We’re sure you have a thousand questions about treatment and recovery—more questions than we could possibly have answered during the admissions process. There’s a world of knowledge out there for you. We’ve compiled a wealth of articles, blogs, and resources to help you navigate this challenging process.

Click the article links on this page to learn more.


Alcohol and Substance Use Disorder in Teens

Recent statistics suggest that a growing number of adolescents struggle with alcohol or substance use disorder. The numbers are alarming: 1.3 million adolescents aged 12-17, and 5.8 million young adults aged 18-25, met the clinical criteria for alcohol use disorder. And, even more worryingly, there is a significant treatment gap for this age group, with […]

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Understanding Peer Pressure in LGBTQ Spaces

Most people understand the bullying, exclusion, and violence that LGBTQ youth sometimes face from straight and/or non-LGBTQ people in their wider community. But something many people don’t know is that the pressure to look and act certain ways that teens experience from their LGBTQ peers can be just as damaging to their wellbeing. As television, […]

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How to Help Your Teenager Make Friends

For teenagers, a solid group of friends can enrich life and make the ups and downs of adolescence a fun, shared experience. Friends can help teens manage school, romance, family troubles, sports, and everything else that goes along with being a teen. But not all teens make friends easily, and sometimes life events interrupt friendships […]

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How to Tell if a Teen Needs Residential Treatment

If you worry your teen is getting off track this fall, you’re not alone. Parents across the country understand that the stress and disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic can have a wide range of negative consequences for their teens. Shelter-in-place orders, social distancing guidelines, and virtual school all mean things teens previously took for […]

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When Should a Parent Seek Professional Help for a Teen with Depression?

Most parents understand teenagers will display the symptoms of depression – and possibly additional mental health disorders – at some point during adolescence, which child development experts define as the time between ages twelve and eighteen. Parents know and understand emotions may fluctuate dramatically during this time because they were teens once, themselves. They also […]

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Does Your Child Think Your Depression Is Their Fault?

“It’s my fault mom gets sad.” Even if you don’t say they’re at fault or give your children a reason to have thoughts like this, they may blame themselves for your depression. And if they do, they’re more likely to suffer from their own depression and anxiety, say researchers from Southern Methodist University (SMU). Moms […]

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Psychosis, Schizophrenia and Prodromal Symptoms in Teens: What’s the Difference?

If your teen is experiencing hallucinations or delusions, you might hear certain terms being thrown around by mental health professionals. Like “psychosis.” “Prodromal symptoms.” “Schizophrenia.” What exactly do these terms mean? And how are they different? What is Psychosis? First, let’s talk about psychosis. When someone is experiencing psychosis, they are experiencing “a break from […]

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Suicide Prevention Month During COVID-19

This year, Suicide Prevention Month – as well as Suicide Prevention Week and World Suicide Prevention Day – feels different than in years past. That’s because it’s taking place during a pandemic. With COVID-19 now being our new normal, many new things have become commonplace. Masks are as essential as our keys. Social distancing is […]

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How to Keep Teens Connected to the LGBTQ Community During Covid-19

This year, many teens are starting the new school year from home. While some teens benefit from the flexibility of distance learning, nearly every student worries about the loss of in-person time with classmates, teachers, and friends. For teens who identify as LGBTQ, a semester of social distancing may mean being apart from the only […]

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National Recovery Month 2020: Celebrating Connections

For over 20 years – since 1999 – the Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) organized and promoted National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) every September. The goal of Recovery Month is to spread awareness, reduce stigma, and educate individuals and families about the importance of mental health and substance use treatment and services. This […]

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How Do I Help My Teen Succeed at Virtual School This Fall?

This time last year, parents and teens were buying new school supplies and getting excited to go back to school. This year, though, the situation looks drastically different. Some school districts say they won’t open for in-person classes at all. Others are considering a hybrid schedule of virtual learning combined with limited face-to-face lessons. And […]

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My Grandchild Needs Mental Health Treatment: What Can I Do?

Grandparents have a unique role in a child’s life. Often serving as quasi-parents, grandmothers and grandfathers have the opportunity to shower their grandkids with love and attention while avoiding the typically difficult duties of parenting, such as discipline, changing diapers, mealtimes, and bedtime. In their exceptional roles, grandparents may see sides of their grandchildren that […]

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Why Do Teens Like ASKfm?

ASKfm is a question-and-answer site largely populated by teens. Almost half of its users are between thirteen and eighteen years old. Like many anonymous social media platforms, the site has become infamous for cyberbullying. In fact, several suicides have been linked to ASKfm. Articles in publications like The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, and Business […]

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What Parents Can Do About Teen Nightmares

Many parents know that nightmares, and night terrors, are common in young children. What they don’t realize is that they’re prevalent during adolescence and the teen years, too. Though nightmares tend to decrease after the age of ten, they don’t always disappear completely. It’s normal for adolescents, teenagers, and even adults to have occasional nightmares. […]

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International Overdose Awareness Day 2020

What is Overdose? Most of us have an idea of what overdose means: it’s what happens when you take too much of something – a drug or medication – and experience negative consequences. If that’s what you think overdose is, you’ve got it right. Now, let’s check with the experts to see how they define […]

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Research Report: Wisconsin Student Athletes, COVID-19, and Depression

We recently published an article about the relationship between teen mental health, coronavirus, and high school sports. That piece was based on a study initiated by a Canadian high school student who analyzed the effect of coronavirus lockdown on student athletes in her school district in Ontario. She found that after six weeks of shelter-in-place […]

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With Schools in Limbo, How Can Parents Plan for the School Year?

On July 13th, officials in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco announced public schools will resume classes on August 17th online, rather than in-person. Some parents, concerned about their child attending school during the pandemic, are relieved. The hashtag #NotMyChild trended on Twitter last week in the U.S. Concerned parents across the country said […]

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How Many 7th Graders in Lafayette, California Think Daily Marijuana Use is Okay?

Too many. During the 2017-2018 school year, the California Healthy Kids Survey asked students in Lafayette, California about their substance use habits and their opinions on substance use. Lafayette is a small city in Contra Costa County, California, situated between Berkeley and Walnut Creek in the East Bay. It’s adjacent to the towns of Moraga and […]

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Is Middle Child Syndrome Real?

Alfred Adler, an early psychoanalyst, and contemporary of Sigmund Freud, was the first to theorize that birth order affects personality. According to Adler, your personality is directly influenced whether you’re the youngest child, oldest child, or somewhere in between. Note that birth-order studies are mainly correlative. And – as it’s important to understand – correlation […]

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Does Virtual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (eCBT) Work for Depression?

Events in the year 2020 changed life in the U.S. in countless ways. One change many of us experience directly is the shift to virtual work and school. Those aren’t the only things that shifted, though. Social contact, live music, and in-person events – from awards shows to graduations to conventions – now frequently occur […]

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How Do Teachers Feel About Returning to Virtual Teaching?

The Santa Monica Unified School District (SMUSD) will resume classes via distance-learning this year. For Ms. Orah Gidanian, a special-education instructor at the Santa Monica Alternative School House (SMASH), this makes sense. “While I am definitely nervous thinking about how this will impact our students’ academic futures and their families, I didn’t see how we […]

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Telehealth, Addiction Treatment, and COVID-19

When the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the U.S., another nationwide health crisis was in full swing: the opioid epidemic. Related to the opioid epidemic was another troubling aspect of addiction in the U.S. that was beginning to get attention: the treatment gap, which refers to the difference between the number of people diagnosed with alcohol […]

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National Exercise With Your Child Week

Every year since 2010, people in the U.S. have participated in National Exercise With Your Child Week during the first full calendar week in the month of August. The week was founded by Shiela Madison to promote family physical fitness. This year, working out as a family is more likely in years past. With most […]

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6 Ways to Keep Your Teen Driver Safe During the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

Don’t drink and drive. Don’t text while driving. Don’t get in a car with someone who’s under the influence. Teens have heard these rules over and over. But are they listening? Especially during the free, unstructured months of June, July and August – dubbed the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer – how can you enforce […]

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Help! I’m Anxious About My Teen Returning to School!

By now you might have heard most schools won’t reopen for in-person classes this fall. Or, perhaps your school is still uncertain about the possibility, and haven’t announced their final decision. Whatever the case may be, you know this: your anxiety is skyrocketing. You don’t know how to plan for the school year. You’re stressed […]

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LA Unified School District: Substance Use and Mental Health Report

The Los Angeles County Unified School District is the largest school district in Los Angeles County. It represents about 42 percent of the public-school students in Los Angeles County. If you’ve ever been curious about rates of mental health and substance use disorder in LA County, there’s a yearly report that has your answer: The […]

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With School Closures, Not all Students Are Upset. Some Are Thrilled.

It’s back to school season. Which means, during COVID, back to homeschooling. In many districts, schools won’t open as usual this fall. Due to surging infection rates around the country, many schools will continue the distance-learning model. There’s also no projected date for when in-person classes will resume. And while many adolescents and parents bemoan […]

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Mental Health and Suicide Statistics for Teens in Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County has received attention in recent years from media and mental health professionals concerned about the alarming rates of mental health issues among youth. For example, in Palo Alto, specifically, there were an unusual amount of teen suicide clusters over the past decade. Between two Palo Alto high schools, the suicide rate is […]

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My Teen Couldn’t Handle Virtual Learning This Spring. Should I Have Them Evaluated?

The nationwide pandemic abruptly shifted all schools to a distance-learning model last spring. And while some students might have thrived in this new educational setting, many students suffered. This article addresses this latter category: those whose academic performance suffered – maybe severely – when schools shifted to a virtual platform. If this happened to your […]

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In Moraga, California, Twenty-Five Percent of Fifth Graders Have Tried Alcohol

If you’re a parent, teacher, or professional who works with youth in Contra Costa County, California, you might be interested in the current rates of adolescent substance use in cities such as Danville, San Ramon, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, and Moraga. While our past articles have focused on substance use in high school students, this article […]

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The Positive Impact of the Grandchild-Grandparent Bond on Mental Health

Everyone knows that grandparents have a special, unique bond with their grandchildren. In certain situations, this bond is sometimes deeper than the parent-child bond. But did you know that studies show being close with your grandparents – and vice versa – has positive effects on mental health? Being Close to the Grands Means Better Adolescent […]

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Why Is My Teen So Negative?

When it comes to your teen, the cup is always half-empty. No – scratch that. It’s always completely empty. Even when a situation has redeeming qualities, your teen sees it as all bad. They get stuck in a cloud of disappointment, misery, or gloom, and nothing you say changes their opinion. You keep wondering: Why […]

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Art Therapy for Anxious Teens

Most teen treatment centers offer art therapy as a supplemental treatment to traditional talk therapies like dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This evidence-based treatment often benefits people with trauma – especially childhood trauma. Art is also a productive medium for opening up treatment-resistant teens. It can help them become more comfortable […]

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Help! My Teen Lies Compulsively. What Can I Do?

