Do you wish your teenager were more active and involved in his or her life? Are you concerned about how much he or she sleeps or eats and worried about his or her health? Does your teen complain about stress-related aches and pains? Are you concerned with your teenager’s friendships or behavior?
From social stress, transition and divorce, bullying and trauma, children and adolescents are under more pressure now than ever before. Young people often struggle with self-image and self-esteem issues, sometimes depression and eating disorders, and substance abuse is a big threat in today’s hurried, stressful pace.
Cognitive behavioral therapies
Mindful of both peer and parent relationship dynamics, we’ve found that adolescents respond best when the approach is authentic, practical, and communicative. We integrate many approaches: cognitive behavioral, mindfulness-based techniques, social skills training, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) informed strategies, supportive process or experiential therapies such as art, games or traditional talk therapy to help adolescents feel better and cope more fully with their responsibilities at home, with friends, and at school.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidenced-based approach to treating depression and anxiety, as well as other mental health issues. In this form of treatment, a therapist helps the adolescent examine thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns that underlie a problem. Treatment then focuses on replacing those patterns with more positive and productive thoughts and behaviors. This type of therapy involves challenging negative beliefs, practicing coping skills (which can include deep breathing, mindfulness techniques, or other relaxation strategies), and developing healthy self-care behaviors.
Mindfulness-based therapy methods such as meditation, yoga, and guided imagery can be used in combination to help adolescents learn stress management, anxiety reduction, and relaxation skills. We then customize skills for teens to practice throughout the week.
Social skills training can occur in groups or in individual therapy, and targets teens’ social and emotional skills within relationships, both in group settings and in one-on-one relating. These skills help teenagers with social anxiety, self-expression, and social-perspective-taking to aid their social development and help them have happier more engaged interactions with their peers. Social skills training is helpful for teens struggling with friendship issues, developmental needs related to autism or Asperger syndrome, mood disorders or depression, or social anxiety.
When working with adolescents in therapy, we integrate contemporary research from positive psychology. Positive psychology moves beyond more traditional problem-focused psychological theories and offers strategies for living more fully, more joyfully, and more productively in the “here and now.” We approach all treatments with this mindset.
We give our adolescent clients the opportunity to take on other perspectives outside of their typical viewpoint, and begin to shift how they view and interact with their world, both past and present. In this way, we can combine traditional psychotherapy (psychodynamic or relationship-based approaches) with our positive focus to help them gain greater insight. Our goal is to engage teenagers in the therapy process in multiple ways, including art therapy activities, therapeutic gameplay, and mindfulness exercises. All of these methods allow us to help your teenager learn new skills and explore their emotions more fully.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This form of therapy can decrease or eliminate symptoms related to trauma for both children and adults. It also can be helpful for clients with panic disorder, phobias, performance anxiety, and a range of other issues.
EMDR is an integrative form of therapy that allows clients to resolve symptoms not only cognitively but also physiologically, which facilitates deeper healing and often faster positive change. Through the use of rapid eye movements or a hand-held stimulation device which delivers a gentle buzzing, bi-lateral brain stimulation helps clients to desensitize and then adaptively re-process distressing memories. After EMDR, clients can still remember the trauma or the anxiety trigger that they have reprocessed, but the disturbing feelings and thoughts have dissipated. Clients can experience relief from symptoms as well as a greater sense of control and confidence in their lives.
For more information and frequently asked questions, visit http://www.emdria.org/?page=emdr_therapy