Specializing in Teen Anxiety

Are you or someone you love highly stressed, consistently irritable or unable to relax? Do you strive for perfection and struggle to move on from mistakes, even to the point where the pressure to succeed almost paralyzes you? Perhaps you are suffering from insomnia or you’ve noticed changes in eating or other sleeping patterns. Or maybe you’re trying to mitigate anxiety by abusing substances, self-harming or procrastinating. Does you often complain of physical discomforts, such as headaches, stomachaches or a rapid heartbeat? Are your racing and sometimes illogical thoughts negatively impacting your self-esteem or ability to maintain focus? Do you wish you had the insight and tools to find relief from anxiety and learn how to deal with life’s stressors in healthy ways?

Anxiety Is Increasingly Common

Once considered “Prozac Nation,” we are increasingly becoming the “United States of Xanax.” People of all ages are under an increasing amount of pressure to excel, whether in school, sports, peer relationships or other activities. Many attempt to juggle multiple extracurricular activities on top of a demanding schoolwork load. They get to bed late and are up early as they strive to make top grades so they can get into a top college. The push to get and stay ahead can put teens on edge and keep them consumed with worrisome thoughts, which stresses their undeveloped brains and nervous systems. And, if they think that they’re not performing optimally, teens can feel that they are failures or lacking in some fundamental way. As stress and anxiety take over, these teens experience decreased self-esteem, somatic discomforts and restlessness. Many also develop poor stress management practices and engage in destructive behaviors to cope with their anxious thoughts and feelings.

It’s common for teens to experience stress, and some amount of stress is normal. However, if your teen is engaging in self-harm, you see a noticeable change in behavior, you child suffers from low self-esteem, or anxiety is affecting your teen’s ability to feel good and function well, getting help may be critical to his or her immediate and long-term wellbeing.

Therapy Can Help Your Teen Relax, Relieve Stress And Develop Healthy Coping Skills

With the right therapist and approach, therapy for teen anxiety can be extremely effective. Therapy can provide your teen with an outlet for stress and tips, tools and skills to help mitigate anxious thoughts, feelings and body sensations. It can also help your teen develop more mindfulness and healthy coping skills.

In our teen anxiety sessions, I can help your teen identify, understand and address what is fueling his or her anxiety. We can explore the triggers, thought patterns, emotions and beliefs that may be driving your teen to catastrophize or over-personalize what’s happening within and around him or her. Through developing a more realistic self-talk practice, learning to set and maintain healthy boundaries and creating realistic goals, your teen can begin to create more balance and experience relief. In sessions, your teen can also learn tools for relaxation, such as breathing techniques, which can be used to calm heightened thoughts and feelings stirred by anxiety.

If anxiety really seems to be running your teen’s life, getting help now – during the teenage years – is crucial. Teenagers develop patterns of behavior, coping mechanisms and self-talk practices that they may carry throughout their lives. The good news, however, is that with help and support, your teen can learn healthy ways to mitigate stress, help his or herself through high stress situations and understand the importance of maintaining balance now and throughout life. There are so many effective tools to treat teen anxiety. Counseling can help your teen set realistic goals and healthy, obtainable expectations for his or her performance in school, sports and other extracurricular activities. Together we create an approach that best addresses your teens's specific personality, strengths, weaknesses and needs.

Although you think your teen could benefit from teen anxiety therapy, you may still have questions or concerns…

My teenager doesn’t believe that he or she has an anxiety problem.

You know your child best – even if he or she is in the throes of seeking independence from you and tries to muffle out your concerns. While some teens are self-aware, many struggle to understand themselves and to set and maintain healthy boundaries and expectations without guidance. If you see that your teen is suffering from eating and sleeping issues, perfectionism, an inability to slow down, mood dysregulation or persistent heightened stress, getting help for your teen may be critical. Without intervention, the problems are likely to get worse. However, seeking intervention now can help your teen develop the healthy coping and stress management skills he or she will need as schoolwork and external stressors become more intense in later stages of life.

I think that my teen could benefit from therapy, but I’m worried about cost and time.

I encourage you to view therapy as an investment and to consider how much your teen’s anxiety is negatively impacting his or her ability to feel good and function well. If your teen is under too much pressure, prone to anxiety or has been suffering for some time, anxiety symptoms are unlikely to go away on their own and may even worsen. And, ongoing and persistently high levels of anxiety can impact mental, emotional and physical health, as well as your teen’s capacity for healthy academic and social development. Alternatively, therapy can provide your child with a greater understanding of how he or she relates to and is affected by the world. Developing this understanding and learning healthy and effective ways to cope as a teen can be invaluable to promoting long-term emotional harmony and success.

Your Teen Can Experience Relief

I invite you to call me for a free 15-minute consultation to discuss your teen’s specific situation and needs and to answer your questions about teen anxiety and my practice. You can reach me at 678-822-7030, or email me at therapy@emilyrebeccasiegel.com