Teens often lie. That’s a fact. Research shows roughly 96 percent of teens lie to their parents at least once in any given year. Teens typically lie to protect themselves or their friends, avoid embarrassment, avoid hurting someone’s feelings, or cover up emotions. But there’s a difference between typical teen lying and compulsive lying. While it’s […]

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My Grandchild Needs Mental Health Treatment, But Their Parents Won’t Listen to Me

You’re pretty sure your grandchild has a mental health, behavioral, or a substance use issue. Whether it’s depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), suicidal thoughts, oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD), borderline personality disorder (BPD), bipolar disorder (BD), or another mental health issue, you’re certain they need treatment, whether it’s at a residential home, a […]

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Understanding the Biology and Genetics of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder (BD) is a leading cause of global disability, with well-defined symptoms characterized largely by persistent mood instability. The classic presentation of the disease includes episodes of extreme elation and severe depression, with periods of relatively stable mood in between. Manic swings may include not only significant elevation in mood, but also related changes […]

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July is BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month

In 2005, Bebe Moore Campbell, national spokesperson for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-LA), began a collaboration with NAMI peer Linda Wharton-Boyd that led to the launch of the first Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (MMHAM). Here’s how Campbell described the goal and message of the first MMHAM: “We need a national campaign to […]

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Danville and San Ramon, CA: Mental Health and Suicide Statistics for Teens

Teens in the San Ramon Unified School District took a survey last year to gauge their rates of substance use and mental health issues. This survey, called the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS), asked public school students statewide about a number of different issues in their lives: family connectedness, safety and crime at school, bullying, […]

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Suicide Statistics in L.A. County: 2019

Suicides are on the rise in LA county. Last year, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) released the 2019 Suicide Prevention Report to the Community. The following statistics come from that report, as well as the California School Climate, Health and Learning surveys (CalSCHLS): […]

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Does My Teen Have Psychosis?

The NIMH has some startling statistics about psychosis. Every year in America, about 100,000 teens and young adults experience their first psychotic break. Three out of 100 people will experience psychosis at least once in their lives. And the most common time for someone to experience a psychotic break is during the teenage and college […]

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Mental Health/Suicide Statistics for Teens in Contra Costa County, CA

The most recent data on substance use and mental health issues among Contra Costa County residents is from 2015/2016. That’s the last year that Contra Costa, countywide, participated in the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS). Contra Costa County includes the following cities and towns: Antioch Brentwood Clayton Concord Danville El Cerrito Hercules Lafayette Martinez Moraga […]

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How To Help Teens Resist Online Extremism

On average, teens spend more than 7 hours each day watching videos, reading posts, and sharing information on the internet. Cat videos can be completely harmless and fan forums for television shows and music can be great ways for young people to have fun and connect with friends. But your teen’s favorite apps and social […]

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How Contra Costa County, CA is Tackling the Opioid Crisis

The coronavirus pandemic dominates headlines across the country. Meanwhile, the opioid epidemic continues to disrupt the lives of families and individuals in every state. It hit midwestern states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, the hardest, but no state is immune – certainly not California. According to Contra Costa Health Services in Contra Costa County, California: […]

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Parents of Teens: Reminders for a Safe Fourth of July During COVID-19

This year, the Fourth of July may be difficult for teens. Many organizations have canceled in-person celebrations due to COVID-19. Beaches are closed. Traditional fireworks displays have been canceled. All this comes on the heels of cancelled proms, end-of-year trips, graduations, and summer camps. These disappointments are hard for teens. Now, no holiday weekend to […]

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Seven Ways Teens Can Celebrate the Fourth of July During COVID-19

It’s the Fourth of July! Woohoo! Head to the beach, have a cookout, and watch fireworks with your friends and family. But this year – probably not. Obviously the situation is a little different. With coronavirus cases rising all over America, local and state officials are urging families to stay home and remember that despite […]

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Drugs That Can Cause Psychosis in Teens

Having a psychotic episode can be scary – for the teen undergoing it, and the parent witnessing it. Psychosis can best be described as an out-of-mind experience. It involves hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. While many are aware of the relationship between psychosis to mental health disorders (like schizophrenia), less is known about drug-induced psychosis. Many […]

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L.A. County Teens: Mental Health and Addiction Statistics

Every year, the California Department of Education Coordinated School Health and Safety Office administers a survey to public school students in school districts across the state. This annual survey is called the “California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS)”. Officials administer this anonymous and confidential survey to public school students in grades five, seven, nine, and eleven […]

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Does My Teen Have Bipolar Disorder?

Katy Perry’s Hot ‘n Cold describes your teen’s mood swings perfectly. Your teenager goes through major ups-and-downs. They vacillate between episodes of enthusiasm and joy and periods of sadness and lethargy. Yes, of course, everyone tells you that adolescent mood swings are common, but how do you know whether your teen’s symptoms are typical or […]

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The Impact of COVID-19 on Teens with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by repetitive, obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that often intrude upon a person’s day-to-day life. This anxiety disorder is a common psychiatric disorder for adolescents. Evidence shows that between one and three percent of children and teens struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some common types of obsession include worrying about something […]

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Report: The Most Commonly Abused Drugs in LA County

Addiction and substance use is a nationwide problem. But specific areas of the country show specific trends and drug patterns. For example, the 2019 Los Angeles County Sentinel Community Site (SCS) Drug Use Patterns and Trends Report shows the current statistics of drug use in Los Angeles County. Dr. Mary-Lynn Brecht of UCLA authored the […]

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Media Consumption, Protests, and Teen Mental Health

Media coverage of the nationwide protests occurring in response to the tragic death of George Floyd has been nearly constant since Memorial Day. Every second a new video appears: from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles, demonstrators are out in the streets, making their voices heard. And your adolescent is watching it all unfold, […]

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Academic Performance and Drug Use Among Teens Who Date

Dating is a big part of being a teenager. Movies, pop music, books, and social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook glorify teen love, teen crushes, being boy-crazy, girl-crazy, or non-binary they/them crazy. To be clear, by crazy we mean obsessed, and by obsessed we don’t mean clinically. We mean the can’t-stop-thinking-about-my-crush kind of obsession, […]

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LGBTQ Teens: How Gay-Straight Alliances Boost Mental Health

Adolescence is a turbulent time for any teen. As the developing brain prioritizes sensation, learning, and exploration over risk mitigation, teens navigate a precarious path toward self-actualization and learn to build strong relationships both within and outside their peer groups. While recent research reframes adolescent risk-taking behavior as a natural adaptation – part of an […]

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The Impact of the Protests on Teen Mental Health

Over the past few months, most families across the country have lived in relative isolation due to shelter-in-place orders designed to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve written several articles on the various ways this affects teens: they’ve missed school, missed seeing their friends in person, and missed milestone events like proms and […]

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My Teen Doesn’t Want to Go to Therapy or Mental Health / Substance Abuse Treatment, What Should I Do?

Your teen needs mental health treatment for a certain emotional, behavioral, or substance abuse problem. It could be depression, anxiety, trauma, ODD, DMDD, ADHD, prodromal psychosis, addiction, substance use, or any other mental health issue. The problem is, your teen does not want to go to treatment. Your teen could have a number of reasons […]

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Suicide Attempts Surge In This California County

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, experts predicted it might significantly impact teen mental health. With no real school or extracurricular activities, and limited opportunities for socializing or getting out of the house, professionals guessed that teens with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, self-injurious behavior, and suicidal ideation might be more at risk than ever. We […]

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Grandfamilies in 2020: An Overview

In the U.S., many grandparents are primary caregivers for their grandchildren. According to a University of Michigan/AARP Poll, ten percent of grandparents care for their grandchildren full time. This number includes children ranging in age from infancy to adolescence. These numbers have doubled since 1970, leading to a sharp rise in grandfamilies. While the reasons […]

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Can I Force My Teen to Go to Therapy or Mental Health/Drug Treatment?

Many parents struggle with teens who have emotional, behavioral, or substance abuse issues — like depression, anxiety, trauma, ODD, DMDD, ADHD, prodromal psychosis, or addiction. What makes it even harder is when these teens are reluctant to go to therapy or seek mental health/substance abuse treatment. There are a number of reasons why teens can […]

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Mental Health Treatment for Adolescents: An Overview

If your teenager has a mental health issue and needs treatment, it may be difficult to know where to find the best available support. Adolescent mental health treatment comes in many forms. Generally speaking, most mental health centers offer treatment for teen anxiety, treatment for teen depression, and treatment for teen substance use disorders. Specialty […]

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Calling Transgender Teens by Their Chosen Name Reduces Suicide Risk

Recently, Starbucks – yes, the coffee shop – ran an advertising campaign in support of transgender teens. The popular ad, called #WhatsYourName, capitalizes on Starbucks’ well-known custom of personalizing each customer’s coffee cup. The short clip, which won a Diversity in Advertising Award and aired in the United Kingdom, follows a young teen throughout their […]

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What Is Medical Trauma in Teens? 

You’ve heard of trauma. And you know all about medical illness. But have you heard of medical trauma? Medical trauma occurs after someone undergoes a serious medical procedure or illness. Teens diagnosed with chronic or terminal illnesses may struggle with medical trauma, as can those with life-threatening injuries or surgeries. Research shows, for example, that […]

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Do All Teens Date?

If you’re a teenager, you’ve probably thought about dating. Maybe you’ve decided you don’t want to date at all, maybe you’ve decided you want to date some, and maybe you’ve decided you want to date a lot. We have some good news for you: no matter which category you’re in, you have company. This means […]

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Nick Loffree Talks Diet, Exercise, and Sleep

About Nick Loffree Nick Loffree leads weekly qiqong classes for teens in the Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs (PHP/IOP) at Evolve Treatment Centers. While teaching, Nick often talks about his personal journey through complementary medicine and self-healing. He first started practicing Qigong (an exercise involving meditative breathing coordinated with slow, fluid movement) after discovering […]

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How Does Buprenorphine (Suboxone) Help Treat Teen Opioid Addiction?

The most commonly prescribed medication for teens with an opioid use disorder is Buprenorphine. Buprenorphine was approved in 2002 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for adolescents age 16 and over. One qualitative study of more than twenty-thousand teens and young adults in the U.S. showed that buprenorphine […]

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Why Is My Teen so Mean to Me? Part 3: Mental Health Issues

Every teen behaves in ways that are frustrating at least on occasion, and perhaps even numerous times. While some measure of defiance in teens is normal as they strive to assert their burgeoning independence, very frequent occurrences of noncompliant, blatantly defiant or angry behavior can indicate a mental health disorder. As we mentioned in the […]

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Help! My Teen Wants to Vape and Smoke During COVID Lockdown

Coronavirus is stressful. We get that. It’s annoying that schools are closed. That, if you’re a senior, you won’t get to have a real graduation from high school. Students are missing prom, end-of-the-year trips, birthday parties, and all the other milestone celebrations that COVID-19 has postponed or eliminated. It’s stressful for adolescents not to be […]

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Family DBT at Evolve: How We Do It

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is all about change. From emotions to behaviors to modes of thinking, the essence of DBT lies in learning how to transform life-interrupting thoughts, emotions, and actions to life-affirming thoughts, emotions, and actions. At Evolve Treatment Centers, we take a comprehensive approach to treatment in order to address all aspects of […]

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My Teen is Suicidal: Is it Safe to Go to the Hospital During COVID-19?

If you’re the parent of a teen living with mental health or addiction issues, COVID-19 is probably especially difficult. With no real school or extracurricular activities to keep your teen busy, and limited opportunities for socializing or to even getting out of the house, teens with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, self-injurious behavior, […]

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In Appreciation of RTC Staff, Evolve Partners With Local Farms to Deliver Organic Produce

At Evolve Treatment Centers, we treat food as medicine. Research on the relationship between diet and emotions shows that food has a significant impact on how we feel. A poor diet is associated with a higher vulnerability to negative emotions (like anger, depression, and anxiety).  On the other hand, a healthy, nutrient-rich diet (complete with plenty […]

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Help! My Teen Relapsed During the COVID-19 Lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has our society at a virtual standstill. But some things don’t stop for a virus. One example: recovery from an alcohol or substance use disorder. Recovery is an ongoing, life-long process that takes the work, care, and diligent attention of the person in recovery. It also takes the care and attention of […]

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Recovery at Home During COVID-19: Online AA and NA

The coronavirus pandemic creates challenges in almost every aspect of life. Teenagers in recovery from an alcohol or substance use disorder face obstacles that many other teens do not. They’re trying to stay sober when their previous support options, such as in-person therapy, group counseling, or regular meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous […]

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Mental Health Awareness Month 2020: Tools 2 Thrive

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. At the beginning of 2020, no one could have predicted where we are now: in the middle of a worldwide health crisis, the coronavirus pandemic. Our physical health and wellbeing are front and center in everyone’s mind, which is critical for getting the pandemic under control. Everyone is doing […]

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Home Life During COVID-19: Is My Teenager Craving Drugs? How Can I Tell?

