10 Common Reasons Why Teens Seek Therapy (& How It Might Benefit Them)
Raising teens and dealing with their temperament is not easy and can be hard to understand at times. From mood swings and academic problems to self-identity and depression, a teen may struggle with all or any.
When we talk about psychotherapy, we seldom involve teens in the talks. Many parents believe that sending a teen to therapy may not be productive but in truth, seeking a therapist’s help can be best for a struggling teen.
Trust me, for a teen, a few sessions with a therapist who understands their struggles and who helps your teen open up can be beneficial for your teen’s overall well-being.
The right teen therapist can help your teen resolve a variety of issues, from mental health struggles to gender/sexual identity.
Below are 10 common reasons why teens should or might seek therapy.
Common Reason For Teen Therapy
Teen depression is more common than you might think. Many mood disorders and depressive disorders begin during adolescence. If these disorders or their symptoms are left undiagnosed and untreated, then these issues will continue into adulthood and would interfere with your child’s daily life.
If your teen is showing signs of being too irritable, sad, or socially withdrawn, it’s recommended you seek professional advice. Right diagnosis at the right time can prevent these disorders from developing further.
2. Anxiety Disorders
It’s common and normal even for teens to worry excessively about their academic performance, future, relationships, etc. but some teens may experience severe anxiety or even panic. Anxiety and panic disorders in teens can interfere with their social, academic, and home life if not treated early.
If you see your teen struggling with speaking in a public setting, constantly worrying, struggling with negative thinking, or other symptoms of anxiety disorder, therapy might help them learn how to cope with their symptoms.
3. Behavioral Issues
Teens are more prone to behavioral changes such as aggressiveness, being intentionally rude, violate ground rules, etc. It’s normal behavior for a teen to rebel but if your teen is constantly in detention, repeatedly breaking rules, or being unnecessarily angry, then it could be a sign of an underlying problem.
With the right therapy, you can help your teen understand the root cause of their issues and learn skills to cope with problems that might be triggering your teen’s unruly behavior.
4. Addiction Or Substance Abuse
Whether we like to believe it or not, drugs, alcohol, and other substances are becoming a common problem in teenagers. If your teen is showing signs of substance abuse or addiction, then a therapist can help.
The right treatment for their problem might include individual therapy, detox, in-house treatment, etc., depending on the seriousness of your teen’s problem.
Just as we struggle with stress every day, your teen might struggle with the same. While, as adults, our stressors might include financial responsibilities, career, etc, a teen’s might include pressure to perform academically well, making decisions over their career choice, etc.
Stress is becoming more and more common in teenagers these days. With therapy, a teen might learn to effectively manage stress and learn healthy coping skills to help them cope in the future too.
6. Social Adjustment
Bullying, poor grades, not feeling a sense of belonging, being a social outcast – all these social issues can also be one of the reasons why teens might seek therapy. When a teen struggles with making a social adjustment, they might not know who to turn to.
The right teen therapist can provide them with a safe, non-judgmental space to talk about their struggles they might not want to talk about with their parents or friends. Therapy can also help them learn social skills that can make navigating high school much easier.
7. Self-Esteem Issues
Most teenagers struggle with self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth issues at some point in their teen life. If these issues are left unaddressed, then they can make it harder for your teen to adjust academically or socially in the future.
Self-esteem therapy is one example that can help your teen boost their self-confidence and self-esteem. Other therapy approaches can help as well!
8. Trauma Or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Trauma can be in the form of sexual harassment, near-death experiences, or an accident they’d been a witness to. Any kind of trauma can have a long-lasting impact on a teen’s psyche.
Therapy can help your teen learn resilience and cope with the post-traumatic stress that might accompany the trauma
No one can avoid loss and grief (especially during a global pandemic). How teens deal with loss and grief is different than how adults grieve. Losing a loved one can be harder on a teen who might not understand the impact at once.
With therapy approaches such as family therapy, group therapy, or even bereavement therapy, a teen can learn to cope with difficult emotions and make sense of what they’re feeling.
10. Gender Or Sexual Identity
One of the most common issues that adults and teens struggle with is discovering and understanding one’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Teens struggling with understanding their self-identity might feel hesitant to talk to a parent, sibling, or friend, out of the fear of rejection.
Therapy can offer teens a safe space to talk about their sexual and gender identity without worrying about confidentiality and rejection. Therapy can also help your teen find safe ways to come out if and when they do.
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Also Read: Pride Book Club: 15 Must-Read LGBTQ Books For Teens & Young Adults
Other Reasons Why Teens Might Need Counseling
Your teen need not be struggling with any of the above-mentioned issues, however, they might benefit from therapy if your teen needs help with:
- Gaining self-awareness
- Wanting to talk about complicated topics (to anyone who isn’t family or friends)
- Struggling with a disability
- Adjusting to a new lifestyle
- Struggling with an eating disorder
- Coping with loneliness
- Learning positive thinking
- Navigating romantic relationships
- Self-harm or suicidal ideation
- Coping with a chronic or terminal health condition
- Coping with racial, sexual, or cultural discrimination
- Coping with divorce or separation of parents
Why Is Teenage Therapy Important?
It’s common to seek help from a professional who can help your teen understand themselves better. Your teen need not necessarily be struggling with a particular problem or a disorder to seek therapy.
Teenage therapy can benefit your teen in many ways including:
- Providing them with a safe, non-judgmental space to discuss private matters
- Talking to a person your teen trusts with being confidential
- Talking to a professional who might understand your teen’s struggle and offer guidance
- Offering them a space to open up and talk instead of bottling their feelings inside
Therapy approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and many more can help your teen cope with their issue.
Finding The Right Teen Therapist
When choosing the right therapist for your teen you should consider the following:
- Find a therapist with experience with teens. What you go through as an adult differs from what your teen might struggle with
- Try to get referrals or recommendations from someone you think has had experience with teen therapy
- Read reviews and visit websites for more information on a therapist’s preferred mode of therapy and practice
- Make sure the therapist is licensed and has professional credentials
- Understand what the therapist provides and how it matches your teen’s needs
Other than these factors, you should talk to your teen to get their feedback on the therapist. Ask you’re teen if they are comfortable with the therapist and their approach. Allow your teen to make the final decision.
The relationship between your teen and their therapist will be one of the most important ones in your and your teen’s life. Be sure to respect your teen’s choice – whatever it may be.
If you’re looking for teenage therapy for your child, then make sure you adhere to the above-mentioned factors when choosing the right teen therapist.
If your teen is not amicable to therapy, it’s okay. Don’t force them to go if they don’t want to. Many teens may be reluctant to talk to a therapist at first. Ask your teen that if it makes them comfortable, can you accompany them for a few sessions? Allow them to make the final decision.
I hope this article helped understand the common reasons for teen therapy, why teenage therapy is important, and how you can find the right therapist for your teen. For more, you can write to us at email@example.com or DM us on social media.
Found this article useful? Think we missed another reason for teen therapy? Let us know in the comments below!