Adolescent Therapy in Nashville

You’ll find compassionate, expert therapy for kids and teens in Nashville at Music City Psych. We offer a safe and non-judgmental space for our adolescent clients to share their struggles as they navigate the often overwhelming years between middle school and high school. We counsel teen clients with an array of presenting concerns, from risky behaviors to academic performance stress to depression and anxiety.

We ask gentle, developmentally-appropriate questions and listen carefully to understand our teen clients’ concerns. We support our teen clients as they explore any underlying reasons why they may be struggling in a given area and teach strategies that can help them navigate different aspects of their lives more successfully.

If you’re seeking therapy for teens in Nashville – and even online therapy for adolescents across Tennessee – the team at Music City Psych is here to help. We’re minutes away from downtown Nashville, Brentwood, West Meade, and Germantown, and just a click away via computer.

Meet in-person or online. We offer the option to meet with your therapist online. Video sessions are held through a HIPPA-protected platform.

Kid’s therapy as a safe haven

Adolescence brings a unique set of transitions and accompanying challenges, and teenagers tend to present their parents with unique challenges during this time as well. As parents, it can be easy to forget just how confusing and disorienting the world often was when we were at that in-between age: not exactly just a kid, but definitely not yet an adult.

In addition to the perennial problems of adolescence, culture and technology are evolving quickly. Kids growing up in a rapidly developing virtual landscape face sets of problems their parents didn’t. Parents of teens can sometimes feel at a loss for how to help their kids in a world that includes challenges such as cyberbullying, online privacy issues, and increased exposure to media that can exacerbate low self-esteem or encourage risky behavior.

Perhaps even more so than adults, adolescents require assurance that their vulnerable thoughts and feelings will be met with grace and without judgment. At Music City Psych, our therapists approach teen clients with a deep sympathetic understanding of the struggles they’re facing. They lead with patience and work hard to establish trust so the child can feel they are in a truly welcoming space, not needing to prove anything or impress anyone. Each child is respected as an autonomous person with their own unique perspective and intelligence, and the therapist moves at a pace that is appropriate to the individual child. As teenage clients come to trust in the therapeutic relationship, the therapist is able to have more direct conversations that lead to strategizing ways forward.

Skills that build strong foundations

As adults going to therapy, we can often feel that we’re learning remedial skills. We work with our therapist to reexamine our past to see how we developed unproductive coping mechanisms, then learn healthier ways to approach our present situations. In many ways, teen therapy is offering clients similar strategies and solutions. Adolescent therapists are simply helping kids establish healthy approaches starting early in life.

Therapy helps kids and teens learn to name difficult emotions or reactions and connect those feelings to the recent events and root causes that are contributing to them. By drawing connections between cause and effect, teen clients begin to make sense of their experiences and understand where they do and don’t have control over their situation. As they gain acceptance of these realities, they start to develop skills that allow them to respond to daily challenges with more confidence and assurance. Seeing the results of making small changes to how they think and act reinforces good habits and encourages them to continue to build on these.

Adolescence is a crucial time to develop healthy thought patterns and build social and emotional skills that will support your child all the way into adult life. Through therapy, adolescents can learn to set and respect personal boundaries, better regulate their emotions, make healthier decisions, and more constructively communicate their needs to others. If your child could use a sympathetic ear and practical support, we’d love to hear from you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my child need a therapist?

Parents often begin to consider therapy for their kids when certain problems present. Common issues include:

  • becoming disinterested in things they used to enjoy
  • dramatic downswings in academic performance
  • low self-esteem, negative self-talk, or poor body image
  • social withdrawal from peers and activities
  • excessive mood swings, anger, irritation, or avoidance
  • disordered eating or sleeping patterns
  • indications of alcohol or drug abuse
  • recent transitions such as divorce, moving, or changing schools
  • losses such as breakups, friendships ending, or the death of a loved one

Other kids may not show any particular behavioral problems, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t issues in their lives that can benefit from a listening ear. In fact, high-achieving and socially well-received kids often get overlooked when it comes to support. Sometimes these kids are simply successful at hiding their negative emotions and experiences but are still struggling underneath.

Wherever your child falls on the behavioral spectrum, therapy is a valuable resource for better navigating the various challenges adolescence presents.

As therapy for adults becomes more widely normalized, parents are recognizing the value of supporting their children’s mental health through counseling as well. Even teens who have a strong support system often benefit from having one adult in their life whose dedicated role is just to listen to them without judgment and help them process their thoughts and feelings.

A therapist provides a safe haven where a teen can speak freely about difficult and confusing topics and receive support and guidance. Additionally, the therapy relationship is compartmentalized to a particular time and place apart from the rest of the child’s life. Teens are empowered through therapy to foster positive growth and strengthen relationships at home, in school, and within their social circles. 