Parents of teens who live with alcohol or substance use disorders face an additional challenge during the coronavirus pandemic. On top of everything new happening, such as telework, virtual school, shelter-in-place orders, and all the details related to COVID-19 that now make up part of their lives, they’re concerned how recovery is going for their […]

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Help! My Teen is Self-Harming During Coronavirus

COVID-19 has many parents of teens confused. Especially parents of teens with mental health issues. If you’re a parent in that category, you might have thought living under the same roof as your adolescent would decrease the severity of their emotional, behavioral, or substance use issues. After all, you wake up together, eat together, and […]

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Arrgggh! Why is My Teen so Messy?

Clothes haphazardly scattered around the room. One sneaker under a sweaty shirt. Another hidden beneath the unmade bed. An almost-empty snack bag full of crumbs perched at the edge of the nightstand, precariously close to spilling. Last night’s wet towel on the bed. And random knickknacks strewn around the room: batteries, charger cables, dirty laundry, […]

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How to Talk to Your Teen About Consent

The #MeToo movement brought to light the alarming frequency of sexual assault cases in the U.S. and around the world. The phenomenon was instigated by several high-profile women who alleged equally high-profile men sexually assaulted them. Naturally, the national conversation turned to the issue of consent. Teaching Children About Consent Though teaching your teen about […]

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Six Things You Should Never Do During a Teen Meltdown (And Three Things You Should Do)

When we say meltdown, you probably know what we’re talking about. Yelling, arguing, slamming doors. Calling names, hurling insults. Extreme emotions. Crying and screaming. Maybe even aggression. It’s normal for teens to have intense mood swings – and thus meltdowns – from time to time.  But the way a parent reacts during a meltdown can […]

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Hand Sanitizer: This One COVID Commodity Can Actually be Dangerous for Teens With Substance Use Problems

With the arrival of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S., hand sanitizers and similar products literally flew off the shelves in most major retail stores. Though the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends handwashing as the number-one way to prevent getting infected, hand sanitizer is in high demand for those who can’t access soap and […]

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How to Schedule Your Teen During COVID-19

We all have one big problem right now: the coronavirus pandemic. It manifests in different ways for different people. First, the suffering of the victims and their families: this disease is causing tragic loss in every community across the nation. Second, the frontline healthcare workers: their bravery is unmatched. They’re the heroes of this difficult […]

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Teens, the Internet, and COVID-19

With the majority of the U.S. population now home due to COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, millions of teens are spending more time online. Almost all high schools have shifted their regular academic classes to Zoom or other digital platforms. Local governments have banned most forms of outside entertainment, which means teens are spending an increasing amount […]

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How to Help Your College Kid With COVID-19 Stress

The stress of the coronavirus pandemic affects everyone. The doctors, nurses, and frontline healthcare workers working every day feel it. Their patients sick with COVID-19 feel it. Their families feel it, too. Public health officials, elected officials, business owners, public safety officers, people who work in essential industries, people who lost their jobs, people who […]

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COVID-19: How Isolation Can Be Dangerous for At-Risk Teens

Medical experts from around the world have one unanimous message for everyone during the coronavirus pandemic: stay home. Most cities and states in the U.S. have issued strict shelter-in-place orders, intended to curb the spread of COVID-19. Rallying cries of “stay home, save lives” and “flatten the curve” scroll across news feeds everywhere. While isolation […]

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Bullying: Five Reasons Kids Bully Other Kids

Did you recently get the dreaded call from the Assistant Principal at Middle School? The one who handles discipline issues? Did they break the unfortunate news that your kid has been bullying other kids? DON’T PANIC – BUT DO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY This doesn’t mean your kid is a bad person or you’re a bad […]

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Counterpoint – Study Shows Screen Time Does Not Predict Teen Mental Health Issues

A widely accepted public narrative exists about the relationship between technology use and mental health. It goes like this: the more time you spend looking at screens and using screen-based technology, the worse your mental health is. Most people think this is obvious. They tend to think it’s most obvious in teens and pre-teens – […]

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COVID-19: What to Do When Your Teen Breaks Shelter-in-Place Rules

Some teens have heard and understood all the reasons they should follow COVID-19 shelter-in-place and social distancing guidelines but refuse to follow them. For some teens, the fact that every time they break the rules they endanger other people’s lives doesn’t matter. They do not care. Some will make jokes about it, gloat about it, […]

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How to Deal With Teen Disappointments During COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every aspect of life as we know it: healthcare, economy, travel, politics, communal life, education, and more. Local governments have shut down schools, most likely for the rest of the school year. This means high school teens will probably miss important milestones like prom and graduation. Sophomores may not receive […]

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Tips for Working from Home During COVID-19: Are My Changes Really Saved in Drive?

The coronavirus pandemic has changed daily life for millions of people in the U.S. Social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the White House COVID-19 Task Force, combined with state and local shelter-in-place advisories – some of which are mandatory and enforceable – mean public offices, storefronts, and points of sale […]

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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week 2020 Part Three: The Treatment Gap

This year, National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week takes place between March 30th and April 5th. Organizers and advocates invite teens, parents, teachers, school administrators, public policymakers, and anyone involved in the life of teenagers to get on board with the theme for 2020: NDAFW 2020: SHATTER THE MYTHS About Alcohol and Drug Use. This […]

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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week 2020 Part Two: Drug Use Among Adolescents

This year, National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week takes place between March 30th and April 5th. Organizers and advocates invite teens, parents, teachers, school administrators, public policymakers, and anyone involved in the life of teenagers to get on board with the theme for 2020: NDAFW 2020: SHATTER THE MYTHS About Alcohol and Drug Use This […]

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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week 2020 Part One: Shatter the Myths

In 2010, scientists and experts on drug and alcohol use from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) launched a public awareness campaign to offer teenagers real facts about alcohol and drug use among their peer group. The purpose of the campaign was twofold: Present teenagers the latest data on alcohol and drugs. Refute myths […]

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Seven Privacy Reminders for Parents of Teens During COVID-19

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been felt around the entire globe. There are hundreds of thousands of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, and the number is still on the rise. To contain the spread of the virus, most state and local governments in the U.S. have shut down non-essential businesses, banned social gatherings, and […]

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How to Handle Anxiety During COVID-19 

Wherever you live, you are likely experiencing the impact of coronavirus. Schools and non-essential businesses are probably closed. Restaurants, theme parks, libraries, movie theaters: same. As of this writing, COVID-19 has already affected the health and lives of millions of people around the world. It’s already claimed the lives of more than a thousand people […]

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Teletherapy for Teens During COVID-19

The coronavirus outbreak has changed almost every aspect of life as we know it. California and many other states have closed all non-essential businesses. Schools are shuttered – with no confirmed date when they will reopen. Theme parks, sports events, zoos, theaters, and other entertainment options are closed – also with no confirmed date when […]

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Eight Things To Do With Your Teen While They’re Home Due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire world, including the U.S. The majority of schools around the country, including in Los Angeles, have closed their doors. In California, there is a strict shelter-in-place policy. Public health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have issued social distancing […]

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The Danger of Drinking Games for Teens

Celebrations in the U.S. often feature alcohol. At sports events, concerts, parties, and sometimes school dances and proms, it’s quite common to see young adults and teenagers with alcoholic beverages in hand. This even happens when alcohol isn’t officially allowed at these events. Teens manage to sneak in alcohol anyway. Or they may pregame the […]

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Why Is My Teenager so Sad All the Time? Do They Have Depression?

Your teen, it seems, is always moping about something or another. Every time you look at them, their body language cries miserable. When they’re not crying, they’re either sulking or moody. They rarely smile, answer you in monosyllables, and seem to spend all their time in their room. A grey cloud seems to hang perpetually […]

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Three Ways to Talk to a Treatment-Resistant Teen

If you’re a parent or caregiver of a teen with mental health, behavioral, and/or substance abuse issues, you might be pushing for them to seek professional treatment. However, as you’ve probably seen, this is easier said than done. Evidence shows that most teens resist mental health or substance use treatment. Whether they refuse for practical […]

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No Time for Family Dinner? Try These Ideas

Research shows that regular family dinners have tremendous benefits for children and teens. Eating dinner together as a family can increase self-esteem, academic performance, and reduce the likelihood of adolescent depression. They create a secure, positive, warm environment for the child. Regular family dinners – which the research defines as eating dinner together at least five […]

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Five Ways to Convince Your Teen to Go to Mental Health or Drug Rehab (When They Don’t Want To)

If your child is like most teens, they’re reluctant about seeking help for a mental health or alcohol/substance use problem. Even if they receive a diagnosis for a disorder like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), alcohol/substance use disorder (AUD/SUD) […]

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Research Report: Teens Who Self-Harm Often Learn from Friends

If you have a teen who harms themselves intentionally – a behavior called non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) by mental health professionals – you might feel confused, helpless, and hopeless. It’s disturbing to realize your adolescent is hurting themselves on purpose. It’s even more painful to realize there’s not much you can do to control it, short […]

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The Parent Trap: How to Avoid Default Parent Syndrome

There’s a phenomenon that regularly occurs in parenting that we need to discuss. It’s called default parent syndrome. You probably know what we’re talking about: when one parent becomes the default parent and one parent becomes the back-up parent. Parenting magazines, websites, and the mainstream news media have picked up on this. They highlight one […]

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Common Household Products Teens Use to Get High

Teens who experiment with illegal drugs or use prescription drugs recreationally can develop a substance use disorder, or what most people call an addiction. Teens can become addicted to heroin, opioid pain relievers, benzodiazepines, marijuana, hallucinogens, and many other drugs. When addiction escalates, teens can become resourceful, creative – and irresponsible – in their quest […]

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National Single Parent Day 2020

When people think of a single parent, most envision a single mom. A young, single mom. They’re not wrong: there are more young, single moms than any other type of single parent in the U.S. But not all single parents are moms. And they’re not all young. Single parents can dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, […]

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March Is Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Awareness Month

Each year during the month of March, advocates join to raise awareness about the phenomenon of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Physicians and mental health professionals may refer to NSSI as self-injury (SI), self-harm (SH), deliberate self-harm (DSH), and self-mutilation (SM).  Informally, NSSI is known as cutting. The purpose of this article is to participate in this […]

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March 19th Is Incredible Kid Day

Every year, we celebrate Incredible Kid Day on the third Thursday in March. This year, Incredible Kid Day – or Absolutely Incredible Kid Day, as it’s properly called – comes on March 21st. Founded in 1997, the purpose of Absolutely Incredible Kid Day is simple: tell the kids in your life what makes them incredible. […]

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What is Wilderness Therapy?

Before you read this article, make sure you read our article “Is Wilderness Therapy Right for My Teenager?” The Origins of Wilderness Therapy Wilderness Therapy programs originate in the work of Kurt Hahn, a German educator who founded Outward Bound (OB) in the early 1940s as a way to teach British sailors how to survive […]

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What Medications Are Used in Medication Assisted Treatment for Teens?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a way for adolescents to detox from, and overcome, their opiate addiction. By taking specific, FDA-approved, physician-prescribed drugs, teens are able to gradually taper off their heroin or opioid addiction without experiencing strong opioid cravings or the painful symptoms of withdrawal. For these reasons, MAT helps limit the risk of relapse. […]

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Is Technology in the Classroom Distracting?

