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What Makes Therapy for Adolescents Different?

a teen enters an adolescent therapy program and begins to open up about his mental health struggles

Adolescent treatment programs may use the same techniques used to treat adults, but they are often delivered in a different way. As everyone who’s been one knows, teenagers deal with a host of social, academic, and personal challenges that are unique to the experience of adolescence. In treating mental health disorders, acknowledging and understanding these challenges can make all the difference.

If your teen is struggling with a mental health disorder, reach out to Imagine Boise by calling 888.597.2807. Therapy for adolescents is designed with teens in mind and can help them overcome their mental health challenges.

The Differences In a Teen Therapy Program

The differences between adult and teen therapy programs are multitude, but they generally revolve around a single principle: what matters to teens. Unlike adults, teenagers are often much more motivated by social connections, determining their values, and romantic relationships. These are often the drivers of mental health distress in therapy for adolescents and make a key target for intervention.

Therapists at an adolescent therapy program take several other factors into account as well. For instance, teenagers often have a shorter attention span than adults and may not be interested in sitting down for an hour-long therapy session. To alleviate this, an adolescent therapist may share personal stories and anecdotes to keep a teenager interested.

And, of course, there is a significant difference in terms of how teenagers process emotions.

During adolescence, many teenagers struggle to put their feelings into words. They may be feeling emotions that are brand-new to them and may not be able to articulate exactly how they feel.

An adolescent therapy program takes all these factors into account when trying to help teenagers with the symptoms of mental illness. They work diligently to both provide effective treatment and help teenagers learn how to communicate their struggles and feelings, which can help them for a lifetime.

Styles of Therapy for Adolescents

Many of the therapeutic styles used for adolescents are the same used for adults. These include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Family therapy

These therapies are often modified for adolescents to help them understand how treatment is supposed to work and keep them engaged in the process.

In addition, an adolescent therapy program can place emphasis on subjects unique to teenagers. One such example is an educational advocacy program, which helps teenagers learn the skills to succeed in school and allows them to manage the symptoms of mental illness while keeping up with their school work.

How Therapy for Teens Can Help

Being a teenager is hard enough without dealing with mental illness. Adolescents deal with intense social, parental, and academic pressures while their brains and bodies are still developing.

Adding a mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety, can make adolescence even more difficult—but targeted therapy for teens can make a dramatic difference.

Research has shown that adolescent therapy can help teenagers:

  • Reduce symptoms of anxiety
  • Feel less depressed
  • Increase focus
  • Improve their self-esteem
  • Break free from destructive behavioral patterns
  • Learn healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with stress

The lessons learned at an adolescent therapy program can provide tools for teenagers that help them thrive in adolescence and adulthood.

Start Adolescent Therapy in Boise with Imagine Boise

If you’re looking for adolescent therapy in Boise, reach out to the mental health experts at Imagine Boise by calling 888.597.2807 or filling out our online contact form. Our compassionate and multidisciplinary team of clinicians, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals is dedicated to helping teenagers overcome their challenges and live healthy and productive lives in mental health recovery.

Don’t let the symptoms of mental illness hold your child back any longer—get help today at Imagine Boise.