When looking for a therapist to help your teen deal with any problems he or she is experiencing, it is important that you choose one who is skilled. However, looking for a good therapist can be a daunting task as there are many therapists who work with teens. Finding a good therapist to help your teen can be easy if you know what to consider and which questions to ask when looking for a therapist.
What to consider when looking for a therapist
Experience and expertise
A therapist with expertise and experience can help your teen in the best way possible. Keep in mind that teens are not a junior version of adults and the problems they experience have to be dealt in a unique way as they are unique to their age group.
If possible, ask for a recommendation from a person with personal knowledge of a certain therapist%u2019s skills and personality. This will make it easy for you to find an experienced and knowledgeable therapist to help your teen.
It is always a good idea to look for licensed teen therapists as this indicates that the therapist is licensed to practice psychotherapy. Insurance policies only cover services provided by a licensed mental health professional. Therefore, choosing a therapist who is not licensed means that your sessions will not be covered by your insurance policy.
However, you should remember that there are exceptions when it comes to licensing such as a trained religious and drug counselor. You can find such important information about the different teen therapists found in your area by searching on the internet.
Visit the websites of the different therapists found in the place where you live to know about the details of practice of different therapists and how they work with teens.
The training and approach of the therapist
Since there are different ways to treat teens, it is good to familiarize yourself with the different approaches of therapy. Familiarizing yourself with these approaches will help you choose an approach that can be ideal for your teen. You should base your choice on the issues your teen is struggling with and the background that makes that seems sensible to you.
The qualities your teen needs in a therapist
Think about the specific qualities your teen needs in a therapist. Is your teen likely to respond best to a therapist who is direct and to the point? Or does he or she respond to a therapist who is more supportive and nurturing? Does he or she prefer a therapist of a certain gender? Does he or she consider the age of the therapist? Does he or she prefer someone who is young and energetic or does he or she like an experienced therapist?
Questions to ask a potential therapist
You can interview potential therapists over the phone, by email or in a face to face meeting. Some of the therapists often conduct an initial consultation at a reduced cost to enable you to meet them and ask them questions regarding their practice. Here are questions to ask a potential therapist to determine whether or not he or she will be best placed to work with your teen:
- Have you ever dealt with a problem such as the one my teen is struggling with? And if so what is your experience?
- How many years have you been in practice?
- How will you work with my teen?
- Would you like other family members to be involved in the therapy process?
- Are you licensed? And if so, is it updated?
- How do you create goals therapy goals and measure the progress of these goals?
- Which therapy approach do you use?
- Are you a member of any professional organization?
Once the therapist has answered the questions above, consider how they have described their approach and their personality. Does the therapist know what they are talking about? Does the therapist have genuine empathy for teens? Is he or she patient in answering questions? Do you feel comfortable around them?
What is the most important factor when looking for a therapist?
While experience and credentials are important factors to consider, the personality of a therapist and the therapeutic rapport that develops between the therapist and your teen is the most important factor.
This relationship is often the most important factor as it determines whether or not the therapist will succeed in providing help to a troubled teen. When looking for a therapist, choose one who will be able to bond with your teen. And remember to pay attention to your gut feeling when looking for a therapist.
Other things to consider when looking for a therapist
Ideally, your teen should be part of this process even if you are the one insisting they take part in therapy. In most cases, it is good for parents to get referrals and do the initial screening and then provide this information to their teens and let them make the final decision.
If the relationship doesn’t seem to be coming together after a few sessions, it may be good to look for another therapist or ask the therapist to refer you to someone he or she thinks will be a better fit.
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