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Should My Teenager See a Therapist? Teen Mental Health

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What are different types of therapy?

During their first visit, your teen’s therapist will talk with them, listen to their problems, and discuss with you how they plan to go about the therapy sessions.

Depending on the problem, the therapist may suggest one of three main types of therapies for teens, or a combination of these therapies. 

1. Individual therapy

In individual therapy, your teen meets with a therapist alone at each session. The therapist may encourage them to talk about their problems and ask questions, such as how they feel about the problem. They may ask your teen to do some homework in the form of activities.

Many teens do not feel comfortable talking about their problems in front of their families. Individual therapy sessions therefore play an important role in understanding their true feelings. Therapists usually do not divulge details of what is discussed in each session with you unless there is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

Each individual therapy session typically lasts about 50 minutes.

2. Group therapy

A group therapy session usually consists of about five people with a group leader. The group leader picks up a few topics and seeks the opinion of each teen in the group by asking questions. Your teen is also encouraged to ask questions, which are answered by other teens in the group.

Group therapy helps your teen connect with other teens who are dealing with similar problems. It allows them to see how others handle difficult situations. In the first few initial sessions, don’t be worried if your teen is uncomfortable. It may take them some time to settle in.

Each session of group therapy typically takes around 90 minutes.

3. Family therapy

Family therapy is usually designed for teens who are dealing with depression or anxiety due to problems at home, such as conflicts within the family or the impact of a family member’s substance abuse on the teen or entire family.

During family therapy sessions, the therapist calls your teen along with you and your family members, whether individually or as a group. They listen to each member of the family and identify each of their challenges as well as how they are handling them. The therapist sets goals for each individual and the family as a whole and encourages everybody to work on ways to achieve them.

Each family therapy session typically takes about 50 minutes to an hour.

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