Adolescents and teens require therapy that is tailored to their age and stage in life.

We provide treatment for a number of mental health issues for adolescents and teens. These issues include, but are not limited to:

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
  • Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia
  • Peer Issues and Bullying
  • Family Relational Issues
  • Emerging Identity Issues
  • Perfectionism
  • School Refusal
  • Phobias
  • Health Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Emotion regulation
Our Adolescent & Teen Mental Health Team

Adolescent and teen mental health services are provided by professionals from a variety of disciplines on our team. Professionals who work with youth at FTPS include a psychologist, occupational therapist, family therapist/parent coach and advanced doctoral level psychology students.

Our approach when working with adolescents and teens is to begin by meeting with the youth and often a parent for an initial session. After that, we will continue sessions with the teen, focusing on their goals. Parents will join sessions in a manner determined by the teen and therapist. Parent education and coaching is an important part of the work we do with youth. Ultimately, the goal is for everyone to be working in a way that best supports the road to recovery. 

Therapy then proceeds with an evidence-based assessment approach, allowing you to better understand what is interfering in your life. From there, you will create a collaborative treatment approach and work together with your therapist to achieve your treatment goals. 

We provide a variety of evidence-based treatments to adolescents and teens. Our work is grounded in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). Our other evidence-based approaches include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT). 

Many adolescents and teens seek out treatment for OCD and related disorders (e.g., hair pulling and skin picking). Several of our associates at FTPS are able to provide interventions that target these issues. Treatment for this includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), with an emphasis on Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) work. You will learn to face your fears and become comfortable with things that make you uncomfortable. This will involve learning how to decrease your rituals and compulsions. You will also learn to change your relationship to your intrusive thoughts. This can help you to do things that matter to you in life, even when you are experiencing anxiety and distress.

Our treatment approaches can help you with issues other than OCD as well. You will learn valuable skills and tools to enable you to overcome anxiety and avoidance, challenge negative thoughts, enhance low mood, manage worries, incorporate everyday mindfulness and process traumatic experiences. We also work with individuals presenting with relational issues, academic issues, general life stressors and ongoing issues of self-exploration and emerging identity. Perfectionsim is another issue that many adolescents and teens struggle with. This can impact your academic career and ongoing relationships. We can help – just reach out!

In-between sessions, you will often engage in life practice. This will allow you the opportunity to try out skills in-between therapy sessions. These types of skills include: raising your present-moment awareness, shifting your unhelpful thinking styles,  guiding you to move towards what matters to you in life and embracing your values. Exposure therapy is often a part of in-between session work as well. You will learn to face things you fear and decrease your avoidance. Overall, planning out things to work on in-between sessions is a very valuable component of therapy and can contribute to long-term gains. 

Associates at FTPS work with adolescents and teens using individual therapy approaches and in group settings. Contact us and find out more about what our team can offer you.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are several symptoms that individuals might experience before pursuing teen therapy. For example, individuals who are experiencing symptoms of depression will experience a variety of symptoms, including low mood, loss of interest and pleasure in activities they usually enjoy as well as changes in appetite and sleep, feelings of guilt and worthlessness and thoughts of ending one’s life. 

OCD symptoms in teens would be experienced differently. They would experience symptoms such as intrusive and unwanted thoughts (i.e., obsessions) and the need to engage in certain behaviours in response to these thoughts (i.e., compulsions). When obsessions and/or compulsions take up a lot of time and lead to disrupted functioning, your teenager might want to speak with a healthcare professional. This would allow for a proper assessment. Your teenager might be experiencing symptoms meeting diagnostic criteria for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. And you can speak to them about whether adolescent therapy for OCD would be a good course of action. 
Looking for a psychologist near me for teens? At FTPS we do have a team of mental health clinicians who provide adolescent therapy for OCD, depression, panic disorder, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, emotion regulation and more.

Many different types of therapeutic approaches can be used in teen therapy. The type of approach chosen by a teen psychologist should be in collaboration with the adolescent and their family. It will also depend on the individual’s problem and the types of evidence-based treatment that exist for the mental health issues. 

For example, OCD symptoms are often best treated with teen CBT therapy, with an emphasis on ERP. Within this type of approach, adolescents will learn many important skills to manage their OCD symptoms. Some of these skills will include:

  • Connections between thoughts, emotions and behaviours
  • Understanding avoidance behaviours and the purpose of them
  • Learning how anxiety is not dangerous, just uncomfortable
  • Leaning into anxiety and facing our fears
  • Creating exposure hierarchies that allow one to understand how to approach activities that have been avoided
  • Planning out exposure therapy work
  • Learning different cognitive strategies – including thought record work and responsibility pie
  • Being provided with coached exposure therapy in session – virtually or in your community 
  • Teen CBT therapy provides effective care for individuals when they are younger. This can allow for long-term health and wellness

