Teen Therapy

Out of control teens, school failure, family conflicts, drug abuse, violence, and suicide attempts can all be signs your son or daughter may need professional help. Like adults, adolescents can have mental health disorders that interfere with the way they feel, think, and act. When untreated, psychological problems can be very costly to families and communities. The causes for these issues can be both biological and environmental. Biological causes include genetics, chemical imbalances in the body or damage to the central nervous system such as a head injury. Whereas environmental causes can be exposure to toxins or violence, witnessing or being the victim of physical or sexual abuse, or stress related to chronic poverty or the loss of important people through death, divorce or broken relationships.

Does this sounds like you’re son or daughter? I can help.

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Tips for Parents

For parents with out of control teens, here are some tips to try.

Listen while resisting the urge to lecture

Teens need a place to talk, but may not be able to ask for it. They are more likely to open up if they feel they can do so without fear of criticism or judgment.  It can be difficult to hear that your son or daughter is suffering without jumping to advice-giving. The important thing to remember is that your child is trying to communicate with you. Avoid ultimatums.

Offer Support

Give space, but make it clear you are there for your son or daughter. Avoid asking too many questions, as teens will often speak less if they feel pressured. If they feel you are available without being prying they are more likely come to you.

Be Gentle and Persistent

Don’t give up. Your teen may shut you out at first. It can be difficult for them to speak about the trouble they are having. Emphasize your willingness to listen.

Reassure without minimizing feelings

Validate your teen’s emotions even if they seem trivial to you. Communicate that you want to understand how they feel.

Teen therapy smiling girl
Teenage Problems, Social Issues and Bullying

When to Get Help

Teens with mental health problems need to get help as soon as possible. Pay attention if your son or daughter has any of these warning signs:

  • Refusing to attend school or declining academic performance
  • Excessive fearfulness or worrying
  • Enduring sadness and crying or hopelessness
  • Strong negative feelings about him- or herself
  • Outbursts of uncontrollable anger or overreacting
  • Persistent or extreme concerns about physical appearance
  • Repetitive habits and rituals like hand-washing, counting or touching
  • Worry about being harmed, hurting others or doing something “bad”
  • Excessive sexual thoughts or actions
  • Having racing thoughts that are too fast to follow
  • Stealing
  • Using drugs or alcohol
  • Eating large amounts of food and then vomiting, exercising excessively, or abusing laxatives to avoid weight gain
  • Obsessive dieting and/or exercising
  • Seeing things or hearing voices that others do not see or hear

Speak to your teen’s doctor about your concerns

You know your teen better than anyone else. Teens may be reluctant to bring up emotional issues with their doctors. If you have concerns about your child’s emotional/mental health speak with your doctor. They will be able to answer questions and provide information about medication and therapy options.

Don’t rely on Medication Alone

The best treatment options for teens include multiple approaches, including therapy. Teen therapy will often resolve symptoms, improve relationships, and decrease school trouble, but medication can help in more severe cases.

Finding the right service is critical

Not all therapists are the same. Look for a psychologist who specializes in adolescents. Teens are notorious for their single-word answers–“How are you?” “Fine!”–so it is important to find a good fitting therapist for your child. A competent therapist will have first-hand training with teens.

Happy teen boy

Teen Therapy with Dr. Sedgeley

I get teens. As an expert in teenager behavior and a BATSA member, I can help teens and parents overcome difficult mental health issues. My psychotherapy and counseling services are supportive and specifically designed for out of control teens. The teenagers that I’ve worked with frequently tell me that their depression, anxiety, anger, and academic problems decrease greatly after working with me. They talk about having better relationships with their teachers, and that their parents are less worried about them.


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Want to set up a time to talk about your son or daughter? Get in touch and we’ll schedule a confidential phone call.



Have questions? Here are some answers.