The teenage years are an important developmental stage. It is not uncommon for mental health struggles to occur during these years, with one in three high school students reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety such as sadness and hopelessness. Just as with adults, therapy can be a helpful resource for teens to address some of these common concerns.

Different types of therapy can help treat different issues of adolescent development. It is essential to consult with a mental health professional to determine which type of therapy is right for your teen.

This article focuses on the importance of therapy for adolescents, including the different therapy types and what to expect in the treatment.

Why Is Therapy Important for Teens?

Psychotherapy helps people understand their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It can be used to treat a variety of mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and stress. Therapy is advantageous for teens who are struggling with these issues by helping them develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Psychotherapy can also help teens develop positive self-image and improve their social skills.Therapy can help them learn how to relate better to others and build healthier relationships.

In addition to these benefits, therapy helps teens develop a better understanding of themselves as they learn more about managing their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Types of Psychotherapy

1. Family Therapy

Family therapy involves the entire family. It can help all members of a family improve communication and problem-solving skills. It’s particularly effective in helping families deal with conflict.

2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment that helps people recognize and change their negative thoughts and feelings by using tools to emphasize the positive. By shifting our thoughts we can experience more satisfaction and pleasure. CBT can be used to treat a wide range of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress.


3. Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal therapy, also known as IPT, focuses on how our interpersonal relationships and social interactions affect our mental health and well-being. IPT-A is a specific interpersonal therapy adapted to treat depression in adolescents aged 12-18 years old. IPT-A  can help improve symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse. IPT-A focuses on helping adolescents understand and manage their relationships with others and develop better coping skills.

4. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT is based on the belief that it is not our thoughts or emotions that cause us distress but our relationship with them. Therefore, the goal of ACT is not to eliminate our thoughts or emotions but rather to learn to accept them and commit to taking action despite them. This can be a difficult process, but it can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

5. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT, or Dialectical Behavior Therapy, is a cognitive-behavioral-based therapy originally designed to treat borderline personality disorder. However, it has since been adapted to treat other mental health conditions, such as depression, ADHD, eating disorders, PTSD, and suicidal behaviors.

DBT is based on the principle that our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are all interconnected and that it is possible to change our thoughts and behaviors to improve our emotional state. DBT aims to help people learn to regulate their emotions, tolerate distress, and interact with others more positively.


The importance of therapy in teens cannot be overstated. Changes in mood, socializing and irritability are all signs that your teen may be struggling and benefit from psychotherapy. It can provide them with the tools they need to deal with difficult emotions and situations and can help them develop healthy coping mechanisms. If you are a parent or guardian of a struggling teen, please consider seeking professional help.

Sarah J. Person, LCSW-R provides psychotherapy services for teens and adults from Brooklyn to Long Island and upstate NY. Psychotherapy involves talking through issues and often connecting them to earlier points in your life; learning new tools to help change negative patterns; and using the mind and body to experience feelings, relief, and healing from painful events. 

You may reach out to a psychotherapist for any number of reasons, and may benefit from talking to someone who is warm, empathic, objective, and has a sense of humor. Sarah J. Person can help. If you’re looking for a psychotherapist in Long Island, NY, get in touch with us today!