The adolescent years are an essential period of development in anyone’s life. Hormone surges, bodily changes, increased need for self-reliance, and the struggle to find one’s identity join together to make this a very trying time in a teenager’s life.
Research shows that by the age of 14 is when almost half of all mental health disorders have already developed in the population, and out of every three high school students, one suffers from symptoms of depression, sadness, and hopelessness. Adolsecent depression treatment at Ironwood can be an excellent way for teens and young adults to get back on track.
Individual teen therapy provides a medium for adolescents to work through and talk out their problems and concerns with a trained and experienced professional. While therapy does not claim to completely cure every case, it does provide teenagers with the tools to better manage and cope with their problems
Teen individual therapy is one facet of psychotherapy where a single adolescent is helped by a trained professional one-on-one to work through personal issues they have been facing. This therapy can help control or improve triggers or symptoms that influence a teenager’s mental well-being.
We offer mental health programs for teenagers here at Ironwood Maine. As part of our full range of care, we offer two distinct modules: Frye Campus and Farmhouse.
Each program offers different progressive levels that tackle various aspects of your teenager’s therapy and recovery. The structure and flow of the activities work to address the challenges faced by your adolescent and their mental health issues.
At each step of their journey, your child will be accompanied by a personal psychotherapist who will provide one-on-one care and offer assessments and evaluations as your teen progresses.
Recent studies show that there are now a recorded 157 different mental health diagnoses. This increase in recognized mental health illnesses has led to a correlating increase in therapeutic modalities. Tantamount to the rehabilitation process of any teenager is obtaining the correct mental health diagnosis from a qualified and experienced mental health professional.
There is a smorgasbord of psychotherapeutic procedures used in the treatment of adolescents. The three most common procedures are; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a method of psychotherapy that focuses on the process of thought within a teenager. CBT is built on the notion that a person’s behavior controls one’s thoughts. CBT helps teenagers to become more attuned to negative thinking, enabling them to have a more focused approach to challenging situations and effectively respond to them.
CBT, either alone or combined with other treatment methods, can be very effective in treating mental health disorders in teenagers such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and teen PTSD treatment.
Teenagers will learn to change their thoughts by shifting their feelings, which will lead to healthier behavioral patterns.
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) sets its sights on helping an adolescent better manage their relationships with other people such as friends and family. IPT shows a teenager how their communications with these people affect their mental health as a whole.
An adolescent will learn how to resolve interpersonal problems healthily.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a psychotherapeutic process that specifically addresses borderline personality disorders. DBT accomplishes this by applying a mindfulness approach to CBT. Teenagers can suffer from emotional instability, also referred to as emotional dysregulation, which leads to suicidal thoughts or impulses towards self-harm.
DBT is normally conducted through three therapeutic settings; individual weekly sessions, weekly group skill sessions on DBT, and as-needed coaching through the phone.
The four main strategies relied upon by DBT to provide adolescents with skills in managing their behavior and emotions are:
- Core Mindfulness. Learning how to be fully aware and completely present in the moment.
- Distress Tolerance. Learning how to deal with pain in situations that are challenging without escalating or changing them.
- Emotion Regulation. A non-damaging and self-respecting approach to advocating for one’s needs and desires in relationships.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness. Learning to control primary emotional reactions before they can expound into secondary reactions.
What Are the Benefits of Individual Teen Therapy?
The teenage years are when most adolescents learn coping and management mechanisms that will accompany them long into adulthood. That makes this time crucial in the healthy development of a teenager mentally. Teen individual therapy is beneficial in the following ways:
- Rebuild Relationships. Depression, anxiety, and other mental struggles teenagers go through end up straining relationships with friends and family. Individual teen therapy goes a long way towards helping to mend these fractured relationships by helping adolescents communicate better, express themselves easier and gain more confidence in themselves.
- Gaining Self-control. Oftentimes teenagers feel such a deluge of emotions in rapid succession that they develop the sense they are not in control of anything in their lives and that they are being carried away by the tides of fate. Therapy for teens can aid in restoring feelings of control over emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
- Create a healthier future. Teenagers’ brains’ have not yet fully developed. Teen therapy helps to heal wounds, pain, and trauma while the mind is still young and pliable. This in turn significantly lowers the risk of an adolescent turning to drugs, or destructive behaviors as a crutch or coping mechanism later in life.
- Improved Communication Skills. The default reaction for most teenagers when faced with challenges and problems is to become withdrawn and recede into themselves. This added to the feeling that no one understands them works to stunt communication skills. Individual therapy teaches these teenagers how to communicate more openly and freely: not just with friends and family but also for the future when they enter the workforce.
