What To Do When Your Depressed Teen Resists Counseling

Having a teen is hard enough on it’s own. Teens are emotional, illogical, unpredictable, and defiant even when they’re great and easy kids. It’s a challenge to raise and deal with them on a daily basis. That’s to say nothing of teens with more serious issues. Many parents are dealing with the double and more intense issue of a teen with depression. More and more teens are experiencing depression, anxiety, and other mental and emotional issues that can make parenting an even more significant challenge. And what if you have to tackle that challenge all alone?

Teens Resisting Counseling

Once you’ve identified the reality of your teen’s depression, your first step was probably to seek out counseling. Counseling is a critical step in acknowledging and treating teen depression. Therapists are trained and prepared to work through your teen’s depression in ways that will help them to conquer and overcome. Finding the right therapist to connect with your teen isn’t always easy, but trying out a few can be helpful. But what happens if your teen fails to connect with any counselor?

Some teens resist and even refuse counseling, despite the depression and hopelessness they may feel. They may complain, refuse communication, and even flat-out resist attending counseling if they dislike it. This can not only be frustrating, but terrifying for parents who worry that their child is going untreated or at risk.

What To Do If Your Teen Resists Counseling

  • Don’t Force It. If your teen truly refuses counseling you are not likely to see good results by forcing them to attend. Work out a deal where they attend a minimum of 2-3 times to try to connect with a therapist, or try a couple different therapists, but don’t force it.
  • Get the Counseling Yourself. Your teen can still benefit from the expertise of a counselor even if they refuse to see one – it just needs to come through you. By regularly attending counseling about your teen and how you parent them can strengthen your parenting skills and help you to do a better job with your struggling teen.
  • Teach them Healthy Coping. There are a variety of ways to teach your teen to deal with their depression. One of the most basic and easiest way to help a depressed teen is to establish a regular routine on which they can grow to rely.
  • Regular Open Dialogue. This can be tricky, but regularly talking with your teen, even when they resist or ignore it, is so important. Share your thoughts, concerns, and love with them on a daily basis.
  • Educate Yourself. Take a parenting class and seek out online resources regularly to tackle ongoing challenges.
  • Don’t Give Up. Keep loving and trying, and make an attempt at counseling again in a few months – you might find they are coming around to the idea.

Although it can be disheartening and feel hopeless, you don’t have to give up or feel alone when your depressed teen resists counseling. There is help out there, and at the end of the day your efforts will be worth it.

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