Providing Assistance to Young People in the Development of Their Skills and Confidence
The teenage years are a critical period of development characterized by rapid physical, emotional, and cognitive changes. Both teenage girls and boys face a myriad of challenges as they navigate their journey to adulthood. Adolescence is a time of exploration, identity formation, and increased independence. Teenagers undergo profound hormonal shifts, experience heightened peer influence, encounter academic pressures, and grapple with their emerging sexuality. Acknowledging these distinctive aspects of the teenage years is crucial for an effective therapeutic approach.
Understanding the Adolescent Experience
Common Challenges Faced by Teenage Girls and Boys
As a psychologist working with teenagers, Cristine sees teenage girls and boys who face a wide range of challenges. Some of the most prevalent concerns which hinder a teenager’s emotional well-being include:
Common Issues in Teenagers
Therapeutic Approaches for Teenagers
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT):
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a specialized form of cognitive-behavioural therapy that was initially developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, it has since been adapted and proven to be highly effective for various populations, including teenagers. DBT is an excellent therapeutic approach for teenagers because it equips them with essential skills to manage their emotions, tolerate distress, build healthier relationships, and develop a stronger sense of self. DBT consists of 4 modules:
- Mindfulness: mindfulness skills are becoming crucial in today’s world. Mindfulness is being in the present moment with an awareness of one’s self and the world. Scientific evidence suggests that mindfulness has a positive effect on emotion regulation, learning, memory and responses to stress.
- Distress tolerance: the distress tolerance module is divided into two sets of skills (1) Crisis Survival and (2) Accepting Reality skills. Crisis survival skills teach adolescents how to cope with difficult situations without turning to harmful coping strategies like self-injury. Accepting reality skills help teenagers accept what cannot be changed so the focus can be on being more effective in any given situation.
- Emotion Regulation: adolescence can be an emotionally turbulent time, and teenagers often struggle with managing intense emotions. This section teaches teenagers the skills to identify, understand, and regulate their emotions effectively. By learning to cope with emotions healthily, teens can reduce impulsive behaviours and make better decisions.
- Interpersonal effectiveness: this module teaches communication and relationship skills. This helps teenagers with being assertive, build and maintain healthy relationships and increase self-respect in relationships.
Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT):
CBT is a widely used therapeutic approach that helps teenagers identify and modify negative thought patterns, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and improve problem-solving skills. CBT equips teenagers with the tools to manage emotional challenges and make positive behavioural changes.
Therapy can help your teen grow stronger, happier and healthier.