Technology in the classroom is as much a part of education now as pencils and paper were fifty years ago. The technology we discuss in this article, though, is digital technology: the phones, tablets, and laptops students use during class. We’re not going to talk about PowerPoint presentations, online homework assignments, or research conducted on […]

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Brand New To Exercising? These Tips Can Help

Exercise and Recovery The evidence is in. Regular exercise can help people in recovery. Studies show that an exercise routine can help people in recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders, combat depression, relieve anxiety, decreases cravings, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Regular exercise also offers people in recovery new alternatives to old habits, decreases […]

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My Teen Has an Eating Disorder: How do I Find Help?

Eating disorders affect millions of teens around the world. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), about 3-5 percent of adolescents in the U.S. live with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or an otherwise unspecified eating disorder. Additionally, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness. If your teen struggles with […]

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Too Much Too Soon: The Long-Term Effects of Academic Preschools

Early Childhood: The Foundations of Learning Child development experts recognize that early childhood education is crucial to the long-term academic success of an individual. Research shows that the first five years of life set the stage for everything that comes afterwards, and that during this time, children’s brains are most receptive to learning language and […]

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Parenting Basics: The Difference Between Discipline and Punishment

Parenting is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. It’s also one of the most challenging. Along with the laughter, joy, and love, children bring into the lives of their parents, they also bring tears, tantrums, and frustration. It’s up to parents to guide children into adulthood, give them the fundamental tools they need […]

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What Teens do With Their Downtime (And Why They Should Have Hobbies)

The average American teenager spends about nine hours sleeping and about seven and a half hours participating in school-related activities on any given weekday during the school year. That means they have roughly seven and a half hours of downtime every day to fill however they choose. Which makes us wonder: How do our teenagers […]

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My Teen Has Anxiety About Climate Change. Do They Need Mental Health Treatment?

Disclaimer: This article is about understanding the issues involved in climate change as it relates to teen anxiety. It is neither a public endorsement nor criticism of climate change policies or the climate change movement. Evolve Treatment Centers has one goal: to help adolescents struggling with behavioral, emotional, and substance use disorders. This generation shows […]

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The Benefits of Play Therapy for Young Children and Adolescents

What Is Play Therapy? Play therapy was developed early in the 20th century as a way for psychiatrists, psychotherapists, teachers and other childcare professionals to help young children positively and productively handle a wide range of emotional and psychological challenges. The underlying premise of play therapy is to meet children at their own level, where […]

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Topics in Treatment: Treatment and Recovery Legislation, Part Three – The SUPPORT Act

In Parts One and Two of our series on treatment and recovery legislation, we discussed The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act, respectively. We introduced the series by offering a brief description of the events that led to the opioid crisis, which led to the passage of three significant […]

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Topics in Treatment: Treatment and Recovery Legislation, Part Two – The 21st Century Cures Act

In Part One of our series on treatment and recovery legislation, we discussed The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). We introduced that piece by offering a brief description of the events that led to the opioid crisis, which led to the passage of three significant articles of legislation by Congress to address the crisis. […]

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Topics in Treatment: Treatment and Recovery Legislation, Part One – The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA)

If you pay attention to national media, you know all about the opioid crisis – also called the opioid epidemic – that’s happening right now in the U.S. If you don’t follow the news and have never heard of the opioid crisis, it’s time to catch up – even if, from your perspective, it has […]

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February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: #1Thing

Early Roots: Protecting Families In 1981, advocates for women and children created Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) to raise awareness about domestic violence and spread reliable facts and knowledge about its prevalence and consequences. Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) is the product of that same awareness and advocacy movement. The goals of DVAM and […]

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The Relationship Between Alcohol Use, Substance Use, and Parenting Style

Scores of peer-reviewed scientific journal studies that examine the relationship between parenting styles and the use of alcohol and drugs are available to the public. The majority of this research focuses on the effect of parenting style on alcohol and drug use among adolescents. In this area of research, scientists identify four primary parenting styles […]

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This One DBT Skill Can Lift Most Teens’ Negative Moods

Opposite Action is a very popular Dialectical Behavior Therapy skill among teens.  In Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), teens learn a variety of practical skills they can use to change unhealthy and ineffective behaviors. These skills are divided into four core modules: Emotion Regulation, Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. One well-known skill in the Emotion […]

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For Teens With Borderline Personality Disorder, This One Symptom Is Very Common

One of the main symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is splitting. Splitting is the unconscious division of people, situations or events as “all good” or “all bad.” For example, a teen with BPD can decide a friend is either “the most loyal person in the world” or “evil.” An event is either “amazing” or […]

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Eat Your Vegetables: Diet and Health in Childhood and Adolescence

An alarming trend has emerged over the past three decades in the United States: children and adolescents are falling victim to a wide array of health problems. According to studies released by the CDC, the Kaiser Foundation, and countless peer-reviewed academic journal publications, data indicate that obesity, asthma, and type 2 diabetes are all on […]

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January 2020: National Stalking Awareness Month

Stalking is a serious crime that can cause severe emotional damage to the person being stalked. Stalking can also be a precursor to sexual and non-sexual violence, rape, and murder. Did that sentence get your attention? Good. That’s why we wrote it: stalking needs your attention. It needs all our attention. It needs national attention. […]

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Someone Is Stalking My Teen Online. What Do I Do?

Here at Evolve Treatment Centers, our utmost priority is the safety and security of adolescents and teens everywhere. That’s why we’re committed to spreading awareness on the dangers of the dark web, unfiltered social media access, and the unfortunate reality of child sex trafficking/grooming. Grooming and stalking go hand-in-hand. Many child predators will start talking […]

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Pros and Cons of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Your teen is addicted to heroin or other opioids. You’ve been getting lots of advice. Mental health professionals have told you about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), 12-Step programs (e.g. Nar-Anon), and adolescent drug rehab centers. You’ve also heard about detoxification (often referred to as detox), and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). For teens […]

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Can Music Help Treat Depression?

A report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017 shows that depression is one of the most common chronic diseases on earth. The numbers are staggering: around 322 million people live with some form of clinical depression. That’s close to five percent of the entire population of the planet. This is a serious, […]

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Sleep and Teens With ADHD

Parents of teens with ADHD hear everything under the sun about their kid’s diagnosis. Family, friends, teachers, and mental health professionals dole out all kinds of advice, free of charge, all day every day. They’re not the only ones. Everyone seems to have an opinion. If you’re the parent of a teen with ADHD, the […]

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Helping Teens With Grief and Loss

Parents have an instinct to shield their children from the hardships of life. It’s natural: protecting children is what parents do. But parents know they can’t – and shouldn’t – sequester their children in a protective bubble until they’re eighteen. That doesn’t help anyone. Kids need to learn hard lessons, understand how to cope with […]

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Recovery Tips: How to Find an Exercise Routine You Can Stick To

When we wrote our New Year’s resolutions articles this year, we intentionally avoided talking about tangible, goal-oriented resolutions like saving money, losing weight, or picking up a new hobby, such as playing a musical instrument. That may seem counter-intuitive, because almost all New Year’s resolutions involve setting and achieving goals similar to those. Most people […]

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How Qigong Helps with Mental Health Issues Like Anxiety and Depression

Evolve is a proponent of experiential therapies, which promote mental health and prevent relapse. Experiential therapies (like equine-assisted therapy, surf therapy, music, art and more) provide fun, healthy outlets for teens, expose them to new ways of expressing themselves, and help them discover what a “life worth living” looks like for them. A new experiential […]

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Does My Teen Have a Psychosomatic Disorder?

Your child has been complaining of a stomachache. Or a headache. Or ear pain, chest pain, nausea: take your pick. Problem is, the doctor can’t find anything wrong. He’s checked out your adolescent, and everything looks all clear—physically, that is. Which leaves you puzzled. It doesn’t make sense that your teen is exaggerating their symptoms. […]

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Raising Empathetic Children

“Learning to stand in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace begins.  And it’s up to you to make that happen. Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world.” – Barack Obama Crisis of Conscience A person watching the mainstream news media over the past couple of years […]

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Morning Yoga: A Tool for Recovery

In many addiction recovery programs, regular physical exercise is considered to be a top line behavior. Extensive research in exercise physiology demonstrates that exercise helps alleviate stress, increases a sense of well-being, and boosts self –confidence in those who exercise regularly. In recent years, addiction treatment centers, addiction therapists, and addiction experts have included another […]

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Mindful Walking: A Tool for Recovery

Mindfulness practices have been recognized as effective strategies in the treatment of the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression since the 1970s. Pioneered by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at The University of Massachusetts, mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques are now employed by clinicians across the world in the treatment of mental health, alcohol, and substance use disorders. […]

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Handling Childhood Anger

Emotions. Some of us are ready and willing to talk about them openly, and some of us keep them to ourselves. Most of us fall somewhere in between: we’ll talk about some emotional issues with other people, but there are certain subjects that never really see the light of day. It’s different for everyone—we grow […]

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Exercise, Sleep, and Adolescents

Over the past two years, we’ve published four articles on the role sleep plays in the lives of adolescents. One article was about sleep in a second-hand way. We talked about the impact of school start times on academic performance among teenagers in Seattle. Later start times meant more sleep, which translated into better graders […]

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How DBT’s Radical Acceptance Can Help with Teen Trauma, Anxiety, Depression and Any Other Painful Feelings

Radical Acceptance is a skill in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) that helps people learn how to accept very painful events, people, or aspects of their life. It’s one of the skills found in the Distress Tolerance module of DBT. When Would You Use Radical Acceptance in DBT? You use the skill of Radical Acceptance when […]

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New Year’s Resolutions 2020: A New Approach

Last December we published a post with this title: “Are New Year’s Resolutions Even Worth Making?” Our answer – even though statistically speaking, most people don’t keep their resolutions – was easy to reach: “Yes, they absolutely are.” Why? Because we work in a field where we every day, we help people rebuild their lives […]

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How People in Recovery Define Recovery

There’s a funny thing about recovery: the people who define what recovery is aren’t necessarily in recovery themselves. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re a doctor, for instance, you don’t have to have an illness to be able to identify and treat it. But it is a curious thing. It’s so curious that […]

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How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Treats PTSD in Adolescents

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious psychological disorder that develops in some teens after they’ve been through something traumatic. Traumas can include neglect or abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional). Family violence. A car accident, death of a loved one, or natural disasters. War. School shootings. Terrorist attacks like 9/11, or even just exposure to […]

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The National Recovery Study: How Americans Recover from Alcohol and Drug Problems

The stories about alcohol and drugs we read in the press are almost always negative. For years, news about alcohol and drugs either revolved around celebrities checking in and out of rehab or the next new drug parents needed to know their thrill-seeking teens might try. More recently, the press is all about the opioid […]

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What Motivates 15-Year-old Americans to Do Well on Tests?

