So your teen is in counseling...now what?
It is completely understandable to feel unsure of what to do next after your teen has started counseling. You may be worried that your child will share something about you or your family that would embarrass you. It is important to understand that your child's counselor is a professional, not someone who will judge your child, you, or their circumstances. A good counselor is there to listen, support and provide resources that will help improve your child's mental health.
Things you may want to know but shouldn't ask when your teen is in counseling.
As a respectful and supportive caregiver, it is vital to maintain your teen's privacy and allow them to have the autonomy to share what they feel comfortable with during their counseling sessions. It is NOT appropriate to ask your teen's counselor for specific details about their sessions, as this could breach their confidentiality and undermine the trust they have built with their therapist. It is essential to communicate with your teen about their progress and offer support, but allow them to disclose information on their own terms, in other words do NOT interrogate your teen after each counseling session about what was discussed.
5 Things You Can Do To Work With Your Teen's Counselor
Schedule a meeting with the counselor to understand how they will work with your teen. Your child's counselor should explain what they can and can not share with you as a parent.
Share relevant information about your teen's behavior, home life, and academic performance with the counselor to help them better understand your teen's needs.
Work with the counselor to create an action plan to address any issues or challenges your teen may be facing.
Encourage your teen to be open and honest with their counselor without fear of retaliation or punishment. Remember, the goal is to support the counselor in creating a safe place for sharing without judgment so they can get the support they need.
When asked, actively participate in any recommended activities or therapy.
Stay informed about your teen's progress and be willing to make adjustments to the action plan as needed.
How Can you Support Your Teen While in Counseling
Here are a few suggestions that you may want to implement to support your teen and make the most of their counseling experience:
Communicate with your teen: Encourage your teen to share their experience with you and ask how you can best support them. Make sure they know you are there to listen and help in any way you can.
Attend sessions: If your teen is comfortable with it, be willing to attend a counseling session. This can help you better understand the issues they are dealing with and how you can support them.
Follow through with recommendations: The counselor may suggest additional resources or activities to help your teen. Follow through with these recommendations and encourage your teen to do the same.
Practice self-care: Supporting your teen through counseling can be emotionally draining. Make sure you are taking care of yourself so that you can be there for your teen.
Remember, counseling is a journey, and it may take time for your teen to see progress. With patience and support, your teen can work towards healing and growth.