Child and Family, Therapy

Effective Therapy Activities for Teens and Adolescents

Effective Therapy Activities for Teens and Adolescents

Our teenage years can be some of the most challenging years of our lives. As puberty hits and responsibilities pile up, these years can be emotionally and psychologically difficult. 

 

While therapy can help teens and adolescents overcome many of these early challenges, traditional therapy methods struggle to keep young minds engaged. 

 

After all, when you think of ‘therapy’ you visualize sitting in a therapist’s office discussing your issues. To a teenage mind, that is the definition of boring!

 

This is why, in recent years, we have seen a paradigm shift in adolescent and teen therapy. Many successful therapists now use creative and experiential methods to keep therapeutic sessions engaging, fun, and effective.

 

This article will explore some of the most effective therapy activities for teens and adolescents that help foster personal growth and build emotional resilience.  

 

Effective Therapy Activities for Teens & Adolescents

There are plenty of therapy activities that are proven to be highly effective in engaging teens and adolescents in therapeutic processes. 

 

Activities such as art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, outdoor and adventure therapy, games, and meditation all offer ways for teens to express and explore their emotions, develop self-awareness, and foster self-growth.

 

Let’s break down each one of these therapy activities:

 

Art, Music, & Drama Therapy

Therapy activities that involve the use of art, music, and drama can help teens convey feelings and thoughts that they may otherwise find difficult to verbalize. These forms of therapy can also help in instilling positive behavioural disorder changes and improve social and interpersonal skills.

 

Outdoor & Adventure Therapy

Outdoor and adventure therapy involves the use of nature-based programs and outdoor activities to promote teamwork, trust, and problem-solving. This form of therapy utilizes action and experiences as a means of psychological treatment and can include cooperative games, wilderness expeditions, and other outdoor pursuits.

 

Innovative & Fun Therapy Games

Games have always been one of the best ways to engage and teach teens and adolescents life skills. While video games can be addictive and damaging to mental health, therapeutic games are designed to help teens explore their feelings, foster personal growth, and build social and coping skills.

 

While there are plenty of therapy games out there some of the most effective and creative ones include: The Candy Game, Coping Skills Bingo, Worry Journal, Exploding Balloons, Pass the Ball, Gratitude Scavenger Hunt, Feel the Beat, Two Truths and a Lie. 

 

Each one of these games has its own set of rules and is designed to keep teenagers engaged and facilitate communication, coping skill development, self-reflection, gratitude, and emotional expression healthily.

 

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

This form of psychotherapy helps teens and adolescents focus on the present moment by accepting inner thoughts and feelings without judgement, being mindful, and committing to actions that align with personal values.

 

The main focus of ACT is to build resilience and adaptability in teens through activities that foster responsible decision-making, stress management, and self-awareness.

 

Meditation, Relaxation, & Mindfulness

Meditation and relaxation techniques such as yoga and mindfulness-based activities can help teens and adolescents learn about healthy stress management and how to improve emotional regulation. 

 

Yoga is the ideal physical activity to incorporate with therapy as its calming and stress-relieving effects can be enjoyable and positively affect adolescents and teens who have difficulty coping with stress and anxiety.

 

Animal-assisted Therapy

Using animals in a therapeutic setting is becoming an increasingly popular way for therapists to help teens, adolescents, and adults overcome anxiety, increase engagement, and build rapport during therapy sessions. 

 

Cute and cuddly animals aren’t just a great way to break the ice during a therapy session but can also provide a sense of comfort and safety for teens and adolescents allowing them to open up on a deeper level.

 

Occupational Therapy & Specialized Therapies for Teens with Special Needs

Therapists need to be especially careful when choosing therapy activities for teens and adolescents with special needs. Conventional therapy activities might not be applicable and as such a more flexible and individualized approach is required. 

 

This is where occupational and specialized therapies come in. Occupational therapy can help assess the functional abilities of a teen and how to enhance these abilities to improve daily life skills and independence. 

 

Specialized therapies such as music, art, drama, and animal-assisted therapy can also be integrated into the therapeutic process to help teens with special needs better express themselves and their feelings.

 

These therapeutic experiences are designed to match the unique challenges and strengths of a teen with special needs making each session engaging and enriching. 

 

However, what’s most important is fostering a safe and engaging therapeutic space for teens where they can explore their feelings, express emotions, develop coping skills, and build resilience. 

 

Effective Therapeutic Counselling Services You Can Trust!

Effective therapy activities for teens and adolescents can include a diverse range of approaches such as creative therapy, ACT, meditation, games, and more. 

 

These approaches can help teens and adolescents overcome challenges by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to navigate the complexities of adolescence and beyond. 

 

As a parent, if you are considering enrolling your child in therapy activities look no further than Spectrum Therapeutic Solutions. As Nova Scotia’s leading therapeutic counselling firm, we specialize in a range of therapy and counselling services including individual, teen, family, couples, and group therapy. 

 

To learn more or to book an appointment call us at (902) 932 2395!

 

 

FAQs

Q) Can playing games help in therapy?

Therapeutic games can actually be one of the most effective forms of therapy, especially for teens and adolescents. Therapy games are a lot more engaging, can be played in a relaxing environment, and can teach valuable skills and lessons in a fun and interactive way.

 

Q) How does family involvement impact adolescent therapy?

Family involvement can play a crucial role in adolescent therapy as it can offer additional support and help integrate therapeutic goals within the home environment. This can enhance the effectiveness of the therapy as it continues even in between sessions thanks to the support and encouragement of family members.

 

Q) What makes therapy effective for adolescents?

Therapy is effective for adolescents as it can help them engage, resonate, and address unique challenges through creative, experiential, and technological interventions. 



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Child and Family, Therapy

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