Treating Your Teen and the Therapeutic Relationship

When you think of therapy, you might think of Freud sitting in his chair at the head of a sofa. There, a patient lies flat with his feet up on the other end and his hands behind his head. He’s going on and on about his dream while Freud nods and groans from time to time.

Therapeutic Relationship 

Of course, therapy is much different than it was in the early 1900’s. Although, we can thank Freud for his invention of “psychoanalysis”, it has evolved over the years. Today, you can expect to face the therapist directly, sit instead of lay on the couch, and talk about all aspects of your life, not just your dreams.

One of the most essential components to therapy and the treatment of your teen’s mental health disorder is the relationship. The therapeutic relationship has been proven to be the most vital ingredient to seeing a client improve. In fact, there is growing research that points to the therapeutic relationship as the most significant factor in the improved well being of clients and this has proven to be true regardless of the diagnosis. Additionally, many clinicians might also agree that although there are specific treatment interventions they work with, without the therapeutic alliance, those treatments may not be as effective.

Find the Right Therapist

If you are searching for a therapist for your teenager, it might be particularly important to think about someone who your child will work well with. This is especially important at this age because adolescents are searching for mentors. Those who they can look up to and see traits they may want to embody.

Of course, the therapeutic relationship is not necessarily meant to be a mentor/mentee relationship. However, the therapist will undoubtedly serve as a model for your child. This is important for your teen at this time. Remember that your teen is finding his or her way into adulthood. Adults who model characteristics that you would like to see your child adopt are healthy and incredibly supportive.


When you search for a therapist for your child, you might consider gender, age, and personality, in addition to their clinical specialty. Having someone who possesses both the professional expertise to work with your child’s diagnosis as well as the right personal traits could be the perfect combination for success and the well being of your teenager.