Every three years, high school students from over sixty countries take a series of standardized tests designed to assess their proficiency in core subject areas such as mathematics, reading, and science. The test is part of a larger effort, called the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which helps education policymakers compare their students and […]

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Adverse Childhood Experiences: Early Trauma and Adult Mortality

Professionals working in clinical medicine and general healthcare have known about the long-term effects of early trauma on the development of chronic disease in adulthood for over twenty years. Until recently, however, most of these professionals worked in mental health, and understood early trauma in terms of its impact on psychological issues – mood and […]

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Treatment Now, Home for the Holidays

Adolescence brings a host of changes to the life of any family. Sometimes, those changes are difficult to handle. The teens themselves may not know what’s going on, even if the changes are painful and confusing. And if the changes are painful and confusing, they may try to ignore them, suppress them, or deal with […]

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Adolescent Mental Health in Minnesota: Change to Chill

Awareness about mental health issues increases every day. That’s a positive development, when we consider that not long ago, the entire subject was close to taboo. Stigma around mental health disorders and treatment for mental health disorders kept people from seeking the support they needed. This environment had a disproportionate effect on adolescents, because many […]

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Adolescent Mental Health in Washington State: New Legislation

This spring, lawmakers in the state of Washington passed a bill changing the rights of parents and teenagers about two important – and sometimes controversial – aspects of treatment for mental health and substance use disorders: consent to treatment and access to treatment information. Until the passage of House Bill 1874, teenagers had robust rights […]

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Homeless Youth: Increased Risk of Mental Health Disorders

In our recent article November is Homeless Youth Awareness Month, we offered basic information everyone should know about youth and adolescent homelessness. We covered the overall numbers, identified the primary reasons youth and teens become homeless or experience homelessness, and listed a series of evidence-based recommendations made by private and public entities that can help […]

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My Teen has Oppositional Defiant Disorder: How Will DBT Help?

If your teen has Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or ODD, life can be a never-ending power struggle. While it’s normal to have an increase in conflicts with parents during adolescence, teens with ODD are constantly irritable, sarcastic, or aggressive (either verbally or physically). They may frequently shrug off rules and use obscenities or curse words. You […]

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Homeless Youth Awareness Month 2019

We have a problem in the United States: homelessness. It’s a problem that affects everyone. From small towns to big cities, from federal to state to local governments, from our progressive coastal cities to our more traditional rural interior, homelessness reaches every corner of our country. Every November, The Coalition for Homeless Youth, The National […]

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Sleep and Anxiety: The Connection

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. Overall wellness starts with three basic things: Healthy food. Plenty of sleep. Regular activity. You know what good food means: whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein. And cut back on the sugar and processed foods. That’s how you avoid obesity, heart […]

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New Study Confirms DBT Effective Treatment for Teens who Self-Harm

A study published last July in the American Journal of Public Health revealed a troubling set of statistics about the prevalence of self-harming behaviors among adolescents in the United States. In a sample set of over 60,000 teens, researchers found that: More than 17% of adolescents reported engaging in self-harming behavior Roughly 11% of adolescent […]

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How to Avoid a Holiday Relapse

For most teenagers, the winter holidays mean lots family time. If you’re a teenager in treatment for an alcohol or substance use disorder, family time can be very challenging. From Thanksgiving all the way through to New Year’s Day, you’ll go to parties, dinners, and get-togethers that bring everyone together to eat, drink, and share […]

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After a School Shooting, Some Teens May Refuse to Go Back to School. Here’s Why, and What You Should Do About It.

Just this week, there was a tragic school shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, a city in Los Angeles County, California. The 16-year-old shooter killed two teenagers and wounded three other teens before classes began for the day. At Evolve Treatment Centers, we are extremely distressed by this incident. We offer our sincere […]

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November is Child Safety Protection Month

Every year in November, child health and welfare advocates organize resources and spend the month raising awareness about childhood safety. Most of the information shared during Child Safety Protection Month is directed toward infants, toddlers, and school age children. Safety experts offer helpful tips and advice about things like crib safety, kitchen safety, and bathroom […]

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November is Adoption Awareness Month: A Focus on Adopted Teens

Adolescence is a challenging time for any teenager. Puberty launches their bodies and brains into a radical series of changes during the transition from youth to adulthood. Powerful hormones course through their bodies as the part of their brain responsible for rational decision-making and impulse control – the prefrontal cortex – develops the capacity to […]

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My Teen Is So Impulsive…Do They Have BPD?

Your daughter goes on shopping sprees, ordering piles of clothes or accessories she really doesn’t need. Or your son drives erratically, leaving you to hang on for dear life while he speeds down the street. Your teen forgets things everywhere, is extremely spontaneous, and doesn’t think before acting. Or perhaps your son or daughter gets […]

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Halloween: Tips for Teen Trick-or-Treating

So. Your super-mature, mom-and-dad-I’m-almost-an-adult- stop-treating-me-like-a-child! teenager wants to go trick or treating this year, and you’re skeptical. With good reason. But before you dismiss the idea out of hand, consider this: under all that independence, under all that “differentiation” – a.k.a. the developmental process of defining their own identity aside from you – your teen […]

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I’m Too Old For Halloween! (No You’re Not)

So, Mr. and Ms. Teenager. You think you’re too old for Halloween? Think all that fun Halloween stuff is for little kids? Think again. No one is too old to have fun on Halloween. But maybe you’re totally over trick-or-treating. Fair enough: that’s your choice. Before you write it off entirely, however, we want you […]

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Adderall Misuse and Abuse in Teens and Young Adults

Adderall is a powerful central nervous system stimulant used primarily to treat ADHD and ADD in children and adults. It’s a prescription drug that works by boosting two specific brain chemicals: norepinephrine, which is associated with attention and response, and dopamine, which is associated with reward-seeking behavior and pleasure. How is Adderall Abused? Adderall is […]

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Pediatric Cannabis Intoxication: Issues After Legalization

Pediatric cannabis intoxication has become a serious public health issue in states where marijuana has been legalized. A substantial spike in emergency room visits and calls to poison control centers are an unintended consequence of the decriminalization of marijuana. The Los Angeles Times reported that in 2017, California’s poison control centers received 588 calls regarding […]

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I’ve Met Someone Online. They Want to Meet in Person. Now What?

So, you met a guy online. Or a girl. (For purposes of stylistic ease, we are using the male pronoun here, but this person could be of any gender.) It could have been Facebook. Kik. Fortnite. He seems so nice. Flattering. Sweet. And he really likes you, it seems. He understands, accepts, and supports you […]

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Can a Teen Be Diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder?

Diagnosing a teen with Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, is “tricky,” says Elise Guthmann, LMFT, Clinical Program Director at Evolve Residential Treatment Center in Ojai, California. That’s because some of its defining features are very common to adolescents in general. Emotional instability, moodiness, identity issues, and sensitivity to rejection are all fairly typical in teens. […]

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Teens and Prescription Drugs: A Growing Problem

Prescription drug abuse among teens is a concern across the country, and the results can be tragic. All too often, trouble begins when teens experiment with leftover meds in the bathroom medicine cabinet. There are several reasons why kids turn to prescription drugs. Teens often take drugs to get high or to relax, cope with […]

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I Caught My Teen Sexting. Now What?

You might have gotten the call from another parent, who was appalled. Or the school administrator. Or maybe you found out about it yourself. Inadvertently saw some of the photos on your teen’s phone. Read some of the racy texts. How you discovered it doesn’t matter. Ultimately, you caught your teen sexting. Help! My Teen […]

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What Causes Borderline Personality Disorder in Teens?

Borderline personality disorder in teens is marked by high levels of impulsivity, repeated self-harming and suicidal attempts, conflicted relationships with others, and high emotional sensitivity and reactivity. But what causes this disorder? Experts can’t point to one single cause of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in adolescents. Mental health professionals believe it is caused by several […]

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Six Ways You Can Validate a Teen (And Anyone Else!)

Your adolescent is upset about something or another. Maybe he or she is crying. You know what the experts say: validate, validate, validate. Because children and teens are not always looking to problem-solve. They’re looking to be validated. But what exactly does it mean to validate, and how do you do it? Dialectical Behavior Therapy […]

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What Age Should My Child Get a Phone?

The time has come. Your child, or adolescent, is asking for a phone. But not just any phone will do, of course. They need a smartphone. Preferably the latest model.  “Everyone has one,” they’re telling you. (Which may not be 100% true, by the way.) But before you go and purchase said smartphone, you decide […]

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Research Report: Cannabidiol (CBD) for Opioid Use Disorder

As the nation wrestles with the opioid epidemic, health scientists work to find new, evidence-based methods to help people struggling with opioid addiction. Research shows that a combination of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), therapy, and social support is the most effective way to treat opioid addiction. The benefits of MAT are significant. Over 40 years of […]

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How To Treat A Teen With Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder in teens is marked by a host of symptoms. There’s emotional instability and extreme bouts of moodiness. Identity issues. Chaotic relationships. Self-harming behavior and suicidal ideation. While many of these issues sound like they’re common in teens, adolescents with borderline personality disorder experience them much more intensely than others. “Their emotions can […]

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Polysubstance Use in Adolescents

Recent research indicates that adolescents (12-17) who misuse more than one substance – or engage in polysubstance use – may be at higher risk to develop substance use disorders in adulthood. Some evidence also suggests that this same age group may be more likely to move from polysubstance misuse of cigarettes and marijuana to polysubstance […]

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The Benefits of Yoga for Children and Adolescents

Yoga in the United States Yoga is a form of exercise that comes from India and is reputed to be at least four-thousand years old. The original Indian yoga was deeply related to spiritual practice, and included heavy doses of prayer, chanting, devotional singing, and seated meditation. The type of yoga practiced most commonly in […]

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Parenting Practices in the U.S. and Abroad

In the U.S., there are almost as many approaches to parenting as there are families. Bedtimes, dinner times, screen time, you name it: some parents are rigid and some are strict. The same is true for supervision: some parents might let their eight-year-old child ride a bike to a friend’s house several blocks away all […]

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How Horses Can Help Teens Overcome Mental Health Issues

Equine-assisted therapy, which involves interacting with horses, is a widely used therapeutic tool, especially with adolescents. The unique sensitivity of horses, and their oft-cited characteristic of being “nonjudgmental”, helps teens develop the same characteristics towards themselves. In equine-assisted therapy (EAT), teens are required to be fully present. They need to watch for and respond to […]

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October is Bullying Prevention Month

Every year during the month of October, students, teachers, parents, and school administrators unite to raise awareness about bullying. Bullying Prevention Month was first organized in 1999 as an initiative of Love Our Children USA, a non-profit dedicated to ending violence and neglect against children in all its forms. In 2003, Love Our Children founder […]

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Why Sex Trafficking Victims Need Mental Health Treatment

Sex trafficking is a complex, multilayered issue. Vulnerable young adolescents and teens are recruited by predators, who play on their emotions and weaknesses to eventually gain their trust and then take control. How It All Starts Maricela Vega, Master’s-level counselor at Evolve Treatment Centers San Diego PHP/IOP, says that many teen girls who become trafficking […]

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Is a Sex Trafficker Talking to Your Daughter Online?

