Youth therapy is a tool for helping children and teens with mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety, or those who are displaying troubling behaviour. The duration of the therapy program depends on the individual circumstances, with some youth needing only a few sessions in order to resolve a particular issue, and others needing ongoing therapy as they live with mental illnesses.
Youth therapy is a process that involves varying degrees of family participation. Depending on the circumstances, some therapy sessions may be conducted alone with the child, while others include the parents or other family members.
Youth therapy can be immensely valuable, not only to children and teenagers, but to their parents and siblings. It can help in many ways, including the following:
Youth therapy is generally initiated by parents, either at the request of the child or because they are concerned about the way the child is speaking or acting. Although most Canadian provinces do allow children to seek help on their own, without first obtaining parental consent, youth therapy is for the most part a process that involves at least one other family member.
The duration and structure of therapy will vary depending on the circumstances. Sometimes the therapist will see the child alone. What happens in those sessions will usually be kept confidential, between the child and the therapist, but the therapist may divulge some of the discussion to parents or guardians if there is a concern for the safety of the child or anyone else.
Other sessions may include the child’s parents, siblings or other family members.