Understanding Psychotherapy Treatment for Troubled Teens

Gone are the days of the negative stigmas concerning psychotherapy. In fact, at one time, anyone who visited a psychotherapist was considered “crazy” or had “major problems.” This could be further from the truth. Therapy is a well-known and effective resource to help people of all ages manage their personal problems, including troubled teens.

Of course, teen boot camps, therapeutic schools for teens, or teen summer camps are all viable options that are known to provide positive results. Psychotherapy is another solution to seriously consider for troubled teens. It can help manage depression, anxiety/stresses, insecurities, and the many problems caused by substance abuse.

According to The American Psychological Association (APA), psychologists are extensively trained with specialized education and experience. This allows them to rectify more easily “behavior or thought patterns objectively” and be more effective with their neutral stance.

There are many forms of treatment a psychotherapist may recommend for a troubled teen. Understanding each one will help with confront current problems and in turn, provide a helpful solution. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, here are three of the many forms of therapy that you, as parent, and your troubled teen may want to consider:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

To help better understand and accept inner emotions, ACT helps children and teens by giving them a deeper understanding of their emotional struggles, which in turn, can cause them to commit in moving forward with a positive means.

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

This form of therapy can be used to help older adolescents who experience chronic suicidal feelings/thoughts; have intentional self-harmful behavior; or are diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT involves taking responsibility for their problems and help examines how they deal with their conflict or negative emotions. It also commonly involves group and individual sessions.

  • Supportive Therapy

Supportive therapy provides teens with the support to manage and cope with stress, identify helpful behavior, and improve their self-esteem.


Psychotherapy is certainly not required forever. Although it’s important to understand that it isn’t a quick and easy solution, it can provide effective results. Learning and understanding a few of the treatments available for your teen will not only provide a solid starting point for improvement, but will assist in finding a solution for their troubled behavior.

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