I know you are probably thinking "There is nothing wrong with my daughter" or "How do I know my daughter needs to see a therapist?" or "My daughter tells me everything, we don't need someone else in her business". I know many parents may be hesitant with having their daughter see a therapist, but I want to ensure you this is a safe space for her. I would like to share some practical reasons your daughter should see a Therapist.
1. She is isolated and withdrawn from family, friends and/or activities she once enjoyed.
It is important to look for any signs of depressive symptoms or changes in her daily routine. If your daughter is starting to withdrawn herself from activities she once enjoyed, it's important to observe her and look into her seeing a therapist. Oftentimes, teen girls view being vulnerability as a sign of weakness. In addition, I've seen many teens leary to share their concerns with their family and friends because they don't want to burden them.
2. She is emotionally reactive.
Maybe your daughter is overwhelmed with intense emotions and has some difficulties managing her emotions. Maybe your daughter has some difficulties with completing task when she is feeling pressured or stressed. She may be internalizing her stressors due to external factors, such as school, peer relationships, expectations from family, etc. It is important for her to see a therapist to develop coping skills to learn how to regulate her emotions.
3. She has experienced a traumatic event.
I can't stress this enough, but it's imperative for your daughter to see a therapist if she has experienced some form of trauma. Trauma is defined as an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. I recently posted an article on Huffington Post
that talks about how trauma is affecting our black girls. By allowing your daughter to see a therapist, she will be able to identify her triggers, learn techniques to reduce her PTSD symptoms and begin to share her story as a survivor.
4. She has difficulties coping with academic or social stressors.
For some, it may not be "that serious" for their daughter to see a therapist because of their missed assignments, lack of attention span in school, drama with her girlfriends because of Snapchat, intimate partner relationships ending, etc. However, it may be causing some significant distress in her life. By seeing a therapist, your daughter will have a safe space to vent, but get to the core of what's happening.
5. She has expressed thoughts of harming herself.
This one cannot be ignored. If your daughter has a history of suicidal ideation or has past attempts, it is important for her to get help. If your daughter has suggested wanting to end her life or made passive suicidal statements, it is important for her to get assessed by a mental health professional. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens ages 10-24 years old, so it's critical to get your daughter the helps she needs. If your daughter is dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts, therapy would be beneficial. Most teens will have a combination of therapy and medication to alleviate their symptoms. Remember, in order to get psychotropic medications, your daughter will have to be evaluated by a medical doctor, psychiatrist or APN not a therapist. Therapist cannot PRESCRIBE medications for your daughter.
Now, that you have 5 reasons for your daughter to see a therapist, you are probably wondering "Where do I find a therapist for my daughter?". I highly suggesting getting a referral from her pediatrician, school, friends or you can use this helpful site ---> Psychology Today to find one in your designated area. Therapy can really help to alleviate some of the symptoms that your daughter has and creates a safe space for her to discuss her challenges. So give your daughter the opportunity to invest in her soul by investing in therapy for her.