There may arise issues in any teens life when they need the help of a therapist or counselor. Finding the right therapist for a teen can be challenging. In this post we want to give you a few ideas of things to look for when choosing a therapist. First and foremost, know that if you sense that you are with someone that does not fit the needs that you are having you just need to find someone else instead of thinking you have to stay with someone that you or your teen doesn’t really mesh with. This leads into our first tip:
Compatibility: Not all therapists are going to meet the needs of every patient. They are not a “one size fits all”. You may think that just because you start going to a therapist that you have to stick with them or follow up. This isn’t true. If it is a waste of your time or you know that you aren’t going to be receptive or learn from the therapist you need to just be up front and tell them that you aren’t interested in coming back. If they ask why you can kindly explain and then go on your way. It is hard to find a therapist that you connect with so don’t be afraid to “shop around”.
Location and Price: Naturally you aren’t going to be excited about keeping an appointment with anyone that you have to go an extreme distance for or that you have to give a week’s pay to see for one hour. Therapists are usually everywhere so there should be one near you that meets your needs unless you live in a rural area. As for price, most insurances cover certain types of therapists depending on the reason you are going. It is becoming increasingly common that insurance companies are enlisted in helping those with any counseling needs because it prevents other problems down the road. Just call and check with yours to see what might be covered. Also be sure that your therapist’s office will bill your specific insurance company. Some offices won’t accept certain insurances for various reasons. It’s always good to double check.
Experience and Training: Not all therapists receive the same training and get the same schooling. Different training and education are required for therapist, psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors. You may want to choose one that best fits your needs and make sure they are qualified. You also want to know that they have had some experience. Depending on what work environment the professional has been in will help determine what their specialty may be. For example if a therapist has been working at a boarding school for troubled teens for the past five years and just opened a private practice, they may specialize in troubled teens. If they have worked at a rehab center they will specialize in drug or alcohol rehab. These are questions you want to ask if they do not advertise what their expertise is in.
Cultural Differences: There are times where issues need to be dealt with specifically with someone who understand and even subscribes to your cultural background or religion or other factors. If these things are important issues to you then you will want to be specific in your questions. Never feel bad about inquiring concerning such issues.