When it comes to a teen’s mental health, it’s important that you as a parent should focus on it. If they are dealing with a mental disorder, finding a therapist should be your top priority. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at seven factors that you will need to consider.
BasePoint Academy provides you with this guide in an effort to help you find the right mental health counselor for your teen. Someone who will put your teen’s best interests and wellness at heart. If you find this challenging, keep reading and we’ll help you find the right one.
Let’s get started.
Do they specialize in helping teens?
One of the major factors to consider is whether or not this is a therapist that specializes in working with teens. A specialist will be a better fit for your teen as opposed to someone who may be considered a general therapist.
A reason for this is that a specialist will have knowledge and better understand what a teen is going through and the kind of mental health issues that they deal with. They will also help put together a specialized treatment plan that isn’t like the others.
They know what can be effective for teens in terms of treatment. They know that a ‘one size fits all solution’ doesn’t work. If you can find a mental health therapist that specializes in teens, that will put you at an advantage.
They’ll get the help they need and it will be more laser focused. If you can’t find a specialist, a general therapist could be a good place to start. Over time, they may be referred to someone who specializes in working with teens and young adults.
Are they available whenever I need them
Mental health issues can occur at any place or any time. It’s always a good idea to find a mental health therapist that will be available when needed. This is one more good reason why a specialist would be a better fit here.
A general therapist may have availability in those ‘just in case’ moments. However, there may be challenges including appointments that they need to fulfill. If you can find a therapist that will be available for your teen whenever its regular appointments or on a ‘as-needed’ basis’, it will put you at ease knowing your teen is getting the mental health care they need through talk therapy.
What is their approach for teen therapy?
Each therapist may be different from one another in terms of approach. So it’s important to find a therapist that has the right kind for your teen. Some will prefer something more conventional while others may focus on a more holistic therapy style.
It’s important to consider your options as to what will be more effective for your teen. For example, a holistic approach focuses on mindfulness and different types of therapy options. Many holistic therapies involve arts and crafts, recreational activities, and other related therapies.
Conventional therapy may just involve someone sitting in a room and talking to a counselor for an hour or so. A therapist may also recommend that the teen should engage in activities that can help enrich and benefit them mentally. Thus, it can give them the opportunity to live a fulfilling life while being able to control their mental health.
You want to make it so that you and your teen are both comfortable with the style of therapy they are receiving. The goal here is to make sure your teen is getting mental health therapy that will be beneficial and effective. The last thing you both need is an approach that is counteractive and makes the situation worse.
Where do they draw the line in terms of confidentiality?
Confidentiality is important in therapy no matter if it’s a teen or adult. In the case of teens, parents may need to know what’s going on. You’ll want to find a therapist that will hold confidentiality in a high regard.
You may need to know something that is being mentioned in a therapy session. Some teens may tell a therapist something that they won’t tell their parents. You may want to be able to respect that boundary.
A counselor will not be privy to disclose information to parents in accordance with the confidentiality agreement. So you may not know something unless your teen reveals it to you themselves. At the same time, you may also ask yourself if you can be involved in some of the therapy sessions.
This may be at the discretion of your teen and maybe the therapist. You can sit in on the therapy session if it’s allowed. Otherwise, you can find a way to play a role in your teen’s therapy.
What has been the outcome of teens they have treated?
It is important to find out what the outcome will be for your teen’s mental health therapy. You’ll want to ask your prospective counselors about any success stories they may have. It’s important that you find someone that is successful and can provide your teen with a similar result.
Not every result is typical. It’s important to make sure your teen gets the right therapy and is on the right track.
How will you play a role in your teen’s therapy?
As mentioned, confidentiality is held in a high regard. So there can only be so much you can do as a parent. So it will be a good idea to see if the therapist is willing to work with you in regards to helping your teen live a healthy, fulfilling life.
A therapist will make recommendations on what you can do. What kind of actions do you have to take should something serious arise? Make a plan to ensure your teen is following a treatment plan and take certain actions if something were to arise such as an episode.
Are they experienced in treating teens?
A therapist that specializes in teens will have experience in dealing with such treatments. The more experience they have, the better. Someone who may be new to the concept may be a risk to take on because they haven’t worked with teens yet (or have few clients in a short time).
Choosing a therapist based on experience (along with specialization) will be vital for your teen’s mental health treatment.