FAQs

 

How do I choose a Great Therapist for my Teen?

Great question!  Choosing a therapist that aligns with your own values and those of your family is super important.  You need to be comfortable with the therapist and your teen does too.  The way this works for me, is that I’ll talk with you on the phone about what’s going on with your teen, then have a separate phone call with your teen to make sure that they’re comfortable with me too.  If one of you doesn’t resonate with my vibe, then keep looking.  There are some other factors to consider as you look for a great therapist. Check out my blog post How to Find a Great Therapist for Your Teen for more things to consider.

What’s the difference between talking to you or a friend or family member?

If you have friends and family in your life who you feel comfortable talking to you about your struggles that’s awesome!  I’m so glad you have that kind of support.  There are a few ways that the relationship is different though that you may want to consider.  1) Counseling is completely confidential.  You and your teen won’t have to worry about others “knowing your business.”  If I do need to speak to someone else in your teen’s life, then I’ll talk to you both about it and have you sign a release of information.  We’ll talk about exactly what kind of information needs to be shared and the purposed of sharing that information.  2) As a therapist, I been educated and trained for years and thousands of hours on how to help your teen approach situations in a new way and learn how to consider different options– that may include teaching new skills, gaining different perspectives, listening without judgment or expectations, and helping them hear their own inner voice. 3) Lastly, if your teen’s situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and your teen’s been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once your child’s feeling better they may start avoiding that person so they aren’t reminded of this difficult time.  That would be a total bummer, if the friend or family member is a healthy, supportive person and part of your teen’s support system.

What about medication?

Medication can be effective and sometimes necessary, but it alone cannot solve all issues.  I am not a psychiatrist, so I cannot make any recommendations in this regard.  From what I know however, in most cases medication is needed in conjunction with counseling.  Medication is great for making your teen feel “okay enough” to be able to function and have the energy/stability to do the things needed like going to school or therapy.  However, it won’t address underlying issues that may be causing the symptoms of depression or anxiety, which is where therapy comes in.  Our work together is designed to explore and identify and skills deficits your teen is experiencing and develop needed skills, so they can start to act and feel healthier.

What’s the process?  How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

It first starts off with a brief call to talk about what’s been going on and to get a sense of whether I’m a good match for your family and teen.  If you want to move forward, then we’ll tentatively book an appointment.  Your teen must call me within 24 hours after this happens to talk about the same things we talked about and to make sure that they are comfortable with me too.  If this doesn’t happen, then your teen’s spot will be released to other clients.  Once both of those phone calls are complete and we have an appointment scheduled, I’ll send you a link to my online client portal.  Before I meet with your teen, you’ll fill out forms in the online system, which include providing your contact information, giving informed consent for treatment, policies and procedures, and going over payment options. Both you and your teen are required for the first session, so we can review the paperwork and get that out of the way.  We’ll go over all the forms and you both will have an opportunity to ask questions.  After the paperwork is done, I’ll spend the rest of the session meeting with your teen individually, getting to know one another, and beginning to set goals for our time together. Plan on spending 75 together for the first session.  Questions are encouraged at any time during this process.   Because each person has different issues and goals for counseling, treatment methods will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your child’s specific needs.  For more info about how I work, check out my About page.

How long will it take?

Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time counseling can take to allow your teen to accomplish their goals depends on their desire for personal development, their commitment, and the factors that are driving you and them to seek counseling in the first place (remember those 167 hours when the teen’s not in therapy? A lot of the magic happens then).  I always tell people that showing up is the first step.  Change will happen, but it may be subtle and not something that’s recognizable right away.  I’ll help put skills in the toolbox as quickly as I can, but just like in any sport, practice is progress.  Imagine getting out on the field for a big game, but the team hasn’t spent any time in practice.  What do you think with happen?  The same is true in life.  I can teach the skills (i.e. a refusal skill), but it’s up to your teen and you to practice them, so that on the proverbially game day (i.e. your teen’s at a party and gets offered a beer), they’ll know exactly how to respond.

I want to support my teen to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

I am so glad you are dedicated to getting your teen the support they need.  You are already their biggest advocate right now.  Helping your teen to show up to meetings on time, cancel at least 48 hours in advance if needed, and trusting the process will all do great things to support the therapeutic process.  The first step is reaching out.  Schedule your free consult today!

 

Contact Today



kristen@gtxteentherapy.com
737-808-4888

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