In my experience, teenage clients often feel most comfortable working with a younger therapist. The therapist’s gender does not seem to matter as much as finding someone your teen can identify with.

Teenage issues could manifest as blowing off curfew, not doing chores, not doing homework, lying, spending most or all of their free time with peers or girlfriend/boyfriends, ditching school, eating disorders, getting caught with drugs, or the suspicion of drug use, underage drinking … and then graduating to teen pregnancy, trouble with the law (i.e. D.U.I’s etc.) and dropping out of school altogether and so on.

Without a doubt, these are all extremely serious issues that often alarm parents into seeking treatment for their son or daughter. If it was easy to sit down your child, and problem solve ways to correct these acting out behaviors, parents would figure it out. The problem that most parents face is their teen Does not believe and Cannot be convinced that You as the parent can relate.

Think strategically! It is hard enough to get a teenager to open up about what is happening in their lives. Rather than having your teen view their new therapist as an extension of you as the parent, find someone younger (in their 20’s or 30’s) to treat your child. First, they will most likely have more common ground with your teenager, which can help when building rapport. And second, just their appearance alone can help to disarm your teen of their most ingrained defenses.

Therapists can serve as a wonderful bridge between you and your troubled teen. They can help to re-open the lines of communication and get you both talking again.