Professional support for adolescents
Mental health is an important part of overall health for children, teens and adults. It can be diffiuclt to tell if concerning behavior in a teen is just part of growing up or a problem that should be discussed with a mental health professional. If there are signs and symptoms that interfere with the child’s daily life, not only at home but at school and with friends, you may want to consider contacting a mental health professional.
Your child or teen might need help if they exhibit the following emotions:
- Intense irritability
- Are often anxious, worried or on edge
- Have panic symptoms that are difficult to soothe
- Have frequent stomach aches or headaches with no medical explanation
- Have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or sleeping too much
- Have lost interest in things they used to enjoy
- Are frequently isolated
- Avoid spending time with friends
- Have little to no energy
- Have trouble in school or grades have recently declined
- Have low self-esteem
- Have experienced trauma
- Are preoccupied with their weight or exercise/diet obsessively
- Engage in risky, destructive behavior
- Smokes, drinks, or uses drugs
- Harm themselves, such as, cutting or burning their skin
- Harm others or have thoughts of harming others
- Have thoughts of suicide
Even if you don’t observe the above symptoms in your teen, if they are asking to go to therapy, it can be incredibly helpful to trust their instinct and pursue professional support.
How Does Teen Therapy Help?
The adolescent years are challenging for teens and parents alike. Teens experience many changes as their identity and thought process evolve and it can be difficult for parents to relate. The symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions aren’t usually exhibited the same way by teenagers as they are by adults. Many teenagers are desperate for someone to acknowledge and understand them but they feel helpless and don’t know how to reach out.
When working with teens, a therapist will work hard to establish a sense of trust and mutual respect. During therapy teens can learn skills to express themselves more productively, make healthy life choices, cope with difficult emotions and communicate more effectively.
If you recognize the need for teen therapy for your child, the Therapists at Encompass Hope are here to support you. Reach out for a free 15 minute phone or video consultation today.
Questions We Commonly Get
What if my teen doesn’t want to come to therapy?
We recommend that you start with validating their feelings. Such as, “I understand that therapy isn’t something you’re very excited about. A lot of people feel that way so that makes sense”. Next, let them know that they aren’t solely responsible for the current problems and that the whole family will benefit from the support of a professional. If you still meet resistance, let them know that you require them to try at least a few sessions and then that you can decide together whether to continue. Oftentimes, a teen will feel heard by the therapist at that point in therapy and you will be able to make a sound decision together.
What can I expect at the first session?
Prior to your first appointment, parents and teens receive links to the online client portal in order to complete intake forms. This will allow the therapist to get to know more about you and familiarize them with your needs. The first session is a joint session that begins with the teen and parents together. The therapist will review the completed forms with you and will answer any questions you may have. The therapist will then spend the next portion of the session getting to know the teen and talking with them about their concerns.
Is therapy confidential?
Yes, in general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a therapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. You should be aware, however, that if you use insurance benefits to pay for all or part of your therapy, some information about your treatment will need to be reported to your insurer.
In addition, there are some special circumstances in which the law requires therapists to break confidentiality. These exceptions include:
1. If you present a danger to yourself, to others, to property, or are unable to care for yourself.
2. If there is suspected past or present child, dependent, or elder abuse or neglect.
3. If the court orders a release of information as part of a legal proceeding, or as otherwise required by the law.
As parents, what will you tell us about what our teen discloses?
We will always tell the parents, as is required by law, if we believe the teen is a danger to themself or others. It is important that teens have a safe, private space to work on their goals. For therapy to be successful, teens must be able to speak freely, without feeling like what is shared will be directly shared with their parent(s). Therefore, if we see a teen for individual therapy, we will not disclose information to the parents without the teen’s consent unless we believe that the teen is a danger to himself or others. We encourage the parents to call us with any questions or concerns throughout the course of treatment.
How long does therapy last?
Teen therapy sessions are typically 50 minutes in length. The length of treatment depends on the concerns presented and the severity. Each teen has different circumstances and the number of sessions you’ll need will depend on your particular situation and the therapist’s recommendation. The first few sessions will focus on assessing strengths, mental health needs, personal goals and developing an effective treatment plan. Therapy typically begins with meeting weekly and gradually reduces as symptoms subside.
Get In Touch
3460 Washington Drive, Suite 109
Eagan, MN 55122
3801 W 50th St, Suite 250 A
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Mon – Fri: 7:00am-7:00pm