Teenagers don’t want to go to therapy. At least, that is what is seems like. They might avoid it and you, they might not respond to your text about it or not be around when it’s time to go. And if they do go, they might either not participate or they will try to tell the therapist what they think they want to hear.
The truth is teenagers do want to be happy and healthy. Oftentimes they just don’t know how therapy can help them with it. There is less stigma for therapy today than there has been in years past, but it still something that people think you have to be broken to try. It’s often seen as something you do when you are weak. Adolescents often have the fear that if they go into therapy that the therapist is just an extension of their parents – that they will tell them everything and that they are just trying to get them to do what their parents want.
A good therapist for teenagers will be able to help the young person they are working with in therapy by creating healthy boundaries with them and mom and dad. Some things the adolescent shares in therapy are just keep between them and the therapist.
It often helps to let your teenager meet with the therapist one-on-one before you meet with the therapist. Then it will seem less like the therapist has their marching orders from you and is then trying to impose them on your teenager. The therapist and teenager need a strong therapeutic bond and this helps with that.
We have been doing counseling with teenagers for over a decade in Utah County. We can help you navigate this difficult time.