You have decided to take the big step and support your teen in attending therapy. First off, this reveals your teen’s courage and strength to reach out for support and your love for your child to assist in that connection. That is the hardest step that many struggle to take. I want to make sure that is highlighted and celebrated before you and your teen step in the door.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering, what can we expect out of therapy? What does it look like? You’re a little scared to talk to a stranger about your life. Makes complete sense! Here’s a little background. Therapy is the process that includes a registered or licensed mental health professional that will assist you in gaining a higher level of self-awareness surrounding thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Therapists at Outside the Norm Counseling use evidence-based strategies to support you in adjusting patterns that are ineffective or create distressing emotions. It is a part of the human condition that we experience situations throughout our day that may “trigger” us. Meaning we experience emotions, in response to events, that are distressing or challenging. What a therapist can assist with is exploring those thoughts, feelings and behaviors while also increasing your toolbox of skills to cope through the distress.
In a perfect world we would be able to wake up tomorrow and all those situations that are distressing to us would disappear but unfortunately that is not the human experience. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of our expectations with engaging in therapy. The therapeutic process takes time. We may hear from clients that things feel worse before they get better as we dive into those stressors and challenge them together. Somedays you may leave your session exhausted, irritable, or hating your clinician because we reopened a wound that never healed properly. We work together throughout out time together to clean that wound out so it can heal correctly.
I hope that doesn’t scare you off because it is doubtful that we will be diving into past experiences or traumas until your clinician is able to create a strong relationship with you. Parents, please don’t expect major changes right away because for the first few sessions your teen’s clinician will be seeking to build a strong therapeutic relationship. Research shows that 50% of the success of therapy is in the relationship your teen can build with their clinician. They need to feel safe and comfortable to be vulnerable. Since one of the most important aspects of therapy is the relationship, it’s vital to remember that we are all human and sometimes we don’t find that connection with someone. If you are feeling that you are not comfortable or “clicking” with your therapist, you are strongly encouraged to tell us! The goal of a clinician is to support you in your journey of growth and if you are not feeling able to do that with your clinician we understand and will assist in providing resources for someone that feels more authentic to you.
We at Outside the Norm Counseling are passionate about providing your teen with the care they need to experience relief from emotions that are impeding on their daily lives or overall well-being. We can help!