Get Your Teen to Go to Therapy Without Starting a Brawl

If only teenagers would believe us when we tell them, “Therapy is going to be so great for you!”

Few adolescents enter therapy voluntarily. More than likely, they go because their parents, teachers, or some authority figure has told them that they need it. It is no wonder that their first reaction is one of resistance.

In dealing with your teenager’s resistance, it is important to understand and reframe therapy so you can respond in a way that does not make them feel alone and blamed. It also is important to understand the psychological construct of resistance and what it means for your teen.

Resistance is a defense mechanism. For teenagers, it serves to protect their delicate inner self, their emerging selfhood, as they develop in...


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About Dr. Katherine Sellwood

Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a board-certified clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California. Her therapeutic philosophy represents an integration of cognitive, behavioral, familial, and socially focused strategies. She provides pragmatic and logistical skills to achieve specific goals. Her aim is to change maladaptive behaviors and attitudes, as she believes that by changing these, a child’s core sense of self and of responsibility will ultimately become more insightful and positive.