As summer approaches, it becomes increasingly important to address unresolved traumatic exposure, to process ongoing grief oriented tasks, and to establish healthy habits in preparation for next school year. One concern that has been raised frequently at the PU4P events is: How do I get my teen to therapy? Here are some tips to address this concern.
Lead by example. Go to therapy yourself to normalize and de-stigmatize the experience for your teen.
Go together. Encourage your teen to go to therapy with you for a family session so they can see what it is all about and become less fearful of that first step.
Give options. Offer choices of therapists by researching options together. If possible, give a choice of what day and time they attend sessions. Ask if they would prefer individual counseling to group counseling.
Explain and respect their confidentiality. Therapists have an obligation to report if a client is a danger to themselves or someone else, so you will know if your teen is in danger. Knowing this safety net is built in to the therapeutic dynamic, avoid pressing your teen for details of their session and let them have the space with their therapist to process their concerns and feelings knowing there is confidentiality between them.
Get Help. Call the therapist you plan for your teen to see and ask them for guidance if these other steps are not working.
Reclaim your power as a parent. You are the parent - that means you have factors for negotiation such as car keys, internet access, phone, spending money, and other privileges that are only granted when your teen is following their end of the relationship, so if you insist on them going to therapy, they have to go to therapy. It's okay if they go begrudgingly and say they won't talk or open up. A few sessions with a well trained therapist and that is most likely going to change.
Program Spotlight Scott J. Beigel Memorial Fund Summer was Coach Beigel's favorite time of the year because summer camp is where he thrived from childhood into adulthood. To honor his love for camp, the Scott J. Beigel Memorial Fund is providing scholarships to children who otherwise would not be able to attend camp. From the Memorial Fund website: "Scott Beigel was a teacher. A cross-country coach. A counselor. A son. A brother. An uncle. A grandchild. A nephew. A cousin. A friend. He died a hero for his actions at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where he taught geography and coached cross-country. For 2 months a year for the past 28 summers, camp was Scott’s home. He first came to camp as a reluctant camper whose mother, Linda, gave him prepared fill-in-the-bubble notes to send home to Long Island. He returned year after year, until he became a beloved staff member and counselor. The other 10 months of the year Scott couldn’t quite find the same feeling of stability. That is until the summer of 2017, when the trail from camp led him to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 1300 miles away in Parkland, FL. where he took a job as a nineth-grade geography teacher and cross country coach. 'He was a hero before he saved these lives