Considering Counselling For Your Teen?
If You’re Considering Counselling For Your Teen, Here Is What You Need To Know
It can be challenging to bring your child for counselling.
It is a vulnerable thing to do for everyone in the family. It also involves a leap of faith as you are putting the well-being of your child in the hands of someone you likely don’t know. We recognize how hard this can be. Most of the therapists here are parents too.
We know that they struggle with anxiety, depression, lack of self-esteem, self-harm, bullying, peer relationships, family relationships, anger, etc. If your teen comes to us and we feel they need counselling that is even more specialized than what we offer, we will let you know. We want them to experience success and we are happy to be honest when we feel that someone else can help them more than we can.
Some people need a few sessions and some people need many sessions. Sometimes change and healing can be subtle and slow. It helps if you are prepared to be patient with the process.
Successful therapy will change the person who is in therapy. While a family often longs for change, even positive change can feel disorienting. It’s helpful to know that having your child in counselling and experiencing them change could potentially be disorienting for the whole family. If you experience this, we encourage you to hang in there, stay in counselling and talk to us about what you are experiencing.
This is something the counsellor will negotiate first with your young person and then with you. If it’s okay with your young person, we suggest parents be present for the first part of the first session. This allows you to get a sense of the therapist that your child will be working with. We set aside some time during the first part of this session for you to ask us questions.
In some situations, it’s helpful to have your young person in counselling while either the whole family or you as parents are in counselling (this can include separated/divorced parents). In these situations, we’ll have one counsellor work with your teen and another counsellor work with you as a couple, parents or family.
This is dictated by legislation. A person 12 or over who has capacity (understands what therapy is including its risks, benefits, and alternatives) can agree or disagree on their own accord to enter into therapy. The same terms that apply to capacity also apply to confidentiality. This means that your child decides what information we as their therapist are allowed to share or not share with you about the content of our sessions (with a few exceptions which we go over in the first session). We encourage teens to be in open communication with their parents about counselling.
It is part of our intake process to ask for signed consent from your child that allows us to speak with their pediatrician, doctor, naturopath and/or other medical practitioners responsible for their care. If something comes up in the course of therapy that necessitates a call to one of these practitioners, we will discuss it with your teen first and ask them to let you know that we will be communicating with one of these practitioners.
We recognize that your teen may feel more comfortable with a counsellor of a specific gender. Please let us know if this is the case.
Therapy is about healing, and that can be joyful an uncomfortable (both for the teenager and the family members). Toronto Counselling Centre for Teens is dedicated to making it as accessible as possible by offering a comprehensive set of services.
Teen counselling can help your child address their issues. Family counselling can support you in helping them. And group therapy shows that you are not alone. By offering virtual therapy, we ensure that your family can get the necessary help in a comfortable way.
This has to be the right decision for you and your family, we only want to help. As a next step, we would love to have a conversation with you about counselling for your child. If you’re interested in learning more, speaking to one of our Client Care Coordinators should help clear up questions you may have about finding a therapist that fits your teen’s needs and personality, how counselling generally works, or any other topic. You can ask questions, get more information and take time to consider what’s next before booking an appointment.
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