It is tough today to be a teen or pre-teen. Social media and COVID have made this time the most unique time in history to be going through puberty. Understanding how the adolescent brain works is critical to making therapy work. Anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts all manifest through low self-esteem, fear, irrational thoughts, and all can be exacerbated by hormones. This is the most major life transformation most of us will ever experience and teens need guidance from an external source. Working with your teen in a non-judgmental safe space they will work through what is happening within them and create solutions for themselves.
Throughout history different types of therapeutic approaches have come out of looking for the most effective manner to assist people. Most therapists use an integrative approach – this means the therapist may blend ideas from several different frameworks to work with their client in the most effective way. The flexibility of this approach enables the therapeutic experience to be tailored to your individual needs and preferences. My ability to blend approaches has become seamless over my career and I can tailor whatever therapeutic approach you need to learn and grow from your therapeutic experience.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts by interrogating and uprooting negative or irrational beliefs. Considered a “solutions-oriented” form of talk therapy, CBT rests on the idea that thoughts and perceptions influence behavior.
Feeling distressed, in some cases, may distort one’s perception of reality. CBT aims to identify harmful thoughts, assess whether they are an accurate depiction of reality, and, if they are not, employ strategies to challenge and overcome them.
CBT is appropriate for people of all ages, including children, adolescents, and adults. Evidence has mounted that CBT can address numerous conditions, such as major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and many others.
Emotionally Focused Therapy
Emotionally Focused Therapy is an evidenced-based therapy approach that focuses on the ways in which our interpersonal interactions get organized into patterns and cycles. Though the approach is traditionally used for couples therapy, the concepts can be used with families and individuals who want to explore important interpersonal relationships and relationship patterns.
The goal of EFT is to work toward what’s called “secure attachment.” That is, the idea that each partner can provide a sense of security, protection, and comfort for the other, and can be available to support their partner in creating a positive sense of self and the ability to effectively regulate their own emotions. Goals of therapy include restructuring thoughts and finding an understanding about why and how we get into patterns in the first place. The ultimate outcome of treatment involves a new sense of self and a new way of relating to your partner, which in turn, evokes new responses from that partner.
Mindfulness, from a therapeutic perspective, is a conscious awareness of our present moment. This includes openness and non-judgment about the experience. Mindfulness therapy is often coupled with other types of therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Mindfulness therapy is not concerned with relaxation, though that might be a result of certain practices. The focus is on increasing our awareness of the thoughts, feelings, and actions that hinder our progress. When we are better able to do that, we can engage with those aspects of ourselves, learn to tweak our language, and choose how to respond.
Regulate and express your emotions
Develop and utilize better coping strategies
Be less easily distracted on non-task activities
Help you sleep better
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) provides clients with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas. Mindfulness focuses on improving an individual’s ability to accept and be present in the current moment. Distress tolerance is geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it. Emotion regulation covers strategies to manage and change intense emotions that are causing problems in a person’s life. Interpersonal effectiveness consists of techniques that allow a person to communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relationships.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy that stems from traditional behavior therapy and behavioral therapy. Clients learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives. With this understanding, clients begin to accept their issues and hardships and commit to making necessary changes in their behavior, regardless of what is going on in their lives, and how they feel about it.