If your teen is having a difficult time, it may help to take him or her to a teen counselor. It can be scary to start the process and find someone to help support your teen. Here are some guidelines of what to look for in a teen counselor.
Unfortunately, the mental health field is not as well-regulated as it could be so this is important. The very first thing you need to look for is to be sure the teen counselor has at least a Master’s degree in counseling, marriage and family counseling, or social work. If a teen counselor has a degree in one of these fields they have met the education requirement.
Just like other professions, counselors typically have a specialty. It is important to take your child to a teen counselor that specializes in working with children and teens. It is also important that the teen counselor you take your child to has experience working with the presenting concern for your child. For example, if your child struggles with anxiety be sure the teen counselor has experience working with teens with anxiety.
Goodness of Fit
This one is huge! The greatest percentage of change in counseling is accounted for by the relationship with the counselor. It is extremely important that your child like the teen counselor he or she is seeing. Although there are a lot of teens who are initially resistant to counseling, most of them decide they like it and that it is helpful after a couple of sessions. This is because of the relationship. If your child does not like their counselor, listen to him. Find a different counselor.
Although parental inclusion is typically not as significant with teens as it is with younger children, it is important that you are included in the process. Your child still lives with you for a reason, they are not ready to do life on their own yet! Ask your child’s teen counselor what your role is in the process and be sure you are comfortable with the answer.
If you need help for your child, call us at 720-583-9332 to learn more about our teen counselors!
Written by Dr. Steffanie Stecker
Dr. Steffanie Stecker a licensed psychologist and the owner and clinical director of Mountain Vista Psychology, PLLC.
In addition, she is a board certified neurotherapist (BCN E5669) and board certified in QEEG (QEEG-D). Less than 100 people world wide are board certified in QEEG, which indicates competency in reading QEEGs and choosing neurofeedback protocols. Dr. Stecker is passionate about brain based effective therapy and creating a safe relationship for her clients to create change. She loves what she gets to do each day!