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herapy for teens & adolescents can be challenging to approach. Most kids struggle with a certain level of self-esteem issues and the moods can swing without any notice. There are those times, though, when things are more difficult, negative self-talk is increasingly brutal, and the bouts of sadness dip lower than normal. These are times when personal therapy can be extremely helpful. We work with teens & adolescents in an effort to help you manage and deal with the personal and emotional struggles that are holding you back. We know what it is like to think that you are alone, to believe that no one out there understands what you are going through, and that it just seems easier to hide out than deal with all the issues that are bringing you down. We can’t promise that we will have all the answers or that we will have been through everything that you are going through, but we can assure you that we will do our best to be there for you, and help you get through the tough times.

Many teens & adolescents begin therapy to work on some of the following issues

Addiction

There are so many misconceptions about how and why people become addicted to substances or behaviors. A common thought is that a person with an addiction lacks moral principles or is incapable of the willpower needed to change their lives. In reality, however, addiction is a complex psychological issue that requires intensive therapeutic efforts to overcome. Thankfully, a thorough psychotherapeutic process can help you or your loved one overcome addictive tendencies.

Adjustment (i.e., Major Life Changes)

Adjustment disorders manifest from a difficulty coping to stressful life events. These stressors can be anything from moving and changing schools to losing friends and even tough breakups. It has also been known to occur as a result of losing your starting spot on the sports team or even the stress of getting called up to varsity. As parents separate or divorce, issues with adjustment are often quite common. While most people can become overwhelmed and experience sadness during life changes, people experiencing serious adjustment difficulties have reactions that seem heavier than what most would feel for the same event.

The main characteristic of an adjustment disorder is a difficulty adjusting to a life change. This change can be one that affects the person’s health, school, and social life.

Symptoms Common in Adjustment Disorders

Most like the events that affect people, the symptoms common to adjustment disorders vary from person to person. Often times, these symptoms seem much like those prevalent in depression, and people can experience some or all of the following:

• Hopelessness
• Lack of enjoyment in usual activities
• Anxiety or worry
• Sadness or tearfulness
• Impulsivity
• Difficulty sleeping
• Thoughts of suicide
• Inability to focus or concentrate

Adjustment disorder symptoms usually manifest within three months of the stressful event. As a result, people may experience behavioral issues (i.e., isolating from friends and family, poor performances at school or work, and ignoring responsibilities. There are people who experience the symptoms for as short as six months, and others suffer from a more chronic symptomology. It is often best to work with a psychotherapist to manage the symptoms as other mental and physical health issues may occur as a result of the adjustment discomfort.

Anxiety

A certain level of anxiety is normal, expected, and often necessary throughout life. There are, however, overwhelming and persistent types of worry that inhibit a person’s ability to function normally in their daily life. The various anxiety disorders affect around 40 million Americans, and usually present when they are in their adolescence or early adulthood.

Types and Symptoms of Anxiety

A certain level of anxiety is normal, expected, and often necessary throughout life. There are, however, overwhelming and persistent types of worry that inhibit a person’s ability to function normally in their daily life. The various anxiety disorders affect around 40 million Americans, and usually present when they are in teens & adolescents. The symptoms common in the various types of anxiety depend greatly on the person as well as the type of anxiety being experienced.

The most common types of anxiety are:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Excessive worry, often with little or no apparent reason
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – Persistent thoughts or fears that prompt specific rituals or routines
Panic Disorder – Sudden, repeated feelings of terror; sweating; heart palpitations; chest pain; the feeling of choking
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Experiencing a terrifying or traumatic event, which leads to frightening memories, nightmares, emotional numbness, anger, guilt, worry or other symptoms
Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder) – Overpowering worry about everyday social situations; fear of judgment or embarrassment
Specific Phobias – Intense, disproportionate fear of a specific situation or object (e.g., heights, flying) that may cause the person to avoid everyday situations

There are a series of symptoms that are commonly shared between various anxieties. If you or someone you know is experiencing feelings of fear, obsessive thoughts, powerlessness or apprehension, difficulty sleeping, or you are consistently worrying contact us now.

Depression

Depression can be the most devastating mental disorder. The various depressive issues affect more people in the US than any other diagnosis. Beverly Hills Therapy Group has extensive experience working with clients on issues ranging from the most severe cases of Major Depressive Disorder to Persistent Depressive Disorder (formally Dysthymia), as well as the more complicated cases of Bipolar and Schizoaffective disorders. It is important to pay attention to the way the depressive disorders can co-occur alongside issues relating to addiction, anxieties, and extreme cases of low self-esteem.

Symptoms Common to Depressive Disorders

The emotional and psychical symptoms common in Depressive disorders tend to be chronic and often debilitating. When attempting to identify depression, you should look for a multitude of the following symptoms:

• Persistent feelings of sadness, guilt, restlessness, irritability or hopelessness
• Loss of interest in or enjoyment of usual activities
• Feeling bad about oneself or like life isn’t worth living
• Changes in appetite, weight or sleep patterns
• Fatigue and loss of energy
• Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
• Thoughts of death or suicide
• Physical complaints such as headaches or back pain

When someone is depressed, the symptoms they experience are often severe, and often manifest as general feelings of sadness and hopelessness. The symptomology looks different for different people. Someone’s energy level, sleep patterns, appetite, and involvement in activities are relative, and as such can only be self-compared.

Learning Difficulties

Learning difficulties are often described as issues with the brain’s ability to process information. People who struggle with learning disabilities have difficulties learning the same way or as quickly as their peers. Additionally, learning challenges can affect the way people develop basic life and learning skills and, due to self-esteem issues, can often create barriers to social interactions.

Since learning difficulties are chronic and not something that can be cured per say, the effects they carry have a tendency to impact an individual’s academic, workplace, and relational life. A combination of organizational and study skills coupled with specific learning disability focused psychotherapy can help someone conquer the difficulties and overcome its barriers so they can lead a successful professional and social life.

Self Esteem

Self-Esteem is a psychological concept referring to the degree to which people experience confidence in themselves, acknowledge a sense of personal value, and maintain levels of self-respect. As those self-recognitions diminish, the state of wellbeing becomes compromised. Someone’s level of self-esteem shifts along a continuum, and if it becomes too low for too long, it can have devastating psychological effects.

People experiencing low self-esteem often find themselves littered with self-doubt, social isolations, self-criticism, and shame. Low self-esteem can also manifest as a result of various anxiety and depressive disorders. In adolescents with Learning Disabilities, it is crucial to take note of the way they see and speak about themselves. Low self-esteem is extremely common in people who have a tendency to compare themselves to others, and the outlet is often through addiction.

Signs and Symptoms of Diminished Self-Esteem

While it is common to question oneself now and again, severely negative self-talk is one of the cornerstone symptoms of low self-esteem. A personal critical regard and perpetual sense of failure or lack of accomplishment tend to accompany a low self-esteem. These types of feelings are often perpetuated by constant comparisons to others and self-criticism. Most often, these negative criticisms are not valid, but the self-deprecating thought patterns are so deeply ingrained that they tend to go unnoticed.

Call us at (888) 494-7788 or write us to set up your free consultation session.

THERAPISTS WHO SPECIALIZE IN

Teens & Adolescents

Jerri Werksman

Jerri Werksman, MSW

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