Family Therapy for Adolescents
Family Therapy for Adolescents

Self-exploration is a normal part of adolescence and can be challenging. However, when it begins to impact other areas of the teen’s life, it can signify that something is off. Finding treatment for adolescents can be complex for some families. However, in many cases, family therapists can help guide the treatment process.

Family therapy can help the teen navigate the challenges of adolescence while reinforcing the strong bond shared between the family unit. Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness (MCAW) can help families navigate the therapeutic process.

Family Therapy for Adolescents

What Does Family Therapy Treat in Adolescents?

Treating the entire family instead of just the adolescent can benefit the whole family unit. Family therapy can help treat various mental health disorders in teens and adolescents.

1. Behavioral Problems

Family therapy treats teenagers exhibiting behavioral disturbances. The parents will also learn techniques to improve their child’s behavior and address the underlying causes of the problem.

2. Mental Health Difficulties and Mental Illness

If the teen is dealing with depression or anxiety, the family members will learn how to support each other. Families can learn healthy coping skills and how to manage mental health symptoms together.

3. Substance Abuse

Family therapy can effectively treat teen substance abuse. This is because therapeutic intervention can help address the underlying issues contributing to the addiction.

4. Difficult Life Transitions

Transitions such as divorce, remarriage, or the death of a family member can be challenging for teens. Family therapy can help families to cope with these problematic changes and make the transition smoother for everyone.

5. Conflicts

Family members who don’t get along may end up in arguments and disagreements. Therapy helps families learn how to resolve conflict more constructively.

6. Communication Problems

Therapy helps teenagers having trouble communicating with other family members. They’ll learn how to express themselves more effectively and healthily resolve conflicts.

Family Therapy for Adolescents

Benefits of Family Therapy Services to Adolescents

Family therapy helps loved ones better support the adolescent who is struggling. When the entire family participates in the recovery process, relapse can be avoided. Family members may also experience an improvement in overall emotional health and wellbeing.

MCAW uses family therapy to improve the teen’s overall functioning and well-being by:

1. Increasing Communication and Bonding

Adolescents who are struggling may feel detached from their family members and vice versa. One of the main benefits of family therapy is improving communication between family members. It creates a stronger bonding and closeness as family members can express themselves more openly. 

Family therapy provides a safe therapeutic environment where teens and family members can express their emotions and thoughts. Through this process, families can learn how to address mental and behavioral health better. 

2. Enhancing Mental Health

Family therapy reduces stress, anxiety, and depression and improves adolescents’ mental health. This approach to therapy can help teens open up to their family members. As a result, they may feel more comfortable expressing their mental health concerns and symptoms.

Mental health concerns are addressed as a family unit. Therapists trained in family therapy understand that mental health conditions impact the whole family, not just the person struggling. Families will learn new coping skills to help manage mental and behavioral health symptoms. 

Family Therapy for Adolescents
Family Therapy for Adolescents

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Family Therapy for Adolescents

3. Increasing Problem-Solving Skills

Family counseling services improve problem-solving skills as family members learn to work together to identify and resolve issues. Family therapy sessions provide adolescents and their family members with a safe space to address any lingering issues. Therapists help families resolve any conflicts while also teaching families how to address conflicts effectively outside of sessions.

4. Improving Coping Skills

Through therapy, the teens learn healthy coping mechanisms to deal with life stressors. This act promotes mental and emotional well-being for everyone involved. However, healthy coping skills can benefit the entire family, not just the adolescent struggling. Loved ones can also learn how to cope with feelings and thoughts related to mental health issues. 

At the same time, adolescents will better understand what healthy coping skills can help manage their mental health concerns. They can also learn healthy ways of coping with family issues while managing their relationships with parents and other loved ones.

5. Greater Understanding

Family therapy can help all members of the family unit better understand different perceptions and how to recover as a unit. It can help everyone understand different perspectives and feelings, leading to greater empathy and respect. Trained family therapists can help families heal and learn to continue recovering together.

Family Therapy for Adolescents

Family Therapy Practices for Adolescents

Family therapy helps adolescents improve their overall functioning and well-being by involving them in the following activities:

Youth Group Activities

Family therapy can help all members of the family unit better understand different perceptions and how to recover as a unit. It helps everyone understand their perspectives and feelings, leading to greater empathy and respect. Trained family therapists can help families heal and learn to continue recovering together.

Counseling Services

MCAW offers individualized counseling services for teens struggling with depression, anxiety, or substance addiction issues. Counseling is a highly effective tool for helping teens cope with their struggles and succeed academically and socially.  

Arts and Culture Activities for Teens

MCAW has many arts and culture activities that appeal to teens and help them explore their interests and develop as individuals. These activities allow teens to express themselves creatively while also helping them learn more about themselves and the world around them.

How Family Therapy Works

At MCAW, we understand that family therapy is essential to adolescents’ treatment and healing process. We work to:

  • Help family members understand and support their child’s treatment 
  • Help the teens develop new skills and strategies for dealing with their situation 
  • Assist families in making positive changes that support their child’s recovery
  • Provide support and guidance to adolescents as they work through their challenges 

We know that every family is different, so we tailor our approach to each one. We may work with the whole family or meet with parents separately from their children. We could also involve grandparents or siblings. Our family therapy services are confidential and provided by experienced therapists.

Family Therapy for Your Teens - Near Boston

Teens struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, substance abuse, and other mental health disorders may be vulnerable to the adverse effects of their struggles. They can also risk harming themselves due to intense emotions they have no outlet for releasing. MCAW provides teens with a safe, supportive environment and trained professionals to guide them toward positive change. 

If a teen you care about is struggling with mental health disorders, reach out to Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness today to learn more about our therapies. Our team can answer any questions you may have and give you a better understanding of our adolescent day treatment program and after-school outpatient program, also known as intensive outpatient. 

Clinically Reviewed by:

Dr. Melanie Carbonneau PhD, LMHC, MT-BC

Dr. Melanie Carbonneau PhD, LMHC, MT-BC

Melanie Carbonneau is the Clinical Director at Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness and is a licensed counselor and certified music therapist with a Ph.D. from Lesley University. She leads MCAW with a focus on holistic care, emphasizing the importance of family and community involvement in the healing process.