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Individual Therapy with Teenagers

Individual therapy with adolescents at Newport Academy is conducted by expert clinicians and psychiatrists who perform a thorough clinical assessment to determine each teen’s specific needs. Using that information, the client’s Treatment Team creates a tailored treatment plan that encompasses a variety of counseling and therapeutic modalities that are effective in treating teen depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and other mood and personality disorders.

At Newport Academy, individual therapy is an essential component of every teen’s treatment plan, whether they are in residential treatment or outpatient programming. Each client’s schedule also includes group therapy and experiential modalities, such as art therapy and Adventure Therapy.

What Is Individual Therapy for Teens?

Individual therapy with teenagers is a joint process between a therapist and client that allows the adolescent to work through their mental health struggles in a calm, safe, and confidential setting. Also known as individual psychotherapy, it is a one-on-one treatment experience with a therapist.

The primary goal of individual counseling is to support teens to uncover and heal the trauma and attachment wounds that are catalyzing their mental health challenges and behavioral issues. Exploring the root causes of painful feelings can be extremely difficult and distressing for teens. Therefore, developing a trusting relationship with an individual therapist helps them feel safe to go deeper and be open about what they are experiencing.

Moreover, individual therapy supports teens to gain confidence and self-knowledge, while shifting negative thought patterns toward more positive narratives. In this form of personal therapy, teens learn and practice healthy communication within the context of a compassionate therapeutic connection. Like group and family therapy, individual therapy helps teens understand themselves better and develop healthy coping skills for the long term.

Types of Individual Counseling Modalities

At Newport Academy, we use a wide range of evidence-based modalities in individual therapy with teenagers, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)–informed skills
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Relational Trauma Repair

Our clinicians also integrate other modalities into each resident’s treatment plan, including experiential therapy, mindfulness practice, and other techniques targeted to each individual’s specific needs.

“We’ve assembled a dynamic team of skilled clinicians who are well-versed in various therapeutic modalities in order to provide a truly comprehensive, cutting-edge approach to individualized treatment.”

—Barbara Nosal, PhD, LMFT, LADC, Chief Clinical Officer, Newport Academy

Who Provides Individual Therapy at Newport Academy?

Individual therapy for adolescents at Newport Academy is provided by one of the Individual Therapists on our team of highly experienced and licensed clinicians. Our Individual Therapists hold advanced degrees and are passionate about helping adolescents progress on their healing journey and rediscover a sense of joy and thriving.

As part of our team approach, each client has both an individual therapist and a family therapist. In many other behavioral healthcare programs, one clinician serves as both the individual therapist and the family therapist. However, Newport’s model of care recognizes the benefits of having one therapist for individual therapy with teens, and a different clinician who facilitates family therapy with the teen and their family members. This allows the adolescent to build trust with the individual therapist in a confidential space that is just for them.

What to Expect in Individual Therapy

In the first individual counseling session, the teen and their therapist begin to establish a trusting therapeutic relationship, known as the therapeutic alliance. At Newport Academy, teens typically have individual therapy at least once a week, and more if needed.

During individual therapy sessions, teens meet one-on-one with their therapist to check in on progress and goals, continue exploring underlying issues, and learn new skills for emotional regulation and distress tolerance. Individual sessions typically last around 45 minutes, and may take place in the therapist’s office or in another private space on campus.

How We Set Individual Therapy Goals for Teens

Through in-depth assessments and discussions, the Treatment Team and the client work closely together to develop a set of goals for the adolescent at the beginning of the treatment process. These goals depend on the client’s diagnosis, the acuity of their mental health challenges, and their individual needs and history.

Moreover, our customized treatment approach takes into account each teen’s temperament and style of communication and self-expression. This helps us to zero in on the therapeutic modalities that are most effective in treating their mental health issues. Because the members of the Treatment Team are in ongoing communication with each other and with the client’s family, adjustments to the teen’s goals and treatment schedule can be made easily and quickly in response to their progress.

What Teens Gain in Individual Therapy

Individual counseling helps adolescents build skills and strengths that will support them for the rest of their lives. Here are some of the benefits of individual therapy:

  • Self-awareness: Even though teens think all the time about themselves and how they appear to the world, they’re usually not able to take a step back and observe themselves without judgment. That’s natural at this stage of life. Evidence-based therapeutic modalities gives teens skills for checking in with themselves and their state of being. They learn to witness their own thoughts and behaviors with less reactivity and more compassion.
  • Emotional regulation: Therapy for teens supports their ability to manage difficult emotions, like stress and frustration, productively and thoughtfully. Teens also learn to channel positive emotions, like excitement and love, in healthy ways.
  • Motivation: Therapy can help teens understand the things that are preventing them from moving forward. They learn new ways of thinking and positive habits to help them tap into a sense of purpose and inspiration.
  • Relationship and communication skills: The therapeutic process guides adolescents in forming authentic connections with their individual therapist while learning more about themselves. They learn how to be open and honest about their feelings and experiences.

Ultimately, individual therapy at Newport Academy is an essential and life-changing component of a client’s integrated treatment experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About Individual Therapy

What is individual therapy and how does it work?

Individual therapy with teenagers is a joint process between a therapist and client that allows the adolescent to work through their mental health struggles in a calm, safe, and confidential one-on-one setting.

What is the goal of teen individual therapy?

The goal of individual counseling for adolescents is to uncover and heal underlying trauma and attachment wounds catalyzing mental health and behavioral disorders. Individual therapy provides a safe and confidential space for teens to engage in the healing process.

What are 4 types of therapy used in individual counseling?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Relational Trauma Repair are all common modalities used in therapy for teens.

Is individual therapy for teens more effective than group therapy?

Not necessarily. Some teens may be more comfortable and find it easier to open up with an individual therapist. For others, group therapy is more effective. Ideally, a teen mental health treatment plan includes both individual sessions and group therapy sessions.