By Allen R., Ph.D. Miller

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In fact, you’ll probably feel at ease and relieved when you realize you’ll have the chance to talk with other kids with the same problems. In joining a group, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from other people. If you’ve ever gotten together casually with a bunch of close friends and ended up talking about a problem you have—only to find out many of your friends have the same problem—you know how supportive it can be to share this experience. That’s what group therapy is like, too—with the added benefit of a trained leader guiding the conversation.

Even worse, some kids simply shut down and don’t tell the therapist what’s really going on in their lives out of fear that the counselor will tell their parents. That’s what happened to Phoebe, who had been depressed for several years when she suddenly confided to a friend that she’d started cutting herself and that she was frightened by her own behavior. ” Luckily for Phoebe, a teacher saw the scars and intervened. It would have been much better if Phoebe had discussed with her therapist right at the beginning of treatment how private their sessions would be.

Have you never learned the give-and-take of small talk? Interpersonal therapy (IPT) can help you with all of these skills, giving you a practical, sensible guideline to learn better social and communication skills. Many teens develop depression during a time when they need to be making major life choices relating to education, friends, values, and family relationships. Interpersonal therapy can help you develop better ways to deal with these issues, which may have been linked to the onset of your depression.

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