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Tips For Finding Counseling For Your Teen


teen receiving counseling

There are countless mental health professionals in America with a wide variety of specialties. Narrowing down the options to find counseling for your teenager can seem overwhelming. Below are several tips that can help you through the process and ensure you find a mental health professional that is the best fit for accommodating all your teenager’s mental health needs.

  • Ask for referrals: delve into your network for referrals; ask family, friends, your child’s pediatrician and/ or school guidance counselor for recommendations for a mental health professional. Even in situations where the counselor you are referred to is unable to take your teenager on as a client, he or she will likely be able to provide you with professional alternatives.
  • Check accreditations: note the accreditations of the counselor you are considering. While many mental healthcare workers are required to hold degrees in higher education, they are also obliged to pass certain certification tests, and many get relevant mental health accreditations. Certifications are earned through programs or service that may be based within or associated with a healthcare organization. An individual must earn a passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) to become certified in mental health. Accreditations can be earned by an entire health care organization (e.g., hospitals, nursing homes, etc.). Both certification and accreditation require an evaluation by The Joint Commission.
  • Be aware of the different therapeutic modalities offered: According to Psychology Today there are over sixty-five different types of therapeutic modalities currently offered in the mental health field. Providers will incorporate a variety of different therapy methods into their treatment plans. 
  • Plan an initial meeting with several therapists: although it may seem arduous, planning on and meeting with more than one therapist can help you make an informed decision. If you have several first therapy sessions lined up with different clinicians, you can give your teen the chance to experience different styles and delineate which feels like the best fit. 
  • Understand costs: every mental health provider will charge a fee for his or her services. Some will accept insurance, and some will not. Insurance companies provide different levels of coverage. It is helpful to know how much counseling your insurance plan will cover, both cost per session and frequency of sessions.  

When searching for counseling for your teenager it is imperative have patience and bear in mind that not all therapists will be a perfect fit immediately. Furthermore, for therapy to yield the most successful results, a teen must feel comfortable with his or her counselor. If your teenager provides you with feedback that he or she does not resonate with the therapist selected, try a different one.

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at

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