Believe it or not, you may have more power than you realize when it comes to raising a teenager who suffers from mental health issues, mental illness, mental health conditions, or behavioral issues. The truth is that if you have a dependent teenager under the age of majority in the United States, you have the legal right to make decisions for them concerning their mental health.
While placing your resistant teen child into psychotherapy, talk therapy, an intensive treatment program, or even a rehabilitation center may be a challenge, you have options when it comes to addressing your child’s mental health in most cases. For things to consider if your teen is resisting mental health help, read on.
Intensive Outpatient Programs
Convincing a child who is resistant to counseling or mental health help to get the treatment they need can be a struggle for any parent. While you may have found the perfect mental health treatment in a fantastic facility like one run by Charlie Health, helping your child to understand their medical condition and that people can help could be a little more difficult. One great way to get your teen more invested in their mental health treatment is to start by asking an admissions counselor in any IOP treatment program to meet with you and your teenager.
Even though your teen might be reluctant to reach out for help on their own or even understand how serious trauma, behavioral disorders, or psychotic disorders can be, in meeting with a licensed professional and hearing they aren’t alone, some teens will begin to have hope. Start with an honest conversation with your teen and their doctor. Bring your teen with you as you explore treatment centers or IOP programs if you feel they’re old enough to make decisions about their mental health.
By empowering your teen to ask questions, discuss fears, and even express why they aren’t interested in help, you’ll be opening a conversation that will show them you not only care but can be trusted to look out for their best interests.
For some teens, a great place to start is a peer support group. If you think your teen is someone who’d respond well to a slower entrance into the therapy world, a peer support group will give them a chance to talk to other teenagers about their experiences. It might normalize not only your teen’s issues but the idea of getting treatment, too. That is, when it comes to teens, there can be power in numbers.
Showing your teen you’re equally invested in their recovery will help, too. Do what you can to find a great family therapist. Using a therapist trained in group issues, you’ll be showing your teen that they’re part of a larger system and that even when it doesn’t feel like it, they have the support of the people they love.
Family therapy can also be a great way to get connected to other resources and even referrals for individual programs that might work best for your teenager. At the end of the day, while raising a teenager with mental illness or behavioral issues can be extremely challenging, one of the best ways you can show your teen you care is by supporting them even when they’re resistant.
In being consistent, having open conversations, and holding your ground when it comes to getting your teen help, you’ll be providing them with the support they need to find hope again. Best of luck to you as you find the right therapy or placement for your teenager. Better days are ahead with your help!