Teen Therapy FAQs

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What sets Bridgeview Psychotherapy apart from other youth mental health clinics?

Bridgeview Psychotherapy offers strength-based therapy to children, teens and families using creative approaches. The use of play, expressive arts, and other creative forms of therapy allows your teen's therapist to help your teen to express themselves in any way that they feel most comfortable as well as providing accessible therapeutic interventions to clients with diverse needs and abilities. 

Bridgeview Psychotherapy is unique in that it offers a large fully-stocked art and play room dedicated to play and art therapy.  

My teen is reluctant to attend therapy.  How will you connect with my teen?

I know that teens don't often want to come to therapy, and I get it. I genuinely respect that it can be hard to come to therapy. One of the ways I work to connect with teens is spending time getting to know them in whatever way that makes sense and sometimes that is bonding over TikTok videos or what is happening with their friends. I really care to get to know teens in all aspects of their lives. 

How can I support my teen over their course of therapy?

Teens are so different, and will likely need and want different things from parents over the course of therapy. Just asking this question to them at a time when you can listen, and really hear what they say, is the best place to start. 

What will my involvement as a parent be?

This is a great question and this answer is also not 100% straightforward.

I love working with families when I'm working with teens. That being said, I also know that adolescence is an important time for developing independence and autonomy. Also, I'm bound by some legislation around confidentiality that applies to everyone 12 and over. Which means that teens and anyone accessing therapy, have a right to make decisions about who is involved in their therapy and whether information is shared (unless there are specific concerns regarding safety).

When working with adolescents, it is very important that they feel like therapy is a private place for them to talk about whatever is on their mind. Without a sense of privacy and confidentiality between your teen and their therapist, they are likely to remain closed off or distrustful of the therapist. Therefore, when I work with teens, what they share in therapy stays between the two of us. There are, however, a few very important exceptions. You will be the first to know if there is any reason to be seriously concerned about your child’s health, well-being, or safety. 

What does therapy for teens look like?

This depends largely on the individual teen.  My approach to teen therapy is dependent on the individual teen, but tends to be largely informed by expressive arts and other forms of creative expression. Teen therapy might also include aspects of play therapy.  Teen therapy can also look similar to the talk-based methods in adult therapy, and is informed by solution-focused therapy, cognitive and/or dialectical behaviour therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, humanistic therapy, and internal family systems.

I believe that when working with teens the client-therapist relationship is one of the most important factors for effective therapeutic work to occur. Your teen must feel safe, comfortable, and connected with the therapist they end up working with. Therefore, my first priority when an adolescent comes to see me is to help them decide whether I am a good fit for them and their particular needs. My next step is to help them begin exploring those issues that they are struggling with. Because this may be the first time they are talking about these things, I make sure to go at a pace that feels comfortable to them. Together we start looking at what is getting in the way of their overall sense of happiness and well-being. By helping them understand what they are feeling and providing them with the tools they need in order to navigate the challenges of adolescence, therapy can help teens not only feel better, but actually thrive! 

If my teen seems to be doing well, can teen therapy still be helpful?

Absolutely.  Taking your teen to therapy will not only normalize the process, but they will be able to learn coping skills and how to adapt to changes, useful life tools that can be utilized at any age. It also gives them a safe and judgement-free place to express themselves, allowing them to know that the option of therapy always exists.