Many teenagers face mental health issues such as behavioral or emotional problems, relationship difficulties, generalized stress, and anxiety. When out of control, these issues may require professional counseling and intervention from an experienced psychologist.
In counseling sessions, teens can take part in talk therapy, in a safe environment, with a mental health professional to better understand and express their feelings, identify and solve personal problems, and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
In this guide, we’ve explored two services you can use to connect with a psychologist who is experienced in helping teenagers.
Want to skip right to the suggestions for psychologists for teenagers? Here are our 2 recommended therapy solutions:
Psychologists for teenagers
Here are some reliable online platforms where you can use to find a psychologist who specializes in supporting teenagers.
Nurture your teenager’s well-being through Teen Counseling. Tailored for ages 13-19, their online therapy begins at $65/week. This includes a weekly live session, the flexibility to message your therapist at any time, and the opportunity for parents to connect with therapists. Empower your teen’s journey today with Teen Counseling – start with their online questionnaire.
Note: We collaborate with top-tier mental health companies and receive advertising fees from purchases through the Teen Counseling links.
Teen Counseling is an online platform where teens aged 13-19 can get help from a licensed therapist. This service makes affordable, discreet, professional therapy available through a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Teen Counseling consists of accredited Therapists, with significant experience in helping teenagers and young adults. There is a variety of counselors and therapists in the platform, including psychologists with a Ph.D. or Psy.D. qualification.
Professional therapy through Teen Counseling can help young adults deal and cope with various mental health-related issues such as anxiety, stress, matters of self-esteem, depression, bullying, eating disorders, relationship problems, anger, and more.
The platform can help you become more successful in developing coping skills, and provide teenagers with a resource available to help them when they need guidance and support.
Therapy takes place in four ways:
- Exchanging messages with the therapist
- Chatting live with the therapist
- Speaking over the phone with the therapist
- Video conferencing with the therapist
Based on your needs, you can use each of these communication methods as you wish, according to your availability, and convenience. Teen Counseling psychologists provide you with the same professionalism and quality you would expect from an in-office therapist but with the ability to communicate when and how you want.
Typically, you’ll have a live video call each week at a time that works best for you. In between sessions, you have the ability to text message your therapist, for questions or concerns that may arise during the week to be addressed to.
BetterHelp is a very similar service to Teen Counseling. However, it does not specialize in helping teenagers specifically.
If you’re 18 or 19, you might not prefer to get therapy with your parent’s involvement. BetterHelp allows you to do this.
To sign up, you fill out an online form, explaining who you are, the type of help you’re looking for, and your goals from therapy. BetterHelp will then match you to an appropriate therapist, who you can conveniently replace for any reason at a future date.
Whenever there is anything interfering with your well-being or preventing you from achieving your goals, BetterHelp may be able to assist by providing therapists who specialize in specific mental health-related issues such as stress, anxiety, relationships, parenting, depression, grief, addictions, eating, sleeping, trauma, anger, family conflict, LGBTQ+ matters, religion, self-esteem, and more.
You get access to a video-call therapy session each week, as well as the ability to address questions to your therapist at any time. Also, there are some very generous financial aid support options available through BetterHelp. If you’re a student for example, and you’re struggling financially, you may be able to join BetterHelp for a reduced monthly fee.
Common mental health issues faced by teenagers
Your teenage years are a period of immense changes in your body, relationships, and approach towards life.
As a teenager, you face a significant amount of stress, especially due to your educational workload, and your job if you have one, combined with parental and peer expectations.
Here are some of the most common mental health challenges that a psychologist can help you with as a teenager.
Anxiety and depression
Serious mental stress is a reality in life for many American teens. In a recent survey, 7/10 teens say anxiety and depression are major problems among their peers, which is a concern shared by mental health researchers and clinicians.
According to The National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 3.2 million adolescents in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2017. That means about 13% of teenagers may experience depression before reaching adulthood.
Depressive disorders are treatable, but it’s important to seek an expert’s help.
If you are feeling withdrawn, experiencing changes in your sleep patterns, or starting to perform poorly in school, it might be a good idea to get in touch with a mental health professional. It is worth mentioning that anxiety and depression aren’t the only concerns for today’s teens.
Alcohol and drugs
A substantial number of teenagers in a Pew Research Center survey agree that drug addiction (51%) and alcohol consumption (45%) are major problems among their peers.
Marijuana was by far the most commonly used drug among teenagers in the US last year, as it has been for decades. In addition, more than 10% of 12th graders reported using illicit drugs other than marijuana.
Parents should make sure to have regular conversations with their teenagers about the dangers of drug addiction. There are risks being posed by prescription drugs, too. Some teens do not realize the risks associated with taking pills that are not prescribed to them.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 20% of teenagers in the US experienced bullying in 2017. One explanation for this, cited in the research, is the rise of social media use by teens, making bullying much easier and more pervasive to take part in.
