We know when it comes to your children, finding the best care is your priority. Choosing the most suitable therapist and therapy team for your teenager is vital to the successful outcome of therapy treatment.

Every teenager is unique. Teenagers each have their own strengths, struggles, and BIG emotions. Adolescent years are some of the most formative years for a person. They can end up being some of the most difficult years of a person’s life, too. We can help you choose the right modalities, therapeutic interventions, and therapists for your teen. Our mission is to guide your child in learning healthy emotional intelligence and building healthy mental health habits.

You want your teenager to have everything they need to be happy, successful, and healthy during their adolescent years. We’re grateful for your investment in your child’s wellbeing. At Willapa Behavioral Health, we want to be part of your team of positive influences on your child’s development.

Teen Counseling and Therapy

How do I know if my teenager needs counseling and therapy?

When it comes to your teenager, you may often find yourself thinking “is this normal?” Teenagers are constantly experiencing wave after wave of hormones that could knock anyone off their feet. Knowing what is normal development and what your teen may need extra help navigating through can be confusing. Here are some signs your teen may exhibit that can guide you in considering counseling or therapy for your child.

  • Your teenager is consuming alcohol or using drugs: We know experimentation with substances is often considered “common” during teen years. If you’re noticing a constant usage of drugs or alcohol, addiction can quickly become a concern. Figuring out why your teen is turning to these substances can help unlock your teen’s struggles.
  • Your teenager is engaging or talking about engaging in self-harm: Your teen is trying to tell you something with these behaviors. Therapy can help them find the words for their emotions and learn how to positively cope with their feelings.
  • A positive home environment is difficult to achieve with your teen: Your home should be a safe haven for everyone in it. If you or anyone in your family is feeling like accommodating your teenager’s behavior is vital to keeping peace in your home, it may be a good time to consider intervention.
  • Your teen is exhibiting behaviors associated with anxiety and depression: Mood swings are often associated with adolescence. However, emotions preventing your child from participating in daily life, school, family, and social activities are an indicator of deeper struggles.
  • Your teen is struggling at school or work: A change in your teen’s previous behaviors at school in work is evident. Non-participation, a loss of motivation, defiance, arguing, yelling, and more can be a sign that your child is in need of help.

I really like my therapist. He understands, he gets me and he also gives me the tools to use in my everyday life... The staff is great.

––M.R.

Teen Counseling and Therapy

What makes Willapa Different?

Just like each person is unique, each stage of development is unique, too. No two teenagers are alike, and that’s what makes them each so impressive and important! Every one of our clients deserves a therapeutic approach that will complement their learning and personality styles as well as their strengths and struggles. Willapa Behavioral Health offers multiple interventions to assist your child on their path.

Common Struggles Among Adolescent Clients

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidality
  • Self-Harm
  • Behavioral issues such as increased anger or fear
  • ADHD and associated behaviors

Common Interventions for Adolescent Clients

  • Individual Counseling: When your teen knows they have a confidential space to address their emotions and feelings, doors can open. They are receiving one-on-one attention and focus to explore their struggles, discover ways to manage hard feelings, and learn positive mental health practices for their future.
  • WISe Therapy: Wraparound with Intensive Services (WISe) is a therapeutic approach to assist individuals and families with complex and intense mental health needs. The goal of this program is to strengthen the relationships within the family the community.
  • EMDR: Using safe and effective techniques, therapists trained in EMDR can help your adolescent reconnect to trauma in a safe way and facilitate healing. This powerful tool seems unconventional at first, but we see great results and growth in our EMDR clients.
  • Play therapy: Finding words to express emotions is difficult, even for adults. When applicable, play therapy can be used with teens to help them connect their thoughts and feelings. Through age-appropriate play, adolescents can discover what they are feeling and how to share those emotions using words.

Our Team

We're Here for You

  • Debbie Allen

  • Destini Kirkwood

  • Annita Kramer

  • Jeffery “Smitty” Smith

Meet all of Us

We're here to Help

More Frequently Asked Questions

What happens in my teen's first therapy session?

