mom and daughter talking on bed, signs your teen wants therapy

Signs That Your Teenager Wants Therapy

Subtle Hints Your Teenager May Be Dropping to Tell You They Want Therapy  

Asking parents for therapy is a very scary and vulnerable thing for a teenager. They usually hint around it to warm parents up to the idea before they come right out and ask. By doing so, They can gauge their parents’ reaction to the idea to make sure it will be safe to ask for help. Here are some signs that your teenager wants therapy and is dropping hints to test the waters.

They Follow Therapists on Instagram or Tiktok

Therapists are now putting out TONS of content on social media. They are destigmatizing and educating, all for free. And it’s a great way to learn about mental health! And since teens love social media, they are finding it and eating it up! Teens are absorbing up all this good therapy content which is helpful. And it’s also leading them to wanting more. If your teen follows therapists online, they are likely seeking out the help in a way that feels confidential and safe. Getting them a therapist for their own dedicated needs may be helpful.

You can follow MCCC on instagram at @mc_counseling_center   😉

They are telling you about their friends’ who are in therapy (or what those therapists have said)

Teens still generally worry about judgement around mental health when talking to adults. But they are starting to be more comfortable talking amongst each other. And it’s a wonderful thing! When teens talk about being in therapy with each other, they are making it normal. It becomes less of an unknown entity. So to extend that conversation home to you means they are also trying to make it normal and less scary within your family conversations. 

I love it when I hear that clients talk to their friends about something I said! That means that a- they are not embarrassed to be in therapy and b- they are sharing nuggets of help with others. But what does it mean when your kid starts sharing those nuggets with you? They could be very eager and wanting more. Or they could be confused or stuck in trying to makes sense of something. Either way, this may mean that they are ready for therapy tailored directly for them.

They Tell You To Get Therapy

Projection is one of the best defenses for vulnerability. If your teenager is constantly telling you to get help, they may actually be wanting or needing it for themselves.

I will say though, that this may not be entirely projection. It could also be based in a real complaint about a family dynamic. Family therapy might be the best place to start with this one. Your family therapist can recommend individual therapy for your teen if it is needed. So your kid gets the help they need and you honor their perspective about your role rather than pointing fingers in either direction. That’s a win-win!

They Showed You THIS Article

If your teen has stumbled upon this article and they are now showing it to you, HELLO! ::flashing neon lights::

We are here to help! Check out these reasons why not to wait a minute longer to honor your teen’s request!

Your teenager can start therapy today!


About The Author

Laura Goldstein, family therapist and DBT expert

Laura Goldstein, LCMFT is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist in Rockville Maryland and founder of Montgomery County Counseling Center, LLC. Laura obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. She then went on to earn her Master’s degree in Family Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Laura became intensively trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) through Behavioral Tech Linehan Institute in 2015. She is also Level 1 Trained in Gottman Couples Therapy. After working in both substance use and failure to launch IOP programs, Laura now works in her private practice alongside her excellent associates! Montgomery County Counseling Center serves individuals, families, parents, and couples who are struggling with intense emotions, fraught relationships, and maladaptive coping behaviors.

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