How to Help a Troubled Teen That Refuses Therapy

For the past several years we have been reading about the concerns of the teenage mental health crisis.

Many parents today struggle to convince their adolescent, especially a teenager to attend counseling. In some situations when they finally attend a counseling session, they refuse to engage, shut-down or manipulate the conversation.


The frustrations have become overwhelming, especially when you have a child dealing with emotional needs.

Starting with a school counselor is a great place to begin, however it doesn’t replace a therapist if your teenager is having serious concerns or issues that continue.

Teen depression, anxiety, defiance, as well as suicide ideation is climbing in healthcare leaving parents begging for help – especially when therapy (counseling) doesn’t seem to be an option. Some young people are turning to smoking marijuana or vaping THC as a form of self-medicating, to cope with anxiety, stress or even depression

How to Help My Teen When They Won’t Attend Counseling

Parents should attend counseling on their own with a family therapist, one that specializes with adolescents. Having a trained specialist give you insights (tips) on working with your child can be one of the most effective ways to help your teenager through difficult times. In some cases, if your teen knows you’re going – it might spark them to want to attend to share “their side” of the story.

Stifling the Stigma of Getting Help

Peer pressure is everything to a teenager today – many adolescents still consider attending treatment as a stigma and this can be a common reason why teens are reluctant to seek help.

Other reasons teens might refuse therapy is:

  • They don’t think they need it; they believe they are fine the way they are.
  • They believe the therapist or counselor will make them take medicine.
  • They don’t believe therapy or medicine will work.
  • They may have tried it when they were younger, and didn’t like it.
  • They are feeling hopeless, and simply don’t want to try.

How a Certified Life Coach Can Help Your Teen When Counseling Isn’t an Option

As parents grow more desperate to get help for their troubled teenagers, Certified Teen Life Coaches have been able to fill a void as an option for some families. The mental health crisis is not diminishing anytime soon, it’s time to learn about all resources available to us to get adolescents the treatment they need. 

Certified Teen Life Coaches are an excellent alternative if your child is refusing therapy, especially if they have an issue with the embarrassment of it (stigma), however having a Teen Life Coach, can be considered cool. 

Your teenager’s life coach can be someone that is more relatable in their world, helping them navigate screentime, peer pressure, bullying (cyberbullying), school refusal (lack of motivation), anxiety, depression and more – helping them restore their emotional health and relationships including with their parents.

Marissa Terron, founder of Families in Need of Direction – Therapeutic Life Coaching, (F.I.N.D.-TLC) and a Certified Teen Life Coach, works with many adolescents (tweens and teens) and shares that although most have refused to attend counseling sessions, some simply preferred the style of a life coach for emotional support.

“Most young people today are struggling with relational issues, social media pressure and addiction that often lead to isolation & depression. In many situations it’s causing intelligent students to fail in school, or refuse to attend classes. The stress and anxiety have become overwhelming to adolescents today and most lack the coping skills to handle their feelings of anger, rage, or sadness.”

“We provide a safe and non-judgmental environment that provides support and guidance to develop effective communication strategies, boundary-setting techniques and conflict resolution skills.” shares Marissa Terron.

Teen Life Coaching also requires the parent(s) to be involved privately or as a whole to learn new strategies that will help them continue supporting their teen as they work through their issues, set and achieve goals and move toward a brighter and productive future.

The goal of a Teen Life Coach is to help your child overcome internal or external challenges that are prohibiting the teen from success and achievement. They can also help rebuild a fractured family and gradually bring happiness back to the home again.

A Teen Life Coach isn’t always a replacement for counseling or a therapist, however this can be an option if your teenager is refusing to attend therapeutic sessions. It can be less intimidating and offer your child the emotional support they may need.

It is every parent’s dream that their teen has a clear path to success and their future. Life does throw us curve balls, so when you have tried many resources to help your troubled teen that weren’t working, a Certified Teen Life Coach might be your answer before you leap into therapeutic boarding schools

Also Read:

Safe Therapeutic Boarding Schools

Success Rates of Therapeutic Boarding Schools

Help Your Teens With

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Many parents are at their wit’s end with the challenges of raising teenagers. If you are considering residential therapy, contact us for a free consultation.

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