Most parents do not understand why their teenagers occasionally behave in an impulsive, irrational, or dangerous way. At times, it may seem like teens don’t think things through or fully consider the consequences of their actions.
Adolescents differ from adults in the way they behave, solve problems, and make decisions. Thanks to science we know why this occurs.
Pictures of the brain in action show that adolescents’ brains work differently than adults when they make decisions or solve problems. Their actions are guided more by the emotional and reactive amygdala and less by the thoughtful, logical frontal cortex. The frontal cortex, which controls reasoning and helps us think before we act, develops later in life. Studies have shown that brains continue to mature and develop throughout childhood and adolescence and well into early adulthood (early to mid 20s).
Common concerns of parents with teens:
- Difficulties balancing academic demands and social (peers) demands
- Irritable mood/mood swings
- Life changes (divorce, moves, grief), depression and anxiety.
- Lack of motivation
- College planning
- Communicating and getting along with parents
- Relationships (dating and friendships),
- At-risk behaviors
- Self harming (cutting)
Adolescents yearn to be understood but fear being judged. In efforts to get closer to their teen, parents question, lecture, closely monitor and sometimes limit their freedom. This usually creates resentment and the teenager shuts the parent out even more.
I have helped many parents and their teens improve communication, build trust again and understand each other better.
I have also helped teenagers and young adults, improve coping skills to deal with life changes as well as manage depression and anxiety. Treatment techniques include evidence based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Solution Focused and Strength based therapy combined with SandTray therapy to further uncover underlying issues contributing to their current symptoms.
We can work together, contact me today.