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As a parent or guardian, there’s nothing quite as devastating as finding out that a young person is suffering. Yet, if you find yourself in this situation, you’re not alone. In 2021, 42% of teenagers reported having persistent sadness. Worse, 20% of this population considered taking their own lives.
Fortunately, many counselors specialize in treating young people. However, the relationship between the counselor and the client serves as the greatest predictor of success. So, it’s important to know how to good “counseling for teenagers near me.”
How to Find Counseling for Teenagers Near Me
Learn More About the Teen’s Symptoms
Before you start the search for a counselor, you need to ask your teenager about their symptoms. When you do this, you have two main goals:
1. Ensure the Child Isn’t Considering Hurting Themselves
To do this, ask them “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” If you’re direct in this way, you lessen the chance that the teenager answers in an inaccurate manner. Many people worry bringing up suicide might put the thought in the person’s head. Yet, many studies have shown that mentioning suicide most often does not prompt someone to kill themselves.
If the person responds that they’ve thought about ending their life, ask whether or not they have a plan. Should they say yes, take them to the psychiatric ward of a hospital rather than to a therapist. If they don’t have a plan, search for a counselor and tell the office you need to get as soon as possible.
2. Learn What to Look for in a Therapist
Not all therapists focus on the same conditions and symptoms. In fact, once they’ve received their licenses, many counselors choose to pursue different specialties.
For example, some may specialize in treating depression and anxiety, while others focus on OCD, trauma, or even play therapy.
Most therapists spend most of their time with specific populations. Some may do religious counseling, while others work with homeless people, LGBTQ+ clients, and much more.
For the best results, you want to look for “counseling for teenagers near me” and match with therapists who serve teenagers. If the teenager’s mental health impacts the whole family, you may also want to look at family counselors.
If you want to find a great therapist, you need to check out Talkspace. As an online therapy platform, Talkspace works with counselors who specialize in many different forms of care. So, regardless of what your teen struggles with, they have the opportunity to find a counselor who serves them well on Talkspace.
Even better, Talkspace accepts many insurance plans! Learn more about insurance and therapy in the following section.
Look at Pricing
Unfortunately, therapy in the United States often comes at a steep price. Still, you shouldn’t let this bar from getting counseling for the teenagers in your care!
Plenty of therapists offer sliding scale fees for their services. In essence, this means what you owe the therapist depends on your salary and other financial factors. Sometimes, teenagers qualify for free counseling if their parents or guardians don’t make enough.
In addition, health insurance policies sometimes allow their clients to get counseling. Look into your plan’s benefits to see if it has any. If it does, search for therapists who take your plan.
Finally, some people qualify for government grants that pay for services. For example, the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) establishes that people who have suffered from crimes can receive no-or-low-cost counseling.
Try Out the Therapist
Once you’ve completed everything above, make the appointment and try out the therapist! As we mentioned above, the relationship between your teenager and the therapist boosts the chances of a successful outcome. So, ask your teen how they like their therapist and if they find the sessions useful.
If the relationship doesn’t seem like the best fit, ask for a referral to a different therapist. Many people don’t like to do this because they don’t want to hurt the counselor’s feelings. However, all good counselors understand the importance of a good fit and want the best for their clients.
While your teen waits for their appointment, make sure they’re getting enough sleep. Exhaustion dramatically impacts mental health, and a lack of sleep leads to worsening depression and anxiety. Should your child struggle to sleep, buy some melatonin from Vimergy.
When your teen takes this supplement, they should feel sleepier.
What to Expect When Your Teen’s in Therapy
Many different forms of therapy exist, but some aspects stay the same across the board. For instance, custodial parents and legal guardians must consent to the services for teens under the age of 18. Likewise, they have access to the teens’ records until they are an adult.
That being said, your teen’s therapist won’t share everything with you. Most therapists promise their clients to keep everything said in the counseling session confidential. The exceptions to confidentiality usually are:
- The client expresses intent to harm themself or someone else.
- The client reports the abuse of a child or elderly person.
- A judge subpoenas the client’s records (as is sometimes the case when parents go through custody arrangements). However, as the legal guardian, you can ask the therapist to assert their legal privilege not to release these files. In some cases, the judge overrules the therapist’s legal privilege, at which point the counselor must share the records.
Unless it’s a family session, the therapist may want you to step out of the room. Some adults don’t like staying out of the session. However, counselors do this because some teens don’t feel comfortable talking about their mental health problems in front of their parents. As such, if a parent always stays in the room, treatment might not prove as successful.
One tactic therapists often use is mindfulness. If you want to try out the benefits of mindfulness for yourself, try Headspace.
Learn More About Mental Health
As a parent or guardian, you want to keep your teenager as safe as possible. That’s why knowing about your “counseling for teens near me” options becomes useful!
But we also have other parenting resources on this site! Learn how to co-parent effectively here!