Psychotherapy for an adolescent may be suggested when a teen is experiencing difficulties emotionally, socially or academically. In some cases therapy may be suggested because an adolescent is experiencing symptoms of ADHD, a learning issue, depression or anxiety. Sometimes a teen exhibits behaviors suggestive of eating or body image issues, or begins using alcohol or other substances. Whatever the reason for the initial referral, it is important that the therapist be experienced in working with adolescents as well as being knowledgeable about all of the biological, psychological and social issues that can bring a young person in for help.
Psychotherapy with adolescents is as much an art as it is science. The adolescent therapist must provide a compassionate, empathic, trusting and warm environment. It is equally important to be savvy, flexibility and have a nuanced approach that lends itself to openness, exploration and change. All of these ingredients combine to bring about a relationship in which a teenager (and their parents when necessary) can do the work necessary to heal, grow, change and succeed.
Depending on the nature of the problem an adolescent may be recommended for individual, group or family therapy. When parents deem it appropriate and necessary an adolescent therapist can coordinate with other professionals such as pediatricians, psychiatrists, nutritionists or school personal in order to ensure the best possible treatment plan and outcome.