Adolescents and children are facing numerous new stresses, and it is having major effects. Over 50% of children 4-17 have a mental health disorder, with 21% having a severe disorder. Roughly 30% of teens have an anxiety disorder and 15% have a mood disorder. In the US, 11% of children 4-17 years old are on ADD medication.
The good news is that with support and good information most teens can thrive personally, academically, and socially. But they and their parents need guidance on navigating the numerous challenges, such as screen time, social media, cyber-bullying, academic pressures, access to substances, and the hookup culture. When adolescents learn how to navigate these difficult issues in their teens, they typically thrive as they launch into adulthood.
I begin with a comprehensive assessment that includes not only standard DSM diagnosis, but also consider specific brain-based subtypes of depression, anxiety, ADD; family, school, and peer dynamics; and hormones and other physical factors that may contribute to the presenting concerns. Beginning with a comprehensive understanding of the psychological, relational, and physiological factors ensures that treatment is focused on the right issues.
Initially, my focus is helping the teen address their presenting concerns, often mood or anxiety, as well as ensuring they are functioning well at school and at home. Adolescents typically respond quickly to treatment, getting their presenting issues under control within 4-8 weeks.
Solidifying a Bright Future
Once the initial presenting symptoms have been addressed, I work with teens to ensure future success, which may include issues such as family relations, peers, dating, self-motivation, self-validation, career goals, life goals, and generally making good choices as they enter adulthood.
If you are looking with help in parenting your child or adolescent, click here.
For parents of teens and soon-to-be-teens, Brain Storm provides a brain-based understanding of these often challenging and painful years. Dan Siegel provides a new way to think of the teens changing brain and how it relates to risk-assessment, motivation, and identity develop and offers parents useful suggestions for how to deal with this frequently turbulent time.
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child provides parents with an development understanding of emotional intelligence and provides guidance on how to promote it a various stages of a child’s development. As most parents quickly discover, compassion, empathy, kindness, friendship, manners, and civility are not inborn—but taught. And today’s society creates many challenges for parents to do this easily and successfully.
Untangled provides parents guidance with helping their daughters successfully launch into adulthood, addressing issues such difficult emotions, dating, and self care.
Dating Radar guides you in identifying common personality disorder types early in the dating process. This is a good book for those who are starting to date.
A must read for parents and teens alike, Peggy Ornstein shares what she learned after interviewing 40 high school girls and 40 college girls about their sexual experiences. This book provides parents with essential information for helping their children (boys and girls) through their sexual development, and provides girls with a better road map for navigating a complex and often painful journey.
Boys are failing to launch and thrive at alarming rates. In Saving Our Sons, parents learn how to help their boys thrive during a time where they are more and more likely to under-perform in school, lack emotional maturity, and struggle with forming healthy relationships.
MINDFULNESS AS MEDICATION ALTERNATIVE
With a rapidly growing evidence-base, mindfulness is widely recognized as a viable alternative to medication for several disorders, including depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It is also widely used to prevent relapse for substance abuse and eating disorders. I work with individuals ages 6 and older wanting to try mindfulness to avoid psychotropic medications.