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  • Writer's pictureLiz Morrison, LCSW

Healing Teen Mental Health Through Family Therapy in New York

For families struggling with their dynamics, family therapy can help. Family-focused therapy for teens treats teen mental health and heals ruptures in the parent-child bond. At Liz Morrison Therapy, we provide both family and individual therapy for teens to foster authentic connections within the family unit and help your teen thrive. 


What is Family Therapy?


Family therapy is any method of therapy that focuses on the relationship between caregivers and children to treat individual child mental health issues and heal larger family dynamics. Research on family therapy has demonstrated its effectiveness in treating teen depression, substance use, ADHD, and more. By focusing on strengthening the family connection, family therapy cultivates healthy communication and trust between family members.


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The Link Between Family Health and Teen Mental Health


Teen brains are still developing, and their emotional world can appear chaotic. It’s normal for teenagers to become moodier with parents and rely more on their friends for connection and support during adolescence. For parents, this can be difficult. It can feel like you’re being shut out, and you may find yourself wondering how they’re really doing. Sometimes well-intentioned conversations can turn into stonewalling or a yelling match.


However, although it can sometimes feel like your teen couldn’t care less about you or their relationship with you, their mental health relies partially on healthy family bonds. Research has shown a correlation between a positive family relationship and a lower likelihood of depressive symptoms later in life. This is especially true if your teen already struggles with mental health issues, such as depression, ADHD, anxiety, or substance abuse. 


How Does Family Therapy Work?


Family therapy works by giving families the tools and techniques to heal old wounds, have better communication, and foster trust and authentic connection.


Here are four things you can expect in family-focused therapy sessions with us.


1. Focus on family relationships

In family therapy, the goal is to improve the parent-child relationship. To do this, we shift focus from individual symptoms to the interpersonal relationships at hand. Specifically, we’ll figure out what damaged the bond between the parent and child in the first place. Some common parent-child rifts are trauma, underlying mental health issues, broken trust, and unhealthy dynamics.


2. Individual focus on both the teen and the parents

Teens need the chance to understand and express their feelings without being worried about how it may impact their parents. Likewise, parents need a place to express their concerns or go through their own history without their teen being present. We’ll make sure everyone involved has plenty of chances to work with us one-on-one. This builds trust and rapport with your therapist and also allows us to understand each family member better.  


3. Safe conversations between child and parent

Once each family member feels ready, everyone will come together to address the child's concerns. Your therapist will facilitate these conversations to make sure everyone is being respectful and mature. We will:

  • Help your teen express their concerns thoroughly

  • Help you understand and empathize with your child’s concerns

  • Facilitate healthy conversations between you and your child


Our goal as therapists is to help empower your teen, heal family ruptures, and give your family a solid foundation of support, trust, and love.


4. Ongoing support and empowerment

We’ll continue to heal your relationship and help you support your teen throughout this process. We’ll also work on building your teen’s life skills to improve their self-confidence and self-esteem. 


Each of us at Liz Morrison Therapy is trained in family dynamics and therapy for teens and will be there every step of the way during your sessions.


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What if My Teen Doesn’t Want to Go to Therapy?


If your teen is resistant to therapy, you’re not alone. Many teens feel ashamed about the perceived stigma of therapy, or they don’t want to admit there’s anything wrong. 


So what can you do about it?


To overcome this obstacle, first, listen to their concerns. Ask them: where is their resistance coming from? What are they worried will happen if they go to therapy? Don’t judge or criticize their line of thinking. Instead, practice active listening by making eye contact and reflecting back on what they’re saying to you. This helps them feel heard and understood. 


Second, talk to them about the benefits of therapy for teens. Therapy is a no-judgment zone for them to feel safe, seen, and cared for unconditionally. And the right-fit therapist will never push your teen to discuss anything they aren’t ready or willing to talk about. You can reassure your teen that therapy sessions will always be guided by them and their needs. You or your teen are also always welcome to book a complimentary consultation with us. We offer this no-obligation call specifically to make sure you think we’re a good fit and talk about any concerns before starting the therapeutic process.


Family Therapy in New York


If you want to develop a better relationship with your child and find treatment for their mental health, family-focused therapy at Liz Morrison Therapy can help. We’re here to guide your whole family through the healing process. Therapy can teach your family how to:


  • Address and heal old wounds

  • Develop better communication skills

  • Feel authentically connected

  • Increase self-worth and self-esteem in your teen

  • Cultivate trust and security within the family


Feel free to get in touch with us for a free 15-minute phone consultation. We’ll answer any questions you have, see whether we’re a good fit, and start working toward a better future today.


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Help Your Teen's Mental Health With Family Therapy or Therapy for Teens in Manhattan, New York City, Brooklyn, or anywhere else in New York!


Seeking support for your family or teenager's mental health is a courageous step towards healing and growth. With professional family therapy or therapy for teens, you can provide a safe space for expression and healing, fostering stronger bonds and healthier communication within your family unit. Reach out to Liz Morrison Therapy to embark on a journey towards understanding, resilience, and a brighter future for your loved ones. Follow these three simple steps to get started:


1. Contact us to schedule an appointment for Therapy for Teens

2. Begin meeting with a skilled teen therapist

3. Start finding support to manage your teen's and family's mental health!


Other Services Offered at Liz Morrison Therapy

At Liz Morrison Therapy, we offer services for the whole family. So in addition to helping your teen heal with their mental health struggles in therapy for teens, our services also include Parenting Support for those looking to create healthy relationships with their children to help them live their best lives, Young Adult Therapy for individuals looking for support, guidance, and real-world strategies to help them deal with their struggles, and Anxiety Therapy for those wanting to cope with their anxiety in healthy ways. For more about us check out our Blogs and FAQs

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