Wherever your child is starting out, their therapist works with them to establish a steady foundation to respond to the challenges of youth and teen life in healthier ways. Our therapists help adolescent clients:

  • discover and claim their interests and passions
  • formulate and follow through on personal goals
  • develop a healthy sense of autonomy and self-direction
  • establish good study habits and practical approaches to school
  • better regulate emotions to avoid being swept away and overwhelmed
  • channel aggression or anxiety to more positive outlets
  • understand and implement healthy boundaries with peers and adults
  • find productive ways to communicate their needs and desires
  • resist negative peer pressure and avoid risky situations
  • build resilience in the face of life’s uncertainties

Our adolescent therapy sessions are for clients from ages 15-19. And, of course, kids are welcome to keep seeing their therapist even as they transition into adulthood.

Therapy for kids is in many ways similar to therapy for adults, just tailored for the particular challenges of adolescence. Our therapists meet their clients where they’re at emotionally and work to cultivate a safe space to begin to get to know them. In the initial session, the therapist will ask about the child’s hobbies and interests to understand what motivates and excites them. The therapist will also invite them to talk about school, friends, and whatever is going on in their lives lately.

Getting to know a little bit about what’s on the child’s mind lets the therapist know how to proceed. Some kids open up quickly and are eager to talk, while others need more time to begin to feel comfortable with a new adult. Our therapists move at a pace that fits the child’s personality to ensure a solid foundation for discussing more difficult issues later. They’ll also make sure the child understands what the purpose of therapy is: to talk about what you’re going through and ultimately discover new ways to address whatever challenges you’re facing.

As appropriate, the therapist will follow up on clues to deeper issues and ask the child to talk more about certain things if they’re ready. As rapport is established, the therapist will facilitate discussions that helpfully reframe problems and invite the child to consider active steps to address thought sequences and behavioral patterns that are affecting them negatively. At future sessions, they’ll ask how the child is feeling about the steps they took, provide encouragement, and continue to collaborate on developing strategies to cultivate better mental health. 

Therapy for teens can be set up at different levels of confidentiality. Some kids only feel safe opening up in a therapy relationship that is strictly confidential. Others don’t mind if their therapist discusses things with their parents and might even want the therapist to take on this role at times. Sometimes a child will ask for a parent to come to therapy with them for a session or two, so they can share their thoughts and feelings with their therapist present.

The most important thing is that the level of confidentiality is agreed upon and understood clearly by all parties. Trust is essential to therapist-client relationships as well as relationships between parents and children. Teen therapy exists for the sake of supporting kids through a challenging period of life, not as a means to funnel information to the parent that the teen wouldn’t otherwise share. To be sure trust is maintained, establish confidentiality guidelines in conversation with your child and their therapist at the outset of the relationship. This also demonstrates and reinforces one of the things the therapist will be helping the child understand: honest communication and healthy boundaries. 

Note that there are rare cases where therapists are required by law to break confidentiality, most often only in situations where the client is an imminent physical threat to themselves or others. The bar for this is high, and therapists are trained to know when to intervene on behalf of a client who may be in danger or pose a danger to others.

Some kids welcome the chance to talk to a therapist, while others will express disinterest or scorn or even outright refuse to go to therapy. It’s important to remember that therapy only works for a client if they are a willing partner in the therapeutic relationship. There’s no point in forcing your child to go to therapy if they are absolutely against it.

If you expect to encounter resistance when bringing up therapy with your teen, consider your approach carefully. Make sure you avoid implying in any way that you want your child to go to therapy because something is “wrong” with them. Don’t use shame or guilt or try to manipulate or pressure them. Also, don’t bring the subject up in passing or when tensions are high. Make sure you introduce the idea when you and your child are both calm and when you have plenty of time to discuss the topic.

If your child reacts negatively to the idea of going to therapy, try gently to understand where the negativity might be coming from. They may not realize that the relationship with their therapist can be set up to be confidential. They may worry that they won’t like their therapist and will be stuck in an ongoing commitment to see them. They may have social concerns about telling their friends they’re in therapy. Whatever their reasons, you’ll have a better chance at getting genuine buy-in if you stay grounded, don’t escalate, give them time to consider their options, and address their concerns honestly.

Yes, we offer therapy sessions both online and in person at the Music City Psych office in Nashville, Tennessee. Your child can attend therapy via telehealth if you live outside the Nashville area or if remote sessions are just a better fit for you and them. To protect your child’s confidentiality, be sure they are able to attend remote therapy sessions in a space where nobody can overhear them.

If you live in the Nashville area and are interested in in-person teen therapy sessions, our office is located near the Belle Meade and Green Hills neighborhoods, with convenient access to The Gulch, Music Row, Hillsboro Village, Brentwood, and downtown Nashville.

Interested in Adolescent Therapy?

Contact Music City Psych to Get Started.