Choices Teen Therapy
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How does Individual Therapy work?
How does Family Therapy work?
How often will my teen/family participate in sessions?
How do I set up an appointment with a therapist?
My teen is resistant to participating in therapy, what should I do?
What kind of results can I expect?
Will I know what my teen is talking about during therapy?
How will I know when therapy is complete?
What is the best way to maintain contact with my teen's therapist?
Individual therapy sessions are typically tailored to teens who have a goal they want to accomplish independently. There may be one identified goal or many, however, individual therapy is a process during which teens are taught how to apply cognitive behavioral concepts to manage their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The first meeting is an intake session that involves one or both parents for a portion of the session. All subsequent meetings are one on one with the assigned therapist, however, the intake session typically takes 2-3 sessions to complete. Initially, teens meet with their therapist weekly on a pre-scheduled date and time, however, after 3-4 months sessions are often titrated to biweekly or monthly sessions. 
Family therapy is a collaborative process involving a teen, their family members, the assigned family therapist, and the teen's individual therapist (if the teen is currently participating in individual therapy.) Similarly to individual therapy, family therapy begins with an intake session that allows the assigned family therapist to explain the treatment process, obtain information, and gain more insight into your family dynamic. The intake process typically takes 2-3 sessions to complete; however, only the initial meeting is 90 minutes in length. At Choices Teen Therapy, a Family Systems Approach is utilized to improve the balance of your family system. Family therapy aims toward improving communication, decreasing family conflicts, and improving the overall functioning of both the individual and the family. The process by which this is accomplished involves identifying and defining roles, assessing and molding healthy boundaries, and learning and implementing effective communication skills within the family unit. Initially, families meet with their therapist on a weekly basis. As treatment progresses, your therapist will work with you to help determine the appropriate frequency for ongoing family therapy sessions.
Typically, teens or families meet with their assigned therapist on a weekly basis to make initial headway into treatment. Weekly sessions typically continue for approximately 3 to 4 months. As the treatment process continues, sessions will likely be titrated to biweekly or monthly sessions. Your therapist will work with your family/teen determine the appropriate session frequency.
To set up an appointment with a therapist, contact our main telephone line at (408)390-4199. A therapist will be able to assist you with determining if Choices Teen Therapy is a suitable treatment option for your teen. If so, the intake process will be explained, and your teen will be set up a therapist that best fits his/her needs. If you are unable to reach a therapist, leave a voice message and your call will be returned with 24 hours.
Every teen's response to therapy is individual to them. The effectiveness of therapy is ultimately determined by a variety of factors including your teen's motivation, issues being addressed, frequency of treatment, and other supportive services being utilized. Most teens who come in for therapy have been struggling with an issue for a long time, and will likely have to put in a good amount of work before they begin to see results. On the other hand, some teens are able to grasp interventions fairly quickly and implement them to make positive changes to their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a matter of weeks or months. 
A lot of teens are resistant to the idea of meeting with a "therapist." Sometimes the stigma of getting help from a professional keeps teens from utilizing available resources. If your teen is reluctant to give therapy a chance, encourage them to attend one session with no further commitment. Typically, when most teens meet with our therapists they feel empowered to work on themselves and choose to come back willingly. Encourage your teen to try one session, and if they don't like it they don't have to come back. 
At Choices Teen Therapy, there is no minimum or maximum amount of sessions required to "complete" therapy. Throughout participating in treatment, your teen's therapist will work with him/her to determine progress made towards goals identified at the outset of treatment. The amount of sessions will titrate as your teen gets closer to accomplishing their goals, which will ultimately lead to a closing session. Your teen's therapist will also remain in communication with you to keep you abreast of your teen's progress and to hear what level progress is observed at home and in the community.
What your teen talks about during individual sessions with their therapist is confidential. However, your teen's therapist will update you in regard to their progress towards identified treatment goals. An exception to confidentiality occurs when and if your teen presents a danger to him/herself, to others, to property, or are unable to care for themselves; if there is suspected past or present child, dependent or elder abuse or neglect, or if we are court ordered to release information as part of a legal proceeding where required by law, or as otherwise required by the law.
If you are a parent of a teen already receiving therapy at Choices Teen Therapy, feel free to contact your therapist at the email address or telephone number listed on their business card. You're teens therapist can provide either verbal or email updates in regard to his/her progress in treatment, and discuss updates pertaining to behavioral progress in the home and community settings.