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Adolescent and Teen Therapy
(Ages 6-18)

Adolescent and teen therapy for people throughout Illinois and beyond

The adolescent and teen years are a tug-of-war between the “already” and “not yet.”

Adolescents and teens are wired to seek independence and yet they need their parents/caregivers to understand and guide them more than ever. This continuous tug-of-war can lead to “butting heads,” which creates division and disconnection.

Therapy can be an important intervention for families who need to find a way to communicate and connect with each other.

At The Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic (The MFT Clinic), our therapists are trained to help adolescents and teens and their families find ways toward healing and connection. We address a wide range of problems, including communication breakdowns, conflict resolution, parenting issues, losses, blended family dynamics, and many more.

Depending on the needs of your family, therapy can take the form of individual therapy or family therapy (more about this below). Anyone can reach out to us to figure out how to start therapy, including parents, caregivers, grandparents, and teenagers. If you want to find help, reach out to us.

At the MFT Clinic, our therapists recognize that your adolescents’ well-being is important to you. To that end, we believe that therapy is most effective when you are a part of the healing journey.

Therapy looks different depending on the age of your child:

  • For children ages 6 to 11 years old, we often recommend at least one parent or caregiver join in the therapy process. For some families we recommend both parents (and possibly siblings), depending on the needs of your child. We want you to be informed about treatment interventions and assist your child with learning new skills. We have found that children often need parents to help them recall and use new skills in the “heat of the moment.”
  • For adolescents and teens age 12 years old and above, we may recommend family or individual therapy, depending on the needs of your adolescent. In many families, intervention is most effective when the whole family system is involved. However, in some cases, individual therapy may be the best place to start, so that your teen can talk about their struggles at their own pace. Even in individual therapy, we recommend that parents are involved periodically so that we can support your relationship with your adolescent as they learn and grow.

First, you can expect your therapist to provide a safe, non-judgmental space for you to talk through anything that is on your mind. We want you to feel seen, heard, and understood.

Next, your therapist will work with you to create a goal for your time together. If you don’t have a goal in mind, don’t worry. Your therapist will help you create one. Here are some examples: Finding out if you are struggling with a mental illness, finding ways to cope, or figuring out how to work through conflicts with friends and family.

Your therapist will talk with you about whether family or individual therapy would best meet your goals. We will also talk through how confidentiality works so that you and your parents and/or caregivers know what to expect. 

Once you and your therapist determine your goals and best approach, you can begin the process of therapy!

At The MFT Clinic, we recognize that every adolescent and teen and their family is unique; and therefore, our clinicians are trained in a variety of therapeutic theories and evidence-based interventions so that we can use the approach that works best for you.

Methods include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), multigenerational family therapy, structural family therapy, trauma-informed therapy, faith-integrated therapy, narrative therapy, psychodynamic approaches and many more.

The MFT Clinic at Wheaton College

The MFT Clinic is an Academic Care Center, like a teaching hospital. We provide essential mental health care to people in Illinois (and beyond) while training therapy interns who attend the MFT master’s program at Wheaton College. Our small cohort of intern therapists receive intensive training academically and clinically.

Many clients work directly with an intern therapist. Meanwhile, the therapist receives close supervision by dedicated faculty experts behind the scenes. Together, your intern and faculty provide you with state-of-the art, insightful care.

At The MFT Clinic, you will have a seasoned expert who is carefully thinking through the latest interventions to determine the approach that fits best for you and your loved ones.

We have found this to be an effective and deeply meaningful process. While your therapy intern brings energy, compassion and eagerness to therapy, your seasoned faculty therapist is behind the scenes, infusing insight and expertise into your care, tailoring treatment to meet your unique needs. 

Contact Us Today

You can reach us through our inquiry page here, by telephone at 630-733-8161 or email to begin on your transformative journey of couple’s, family, or individual therapy.