When looking for a therapist for your teen, it is important to find one who will help your child to get full benefits from the therapeutic relationship. In other words, the therapist you choose will certainly determine if your teenager is able to deal with the problems he or she is facing.
Having said that, this article will help you gain insights on some important considerations that you need to keep in mind when choosing a therapist for your adolescent.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Therapist for Your Teen
- Comfort and safety
You will agree with me that many people go for therapy when they are in their most vulnerable state and when they feel inadequate or incapable of doing things that they would love to do, which can be quite embarassing. Teens are no exception.
Therefore, your teen should be able to feel comfortable and safe with his or her therapist. As a parent, it is imperative to ensure that the therapist you choose for your teen isn’t going to hurt or ridicule your child, or tell him how horrible he is. Additionally, it is important to note that your youth can only start changing and growing when he or she is safe regardless of how uncomfortable the change may feel.
Your child should be able to trust the therapist in such a way that he or she feels comfortable disclosing important information. What’s more, if you feel like your teen is not getting any help or improving by seeing that therapist, you should consider choosing another one.
It is important to take your teen to a therapist who has experience and expertise in dealing with youth or teenagers. What’s more, a therapist with experience in handling your teen’s specific issue will be in a better position to help and you are likely to see better outcomes for your child.
So, during your child’s first session, it is important that you ask questions regarding the therapist’s experience. Find out if he or she has helped teenagers with concerns similar to those of your child, the number of years the therapist has been in practice, and perhaps the last time they got to help a teenager with a similar concern.
- Nonjudgmental Attitude
One of the most important qualities you should look for in your child’s or youth therapist is a nonjugmental attitude. So, your teen’s therapist should be one who is able to validate your child’s feelings. In addition, the therapist should be able to not only connect to your adolescent child, but also understand him and show him some level of care.
So, if you take your teen for therapy and you happen to feel like the therapist is judging your child, then it is imperative that you address that issue immediately or just look for a therapist that you can trust.
Having said that, your teen’s therapist should have a nonjugmental attitude that enables your child to share his feelings, thoughts and experiences without been judged or criticized. The therapist should be able to offer your child unconditional positive regard, which means that no matter what your child shares, the therapist will still be able to regard your teen highly.
It is important to note that rapport is a good predictor of whether therapy will be successful. So, when you meet your teen’s therapist for the first time, you should be able to feel some level of trust, warmth, respect, or some chemistry. If you feel that there is no good therapeutic alliance or rapport, you might want to look for another therapist.
- Good listener
At times teenagers tend to feel like no one is listening to them, and you will agree with me that this statement is true to some extent. So, your teenager’s counsellor should be a good listener. What’s more, good listening skills can encourage your child to open up because he gets to know that he is been taken seriously.
Getting a good therapist for your teenager is an important process that can at times be very frustrating and confusing. However, it is important to note that getting the right therapist for your teenager can really make a huge impact in your child’s life. So, it is my hope that this article will help you understand some of the things you need to look out for.
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