Your teen has undergone a depression screening, and it has been determined that therapy would help. Here are some things you need to know about the different types of teen therapy and how they work:
Individual counseling is a form of teen therapy wherein a mental health professional meets with your teenager once or twice a week, depending on the severity of the problem. Counselors, or psychologists, are therapists who engage in talk therapy and work in a solution oriented atmosphere to help your teen cope with the stresses of adolescence. This usually involves journal keeping, art therapy, and goal setting.
Psychiatrists are mental health professionals who provide much the same form of counseling. The difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist is that the psychiatrist can and may prescribe anti-depressant medication for your teen.
Teen therapy in a group setting may occur during the middle or end stages of the therapy program, and is designed to involve your teen with others who are experiencing similar mental health issues.
These are all forms of out-patient teen therapy. If your teen is severely depressed or is exhibiting self destructive behavior, they may need to enter an in-patient treatment center for their own safety. These residential centers have programs that last anywhere from a few weeks to six months (typically) and often include intensive family programs as well. Screening to determine the proper level of counseling will take place during the initial intake and evaluation appointment. The therapist conducting the screening will most likely want to meet with your teenager separately at first; however you as the parent will get a chance to voice your concerns and observations.
It is important for you to know that teen therapy has a good recovery rate. With the proper diagnosis and the least intrusive form of therapy, family counseling, and aftercare sessions, and possible short term medication, your teen therapy sessions should help your child tremendously during a time when they are the most confused and vulnerable.