Getting adolescents and teens to do ANYTHING can be a real challenge…am I right? Getting them to go to therapy can be even harder if they don’t agree that they need to go. At Balanced Mind Counseling, we take a different approach. A skilled therapist knows to approach therapy differently for teens than they would for adults or younger children. Connecting with your teen or tween will often mean attending to the things that interest them. Talking to them about their friends, interests and relationships says that what matters to them matters to the therapist. Therapists will use this technique and many others to get through to your teen in a way that makes them believe that therapy is worth their time, and eventually has them interested in attending.
When appropriate, we will even use specially selected VIDEO GAMES and VIRTUAL REALITY THERAPY during the session that help your teen relate the issues of the characters in the game to their own personal experiences. This helps them vocalize their thoughts and feelings in a more productive manner from a “safe” place. Sometimes they don’t even realize they are “in therapy” before they start to act better, feel better and growing in the right direction.
Keep in mind, the therapist is not there to choose sides. A good therapist might agree with a parent, but their job is to be an advocate for the teen to the parents. You might both have the teen’s best interest in mind, while the therapist takes a different approach that allows the teen to feel valued and cared for while they come around to the new way of thinking. It’s not always a fast process, but it is a good one.