It’s also important to talk to teens about when and how to get help from an adult in these situations. Often, by reminding them that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of courage, it is enough for the mental health impacts of bullying not to be ignored.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 5% of high school students drop out each year in the United States.
When obligations at work and school increase, sleep and well-being often take the backseat, and you may begin to feel anxious and/or exhausted.
Staying afloat in the academic and work arena is particularly demanding for teenagers. Even more to those that have difficulty focusing, while also possibly having an issue such as ADHD, which is nowad
Benefits of getting counseling for teenagers
Teenagers can overcome mental and emotional challenges by opening up, expressing their feelings, and coming to terms with past trauma.
Even if you are unsure about attending therapy sessions, it can be worthwhile trying, at least for a few weeks, to see if talking with someone can help you overcome the issues that you’re facing. Even more, if that someone is a specialist.
Improving mental health
Puberty is a difficult period for most teens. Your son or daughter may need extra support during this time.
Depression and anxiety are often seen in young adults, and self-medicating practices or self-injury are too common. When your teen is struggling, seeing a counselor can help them develop strategies to care for their mental health.
Helping resolve relationship issues
Your counselor can help you reach answers for your relationship questions, and make you feel more secure about your relationship problems.
Moreover, therapists can also help a teen become emotionally safe in a relationship. At this time, social media-based dating is becoming very popular, and psychologists can help teens be aware of the issues associated with apps like Tinder, allowing them to use these services in a more healthy manner.
As teens form new relationships, there is unavoidably breakup and heartbreak involved. Therapy can be a good space for airing out feelings that come after a breakup, and learning how to process these emotions and grow through them.
Additionally, therapy can also help teenagers communicate their needs during this time, in order to heal and continue on their journey into adulthood.
Helping improve self-esteem and confidence
As the teenage years are often a time of hormonal changes, teenagers may struggle with matters of self-identity, being imposed on them by their own biology. They may resort to social comparison with their peers or classmates, and subsequently, feelings of inferiority for themselves might arise.
Many mental health issues such as depression or anxiety are also often associated with low self-esteem. In these cases, therapy can help restore and improve your knowledge and perception of self.
A therapist can help people recognize and reduce negative self-talk. They can also help with self-compassion and goal-setting, both of which are linked to improved self-esteem.
As your self-esteem improves, you may find unexpected benefits in other parts of your life, especially when it comes to resiliency while facing the stress a teenager comes in contact with in today’s society.
Therapies used to help teenagers
Many different types of therapy may be useful for treating adolescents’ and teenagers’ mental health issues.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying extremely close attention to your thoughts and feelings and being fully aware of the present moment. With the help of a therapist in achieving mindfulness, you can reflect on and understand the negative process of unhelpful thoughts and emotions you are experiencing, while also learning how to control them.
There’s clear evidence that, for older teenagers in particular, practicing mindfulness can have health benefits.
For example, studies suggest that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can reduce stress and address other mental health issues.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can maintain treatment gains achieved for depression, prevent relapses, and sometimes be as effective as antidepressant medication.
Psychotherapy aims to help a person understand their problems better.
In psychotherapy, a trained therapist will talk with teenagers about their thoughts, moods, and feelings. During these sessions, they can help you learn about your mental health condition, how to take control of your life, and how to cope with challenging situations.
Psychotherapy is helpful in most mental health issues such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and eating disorders. Not only this, but psychotherapy can also help with relationship problems, sleeping issues, and post-traumatic situations.
Psychotherapy is usually a one-on-one kind of therapy, but it can also take place in groups or with family members.It involves many different approaches, with the most common ones being psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), humanistic, and eclectic theories.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is the most commonly used form of psychotherapy
It is focused on addressing thought patterns, physical symptoms, and behaviors. Research shows that CBT is a very effective form of psychotherapy in treating various mental health and emotional issues.
The way CBT works is by breaking the cycle of negative thoughts. A therapist may ask you to express yourself freely in front of them. Then, they should be able to assess your negative thoughts and correlating behaviors, as well as help you to replace them with positive ones. CBT also helps you focus on how things really are, rather than how you think things should be.
Through compassionate and supportive care, therapists work to create a safe space for you to feel comfortable starting the process towards growth and reducing feelings of depression and anxiety. CBT can be used either alone or combined with mindfulness or meditation.
Teenagers face many unique challenges in their lives, such as dealing with bullying, school-related stress, and beginning to enter relationships for the first time.
In some cases, these challenges can become overwhelming, leading to issues including mood disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, or matters of self-esteem. It is essential for them to be able to get help from a licensed professional counselor or therapist in order to overcome these issues and improve their mental well-being.
If you’re not sure how to find the right therapist to help you as a teenager, or your child as a parent, feel free to leave a comment below, and we’ll help out.