Teenagers are at a different developmental stage than children and, thereby, necessitate age-appropriate therapy techniques. The psychologist gives adolescent clients a safe venue to explore their feelings without judgment or pressure. Its effectiveness depends on a confidential, trusting relationship between the psychologist and adolescent client.
CBT for teenagers focuses on their maladaptive thoughts and expression of feelngs. Adolescent clients learn to separate life-affirming, healthy thoughts and actions from life-negating, destructive ones. They begin to set goals and develop a sense of responsibility for themselves.
Parents of adolescent clients have a different function in therapy than when their children were younger. At this stage parents have significantly less control over their teenagers’ actions and, therefore, need to play an influential rather than authoritative role. The psychologist works with parents, through concomitant parent counselling, to help them develop new communication skills and an improved relationship with their teens. Parents find that they can respect their children’s boundaries while keeping a watchful eye on the children’s well-being.