Questions and Answers: for Parents of Teens and Teens


How do I know if my child would benefit most from therapy or from medication prescribed by a psychiatrist?

In most cases the long-term solution to your child’s struggles will be through changes in his/her thinking, self-care practices and social/familial environment.  However, if your child is so overwhelmed that they are not functioning at school or in your family then a psychiatric evaluation is warranted. As part of my initial assessment of your child, I will help you determine if a psychiatric assessment might be helpful.  Back

I really feel that my child would benefit from therapy but they are not open to coming in. Help!

Many teens are hesitant to share their struggle with anyone but their closest peers. It can feel strange and unfamiliar to learn to talk openly with a new adult. I am happy to facilitate this process in any way I can, including speaking to your child on the phone before they come in or having a session or two with a parent present. I also allow for fun and supportive sharing during sessions to allow the therapy experience to feel fun and supportive and not overly vulnerable. Most teens end up loving coming in after they get familiar with me and what it feels like to be in my office.  Back

Therapy is a big investment. How can I be sure that it will actually help?

Of course there are no guarantees about any type of therapy, my hope is that I can give your child an experience of how they can share their struggles with a therapist and receive benefit. If this happens, even to a small degree, during our work together than your child will be better prepared to reach out for help when they are struggling and no longer living at home. This ability to know how to benefit from outside support is critical in successfully adult functioning whether the outside support be in the form of mental health professionals, ministers or other wise adults.  Back

Will you share with me what you discuss with my teen child?

Although you have the legal right to ask me questions about the therapy process with your dependent, I will ask that we agree to only talk about details that are absolutely necessary to keep your child safe. An important part of a teen learning to trust therapy is knowing that they are speaking in a confidential space.  As the parent, you are always free to share with me your observations and concerns for your child and I will work with your child to decide how to respond to any questions you might have about our work together. I tell all my teen clients that they can tell me anything they want and I will only actively share it with their parents if I am concerned for their safety.  Back

I am a teen and am wondering why I would benefit from talking to you instead of just reaching out to my friends for support?

If you have a strong set of caring friends, you are very lucky and I encourage you to keep reaching out to them for support. However, there may be times when they don’t have the knowledge of how to support of advise you with certain types of challenges. Or their advice may not be a good fit for your personal aspirations for yourself. Also, there may be certain challenges that you are having that you may feel uncomfortable discussing with your friends. Therapy is a space where you can speak freely with someone who is knowledgeable about teen issues and who can be an advocate for you unconditionally.  Back

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