The Facts about Anxious Teens in Woodbridge, CT
With approximately 76% of households in Woodbridge, CT being family households (City Data), finding an anxiety therapist in Woodbridge, CT who works with tweens, teens and young adults shouldn't be as difficult as it seems. About 17.1 million young people (1 in 5 children) meet criteria for a major mental health condition. According to that same study, 75% of mental health disorders begin before age 24 (2016 Children's Mental Health Report, Child Mind Institute).
You Know Your Child's Struggles
You are there with your child when they are struggling. You're there in the mornings when it is near impossible to get them up and ready in time for the bus because they dread going to school. You're there when the school nurse calls saying they are complaining of yet another horrible stomach ache. You're there helping them breathe, and saying kind words, when they are panicking about all the stress they feel. You're there when they are up late at night, unable to sleep, because they are thinking about all the homework and projects they still have to complete. You are there. And you are WORRIED. You know your child needs professional help, but you're not sure how to find the right help.
Where to Look
The best testimony is someone who has been in therapy. You may be surprised when you start asking friends, colleagues, or other personal relationships for recommendations for therapists. Therapy is not as stigmatized as it once was, and more and more people are open to talking about their experiences. Ask the people you know if they are willing to tell who they've found helpful in your community.
Not feeling comfortable asking the people in your circle? Or maybe those therapists aren't accepting new clients and you need help now? Other great sources are Pediatricians, School Social Workers/School Psychologists, and other Professionals involved in your child's life. These professionals are often well networked with several mental health resources you may not be familiar with. They are often tasked with first identifying or referring teens for counseling,
There are several professional directories where therapists list their specialties, who they help, and how to reach them. These are sometimes a great way to get a sneak peek at their personality since there is often a personal statement portion- much like an online dating profile. Some popular Professional Directories are Psychology Today and Good Therapy.
When all else fails, Google (or whatever search engine you're using) can be your friend. Just type in "Child Therapy in Woodbridge" (or whatever town you live in/near) and you should have several names and websites pop up. If you have some therapist's names you can also search to see if they have a website so you can continue getting a sense if they'd be a good fit for you and your teen.
What to Ask
You found someone who seems like they'd be a great fit. The next step is reaching out. I highly recommend making your initial contact by telephone. E-mail is not always protective of your Personal Health Information (PHI) plus it can be difficult to discuss your concerns via text. Calling and speaking on the phone can help you get a good sense of that person's personality and speaking manner and if they "get it." Here are some great questions to ask:
1. How do you help treat anxiety?
Knowing the methods and treatment models a therapist uses can be really helpful in deciding if that person is a good fit. Evidence-based treatments such as CBT (Cognitive-Behavior Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) have multiple research studies proving their effectiveness with different problems such as anxiety and depression. However, other treatments such as art therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy), or others may be more beneficial based on your child's needs.
2. Have you worked with teens in the past?
Working with adolescents is not the same as working with young children and it is not the same as working with adults. It takes someone skilled at understanding, empathizing, and talking with teens to help them make effective changes in their lives.
3. Have you worked with my child's type of anxiety?
Describe how your child experiences anxiety and why you are seeking counseling now. This lets the therapist know if this is something they have experience with. You want to find someone familiar with your child's struggles so they can help.
4. Do you think you can help me and why?
You want to work with someone who is hopeful they can help. If they are unsure they are good fit, it is important to ask why. They may know someone who could be a better fit or it may be that they know they don't have the particular skills and training that would best benefit your child.
Along with these questions it is important to keep in mind if your teen would feel comfortable talking with this therapist. Someone they can have a real conversation with. Ideally, you'd find someone who is perfect. Someone who has the right training, skills, personality and expertise. Someone who works with your child's age group AND has an office nearby.
Ready to Call?
Ready to find an anxiety therapist for teens in Woodbridge, CT? Send me a message or call me today at 203-228-8971 to schedule your FREE 15-minute consultation.
About Mallory Grimste, LCSW
Mallory Grimste, LCSW is a mental health therapist in Woodbridge, CT who works with tweens, teens and young adults struggling with Anxiety (... and other Big Emotions). Originally a Jersey girl, she loves the beach, sunglasses and iced coffee. Her favorite coping skills are deep breathing, listening to music, and watching Scandal.