Psychological therapy, also called “psychotherapy” (or “therapy”), is a treatment for mental disorders and can help people with symptoms of mental illness better manage them. Therapy can be helpful for younger patients to overcome difficult emotions, manage triggers and learn how they can function in their home, school, and community.
As signs of mental illness may overlap with teenage behavior, it is not always obvious when a teen requires mental health therapy. If your teenager has difficulty managing their emotions, is acting outside of their normal behavior, or is having trouble getting by the day, therapy may be necessary. Talk to your teen about their mental health and ask them questions. You have options for your teen if they show any signs or symptoms of a psychological disorder.
There Are Several Types Of Mental Health Services That Teens Should Consider
Many therapies have been proven to work for different mental disorders. Your teenager’s needs, including their past and present experiences, medical history, family background, and financial situation, will dictate the therapy approach that is best for them. Teenagers may benefit from multiple forms of mental health therapy.
While there is no single treatment that works for all teens, there are a few evidence-based treatments and services available. Below is a list of recommended mental health services that teens and youth can use.
Individual Therapy: Most people think of individual therapy when they think about “therapy”. One-on-one sessions are held between the client and a licensed counselor in a private and confidential setting. Clients can talk openly with their therapist about their feelings, thoughts, behavior, memories, traumas, and other challenges. The client may also establish goals for their recovery, their life, or their overall well-being. Individual therapy can also be called counseling or psychotherapy. But the main goal is to help a client gain a better understanding of them and to work towards desired change.
Group Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that’s done in a larger group. A clinician, or multiple clinicians, leads a group to discuss various topics related to mental health. A group of peers, usually from the youth treatment center is composed of the same age and gender. They are encouraged by their peers to share their experiences, create conversations, and improve communication skills and understanding of mental disorders.
Family Therapy is a type that offers both family and client benefits. This is especially relevant for teens and young adults with mental health issues. Family therapy assists family members, such as siblings and parents, to improve communication and trust. It also teaches them how to support their teen through recovery.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapist: CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapies is an evidence-based therapy approach that focuses on improving teenagers’ thought patterns. CBT can be used to help teens with mental disorders. They may have unhelpful, distorted, or confused thinking. CBT can be used to help teens identify their negative thoughts and replace them with more positive feelings.
Dialectal Behavioral Therapy: Dialectal Behavioral Therapy can be used to treat teens and young adults who have more severe mental illness and substance abuse problems. DBT teaches clients the skills to control emotions, deal with stress and communicate well with others.
Child Behavior Therapy: Child therapy is used to help children overcome problems and avoid negative behavior in their environment. This therapy involves many family members. It teaches them how to reinforce positive behaviors and reduce unwelcome behaviors.
Motivational Interviewing (Mental Interviewing): Teens can find the motivation and skills they need to change. It can be used to address substance abuse and mental disorders. According to research, Motivational Interviewing works well with people who are not engaged, confident, or prepared for change.
Contingency Management: CM is a behavioral therapy intervention for teenagers with substance use disorders. This therapy encourages healthy behavior and lowers alcohol and drug abuse through positive reinforcement.
Medication-Assisted Therapy: Medication assistance treatment (MAT), is the use of medication to treat drug addiction and prevent overdoses. It can be used with counseling or behavioral therapies, to offer a holistic and integrated treatment plan for adolescents and young adults. The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration says that research shows that therapy and medication combined can treat these disorders. Some people with addiction may find that MAT can support their recovery.
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