According to a study by The University of Toledo in Ohio, sex traffickers are increasingly using the internet, specifically social media, to recruit and sell adolescents. The study found that traffickers are able to exploit the teens even without ever meeting face to face. Usually, traffickers are preying on vulnerable young teens—usually girls. Through 16 […]

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Childhood Obesity Awareness Month: Obesity and Adolescent Mental Health

Last year, we published an article for Childhood Obesity Awareness Month that answered this question: What do treatment for substance use, mental health disorders, and obesity have in common? You can read that article in full – Substance Use, Obesity, and Mental Health Treatment: Changing the Paradigm – or read the quick summary that follows. […]

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September is National Pain Awareness Month

Pain Awareness Month: The History Pain Awareness Month began in 2001, when a group of organizations and concerned parties united with a common goal: “To bring awareness to chronic pain and highlight of pain affects individuals, families, communities, and the nation.” This year’s theme for Pain Awareness Month –  #LetsTalkAboutPain –  is designed to reduce […]

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How Art Therapy Will Help With Trauma

What does painting have to do with mental health? Lots, actually. Art therapy is a popular intervention for those with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, low self-esteem, trauma, and more. PTSD and other childhood attachment issues like neglect are particularly amenable to art therapy. Many studies analyzing children with PTSD find that the participants in the treatment […]

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TikTok: A Ticking Time Bomb for Teens

Some call the app “digital karaoke.” On it, teens can create 3-15-second videos of themselves singing, lip-syncing, dancing, or doing anything at all – antics and silly pranks included — to background music. The videos, by default, loop on repeat, making it often addictive to keep watching. Popular TikTok videos mostly show young adolescents, often […]

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Parents, Teens, and Independence

In a recent article in Time Magazine, Ziauddin Yousafazi, father of Malala Yousafazi, the youngest-ever recipient of the Noble Peace Prize, made the following statement: “Good parents should want their children to be independent as early as possible.” Most parents would agree with that sentiment. However, there are ideas embedded in that statement that mean […]

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With This New Method, Teens Are Now Smoking Marijuana Everywhere—Even in Class

Since California legalized the use of marijuana for adults, the substance has also become more readily accessible to underage minors, who use it recreationally – which is illegal. Marijuana use has become so rampant and pervasive that teens are now smoking everywhere they can—including school. Whereas it’s relatively common knowledge that many high school adolescents […]

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The Best and Worst States for Teachers in the United States: 2018

Each year, the analysts at WalletHub apply their considerable analytical skills to rank the Best and Worst States for Teachers in the U.S. To determine their rankings, the WalletHub number crunchers look at 22 criteria (including average teacher salary, average teacher/student ratio, average work hours per week per teacher and everything in between) across two primary […]

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Hostile Aggression in Sports: What Causes Some Athletes to Fight During a Game?

If you’ve ever watched a youth sports game, you’ll inevitably see some athletes playing more aggressively than others. Certain teens will push, roughhouse, and be overly hostile to their opponents, even going above and beyond the instrumental aggression necessary to win. Two Types of Aggression Researchers identify two types of aggression related to sports: instrumental […]

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September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day

September is National Suicide Prevention Month in the U.S. In honor of this month, we’ll share resources and highlight ways that everyone can make a difference in the life of a suicidal teen or adult. In this post, we share awareness of World Suicide Prevention Day, which occurs this year on Tuesday, September 10th. Please […]

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Suicide Prevention Month: Five Action Steps

September is National Suicide Prevention Month in the U.S. In honor of this month, we’ll share resources and highlight ways that everyone can make a difference in the life of a suicidal teen or adult. In this post, we’ll offer five practical steps you can take if you know someone is contemplating suicide. Please read […]

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Suicide Prevention Month: When It Comes to Suicide, We Can All Save a Life

September is National Suicide Prevention Month in the U.S. In honor of this month, we’ll share resources and highlight ways that everyone can make a difference in the life of a suicidal teen or adult.  If you have a family member or friend who is struggling with depression or another mental health issue, they might […]

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Teen Athletes: Are They More Likely to Have Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues?

Sports have a host of benefits for teens. From social advantages to academic enrichment to physical health, it seems like there’s nothing better than playing on your high school team. At the same time, there’s a dark underbelly in the world of teen athletics. Research looking at thousands of teen athletes around America has produced […]

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The Link Between Aggression and Male Jock Culture

In previous articles, we discussed the link between sports and aggression. We presented studies indicating that athletes in high-contact sports (like football or wrestling, for example) are more likely to be aggressive even off the playing field. However, we concluded by reminding parents that there could be several factors at play (no pun intended!) in […]

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The Academic Benefits of Arts Education in Schools

Public schools in the U.S. face a monumental task: educating an incredibly large and diverse population of students. A report from The National Center for Education Statistics shows that just over 50 million students enrolled in public schools in the fall of 2018. Of those students, 24 million were Caucasian, 7.8 million were African-American, 14 […]

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Why Do Parents Get Angry During Their Kids’ Sports Games?

If you’ve ever been to a teen sports game, you’ve probably witnessed a fight at least once. It starts out, sometimes, with some muttering behind the coach or referee’s back. The parents raise their voices. There’s yelling, maybe even cursing. And then a fight breaks out. Tensions run high at sports games. Especially youth games. […]

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How Snapchat Streaks Are Getting Teens Addicted to the App

According to a national survey of American teenagers conducted by the University of Chicago, around three-quarters of adolescents aged 13-17 use Snapchat regularly. Snapchat’s main draw is that it erases photos and videos just seconds after receipt. Most teens use the app to share lighthearted, spontaneous moments. The app’s design is playful and fun. You […]

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The Connection Between Childhood Bullying, Depression, and Genetics  

Bullying is an unpleasant human behavior that everyone knows and understands. Most of us associate bullying with childhood and elementary school.  But as we know, bullies don’t always go away after elementary school. Some keep it up in middle school and high school, and some persist with their bullying behavior well into adulthood. Fortunately, one […]

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The Benefits of Sports for Teens

Eight million teens played sports in high school last year, based on a survey by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). That was a record-breaking high. In fact, the number of high school athletes has been increasing for the last three decades. With so many adolescents playing sports, it’s worthwhile to talk […]

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This School’s Mental Health Awareness Program Tackles Real-Life Teen Stressors

Sometimes, the signs are clearly visible—people can read you like a book. Other times, no one can even guess what you’re struggling with inside. This dichotomy was the inspiration behind Colorado’s new statewide mental health campaign, “Below the Surface.” This attention-grabbing awareness campaign stemmed from a wave of student suicides in high schools around Colorado […]

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Mindfulness and Positive Body Image

We’re close to twenty years into the 21st century. It’s a safe bet to say that almost anyone reading this blog has heard of mindfulness. And that’s not surprising, because although it’s still considered a complementary or alternative therapy in the medical and mental health communities, and many members of the general public still think […]

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Five Reasons Not to Put Off a Teen’s Treatment Because of School

We invite you to engage in a hypothetical. Say, for instance, school starts next week. In California, it does. So that’s not hypothetical. But stick with us. Let’s say school starts next week and your adolescent child has just received a clinical diagnosis indicating they have a mental health disorder. Let’s say the diagnosis is […]

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Does Your School Have Narcan On Hand?

Your school has a fire alarm. Fire extinguisher on each floor. Earthquake drills, if you live in California. Active-shooter drills, because it’s the 21st century. AED unit, in case of heart complications. EpiPen, for allergies. But does your school have Narcan, in case of a drug overdose? What is Narcan? First, what is Narcan? When […]

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How to Survive the Transition From Middle School to High School

For a teen, perhaps one of the most nerve-wracking academic transitions is the one between middle school and high school. There’s a new, bigger school building you have to acclimate to.  New peers, which mean new cliques. Brand-new teachers and classes—and many of them. A faster pace at school. Anticipating all of these new social […]

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Teens, Sleep, and ADHD

ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed developmental disorders in children and teenagers. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), based on the 2016 National Survey on Children’s Health (NSCH), show the following prevalence of ADHD in children age 2-17 in 2016: 9.4% have received an ADHD diagnosis – that’s about […]

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Air Pollution and Childhood Brain Development

The impact of air pollution on general health is well-known. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that airborne contaminants such as ground-level ozone and particulate matter such as dirt, soot, and smoke increase the likelihood of developing: Lung cancer Cardiovascular disease Asthma Pneumonia Bronchitis In addition, exposure to ground-level ozone and particulate matter is […]

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Does Being a Tiger-Mom Lead to Success, or Problems?

When Amy Chua released her controversial memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, parents around the country were outraged. The mother of two teenage daughters (now both Harvard graduates), Chua described her no-nonsense, super-strict approach to parenting. She expected straight A’s in every class besides gym or drama, made her kids practice piano and violin […]

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July 28th is National Parent’s Day

In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed a Congressional Resolution into law declaring the last Sunday of every July as National Parent’s Day. The resolution, sponsored by Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, established the day as a way of “…recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.” National Parent’s Day is […]

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WIC Enhancements Improve Maternal and Infant Health

If you’ve never heard of WIC, it’s a Federally funded program designed to improve lifelong health and nutrition behavior for a specific population of U.S. citizens. WIC is an acronym for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. That’s the population the WIC program was created to serve: pregnant women, mothers with […]

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What to Do When a Teen Spurns the Family Faith

Adolescence is a time of separation and individuation. Teens are drawn to creating their own identity and exploring the world on their own. They may begin examining the ideals they grew up and analyzing them from a different lens. During this period of time, adolescents also begin experimenting. They become eager to try new things […]

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Behavioral Health Terms: A Quick Guide

The Language of Behavioral Health Whether you’re a parent, teacher, school administrator, primary caregiver, or simply a concerned friend or relative, keeping up with the latest behavioral health terminology can be challenging. Sometimes words used in the context of health care mean something different than what they mean in their day-to-day context. Also, as time […]

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Team Sports, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Mental Health

A story published by National Public Radio (NPR) in May caught our attention. Here’s the headline: “Playing Teen Sports May Protect From Some Damages of Childhood Trauma” Like many things we see in the media that intersect with our specialty – helping adolescents struggling with mental health and/or substance use disorders – we thought to […]

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Vaping, Teens, and Delinquent Behavior

The media is filled with conflicting news about vaping. On the one hand, research shows e-cigarettes and vaping are an effective component in smoking-cessation programs, i.e. helping people quit. On the other hand, the development of products like the Juul – a vape device that looks like a computer flash drive – and the marketing […]

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The Relationship Between Teacher Depression and Student Behavior

The Mood Makes the Class In an article published in 2014 in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology entitled “Pathways From Teacher Depression and Child-Care Quality to Child Behavioral Problems” researchers describe a clear relationship between depression in preschool teachers and emerging behavioral issues displayed by their students. Teachers, parents, and professional child service […]

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Codependency and Teens: When Friendships Turn Toxic

Adults often overlook codependency among teens. It’s easy to understand why: it’s often masked as extreme loyalty to a friend or other individual, when it’s really a harmful, toxic relationship that needs to end. In a codependent friendship or relationship, the dynamic often looks like this: Friend 1 has a warm, friendly, seemingly helpful type […]

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News in Addiction Research: Oxytocin Reduces Alcohol Consumption

Across the country, people with alcohol and substance use disorders work with physicians, nurses, therapists, and counselors every day to overcome addiction. They learn about how addiction affects their bodies, brains, and emotions. They participate in coping skills groups, relapse prevention groups, and in some cases receive therapy for co-occurring disorders. The clinicians who work […]

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Exercise for Children With ADHD

Increasing Prevalence of ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been a hot topic in education, pediatric medicine, and parenting for decades. The condition has been known in various forms by various names for at least a hundred years, but the current definition was crystallized in the year 2000 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) […]

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Breaking the Myth: Heroin is Not a Party Drug

Parents often call us when their adolescent is having substance abuse issues. Sometimes, when they mention that their teen has used heroin, they’ll follow up with a statement like, “But they say they’ve only tried it a couple of times at a party…” Unfortunately, we’re here to break your bubble: Heroin is not a social […]

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Why Benzodiazepines are Dangerous for Teens

Two years ago, popular celebrity Lena Dunham shared her personal experience with benzodiazepines, otherwise known as benzos.  Although her doctor prescribed benzos to manage her anxiety, Dunham found that she was becoming dependent on them. So much so, in fact, that she was taking the medication about every day for three years. They are only […]

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Why Summer Break is a Good Time for Residential Treatment for Teens

Summertime. Long lazy days by the pool, endless twilight, and family beach vacations. That’s what summer means for most families with kids, from toddlers through teenagers. But if your teenager struggles with a mental health or substance use disorder, then summer break might mean something completely different. It may mean practical opportunity to get your […]

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Gay Pride Month: Spotlight on Substance Use and LGBTQ Teens

