Therapy for Teens

The teen years, considered to be between the ages of 11 and 21, can be very challenging for both teens and parents. At West End Therapy, we believe that incorporating relational work between parents and teens can be an important part of addressing the struggles that can arise in this tumultuous phase of life. Individual therapy may be more suitable for older teens (aged 16 and up) who are gaining independence and need a private space to work through their feelings. For younger teens, we encourage some parent involvement in sessions, and can help the parent-child dyad move toward this over time if the relationship is too fractured to start there. 

Family therapy can be helpful when teens are struggling with challenging emotions and behaviours, and when parents and teens are having trouble seeing eye to eye. We work with families where the issues may include: 

  • concerns with adolescent mental health (post-trauma symptoms, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, ADHD, anxiety, anger, disordered eating)

  • relational conflict between teens and parents

  • defiance and acting out

  • negative effects of online experiences

  • experiencing bullying or difficulties with peers

  • struggles with self-esteem or identity

  • transitions within the family (separation/divorce, changes to living situation, sibling conflict)

Therapy may incorporate:

  • exploring to identify the underlying cause of the problems

  • creating a safe therapeutic space to support communication

  • building understanding between parents and teens

  • skills-training for regulating intense emotions

  • helping parents adjust to changes in their parenting role

  • coaching on navigating conflict with friends/peers and skills for healthy relationships

What to Expect: your therapist will consult with you to identify the presenting issue and who should attend the first session. The 'assessment phase' is typically 2-3 sessions and may include a conjoint session with the parent(s) and teen, as well as individual meeting time with each. This helps your therapist gain an understanding of the issues and each person's perspective and goal for therapy. 

Session Length & Cost: Family therapy with teens typically incorporates a combination of relational and individual sessions. The fees for sessions will be charged according to the fee schedule in the Our Rates page.