Therapy for Teens
When we see teenagers at Treehouse we want to make sure that we see them as their own individual
When we see teenagers at Treehouse we want to make sure that we see them as their own individual, separate from their parents as much as it's possible. So we leave it up to the family to decide whether the intake session is just between the parents and the therapist, parents, therapist and teen, or just the teenager and the therapist. This creates a sense of agency and choice for the teenager, which is developmentally important to develop. The same decision power we will give in terms of where they want to meet. Do they want to meet in the playroom or do they want to meet in the “adult room”.
A lot of how therapy looks like with teens depends on the therapist. Most of us focus on exploring important relationships in our clients’ lives among others family and peers. Usually you'll find a lot of Socratic dialogue (wiki: “a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presuppositions”) while at the same time giving a sense of unconditional acceptance.
The relationship we build with the teens is of utmost importance! About 60% of the healing that comes through therapy is because of the relationship your teen will have with their therapist. So make sure that your teen is comfortable with their therapist; if you have questions or concerns feel free to address them with the therapist. Our goal is to be open, transparent and show integrity while also creating room for safety and processing of deep feelings and thoughts.
The focus with teens (as with other stages) is on building trust and respect for each other
The therapeutic relationship can be a training ground for other relationships
Teens are trying to figure out who they are and exploring that in a counselling relationship gives safety and acceptance