How do you know if your teen is just “going through that phase” or it’s something bigger?
Often there are signs that are good indicators that more help may be needed:
Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
Withdrawing not just from you, but starting to isolate more from friends
A sudden drop in grades or problems at school
Anger outbursts or impulsive behavior
So when you’re teen is already in a not-so-great place, you may be thinking, “how am I going to drag them to a therapist kicking and screaming?” Your teen may throw a fit when you first tell them you are going to have them see a therapist, or if you’re really lucky, they may be at the point in their lives where they’re willing to talk to anyone who will listen.
Don’t give up if your teen is less than enthusiastic upon learning that you’re scheduling an appointment. You may have to pull something out of your “bag of tricks” like offering them something they like to do or have in exchange for coming to therapy.
For some parents, it’s a deal breaker and their teen has no other option. I’d like to suggest that if possible, involve them in the process of choosing a therapist. I will have a section following this one that speaks directly to teens.
No matter how a teen finally ends up in my office, once they are there and we get through the initial part involving you, where we set boundaries and goals for therapy, more often than not, the teens I see choose to keep coming. It truly is a safe place where they can deal with whatever it is that is bugging them, without worrying about how they dress, what they say, or figuring out how to deal with what really is going on in their lives.
The stigma of going to therapy equating to something’s wrong with you is slowly changing. I’m pretty sure your teen knows someone in their life that is already in therapy so it may not be as shocking to them as you think. Once you pick up the phone and call me, we can figure out the best approach to dealing with your teen so that everyone gets to a better place in his or her life.
Working with teens is one of the great privileges of my work because their pain is so raw, and once we build that trust, they often make real changes in a short period of time. For sure, teen years are challenging for everyone. I’m here to help make it just a little easier.
If you just got the news that you HAVE to see a therapist, give me just a few minutes to talk directly to you.
For whatever reason you’re being told you are going to see a therapist, or maybe you even want to come, let me just say that I know it’s a big deal and probably scary to walk into someone’s office you’ve never even heard of before and be expected to tell all your most private thoughts and feelings to.
First off, I have NO expectations of you. What I hope to do is create a safe place you can come to, where you don’t feel judged and can talk about whatever it is that is bothering you or happening right now in your life. Whether it’s something at home, school, with your friends, or maybe sadness and fear you can’t even explain, I’m here to help you figure it out. I don’t have any magic solutions, but by talking about it and developing some effective coping skills, hopefully we can make your life a bit better.
Going to therapy doesn’t mean you’re crazy or you’re the problem. It actually takes a lot of courage to let someone into your life. I’m here not only to listen with compassion, but to be an advocate in your world no matter what you’re going through. Please feel free to call me yourself for free phone consultation. I hope to meet you soon!