Mental Health Counseling for Adolescents with Depression and/or Anxiety
Are you a parent of a teen battle with depression and/or anxiety? Have you noticed that your child that was once full of energy and excitement now appears stressed, overwhelmed, and lacking joy? The transition from childhood into adolescence comes with an onslaught of not only physical changes but emotional and social changes as well.
During the early adolescent years, growth in the area of the brain responsible for logic and reasoning can set the stage for anxiety and depression – two major mental health problems that are a big concern. The logical part of the brain will defer to the older, more developed emotional and survival areas of the brain when a person feels overwhelmed or when they are sensing a threat. Sometimes these threats are real but often the threats are really just our brain “assuming” something terrible is going to happen. Thoughts like “I am going to screw up,” “everyone is going to think I am a weirdo,” “no one cares if I am here,” and other thoughts related to fitting in and being accepted are common for a teen with depression or anxiety. These thoughts create a “psychological smog” that is a breeding ground for anxiety and depression. When the logical part of the brain defers to the emotional and survival areas of the brain we might see reactions like yelling, aggression, withdrawing/isolating, shutting down, and at times self-harming behaviors. These can be confusing and shocking for the parent but are also very confusing and unsettling for the teen as well.
Through mental health therapy with your teen, and at times you as their parent and ultimate support person, we can help to clear the smog. Through counseling, we can explore the triggers for the thoughts that drive and maintain depression/anxiety, as well as explore strategies to cope with the difficult thoughts, feelings, and situations in our lives. While in therapy we will work towards your teen being more confident and feeling more in control of their actions and lives. By helping you and your teen learn ways to improve communication we can create a supportive environment where your teen will feel comfortable and confident in coming to you for support.
I use several counseling techniques, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to help explore the relationship our thoughts and actions have on our moods. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality can help us find safe and helpful strategies to cope with the difficulties of life in a safe way. I am also certified in the use of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which can help your teen explore how past traumas impact them now and find ways to heal from these traumas.
I am ready to help your teen move out of a place of sadness, worry, and insecurity into a place of confidence and happiness, and to help you, as their parent, sleep easier at night knowing that your teen is getting the help they need.
Call our scheduling coordinator, Christi, at 918-505-4367 to schedule an appointment for your teen with Patti Trammell, LCSW.