Teen counseling for low mood or depression might involve learning different skills. CBT for depression is another evidence-based treatment that draws on principles of CBT. Within this approach, teens will learn key skills to help manage low mood and engage in activation. Some of these skills will include:

  • Connections between thoughts, feelings and behaviour
  • The role of avoidance in keeping our mood low
  • The importance of following a plan and not your mood
  • Monitoring our moods and learning how they connect to our behaviours
  • Challenging automatic thoughts that are unhelpful in nature and contribute to low mood
  • Understanding how to balance our thinking and how this connects to changes in our moods and behaviours

Adolescent therapy involving the delivery of emotion regulation skills might be best approached with a different intervention, such as DBT skills. The types of skills that would be delivered with a DBT approach often focus on mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness. 

Teen counseling might also incorporate Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. This is an evidence based intervention that helps adolescents learn skills such as present moment awareness, distancing ourselves from thoughts and different values-based interventions. ACT therapy techniques also incorporate metaphors and experiential exercises. These interventions can allow teenagers to become more aware of their emotions, understand that they are more than what their thoughts are telling them and to focus on what matters to them – even in the face of difficult thoughts and emotions. Adolescent therapy employing ACT strategies may be used as a primary intervention for a variety of difficulties, including anxiety, depression, perfectionism and body focused repetitive behaviours (i.e., hair pulling and skin picking). 

Overall, teen CBT therapy is highly effective. Research exists on the benefits of engaging in adolescent therapy that uses principles of CBT and ERP-based interventions for mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and OCD. ACT therapy skills and DBT skills are also effective interventions to use in teen therapy. These skills can be used as a primary intervention or integrating them into other interventions, such as teen CBT therapy. Looking for a therapist near me for teens? Look no further than FTPS. We have a team of mental health clinicians that are available to work with you and your teen!
How would a therapist decide what interventions to use in teen therapy? It is based on different aspects of the clinical picture. Your therapist will listen to your teen’s presenting issues, types of treatments tried in the past and will discuss what feels like a good fit. Need a psychologist for teens near me? Reach out to us today and we can speak with you about your options!

How can a parent best suggest teen therapy for their loved one? It can be very difficult for anyone to cope with and express mental and emotional distress. And it is possible that your teenager might feel uncomfortable sharing this distress. However, there are behaviours you might notice before deciding to approach your teen.  For example, you might notice that your teenager is having difficulty studying and completing their homework. They might also stop socializing with their friends in the way they used to. You might notice their marks begin to decline. Perhaps a teacher reaches out to you and notices dramatic changes in their behaviour. These are all signs that it might be time to approach your teen with your concerns. Of course we would want to approach them in an open manner and with warmth and curiosity. You might start off by stating your concern and that you have noticed changes in their behaviour. You can let them know what you are seeing in them day to day. You can also let them know that you are there to support them. And you can find someone who they can talk to about things that might be uncomfortable. This might open the door for them to want to find help. It can be difficult to engage in teen CBT therapy. Changes in one’s mental health is not always obvious to the person. However, starting a dialogue with that person will allow them to hear your concerns. Then you might be able to plan together for next steps. They will know that you want what is best for their mental health. Interested in counseling near me for youth? You can reach out to us at FTPS and we can discuss all the different options we have for youth and teenagers experiencing mental health issues.

This is a question we are often asked at FTPS! Teens and adolescents do not always want to enter into teen therapy. However, it is very important for the individual who is in need of therapy to be motivated to do so. Adolescent therapy can be daunting to start for many individuals. Ensuring there is a good fit between therapist and client is essential. 

Looking for a therapist for teens near me that would be a good fit? We do many things at FTPS to ensure the best fit. The process starts with a call with our intake team. This allows us to best understand the presenting concerns of the individual seeking teen therapy.  We often encourage both the parent and teen to attend the intake call, if possible. Following this process, our team discusses the best match therapist for your teen. You are able to review a therapist profile and attend a no charge meet and greet with that therapist. Then you can meet with a clinician who engages in teen counseling and learn more about their approach to adolescent therapy. It is very important for your teenager to be present at the meet and greet. This will give them a good sense of whether they feel comfortable with their new potential therapist. This is an important first step in starting teen CBT therapy or any other type of mental health service.  
At FTPS, we also offer group teen therapy for OCD. This can be a wonderful way for youth to connect with other peers who have experienced similar symptoms. By meeting others with lived experience, individuals often feel less alone and gain support and insight from others. This can help people in their recovery. It can allow people to feel more motivated to engage in therapeutic skills. And it can allow people to feel brave enough to face things they have been avoiding. This can be important when OCD symptoms in teens are the focus of adolescent therapy. Group therapy offers a number of advantages for youth and teens. Looking for a psychologist for teens near me? Reach out to us at FTPS to learn more!