The decision to get professional help for your teen or your family is a painful one. Therapy itself is not inexpensive. How can you make the best use of this professional help?
• First, approach it with realistic expectations. Change takes time, but each session can be an important step in building communication, confidence and insight.
• Second, don’t sabotage therapy. Parents may do this in a number of ways. They may refuse to become involved as a family, seeing the problem as only the teenager’s problem. They may withhold important feelings or information, or may terminate therapy the minute the child complains about it. Therapy works best when it’s a family concern, whether the family is directly involved or not. It works best when people involved understand that the process of change can be slow and painful and that there may be moments of feeling worse before one can get better.
• Third, be open to making changes in your own life that could benefit your teen. It’s important that you too take the risk of changing.
An expert in the field of adolescent behavior, Ms. McCoy has authored eleven books on the subject including the best selling “The Teenage Body Book”. Additionally she has written hundreds of articles for major national magazines. Coordinator of the Clinical Ph.D. Program at California School of Professional Psychology and Staff Counselor at the Center for Individual and Family Counseling in North Hollywood, California.