For decades, research on rates of alcohol, substance use, and addiction in the adult LGBTQ community yielded conflicting data. Many studies showed high rates of binge drinking and illicit drug use in gay men. Others showed high rates of alcohol use disorder in lesbians. Still, other studies showed no significant differences in alcohol and drug […]

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month Part II: PTSD and Substance Use Disorders

In our first post about PTSD Awareness Month – June is PTSD Awareness Month – we offered a basic definition of PTSD, listed the potential causes and common symptoms, then provided statistics about the prevalence of PTSD in adults and adolescents in the U.S. Here’s a quick recap of all that information. PTSD defined: PTSD […]

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June is Gay Pride Month

Every year in June, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, and Intersex community organizes and participates in a series of marches, festivals, celebrations, and events to raise knowledge and awareness about the presence and history of LGBTQ individuals in our society. Collectively, the events are known as Gay Pride Month. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. Gay […]

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Do You Speak Teen? Secret Code Words Your Adolescent is Using for Sex and Drugs

If you’re a parent of a teen, you may often wrinkle your forehead in confusion while speaking with your adolescent. It can be even more confusing when you hear your teen talk to others, or try to read their texts. If you’re not familiar with teen slang, some of their exchanges may seem unfamiliar or […]

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Child Sex Trafficking: California’s Huge Problem, and What It Means For Teens

California has a huge sex trafficking problem, especially when it comes to adolescents. According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), the largest majority of the human trafficking cases reported in the U.S. each year originate in California. In fact, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are three of the ten worst child […]

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

In 1949, the non-profit organization Mental Health America (MHA) held the first Mental Health Awareness Month, which is also called Mental Health Month. The goal of Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) is the same as the overall organizational goal of MHA: to raise awareness about the needs of people living with mental illness and promote […]

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Mental Health Awareness Month: Adolescent Depression and Anxiety

Seventy years ago, the non-profit advocacy group Mental Health America (MHA) held the first Mental Health Awareness Month, also known as Mental Health Month. The goal of Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) is to raise awareness about the needs of people living with mental illness and promote the general mental health and well-being of all […]

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Where is Your Teen Going This Summer?

International Summer Programs for Teenagers International summer travel programs for teenagers have been around since the early 1960s. The first programs were organized by summer camps and private schools whose administrators realized that some of their students, particularly those between the ages of 14 and 17, were at a crossroads. They didn’t need a summer […]

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Summer Planning for a Troubled Teen

When the teenage years arrive, behavioral issues become far more difficult to manage than when your kids were younger. Things once black and white become confounding shades of gray. When a teenager experiences emotional distress, you can’t always fix it with a hug. When they display disturbing behavior, simple behavior management strategies – like taking […]

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May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month

In May of 2007, the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD) organized hearings before congress to educate legislators about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). A year later, in April, 2008 the U.S. House of Representatives declared May as Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month. BPD is one of the most misunderstood diagnoses in mental health. It also […]

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In the News: The Link Between Cannabis Use and Psychosis

A study posted on March 19th, 2019 by the U.K. medical journal The Lancet – “The Contribution of Cannabis Use to Variation in the Incidence of Psychotic Disorder Across Europe” caused quite a stir in the U.S. media in the weeks following its publication. The headlines generated by several high-volume, high-exposure media outlets trended toward […]

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How Does DBT Treat DMDD?

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, or DMDD, is a relatively new psychiatric disorder published in the latest DSM-5 (2013). The diagnosis was created for children with behavioral symptoms that overlap with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), bipolar disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but do not exactly match any of them. Psychiatrists were misdiagnosing too many […]

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Alcohol Awareness Month: Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow

In 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) established Alcohol Awareness Month. Their goal was to reduce stigma around alcohol and alcoholism by reaching out to the nation each April with facts about alcohol, alcohol abuse, and recovery. In the beginning, a primary purpose of Alcohol Awareness Month was countering the idea […]

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Transgender Teens: A Parent’s Guide

Adolescence is a time of radical transformation. Teens develop physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially. They form their own identities, distinct from their parents. They engage in an evolving, instinctive process of trial and error to learn about themselves and find their place in the world. Through a series of successes, failures, and everything in between, […]

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What Will My Teen’s Discharge Plan Look Like?

Your teen is getting treatment at a teen rehab center. Now what? While treatment can be challenging, it can be equally difficult for your child to maintain progress after leaving the more supervised and structured elements of a teen rehab center. Your adolescent will be re-exposed to all the stressors in their environments (like their […]

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What is the Relapse Prevention Model?

Relapse Prevention Therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It primarily treats addiction and substance abuse but also treats mental health disorders like depression, OCD, and more. According to a foundational study on Relapse Prevention (RP), the therapy “seeks to identify high-risk situations in which an individual is vulnerable to relapse and to use both […]

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The Consequences of Sexual Assault

This month – April – is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We’ve already posted one article about sexual assault: Sexual Assault Awareness Month: History, Facts, and Figures During February of this year, we posted several articles about teen dating violence. We discussed the warning signs and gave tips and advice about what to do if you […]

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Evidence-Based Treatment in Mental Health: What Does It Mean?

When your child was diagnosed with their mental health, substance abuse, or behavioral disorder, you probably started researching various therapies and medications. Friends and family members might have also come to you with their own recommendations, some of which may have sounded uncommon or non-mainstream. (Ahem, Bach flower remedies…we’re looking at you.) As it turns […]

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National Siblings Day: April 10th

Siblings. If you have them, there were probably times growing up when you wish you didn’t. And if you don’t have them, there were probably times growing up when you wish you did. National Siblings Day is an official commemorative day in the U.S., recognized by Congress, The Office of The President of the United […]

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Is Your Teen Stressed? Know the Signs

When kids or teenagers tell adults they’re stressed, adults tend to take it with a grain of salt. After all, how stressed can they be? They don’t pay the bills, they’re not planning for retirement, and they don’t have to deal with overbearing bosses, annoying coworkers, or paying taxes. However. Here’s a dose of science-based […]

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Choosing a Safe Teen Rehab Center: 11 Questions You Need To Ask Admissions

When choosing a mental health residential rehab center for your teen, there are lots of factors you’d want to take into consideration. Is the program licensed and accredited? Will insurance cover the majority of the cost? Which evidence-based treatments are offered? But perhaps the most important question you need to ask is: How will my […]

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Stress Awareness Month: Cortisol

Cortisol and Stress: A Quick Primer Cortisol is something we can’t live without. It’s a hormone produced by our endocrine system, essential to both our daily functioning and our long-term survival. It has three primary functioons in our body: it helps us eat, sleep, and handle stress. It’s more complex than that, of course. It’s […]

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In the News: The Link Between Adolescent Depression and Social Media Use

If you check online news feeds regularly, you’ve probably noticed a trend over the past three months: there’s been an abundance of headlines in national media outlets linking social media use with depression in adolescents. When we see these types of headlines, we take them with a grain of salt. Online news media survives by […]

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What is Seeking Safety?

Seeking Safety is a relatively modern evidence-based treatment model that treats co-occurring posttraumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. Lisa M. Najavits, Ph.D. began developing the Seeking Safety treatment model in the 1990s, with assistance from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She published the research-based Seeking Safety treatment manual in 2002. Substance Abuse and PTSD […]

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National Teenager Day

This year, National Teenager Day falls on the same day as Incredible Kid Day – or rather Absolutely Incredible Kid Day – so parents and teens get to celebrate two novel holidays on one day: Thursday, March 21st, 2019. You may ask yourself: What is it with all these holidays? Who makes these things up? […]

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National Single Parent’s Day

Some people say parenting is the hardest job on earth. If that’s true, then single parenting is in a category all by itself. And if that’s true, then being the single parent of teenage children – well, let’s just say anyone doing that job alone deserves special recognition. This post will focus on them. But […]

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How to Help Kids With Anxiety

The latest statistics on anxiety show that anxiety is the most widespread and regularly occurring psychological challenge faced by people in the U.S. No segment of the population is immune. From young children to retired adults, anxiety affects over 40 million people across the country and it’s estimated that the health care bill for anxiety […]

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The Positive Effect of Parenting Programs on Economically Disadvantaged Families

The Legacy Program: Centers for Disease Control Between 2001 and 2009, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia conducted a long range study on one of its key child and family development efforts – Legacy for Children – in order to gauge its effect on the social, behavioral and cognitive development of children born into […]

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Talking to Young Children: Words Count

30 Million Words: Worlds of Difference In 2003, early childhood development researchers Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley published a paper entitled “The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3.” In this study, Hart and Risley studied the language acquisition processes of children from 42 families across three different categories: professional families, […]

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Adolescent Self-Injury: An Overview

In honor of Adolescent Self-Injury Awareness Month, which occurs annually during the month of March, we’re helping raise awareness about this important topic by posting useful information here on our blog, on our Facebook page, and on our Twitter account. This post offers a brief history of Adolescent Self-Injury Awareness Day and Month, then moves […]

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Does DBT Work for Teen Depression?

Chances are, you’ve heard of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). In the world of teen mental health treatment, DBT has been gaining more and more popularity over the years. Whether you first learned about it from a friend, family member, your child’s school counselor or therapist, or even Selena Gomez, there’s a reason why therapists are […]

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Delayed High School Start Times in Seattle: Positive Outcomes

In the 2016-2017 school year, the Seattle Public School District took a risk. Based on policy recommendations published in a 2014 report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), district officials implemented a system-wide delay in high school start times. Here’s the AAP claim that triggered the change: “[We] recognize insufficient sleep in adolescents [is] […]

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What is the DBT House of Treatment?

With every passing year, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is gaining more and more exposure in the mental health world. Parents and therapists recognize DBT’s remarkable value in helping teens with emotional dysregulation, self-harming behavior, suicidal ideation, and other mental health and/or behavioral issues.   But even if you’re familiar with DBT, did you know that […]

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RTC vs. Wilderness Camp vs. Boarding School and More

If your teen received a recommendation to attend a rehab center for his or her diagnosed substance abuse, mental health, or behavioral issue, you might be a bit overwhelmed at all the available options. Residential treatment centers, inpatient hospitalization, wilderness camps, therapeutic boarding schools, military schools…What’s the difference? Read on as we delve into some […]

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Depression in Boys: Challenges in Diagnosis

Not long ago, schools kept boys and girls separate. Many private schools still do. Take a quick look online and you’ll find a sizeable list of schools with names ending in “…School for Boys” or “…School for Girls.” While the notion of separate boy’s and girl’s schools seems archaic, their fouding principles are logical. At […]

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Comprehensive DBT vs. DBT-Informed Teen Rehab Centers

There are many rehab centers that offer Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) treatment for teens. But you may notice that some treatment centers specify that they are “comprehensive,” while others note that they are “DBT-informed.” What’s the difference? When Dr. Marsha Linehan developed Dialectical Behavior Therapy in the 1980s, she delineated four components of treatment. These […]

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How Can Parents Tell If a Teen Is a Perpetrator of Dating Violence?

Teen Dating Violence: One Part of a Bigger Problem  Relationship abuse is an issue that eats at the very core of our society. The long-term consequences of abuse are almost too many to list: PTSD, alcohol and substance use disorders, depression, difficulty forming healthy relationships – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In […]

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If a Parent Thinks Their Teenager is a Victim of Dating Violence, How Can They Be Sure?

