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Mental health as explained by the World Health Organization (WHO) is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” There is a growing mental health crisis among teenagers in the United States, as data indicates that from 2001 to 2019 the suicide rate for American teens from ages 10 to 19 jumped 40 percent, and emergency room visits for self-harm raised 88 percent. It can be difficult to distinguish between behaviors associated with typical teenage insecurities and those that may be indicative of a mental health disorder. When in doubt, it is best to err on the side of caution and pursue professional guidance. Fortunately, there are countless mental health professionals in America with a wide variety of specialties.

What To Expect

It is impossible to provide a detailed and universal explanation of what a parent can expect for every teenager that goes to mental health counseling, as there are a variety of factors that will inform the experience. However, there are several general things that parents can expect when sending their child to therapy. Many parents are eager to understand how quickly their child will progress, but the length of time it takes will depend on the complexity of their teenager’s challenges as well as how long the problem has had to take root. Mental health counseling sessions provide a client and his or her clinician with the opportunity to co-create behavior plans that incorporate long- and short-term goals to improve self-worth, establish self-compassion, acceptance, and develop a positive self-identity.  Every young person is different and will require a customized treatment plan to ensure all nuanced needs are accommodated. It is becoming increasingly common to integrate traditional psychotherapeutic methods, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), psychodynamic psychotherapy, interpersonal therapy (IPT), and more along with holistic treatment modalities (e.g., meditation, yoga, etc.) into recovery plans for teenagers. The work that occurs between a teenager and his or her mental health counselor is entirely personal, and will be directly informed by the child’s personality, mental health, and emotional needs.

For Information and Support 

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times. 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’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.


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