Teen counselling is a telemental health platform that matches teens with therapists. Upon signing up, a parent or teen is invited to complete a brief process to be matched with a therapist.
If your child is secretive around you, has withdrawn from family and friends or exhibits sudden depression or anxiety symptoms, then it may be time to seek help.
What is a therapist?
A therapist is someone who has been professionally trained to provide psychotherapy, which means that they work with you to help you overcome mental health issues. There are different types of therapists, depending on their level of training. Some have a bachelor’s degree, while others have a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology and are licensed to practice psychotherapy. There are also medical doctors who specialize in mental health and can prescribe medication, and there are counselors who focus on relationship-based issues and social skills.
In therapy, you will talk about your feelings and problems and learn how to change negative thoughts and behaviors. You will practice skills that you can use in your daily life, like mindfulness, positive self-talk, and calm breathing. Therapists also ask how your problems affect you at home and in school, and they will help you work out solutions.
Depending on your goals, therapy can last for a few months to a few years. The success of your therapy depends on the commitment you make and how much effort you put into it. You will probably see your therapist at least once a week. In addition, you will need to do other things to improve your mental health, such as getting enough sleep and eating healthy meals. You might also benefit from being in a supportive environment, such as with your family or friends.
What can a therapist help with?
Many mental health conditions require psychotherapy, also called talk therapy or counseling. Some of these include anxiety disorders like social anxiety or panic attacks; phobias; depression; bipolar disorder; and PTSD. Psychotherapy can help you learn coping strategies that improve your life, such as mindfulness or CBT, and reduce or eliminate the symptoms of mental illness.
Psychotherapy can also be used to address more specific issues, such as addictions like alcohol or drug dependency; eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia; and personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder or dependent personality disorder. It can also be helpful in dealing with other problems, like unresolved grief or major life changes.
Therapy can help you better understand your relationships, whether in individual or family sessions. Therapists who specialize in relationship issues can help you learn to establish healthy boundaries and improve communication with your loved ones. They can also offer guidance if you’re struggling with infidelity or codependency.
In addition, a therapist can help you navigate issues related to your identity and culture. For instance, if you’re a minority and encounter racism or other microaggressions, working with a therapist who is trained in culturally sensitive sensitivity can be extremely beneficial. Therapy can also help you develop a healthier mindset about change and transition, so that when life throws you a curveball, you’re more prepared to handle it.
How do I find a therapist?
There are a number of ways to find a counselor that will be a good fit for your teenager. The best place to start is by getting referrals from trusted sources. This might include your teen’s school (they may have a social skills training group specifically for students) or their physician or pediatrician, local parenting groups, or online therapy platforms that offer therapists in the area.
When you have a list of potential therapists, make an appointment for a phone consultation. This gives you a chance to learn more about them and to ask some important questions, such as:
How long have you been in practice? Do you specialize in teen counseling? How do you work with a client to address their social anxiety and depression? Does your approach resonate with you?
Ultimately, it is vital that you and your teenager feel comfortable with the practitioner they are working with. This is why it can take a bit of time to find the right match.
You also have the option of paying for a private therapist or finding someone who is in-network with your insurance. This route tends to be a bit pricier, but it can be well worth the investment when you find the right person. Finally, many community mental health agencies have services that are free or low cost. These programs tend to have longer waiting lists though.
How do I set up therapy?
Most teens enter treatment because they have been made to by their parents or teachers, but some start seeking help proactively. They may have read or heard about the benefits of therapy and feel ready to address the issues they are struggling with. This is a big step for any teenager and should be celebrated.
When you set up your teen’s appointment, let them know that you will support them and that they can discuss any issues with their therapist without fear of judgment or consequence. This helps to ease the anxiety that some teens might have when they initially begin therapy.
Make sure that the therapist you choose is licensed to practice in your state and has experience working with adolescents. You can interview potential providers by email or phone, and many clinicians offer free consultations to get started. This is a great way to test out whether or not your teen will be able to connect with the therapist, and to ask them questions about their practice.
If your teen does not feel comfortable with their therapist after a few sessions, be open to discussing options for alternative therapy. Often, this will involve group therapy or family therapy. Some clinicians are also trained in animal-assisted therapy or hypnosis, which may be more appropriate for your teen’s situation.