Let’s talk about how to encourage your teen to attend therapy.
As a therapist I am often asked by parents how they can convince their adolescent to attend counselling. Some of the reasons sound something like this: ‘I do not want to talk to a stranger’, ‘I am not the one who is crazy here’, ‘The therapist will tell you everything about me after the session is over’, and many more.
Here are 5 tips on how to navigate the complaints and encourage your teen to attend therapy:
- First of all, turn on your ‘active listening’. Listen to their issues and problems and let them know that you are interested in their story and ready to accept them for who they are. And remember – NO JUDGEMENT!!!
- Next step. Introduce them to the therapist that you trust or search for the right therapist together. For example, you can search the internet and go through therapists’ professional account and publications. The adolescent will appreciate the opportunity to be involved in decision making and have the last say on this matter. After all they are the ones who will be building a relationship with the therapist. TRUST is the key here.
- It is a great idea to schedule a one-time ‘get-to-know-you’ session with teen-focused therapist without any long-term commitments. This would help to dissolve any misconceptions about therapy and build an initial connection with the therapist. They might like the therapist and will request follow-up sessions without your prompting. FEELING CONNECTED will help to make that decision.
- !!! Now here is perhaps the most important point!!! It is important to highlight the fact that the sessions are highly confidential and no personal information will be disclosed to the parents (unless someone is in danger of course). Explain that the therapist will respect everything they say during the sessions. FEELING SAFE is paramount for your teen.
- And of course, if your teen still refuses to attend counselling, take the lead and book a session for yourself. Be the example for your children. You also will have an opportunity to express your own worries about your teen and get some tips on how to change your own behaviour and some of the believes that do not serve you well anymore. BE THE EXAMPLE for your adolescent.
You can also offer your teen to attend the treatment together to resolve any parent-child related issues 🙂
Encouraging your teenager to attend therapy can be challenging. Even after going through the above suggestions, your teen might still have some reservations about attending therapy. Do not hesitate to share your concerns with your prospective therapist during the initial phone call.
I would like to remind you that Salvus Psychotherapy Clinic offers face-to-face and online therapy sessions for you and your child. You can get more information on www.salvustherapy.ie or contact me on 0852819849.
I hope this was helpful. ♥
Like and share this tips, someone might need to read this right now. 🙂