| FYI |

5 Things I Wish You Knew about Teens Who Go to Therapy

Therapy is not forever. Some teenagers can be in therapy for a year or two, others for six months.

First of all, there is absolutely no shame in going to therapy; I am actually very proud of it! The truth is that almost anyone in this world can benefit from therapy; it gives us great life skills.https://mishpacha.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/fyi-R-1.jpg For some reason, the word “therapy” has gotten a bad rap, and people tend to judge and jump to (totally inaccurate!) conclusions when they hear someone’s in therapy. They think we’re strange or have “issues.”

Some people go to therapy because they’ve gone through some type of traumatic experience (a car accident, a medical issue, a move, losing someone close to them) but definitely not everyone. Some of us are in therapy to give us different skills to deal with things like peer pressure, school pressure, phobias, things that make us nervous or anxious, or family relationships.

Do you know anyone who ever went for speech therapy or physical therapy? I’m sure it wasn’t embarrassing for them — they just needed to strengthen certain skills or muscles and needed a professional to coach them through it. Same thing with us! The truth is, just because someone is not in therapy doesn’t mean they don’t need it… most teens would benefit a lot from therapy, but for whatever reason, they or their parents don’t want to go that route. It’s a shame, because their insecurity might be holding them back from really gaining. If you think that’s you, ask your parents to help you at least try therapy for a short while to see if it helps.

Many teens don’t feel comfortable sharing the fact that they go for therapy because they’re afraid they’ll get judged (which, sorry, is just so wrong to do!), but some don’t feel the need to hide it and they do share with their friends. If your friend tells you she’s going for therapy, be supportive and kind. Tell her she’s cool for going. If you’re a close friend and you have questions, you can ask (in a sensitive way!) but if your friend doesn’t answer, don’t press her for answers. Also, if somebody shared this information with you, don’t pass it on to others unless she explicitly said that she doesn’t mind.

Therapy is not forever. Some teenagers can be in therapy for a year or two, others for six months. The goal is to graduate from therapy as soon as possible, after you see that you’re incorporating the new set of skills you’ve learned into your everyday living. Those of us who have achieved this have become stronger, better teenagers with great coping skills!


Thanks to TJ, SL, and DB for contributing to this idea!

 (Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 887)

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