Teen Therapy

You’re worried about your teenager.

Your teen seems to be struggling with more than just typical adolescent issues. But, maybe you’re not sure what is normal teen behavior.

It’s confusing that they swing between isolation and lashing out.

Your teenager seems sad, withdrawn, anxious, or angry

Your child specifically asked for help.

depressed teen gets teen counseling in Rockville, MD at Montgomery County Counseling center with a teen therapist

Teens have a very tough job of figuring out who they are in this world. And our world keeps getting more complicated, so this is a very difficult task. During adolescence, teens are sorting through lots of internal struggles. They may be dealing with conflicting feelings, conflicting pressures between friends and family, conflicting desires, values and goals, and more. Ultimately, this leaves them feeling alone and confused. And, because parents are often a source of pressure for teens, they are not the best at helping their teen work through this confusion. This is exactly why teens benefit from seeing a teen therapist that is a dedicated and neutral person that can help them sort through their feelings and goals.

Is My Teen’s Behavior Normal?

How to Know if Your Child Needs Teen Therapy

All teenagers have intense emotions, that’s normal. Lots of changes happen during this time that makes it hard for parents (and teens) to know when it’s time to get help. Here is a chart to help you determine if your teenager’s behavior is normal. If your teenager is displaying multiple signs in the abnormal column, it is time to contact us!

Normal Teen BehaviorAbnormal Teen Behavior
increased moodinessintense long-lasting mood swings, risky mood dependent behavior, major depression, severe anxiety, self-harm or suicidal thinking
increased self-consciousness or increased focus on their body imagesocial phobias or withdrawal, perfectionism, unrealistic standards, obsessive or neglectful of their personal hygiene
increased dawdlingmultiple distractions to the point of not being able to complete tasks, lack of focus that interferes with work, regularly late
conflict with parents and/or siblingsverbal or physical aggression, running away
wanting more privacyisolation, routine lying, hiding things
changes in sleep patternsup almost all night, sleeping all day, routinely late or missing school because of a lack of sleep
experimentation with drugs and alcoholsubstance abuse, selling drugs, peer group that is focused on using
increased argumentativeness and being opinionatedcausing trouble with family members, teachers or others in an attempt to assert authority
being stressed by everyday decisionsparalyzed with indecision
stressful transitionsschool refusal, bullying, or being bullied
strong interest in technology and social mediaobsessive or inappropriate technology use
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If Your Teenager Asks for Help, DO NOT WAIT! Call Now for Teen Therapy

Teenagers need is to be taken seriously! Especially when they ask for help! This means honoring their requests for mental health support ASAP. The longer the time between your teenager’s request and their first therapy session, the more work your teen and their therapist will have to do. Read more about why you should call a teen therapist right away!

Here’s What To Expect When You Start Teen Therapy

teen playing video game before teen therapy in Rockville, MD with a teen therapist at Montgomery County Counseling Center

Therapy with adolescents focuses most importantly on relationship building and straight-shooting. We don’t start therapy with “psychobabble” nonsense. This usually helps the teen therapist build trust with your child pretty quickly. We have some pretty cool therapists who can really “get it.” They are up on *most* pop-culture and social media trends and issues your teens may be having. At MCCC we use DBT for adolescents for commitment strategies and interventions. Also, our therapists use motivational interviewing, and experiential techniques to help your child overcome their mental health struggles.

Confidentiality and Teen Therapy

It is very important that a teenager does not feel that their therapist is working on behalf of their parents, but rather working for THEM. This helps them to buy into therapy. Research shows that motivation & willingness is the most essential factor for therapy to be effective.

A note for parents:

We can provide you with updates approximately monthly (or less, if possible) and the conversation will always include your teenager. Read about limits of confidentiality and why you should always include your teenager in conversations with their teen therapist. We will ask you to read it when you get started with us!

For cases where these boundaries do not provide enough support, we generally recommend concurrent parent coaching or family therapy. This allows a team of clinicians can coordinate care while maintaining the confidentiality between the teen and their therapist.

A note for teens:

We take your trust very seriously. Our goal is to protect your confidentiality at almost every cost. The only time we will talk with your parents is if you are in imminent danger. It is our job to protect your safety first and foremost. That way we can continue to work with you on all of your other goals. We can’t help if you’re not here!

At your first visit, you will immediately see that our office is set up to feel like a homey environment. Our waiting room feels like a large foyer and each treatment space feels like a living room. We are NOT a sterile doctor’s office! We want you and your teenager to feel comfortable and safe and not stigmatized for being with us.

Our therapists typically see great results in working with teenage clients. And at the same time, sometimes the greatest value of therapy for teenagers is planting seeds that will grow in the future. Our most important goal is to make sure we don’t turn teens away from therapy overall. It’s important that teens find therapy to be a positive experience so that they feel comfortable seeking therapy on their own in their future if ever they choose to.

What Our Clients Have Said About Their Teen Therapy Experience

I always felt validated. My therapist was able to understand and connect and when she had questions for me about something she would phrase them in ways that would help me feel comfortable opening up in session. I did individual therapy and then family therapy and both tied together very nicely and they [two therapists] were very organized and great at communicating.

I’ve learned so much about myself. Therapy has helped me solve many problems and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Begin Teen Therapy in Rockville, MD or Olney, MD

Graph that describes whether or not Montgomery County Counseling Center is the best fit for your child. The y axis is lower safety risk to higher safety risk and the X axis is less willing to more willing. In the top left quadrant (high safety risk low willingness) is a red stop light and description"MCCC is definitely not a fit. We recommend more intensive services than outpatient therapy. In the top right quadrant (high safety risk more willingness) is a yellow stop light and description"MCCC might be a fit but we will require you to do some type of parent/family work AND child/teen work to get started, and we will refer out if necessary." In the bottom left quadrant (low safety risk low willingness) is a green stop light and description "MCCC is a fit! But we strongly recommend starting with some type of parent/family work before starting with child/teen work. In the bottom right quadrant (low safety risk high willingness) is a green stop light and description "MCCC is a fit! We are happy to work with anyone who wants the support."
Use this graph to get an idea if we are the right fit, even before you speak to our client care coordinator!

If you suspect your teen is struggling, or they have asked for support and therapy. Don’t wait. Call our talented team of teen therapists and get them the help they deserve! To meet with a therapist in Rockville or Olney follow these steps:

  1. Contact Montgomery County Counseling Center 
  2. Speak with out client care coordinator to match your teenager (or you) with one of our skilled therapists
  3. Start helping your teenager feel better now!

Other Therapy Services at Montgomery County Counseling Center

Our Rockville, MD and Olney MD counseling centers are located near Washington DC and offer a variety of therapy services for the entire family. Our mental health services include dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)parent coachingfamily therapy, child therapy, and adult therapy, couples counseling. Our sister company offers an online parenting class for parents of struggling teens or young adults. Also, we provide supervision opportunities for mental health professionals seeking their professional license. Reach out to our counseling clinic to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your family heal and thrive.

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