We have learned that true and influential change comes from numerous helping hands. Want to know how you can help in your teen’s journey through therapy? Here’s a few tips we have for parents that want to be more involved without overstepping boundaries.
1. You are with your teen WAY MORE than the therapist is.
You live with your teenager; therefore, your influence is more frequent than any therapist! It can be helpful to have several people working towards the same goal. For example, if your teen and therapist are working on improving depressive symptoms, it can help to have parent(s) or caregivers at home to remind the teen that they are doing a good job, are not alone in their struggles, and may need to try their therapy skills.
2. You can provide a different perspective.
The therapist and teen only have their own views. Adding in what caregivers see can greatly influence what is discussed, attempted, and a part of treatment.
3. You can help your teenager with their goals.
All humans need help. What would that look like?
- Reinforcing what is taught in therapy at home
- Encouraging your teen to do their therapy homework.
- Practicing a therapy goal at home can influence change outside the therapy room into the teen’s whole world.
- Could look like a family discussing and reflecting on the therapy session.
4. Your teen needs reassurance.
From my experience, when working with teens and bringing in their parents or caregivers, the teens are often happy we did. I’ve heard things like, “I’ve never talked like that before with them.” “It felt good.” “I didn’t know my mom thought that.” “I know my parents care about me, but it feels different; good different to know they really do.”
How do I get involved?
Your therapist may suggest you join a session or two. If that doesn’t happen, try asking the therapist if it would be helpful to join for your child’s treatment.