Life at home during the global pandemic has been challenging, especially tough on our teenagers. Young Minds recently conducted a survey that revealed 80% of young people believed the coronavirus pandemic had made their mental health spiral. Many of these teenagers have been reluctant to seek therapy or help.
It can be hard for teenagers to agree to see a therapist. The idea of therapy for a teen can sometimes be terrifying, but I’m here to help you with some tips to engage your teen in therapy and quash some of these fears.
So, what can you do as a parent to help your teenager engage with therapy? Here are some of my suggestions to help you.
5 Tips on How to Engage a Teen in Therapy
1. Talk to them about their symptoms
Firstly, talk to them about the symptoms you’re seeing that leads you to believe they need to speak to a therapist. Sometimes teens disagree that they have a problem. It is very important that you communicate with your teenager. They are just as human as you are.
It is key to let them know that you are there for them and that you want to talk to them about anything that is going on in their lives. In some cases, they don’t see the reasons as to why they should be seeking therapist help. Bringing these reasons to light delicately is the most critical step.
2. Reassure them that their troubles are not uncommon.
There is nothing they should be ashamed of. Giving them this reassurance is crucial to helping them make the first step to engage with therapy. Empathising and reassuring your child can remind them that you recognise they are going through a difficult time. Although you may not understand it, you are always there for them.
3. Openly acknowledge it takes a lot of courage to seek therapy out.
Courage is a vital part of the process, but it’s important to stress that your teen doesn’t need to be fearless to be courageous. Tell your teenager that therapy is an entirely safe space, and no one will be judging them. They have no reason to feel shame. Sessions are entirely confidential and all about them!
4. Do not force your teenager to go to therapy.
A teenager who is pressured to get support or participate in therapy is unlikely to improve or comfortably discuss their thoughts. Instead, gently encourage them. You can always get in touch with me to find out ways we can still help through sessions with just myself and the parents.
5. Don’t be afraid to reach out and share your concerns with a therapist or your GP yourself!
You can book a free consultation with me right here on my website to talk more in-depth about the troubles you and your teenager are facing. We can discuss the processes to help you both battle these troubles. I can provide you and your family with the support that you need and to help you understand your teenagers’ worries.
Are you worried about your teenager?
Do you think that they need someone to talk to and seek confidence in, outside of the home?
Please don’t hesitate to contact me, Tracy Kimberg, today to find out how I can help tailor therapy sessions to meet your teenager’s needs. I will help you and your teenager achieve successful results in my teenage counselling services. Please also take a look at my ‘Waves of Clarity Podcast’, available on Spotify and iTunes, for some more tips and tools for you and your teenager to stay healthy and happy.