This blog provides information on “my teen doesn’t want therapy – what do I do?”. As concerned parents, guardians, or other family members, you see your teen needs support. It could be that you do your best everyday to offer that to them, but they are remaining closed off.


You may also not be sure how to approach your teen to talk about some issues you are seeing. Having conversations with them can be difficult, and cause them to feel uncomfortable or defensive. Maybe you see your teen struggling with depression. 


They haven’t been showering, remaining in their room most of the time, and you’re not sure if they’re really eating much. There is a lack of interest in spending time with family or friends, and you’re worrying about their mental health


You want to get them in with a therapist for support. However, they aren’t sure about it, or might flat out reject it. Teen therapy in Simi Valley prioritizes creating true connections with your teen. Read and share this blog on 3 Benefits of Teen Therapy!


My Teen Doesn’t Want Therapy – What Do I Do?: Validate their concerns or worries

teen feeling scared to be vulnerable and worried about starting teen therapy

There are valid concerns or worries in getting started in therapy – especially if it’s not originally their idea. Your teen may have genuine questions about the process. Even if you don’t know the answer, assure them that you can ask the therapist this on their behalf.  


Are they having to be vulnerable up front? What if they don’t want to talk about their insecurities, traumas, or past? If they don’t feel comfortable with the therapist, then what? How will a therapist help them?


One concern for teens is that whatever they talk about in session, will be directly shared to the parents. There could be worries about a lack of privacy or having trust with the therapist. However, this is not the case unless there is concern for their safety or others’ safety.


Whatever your teen may feel concerned about, make sure to let them know that you hear them. It’s understandable, of course, as they’re going into this with a stranger. However, it’s worth a shot, and they may end up really enjoying their time in sessions. 


Teen therapy in Simi Valley, CA prioritizes making teens feel comfortable as they move at their pace. Make sure to read our blog on Why Your Teen May Be Self-Diagnosing.


My Teen Doesn’t Want Therapy – What Do I Do?: Define the therapist’s role

man enjoying his therapy sessions as he works through issues with a therapist for anxiety therapy in simi valley

Therapy is oftentimes portrayed inaccurately, or more dramatically in TV shows or movies than it is in real life. It may be depicted that something must be severely “wrong” with the person for seeking out therapy.


However, beginning therapy is a healthy and normal thing to do. Just as your teen regularly visits the doctor or dentist for check-ups and cleanings. Perhaps they plan a sport, and have assigned coaches that coach them to better their performance. 


In school, they have various teachers teaching them different subjects. Family members may be mentors for them and give them life-skills. Your teen may also be teaching themselves new things on a regular basis, such as with their hobbies or activities. 


So, what makes a therapist different here? 


The therapist will focus on also teaching your teen new things. This includes:


  • Increased self-awareness / self-insight.
  • Better understanding of themselves.
  • Better understanding of relationship dynamics.
  • Psychoeducation around their symptoms or mental health struggles.
  • Healthy coping skills and tools.
  • Communicating their feelings or needs to others in a healthy way.
  • Creating and enforcing boundaries with others or themselves. 
  • Caring for themselves and being their biggest advocate to meet their own needs.
  • Validating themselves in times of distress or crisis.


The therapist focuses on your teen’s mental wellbeing and state of mind. Therapists want to create a non-judgmental and compassionate space for them to be themselves. This way, your teen will feel confident and comfortable talking about difficult things. 


Teen therapy at New Leaf Marriage and Family Therapy pairs your teen with an experienced, licensed therapist. Parents – read our blog on Why is My Teen So Angry? 


My Teen Doesn’t Want Therapy – What Do I Do?: Give them ways to have some control 

teen girl opening up about her trauma and anxiety during teen therapy in simi valley

Getting your teen started in therapy can already be a process in itself. You have to find a therapist that fits in your budget, is in an ideal location, and has the availability you’re needing. However, what also matters most is how well they fit with your teen. 


Therapists usually offer free consultations over the phone before committing to scheduling a session. While this is also to share and gather information, it’s also to see if it feels like a good fit. This is important for teens, as they want to ensure they can feel more comfortable going into session.


Sit down with your teen to understand their ideal therapist. Do they have a preference for a male or female therapist? Maybe they want someone experienced in working with depression, their age range, or more. You can go through various profiles with them, or ensure you’ll find someone who could be a good fit for them.


If your teen is still resistant to getting started, consider connecting with a therapist to support yourself. You could begin parent therapy or individual counseling to address these issues. Your therapist can guide you through how to cope as a parent, and how you can support your teen until they’re ready.


In-person therapy in Simi Valley is ideal for those seeking a separate, safe space from their home. Check out our blog on Online Therapy or In Office Therapy to understand what format is best for you. Another great blog to read is ours on if you need Therapy or Medication to address your issues.


By seeking out support, you can begin your journey to feeling relief. You don’t have to go through finding the right level of support alone, either. 


Consider calling our therapy group at (805) 774-1506 for a free consultation on how you or a loved one can get started today!


Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide trauma therapy, teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.


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