It can be intimidating to think of working in a therapeutic setting with teenagers. Adolescents are notoriously difficult to persuade to attend events, let alone participate in them. However, the participant’s motivation to participate in therapy is crucial to the treatment’s success. This raises the question of how a therapist may help turn things around in order to build a meaningful therapeutic relationship with an anxious adolescent.
Positive outcomes are more likely for adolescents who are willing participants in their therapeutic care. An engaged teen and their therapist become like teammates in the fight against the adversities they both face.
Because of this, they will be able to do more as a team. When a treatment plan is developed along with the adolescent, the teen is more likely to feel like they are making progress toward their goals and to continue participating in therapy.
Redefine Counselling in a New Light
Teens may be hesitant to try therapy because they have a limited understanding of the process. Since this is usually an uncharted area for most people, it can feel awkward, frightening, or forced. When first meeting with adolescent clients, it is crucial to define exactly what treatment entails.
Contrary to popular belief, therapy can be both rewarding and enjoyable, with the therapist and patient taking on more of the roles of a coach and student. Teens are more likely to participate in therapy and to realize that their therapist is there to support and work alongside them rather than to “teach them what to do” if the story and the method of delivery are reframed in a way that makes this clear.
Establish a Cozy Spot
Always make sure your clients feel safe in the space you’ve created for them. Give them a lot of leeways to make the room work for them during the session. Comfortable bean bag seats, low lighting, fidget toys, calming artwork, calming music, and other calming activities can all contribute to a fun and relaxing atmosphere. You should strive to ensure they have a positive and fruitful time with you.
Assign Them a Capable Counselor
One of the most crucial things providers and parents can do to pair a child with a therapist who the teen feels comfortable with. Providers should learn about the patient’s preferences throughout the intake process. Would they rather see a male or female therapist? Do they wish to collaborate with a professional in a particular field of therapy? Think of ways to make the teen more at ease so that they may open up and share their thoughts and feelings.
Effective therapy with teenagers depends on the therapist and teen forming a strong therapeutic relationship, which is unlikely to occur if the therapist is someone the youngster is not used to working with.
Develop a Plan of Action
Teens will have a better idea of what to expect from their session if an agenda is created beforehand. For instance, during the first few sessions, you can do a biopsychosocial examination to get a fuller picture of the patient’s biological, psychological, and social circumstances. Describe the anticipated outcomes of using this tool and the format of any subsequent sessions.
They will discuss their family background, reasons for seeking therapy, and therapeutic objectives during these initial sessions. Depending on the adolescent’s level of engagement, you can move through sessions quickly and successfully with their assistance. It’s crucial that your patients know treatment isn’t a never-ending commitment. It’s up to them how long or short they want it to be.
Don’t Be Afraid to Think Outside the Box
Many therapists already know this, but working with teenagers requires particularly creative approaches. As a therapist, it can be challenging to be of a different generation from your client. To help bridge the generation gap, it’s essential to stay current on pop culture, current trends, and social media. A competent therapist can better grasp teenagers’ difficulties in society and the natural world if they are well-versed in these areas.
Therefore, therapists can benefit from being more imaginative in their approach if they have a firm grasp of the teens’ individual preferences.
There are a number of things that can be done to encourage teenagers to engage in counselling. First, it is important to make sure that they understand what counselling is and how it can help them. Second, provide them with a safe and supportive environment in which to explore their thoughts and feelings. Finally, always remember to be patient and understanding towards their needs and preferences as they work through their issues.
Take note of our tips above, and you will never have a hard time working with your teen clients.
If you are looking for an institution that provides teen counselling in Guelph, then our practitioners at Chettiar Counselling & Associates are here to help out your teens. Our therapists provide support for managing anxiety, depression, anger management, addiction counselling, etc. Call us today to determine the exact counselling services that your teens would need.