Art therapy techniques are designed to help by encouraging the use of imagination and creativity. This therapeutic approach is quite different from traditional cognitive or psychotherapy methods, and for some teens it is extremely effective.

Therapy that encourages creative expression is particularly helpful to teens who are difficult to reach emotionally, struggle to express themselves verbally or aren’t making progress in other therapy settings. In some situations the pain a teen is experiencing is just too difficult to communicate using words. Adolescents these days are dealing with peer pressure, hormonal changes, academic expectations, parental ideals, and their own self-discovery process, all simultaneously. Teens want to talk about themselves. People love to be the center of attention. If given the right situation, teens enjoy discussing their lives. They like talking about what THEY like.  Family arguments or school problems do not interest them. Their friends, their dreams and goals, their feelings, and their frustrations are the favorite topics for discussion.

The confidentiality of therapy is the key to success with teenagers. I have found that when teens refuse to continue therapy with other counselors, they felt that the therapist and parents were competing against them. Parents and counselors should NEVER discuss the teen in front of him or her, and it should be clear to your teen that therapy is between them and the therapist, no one else. I provide the neutral, objective role in order to best deal with these issues. I have extensive experience helping teens and families come together.

Remember, no one can be forced to go to therapy.  Consider it a success if they agree to come to the first visit, and If they come back again, it was widely successful!  As long as they continue to come, no matter how much indifference they express, their actions will always speak louder than their words.