Adolescence is a time of rapidfire physical and emotional changes, and teenagers have unique needs when it comes to therapy.
At different ages, we all pass through distinct developmental phases with specific tasks, capabilities, and limitations, which is why therapy isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment.
Teens tend to work best in a therapy setting when they feel they have a sense of autonomy.
That’s because their primary developmental task during this age is individuation.
At My LA Therapy, we are fully aware that every teen is unique and has their own problems, ideologies, and struggles.
We always take their individual situations into consideration and tailor our interventions to suit the needs of each teen that steps into our office.
We are also careful not to impose our own ideas on them, but we offer them guidance and help them explore their emotional lives while honoring their needs and values.
Because of all the physical and emotional changes and new found discoveries teens experience, they’re statistically more likely to develop mental illness such as depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and more.
And on top of physical and emotional changes, there’s the pressure caused by technology and academic and social expectations.
Social media is notorious for showing distorted realities of peers and can cause a need for validation and acceptance in the form of likes and shares.
And teens are supremely impressionable, which only compounds the problem.
Cue the “thumbs down” emoji.
This is why it’s the perfect time for teenagers to enter therapy so that they can begin to fully process and understand their daily emotional struggles.
Talking to a therapist can help alleviate many aspects of adolescence, such as behavioral problems, separation, substance abuse, and mental health issues.
Plus, it’s just a good outlet for teens to express their frustrations since they probably won’t be opening up to parents as much.
Sorry, mom and dad.
Thankfully our highly-trained therapists—who are familiar with specific adolescent needs based on their stage of development— are on board and ready to help.
We love working with teenagers and enjoy being able to connect with them on their level, and we have a broad range of interests and passions that enable us to connect with teens in a way that they relate to.
TEENS AND FAMILY THERAPY
Often, it’s important to understand how teens and parents relate to one another and how the family unit may be instrumental in the teen’s healing.
We love working with families to look at how systematic patterns of behavior and communication may be contributing to the issues their teens are facing––and teaching parents how to handle these difficulties with greater equanimity and skill.
Parenting education for how to understand teen’s developmental needs and help support them in healthy maturation is critical to a teen’s mental health.
Quite often, as parents, we are unaware of how the way we are approaching our teen’s issues may actually be contributing to their problems.
We can help.
We pride ourselves on being able to quickly identify blind spots and stuck points between parents and teens to help everyone get on the same page and begin to thrive.
Please see our dedicated Family Therapy page for more information on this process.
If you are a teen or a parent looking for therapy for their teenager, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our teen therapy specialists.
With extensive training in child and adolescent development, we are passionate about helping teens and parents navigate the challenging waters of adolescence.
Developmental changes may cause teens to develop new thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that may seem out of the ordinary to the parent and very different from their prior childlike self.
It can seem like teens are doing a total 180 both mentally and physically.
Physical changes to the body may feel distressing if the teen isn’t receiving the right reinforcement or positive support from their parents.
It’s important to teach teens about engaging in proper hygiene and how to take care of both their mental and physical health.
Teenage girls especially—if not given positive reinforcement by family and friends— are more prone to developing low self-esteem, depression, and eating disorders.
Teens are hard-wired to value social connections above all else and they often experience a sense of invisibility.
During this time, the teen’s prefrontal cortex is rapidly changing, and the rational mind plays less of a role in decision making, which can often lead to impulsive or reckless behavior, especially in the presence of peers.
This is metaphorically similar to a car losing its breaks or a driver simply choosing not to use them.
The brain also has enhanced dopamine receptors during the adolescent years.
That means there can be an influx of addictive behaviors, like experimenting with harmful drugs drinking an excess of alcohol, engaging in sex and other types of illegal activities—anything that provides them with that feel-good dopamine rush.
New feelings of attraction may also start to develop during this phase as teens find their gender and sexual identities.
And some teens may struggle with this journey, feeling unsure and confused about their sexual preferences. (We also specialze in LGBTQ+ issues as well, see our dedicated LGBTQ+ and Transgender Therapy pages for more information).
Regardless, My LA Therapy will provide the support that they need to become the best version of themselves.
OUR TEEN THERAPY METHODS
Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated by research to be effective for targeting many of the mental health issues teens face such as anxiety, trauma, depression, addiction, and eating disorders.
Through treatment techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and Psychodynamic Therapy, we can help your teen take the correct direction in making the lifestyle changes that can allow them to manage their struggles and heal from the often dramatic blows it takes on their self-trust, relationships, and daily functioning.
WANT TO TALK? SPEAK WITH A TEEN THERAPY EXPERT NOW
If you have any questions, contact one of our teen therapy specialists for a free consultation any time.