A blog for parents who want to learn how to navigate the teen years and not just survive but THRIVE!
So you’re considering therapy or maybe someone you know and trust has recommended your teen should give it a try. Is it really worth it? What can your teen really gain from working with a therapist?
Here are 3 ways therapy can benefit your teen:
1. Non-judgmental Environment.
Let’s face it; it is human nature to judge everything and anything. It can be hard to turn that off even when we are parenting. Teens feel judged and criticized most of the time. Therapy is a place designed to provide clients with the opportunity to explore deep thoughts, feelings and concerns without fear of judgment, criticism, or punishment. Therapists are trained to provide these elements while also helping people learn how to move towards living their best life, which is in alignment with their values and goals in life.
2. Learn Practical Coping Strategies.
As parents we often share our most helpful coping skills with our kids in the hopes that it will help them. Teens often don’t listen to them or even try them because they are seeking to figure things out for themselves and become more independent. A therapist often takes on the role of mentor, which teens gravitate towards because they feel more involved in the process of finding solutions together. On the other hand when they engage with their parents, they feel like they are being “told what to do.” In therapy clients learn coping skills that can be utilized at home, school or out in public. Some are internal self-soothing strategies and some require external sources of interaction. Some examples include learning to examine thoughts and challenging them, mindfulness exercises such as meditation and deep breathing, and art related interventions.
3. Boost Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence.
I think we can all agree that everyone could use a little more self-esteem and self-confidence. While parents are a great place for kids to learn to believe in themselves sometimes as these kids turn into teens they begin to question those moments of positive praise from parents. Ever heard, “You’re just saying that...” or “You have to say that, you’re my mom/dad.” Part of the work in therapy is often to help clients see their inner strengths and skills so they can go out into the world feeling empowered, able to set healthy boundaries with others, and have more direction. How this is achieved in therapy depends on the therapist and their theoretical approach to working with clients. I will often use art making and creating as a way to develop a sense of mastery and help develop a stronger level of self-esteem.
Therapy can be beneficial in so many ways and on so many levels these 3 are just some of the ones I see most often.
So you want to get your teen into therapy. Now what? Download my 7 Things to Look for When Considering a Therapist for a list of things to look out for when deciding whether a therapist might be a good fit. Click on the link below to get your list!