- Development of Identity and Autonomy. Teenagers are more able to build a sense of self-identity and individuality after engaging in one-on-one therapy sessions. This process helps teens develop a sense of self, build self-care goals and skills, and find ever-expanding ways to motivate themselves.
- Support. Teen individual therapy helps build a support system for adolescents as they work on handling hormonal shifts, stress, anxieties, and life changes.
- Building Self-Esteem. Struggling with feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem are common among many teenagers. Self-reflection and recognition of triggers that give rise to negative beliefs about themselves better enable adolescents to build a sense of identity and grow their self-esteem.
- Personalized Treatment. Rather than our mental health professionals using ‘blanket solutions’ to treat an entire group of adolescents, our methods of teen individual therapy focus on your child’s specific needs. This means more accurate diagnoses as well as more specialized treatment.
- One-on-one Treatment. The relationship between your teenager and their therapist (or counselor) grows and solidifies quicker when it’s one-on-one. This leads to increased progress speed and development along your teen’s journey.
- Privacy and Comfort. Our therapists are well-versed in the responsibilities and ethics of maintaining confidentiality with your teenager. This creates a space where your adolescent will feel comfortable and safe in opening up and relating without professionals.
Let Ironwood Maine Help your Teen Today
Our children are our future, and we want the best for them. The increasing pressures of the world make the journey to adulthood more strenuous in the present day than at any other point in history.
Seeking therapy can be a stress-inducing process, and with all the information available, it can be hard to figure out where to make the first step. Contact us at Ironwood Maine with any questions or concerns you may have. Our team of professionals is ready to assist you and your teenager to thrive and live a fulfilling life.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is teen individual therapy at Ironwood Maine?
Teen individual therapy at Ironwood Maine is a confidential, expansive, and therapeutic approach formulated to tackle the unique needs of your teenager. We provide a supportive and safe environment for adolescents to work through challenges, develop healthy behaviors and coping strategies, and explore their emotions.
How does individual therapy benefit teens?
Individual therapy for teenagers offers various benefits such as improved self-awareness, development of problem-solving skills, and boosted emotional regulation. The personal approach aids teens with coping with anxiety and stress and tackling life problems with improved self-esteem and confidence.
What therapeutic approaches are used in teen individual therapy at Ironwood Maine?
Our professional team at Ironwood Maine is experienced in many therapeutic methods, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT, and others. These science-backed approaches are customized to suit the unique needs of each teenager.
Is parental involvement encouraged in teen individual therapy?
Definitely. Communication and collaboration with parents build a cohesive and supportive environment for your adolescent’s growth and well-being.
How long does teen individual therapy last at Ironwood Maine?
The duration of teen individual therapy varies depending on the needs and progress of each individual. The general length hovers around 6 months, however, some adolescents may benefit more from shorter periods, while others may require support over a longer term. Our professionals collaborate with each resident and their family to determine the appropriate duration of therapy.
How do I know if teen individual therapy is right for my child?
If your teen has raised concerns within you about their behavior, mental health, emotional status, or general well-being, individual therapy can be the right fit for them. Reach out to Ironwood Maine to discuss your teen’s unique needs and voice any questions or concerns you have.
How do I talk to my teen about therapy?
Adolescents can be very averse to starting therapy. Hearing the word ‘psychotherapy’ can spark feelings of fear and make your teen feel ashamed, or start seeing themselves as ‘crazy’.
It is best to broach the topic with your child from a position of love and support. Helping them understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having someone, particularly a trained professional, to talk to and open up with and share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
‘Psychotherapy’ is a fancy word for ‘talk therapy’. The process of dealing with situations by employing vocal methods. Help your teen understand that it is ultimately their decision on whether or not they can start healing and coping sessions.
What will the treatment process be like?
The treatment process is a structured, gentle but firm way of exploring your teen’s issues. From the word ’Go’, the program strives to connect with your teen on a personal level and encourage them to open up. Step-by-step, our therapists work with your teen to peel away the layers they surround themselves with and guide them along the path to recovery and self-improvement.
Will you be able to tell me as a parent what goes on during sessions?
For maximum effectiveness, adolescents must feel that their treatment sessions are a private place for them to express whatever is on their minds. The absence of this feeling of trust and privacy could make your teen become even more withdrawn and closed off, which would in turn severely reduce the effectiveness of the sessions, not to mention increase the overall time spent in therapy.
Will you be prescribing medication?
Psychotherapy by definition is talk therapy which is not associated with prescribing medications. However, if during the sessions our professional feels that your teenager could benefit from medication, we can refer you to a psychiatrist who can work with you and your teen to explore medications.