effectively with you, try to spend time considering how you can improve your communication as well. A teen will likely benefit from a parent’s willingness to grow and adjust their set ways for the sake of trying to improve that parent-child relationship.

Bringing your teen to therapy may seem daunting, but now you know three key elements of teen therapy to be aware of as you consider if this is the route you would like to pursue in supporting your teen.

At Bloom Child Therapists we are committed to working with teens and their families to overcome roadblocks and discover new possibilities of growth and healing.

So if this sounds right for you, and you want to provide your teen with support for their specific mental health struggles, connect with us today and we will help you find the right therapist for your teen.