The first session of therapy may feel a bit nerve-wracking for your child – or maybe your teenager is looking forward to their new confidante and resource. It takes a lot of willingness to come to therapy, even if it appears your child isn’t putting in much effort. Because of this, the first session is kept pretty simple. Your child’s therapist will work towards identifying potential needs, ensure your child feels safe, and talk with your teen about possible therapy goals.

  • Your child’s therapist will work to get to know your teen and help him/her feel comfortable. Hobbies, school, family life, social life, and more will be discussed in a more conversational manner to help the therapist get to know their new client.
  • Brief family history may be discussed, depending on your child’s situation. Family views and struggles may be briefly discussed as well.
  • There will be opportunities for your teen to share ideas about what they hope to gain from attending therapy.
How long will my teen need therapy?

Treatment type and length vary by individual. Your child’s team will work with your teen and you to create an overall plan for treatment, goals to measure treatment success and needs along the way, and desired outcomes. Your child’s voice in their treatment is valued, and the therapists will rely on your teen to guide treatment.

How to help your teen prepare for therapy?

Talking with your teenager before therapy about what to expect may help ease any uncertainty your child has. Here are some topics you can discuss:

  • Growth can occur: With a positive attitude, belief in the process, patience, and willpower, you can feel the positive impact of therapy in your life.
  • Therapy skills take practice: Learning new skills takes time. Mastering them takes a lot of practice. Be patient with yourself during the process. Determination is a great skill you have, and with time, these skills will become second nature.
  • Ask for support: There are so many people in your corner. Your family, teachers, church leaders, and friends want to see you succeed in your goals and endeavors.
  • Enhance your strengths: Therapy isn’t just for struggles – it can help you continue to develop your strengths, too.

Take care of your body and mind so it can take care of you: Getting proper rest, eating healthy, fresh air, and exercising can all help you feel your best.

How parents can help & assist

Encouragement and praise will always go a long way with your teenager, even if they don’t express appreciation or acceptance of your affection. Ensuring your child knows that therapy is a safe space where there are no “right or wrong” feelings to have and express is encouraging too. Your child does not need to be treated like a victim. Teenagers are resilient, and they respond well when they feel you believe in their ability to succeed in their goals and in learning to manage their emotions.

Parental involvement in therapy will be considered by your teenager, the therapy team, and you. Each case is different, and we do not offer a one-size-fits-all approach to therapy. Your involvement will be carefully considered. Positive therapy outcomes are often associated with parent and family involvement, so your willingness to be available in the process is encouraged and often needed!

What should I do when my teen needs therapy but is not cooperative or interested?

We know how frustrating it can be as a parent when you’re trying to do what is best for your child but your child isn’t responding to your suggestions. Attending therapy yourself may help you address some of the difficulties your teen is experiencing both as an individual and as part of your family. Parent training can have a positive impact on your relationship with your teenager and help solve some of the familial issues you’re experiencing. Knowledge is power and having a therapist to support you can have a positive impact on your entire family.

I'm not sure we can afford therapy

We know how frustrating it can be to be ready to seek treatment but feel the financial strain. As a community mental-healthcare provider, Willapa Behavioral Health offers payment options for our clients. We will never turn away anyone based on a client’s inability to pay. We are committed to doing whatever we can to work with your budget and your needs.

  • Income-based sliding fee scale
  • WISe program
  • Access to available grants and community resources

Insurances we accept

  • In-Network Providers:
  • Washington State Medicaid
  • Amerigroup
  • Coordinated Care
  • United Health Care
  • Molina
  • Premera
  • Provider Options Available For:
  • Regence
  • Medicare
  • Tricare West
  • TriWest
  • First Health Choice
  • Cigna
What if I’m uninsured or I don’t see my provider?

As a community mental-healthcare provider, Willapa Behavioral Health offers payment options for our clients. We will never turn away anyone based on a client’s inability to pay. We are committed to doing whatever we can to work with your budget and your needs. This includes an Income-based sliding fee scale, and access to available grants and community resources.

Ready to Start?

Reach out and let's get a conversation going.

Not many things can bring more heartache to a parent than a child that is struggling. We’re here to help everyone thrive in a healthy environment. Please reach out and let’s get talking.