The well being of our teenagers and young people is becoming more and more of a concern to our society. Parents, teachers, schools and the medical profession are reporting rapidly increasing levels of mental health concerns in our children.
My teenage clients tend to come to me with problems such as ,general anxiety and intrusive thoughts, panic attacks, insomnia, exam nerves/anxiety about school, severe OCD/Phobias and more serious problems such as self harm and/or anorexia.
The figures are scary:
Rates of anxiety and depression among teenagers have increased by 70% in the last 25 years (The Independant 2/2016)
1 in 4 girls hit depression by 14 (NHS 2017)
Young people treated for anxiety at hospital has risen by 42 % in 1 year (Telegraph 22 Jan 2017)
and rates of increase for self harm and anorexia are equally frightening.
Why is this happening ?
We can point to bullying in social media and peer pressure to be ‘ perfect’ in the media but actually nobody really knows for sure. What is true is that teenage brains are vulnerable to outside influences- they are ‘plastic’ and have a cocktail of chemicals flowing round that don’t help with making good choices. The logical, rational part of their brain is still developing and wont be complete until their early twenties.
They tend to express their anxiety in specific ways. They self harm, refuse school, develop OCD and severe phobias, fixate on exam nerves, faint repeatedly or just cut themselves of socially from friends and family. Worryingly they never seem to do things by halves.
What can I do to help?
My aim is not only to help them develop healthy , long lasting coping mechanisms and make better choices but to guide them in understanding their fears and why they have them. As well as supporting them in sessions I teach self help tools to use between in between. This gives them a sense of being in control which lessens fear and I also support them on line . The goal is to develop resilience which is the key to happiness.
Information For Parents
As the mother of teenagers myself I sympathize with the worry and frustration that parenting them can bring. Talking to someone who isn’t involved with them in an emotional way can be useful because as a parent you have an ‘agenda’ in their eyes so they don’t always listen to your advice.
During the session the focus will be exclusively on your child but I am happy to see parents separately if they are struggling with anxiety around the child’s problems.
Depending on your child’s age I prefer the parent to be present for at least the first few sessions but tend to leave it for you and your child to decide. I am happy to keep schools informed as to progress if appropriate and I will even go into their school to see them if needed.
I have an extended DBS check and insurance.
If you would like to have a confidential chat to me about how I could help then please call me anytime on 07884-393609 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be delighted to talk to you.