Family Services
200 N Glebe Road, Suite 250, Arlington, VA 22203
703-224-1630; Fax 703- 841-2752

 

 

 

 

 

ADOLESCENCE

Adolescence, by definition, is a time of transition. Young persons who were not long ago children are now on a hormonal trajectory that brings body changes, mood swings, peer pressures, and the beginning effort or desire to individuate from parents. Many parents feel overwhelmed by life with a teen and become concerned about the possibility of risky behavior in response to peer influences, stress, and anxiety.

It is noteworthy that the latest brain research reveals that maturity, rational thought and control, which are responsible for emotions, judgment, and “thinking ahead,” are not fully developed until the early to mid-twenties. Brain experts previously believed that the brain stopped growing around the age of 18 months and that neurons were pretty much set for life by age 3.In fact, the brain has a final growth spurt that occurs around the ages of 11 to 13 and continues into the 20’s in the frontal lobes of the brain, the regions that guide human intellect and planning.

The primary goal of adolescent therapy is to provide a safe environment in which preadolescents and adolescents can:

• talk about peer pressure
• process their feelings about social interactions
• develop and maintain friendships
• increase self- esteem
• improve family relationships.

The therapy sessions address specific issues raised by teens, such as stress reduction, anxiety management, body image, eating disorders, and mood swings. Parents are also engaged to explore ways to effectively parent and receive support during this important time of family life.

 

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