Teenagers & Pre-Teen
The teenage & pre-teen years are filled with complex issues and life changing transitions including:
Teenagers will often be resistant to therapy. They will not want to go! Psychologically join with them and agree with them that therapy is dumb. Remind teenagers they can even go to a therapist and complain about how dumb therapy is or they can sit and be silent if they want. If there is discord surrounding teenage therapy attendance, let them know they only have to go 3 times and if they don't like the therapist they can either stop going or go somewhere else (dependent upon which matters to you).
It is important for teenagers and pre-teens to have adult figures in their lives with whom they can talk, be influenced by or seek advice from, other than their parents. This concept is partly due to the fact that teenagers have a naturally built in resistance to acquiescing parental views and suggestions. Teenagers are not meaning to be parentally defiant. This parental resistance is healthy as it signifies differentiation and formation of the developing self; the self being an entity separate from those by whom s/he was raised.
Whether these complementary parental figures be pastoral, adult friends, aunts, uncles, extended family or therapists is irrelevant as they can all serve the purpose of emotional, social and cognitive modelling and support. When parents respect the views of these supportive adults, they can trust that imparted messages will be in line with their parenting views even if they don't know the specifics of shared content material.
When teenagers have healthy emotional processing skills and good interpersonal social communication, they are not only happier as teenagers, but they grow into well functioning and adjusted adults.
Licensed MFT #48698