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When Your Teen Girl Needs Therapy

 

Few things are more difficult than convincing a teenager to attend therapy for the first time.

"You want me to go sit in a weird office, across from a weird stranger and talk about my life? Yeah, no..."

Some therapists may run away at the sight of a teenager sitting on their couch with their hoodie pulled over their face pretending to sleep. Not me. The more closed off, the more withdrawn, the more that girl thinks therapy is just plain stupid -- the better! This is why I love working with adolescent girls. Beneath the guarded exterior, there is always an amazingly brave, courageous teen in there waiting for someone to give her the permission to be herself in this world. 

There is an old saying that girls act "in" and boys act "out." When girls are hurting, they turn inward and thus, are more prone to what we therapists call "internalizing disorders" like anxiety and depression. Adolescent girls need (and deserve) a different kind of therapy. The standard "Tell me how you feel about that" lines aren't going to cut it with this crowd. Session after session, year after year, the girl changes, but the need does not... teenage girls need an ally and I am honored to hold space in that role for these girls as they learn to navigate adolescence.