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: their child being abused. Sexually, emotionally, or physically, it doesn’t matter which – they’re all virtually unbearable to conceive. And that’s for us, the adults, thinking about it from the outside. We have life experience, we have perspective, and we have a fully developed prefrontal cortex that enables us to […]

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So Your Teen Has A Valentine’s Day Date (And You Don’t Like It)

Parents:  So Your Teen Has A Valentine’s Day Date You’re there. The day you knew was coming. Your teenager is going out on their first real date, and it’s on February 14th: Valentine’s Day. You’re freaking out. You tell your friends about it, and they say things like: “How cute!” “That’s adorable!” “Exciting!” And all […]

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The Seven Core Issues of Adoption

One thing most people don’t know is that the issues around adoption apply to three groups of people: the adoptive children, the adoptive parents, and the birth parents. These three groups are know as the adoptive triad. Each of the issues below are present for all three groups. While every child, adoptive family, and birth […]

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Teen Dating Violence: Eleven Signs to Watch For

Teen Dating Violence Warning Signs in Victims Unexplained bruises or injuries Discoloration, pain, or bleeding in, on, or around genitals Pain during urination or bowel movements Symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases. Visit the CDC website for a fact sheet on STDs. Abrupt changes in academic performance Increase in anxiety Mood swings Symptoms of depression: persistent […]

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Five Myths About Parenting by Same-Sex Couples

As a companion piece to our post, “Top Five Facts About Adoption by Same-Sex Parents,” we decided to offer this post. We’ll debunk common myths about parenting by same-sex couples. We’ll address facts about same-sex parents and the children they raise. Hopefully, we’ll clear up some misconceptions left over from generations of opposition to even […]

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What to Do If Your Teen Lies to You

If it hasn’t happened in your family yet, count yourself among the lucky. If it never happens, count yourself among the blessed. The rest of us mere mortals have to deal with the uncomfortable fact that teens lie to their parents. Not always, and not about everything, but it happens – and that’s life. Here […]

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Top Nine Components of an Adolescent Addiction Treatment Program

In September of 2004, the Journal of the Americen Medical Association: Pediatrics published a far-ranging study on the treatment of adolescents with alcohol and/or substance use disorders. Twenty-two subject matter experts, including ten researchers, nine clinicians, and three senior policy-makers identified nine components common to the most highly regarded treatment programs available: 1. Assessment and […]

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Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: Know the Facts

On October 5th, 2017, the dam broke. Journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published this article in The New York Times detailing three decades of sexual misconduct by the influential Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein. The story featured an interview with celebrity actress Ashley Judd, who recounted experiences with Weinstein during which he attempted to […]

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How Income Differences Affect Parenting Options

An article published in 2014 in the online version of The Economist magazine discusses a very tricky topic that’s still relevant almost five years later. The article examines how the class divide in the U.S. leads to different styles of parenting. “Choose Your Parents Wisely” uses two case studies: a family from an upper-income neighborhood […]

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Is My Teen A Stalker? How Can I Tell?

This subject is tricky. Stalking is a very real and potentially dangerous pattern of activity that often escalates from behaviors such as excessive phoning or texting to surveillance, threats, intimidation, property damage, violence, and in some cases, even sexual assault and murder. Studies on stalking predominantly focus on the victims, and rightly so: they’re victims […]

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Does My Teen Need Drug Rehab? Part Two: Five Signs Your Teen Might Need Residential Treatment

In Part One of “Does My Teen Need Drug Rehab?” we discussed the basic levels of care you might find if you decide to seek treatment for your teen. We also reviewed the new vocabulary around addiction treatment. The accepted term for what used to be called drug rehab is now treatment for substance use […]

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Does My Teen Need Drug Rehab? Part One: Getting Started – Know the Levels of Care

Drug rehab – known these days as treatment for substance use disorders – comes in many shapes and forms. If you’re worried your teen has a problem with drugs and needs treatment, don’t panic. Your first step should be to seek the help of a qualified mental health professional. You can find a reputable professional […]

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Monitoring the Future 2018: Vaping Increase for Teens

In 1975, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded the first large-scale, nationwide survey of nicotine, alcohol, and drug use among high school students, college students, and young adults in the U.S. Conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, the Monitoring the Future Survey began with […]

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How to Choose a Teen Rehab Center

Essential Elements of Teen Rehab In 2003, a group of experts on teen addiction treatment launched a project with an ambitious goal: “to conduct the first systematic evaluation of the quality of highly regarded adolescent substance abuse treatment programs in the United States.” They published their findings in a report that outlined nine core elements […]

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Home Schooling: What, Why, and How?

What Is Homeschooling? One question that every parent has to answer sooner or later is this: how am I going to best prepare my child for a successful life? Every parent has a slightly different answer to this question, but almost unanimously, parents and experts alike agree that a solid education is the best foundation […]

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The Early College High School Initiative

A New Trend in Education: Early College High Schools Early College High School. At first read, this combination of words seems like a contradiction in terms. Traditionally speaking, college and high school are two separate segments of education. There has always been a small percentage of advanced students who begin college far earlier than most […]

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Helping Kids Deal With Stress

Kids and Stress Stress, stress, stress. For most adults, stress is an unavoidable part of modern life. Stress can come from work, relationships, financial problems, and even from friends. When we’re in school, we learn that stress is what causes ecosystems and organisms to change. When we’re adults, we learn that stress is one of […]

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Why Teenagers Should Have Hobbies

On any given weekday during the school year, the average American teenager spends about eight and a half hours sleeping and about six and a half hours in school. This leaves nine hours of their waking time unaccounted for. Which leaves us with an important question: what do our teenagers do during those nine hours? […]

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What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

If you have the winter blahs, they might be more than just a personality quirk. They may well be a specific sub-type of depression. According to the well-known psychiatrist who coined the phrase in 1984, they could be a legitimate psychiatric disorder known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of […]

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Five Co-Parenting Tips for the Holidays

Holiday Rituals Matter The holidays are a time meant for love, joy, laughter, shared meals, and time spent with family. This is just as true for non-traditional families as it is for families with both parents living at home. Even for families from cultures where it’s not customary to celebrate the same winter holidays that […]

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How to Avoid Teen Holiday Drama

First of all, congratulations: clicking on this article is a proactive step toward managing any potential problems your teenager might cause over the holidays. You know from personal experience this time of year can bring out the best and worst in people. You know family time can be tough. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that […]

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Five Tips for Talking to Your Teen

Talking to your teen can be tricky. If they’ve reached the point where they don’t really love to engage with you about regular day-to-day things, don’t worry: that’s natural. There are, however, ways to draw them out. You can get them talking again, but there’s a catch: though your teen’s world is all about them, […]

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Winter Break for Teens

If you’re wondering what to do with your teenager over the winter holidays, you’re not alone. It’s not an easy thing to figure out. Time off school means down time. And down time can mean trouble. Even for teens who have no history of behavioral issues, the temptation to explore and experiment is powerful. It’s […]

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Five Holiday Tips for Blended Families

Make the Holidays Work for Everyone Statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2015 revealed that there were over 32 million remarried couples in the United States and that almost 22 million of those remarriages involved children. Unless there has been a dramatic shift in marriage dynamics over the last three years, this means […]

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Topics in Education: What is Social Constructionism?

From Social Theory to Educational Method Social Constructionism is a theory of sociology that has exerted an enormous influence on the development of modern education. Social Constructionism, also known as Social Constructivism, comes from the ideas of a Russian psychologist named Lev Vygotsky who lived and worked during the end of the 19th and early […]

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Community Trauma: The Long View

Over the past week, Californians have experienced a string of tragic and traumatic events. A mass shooting at a dance party in a club in Thousand Oaks, quickly followed by devastating and destructive wildfires in West Los Angeles and Northern California. Families torn apart, communities erased from the map, close to five hundred buildings destroyed, […]

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Community Trauma: What to Watch for in Youth

Over the past weeks, our communities have experienced an unprecedented amount of loss to violence and disaster. It seems we’re not given an opportunity to begin the grieving process for one before news that another shooting has struck our schools, places of worship, centers for healing, or venues for social events. The wildfires in California […]

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Adoption Awareness Month: The Effect of Early Trauma on Adopted Adolescents

Our first post for Adoption Awareness Month discussed the seven major issues common to all adopted children. Let’s recap those before diving into the specific effects early trauma has on the physiological, social, and emotional development of children. The seven core issues of adoption are: loss, rejection, guilt/shame, grief, identity, intimacy, and control/mastery. While every […]

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Should Parents Worry If a Straight-A Teen is Partying?

Before we address the nuances of this question, let’s get five practical points out of the way: Drinking alcohol is illegal for anyone under 21. Smoking marijuana in states where it’s legal is illegal for anyone under 21. Taking prescription drugs without a prescription is illegal. Using controlled substances is illegal. If your kid gets […]

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Children’s Physical Health in the United States

The National Report Card: Hard Facts In 2016, the non-profit organization The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance  published a comprehensive report on the current state of children’s health in the U.S. called “The United States 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.” The goal of the report was to offer an objective take […]

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The Importance of Maternal Mental Health

The latest statistics on maternal mental health indicate that at least one out of every five new mothers in the U.S. experiences some form of mental health challenge that makes it difficult for her to offer her children the full amount of care they need. Considering that almost four million children are born each year […]

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Homeless Youth Awareness Month: Debunking Myths

Facts About Homeless Youth in the United States  November is Homeless Youth Awareness Month. We’re going to share facts and statistics throughout the month about homelessness, homeless families, and homeless youth. We’ll start this effort by acknowledging that homelessness is a problem we all need to address together. Local, state, and federal agencies, in cooperation […]

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How Holiday Traditions Help Kids of All Ages

Routines, Rituals, and Families: Staying Grounded There’s an interesting paradox that’s central to teaching and parenting. In order to do either one effectively, it’s important to keep kids interested in what’s going on by offering new takes on old lessons, inventing fun ways to do mundane things, and finding fresh approaches to regular daily activities. […]

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Adoption and Teens: Identity, Acceptance, and Trust

Adolescence is a challenging time for almost all teenagers. Puberty launches their bodies and brains into a radical series of changes during this pivotal transition from youth to adulthood. Powerful new hormones course through their bloodstream as the part of their brain responsible for rational decision-making and impulse control – the prefrontal cortex – develops […]

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The Pitfalls of Parenting Teens: Reframe, Rephrase, and Revive Your Relationship Your Teen

A recent article in the Washington Post written by parenting journalist and survivor-of-the-teen-years mom Kathryn Streeter discusses some common mistakes parents make when raising teens. We found the article full of good, solid advice, but we’re going to reframe the content in much the same way a therapist might teach a teen to do during […]

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Other Kids Are Spreading Rumors About My Teen – What Can I Do

As writer, producer, and actor Meghan Ryan Lamontagne said in a blog post last year on the teen-oriented, girl-power, pop-culture website Sweety High: “Rumors are the worst.” You might have forgotten exactly how bad being the object of untrue, hurtful gossip can feel. Then your teenage son and daughter comes home in tears, disconsolate over […]

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Common Sense Media: Teen Social Media Use 2012-2018

The researchers at Common Sense Media deliver again: this time, with an in-depth look at social media use among adolescents. The report “Social Media, Social Life: Teens Reveal Their Experiences” examines answers to salient questions that adults – including parents, educators, mental health professionals, and public policy makers –  want to know about teen social […]

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Halloween Costumes: Perpetuating Negative Stigma

While researching ideas for articles to share with you for Halloween, we came across something that hadn’t occurred to us: the fact that many Halloween costumes reinforce negative stigma attached to mental illness. An article in Psychology Today points out that some of the most respected and widely-read news outlets in the nation, including the […]

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Mental Health Support for Military Families

The Effect of War on Military Families The U.S. has been involved in two wars overseas for close to two decades. The men and women of our military have been in harm’s way in Afghanistan since 2001. They’ve been in Iraq since 2003. Despite troop drawdowns in the past few years in both countries, we […]

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If a Parent Thinks Their Teenager is Being Sexually Abused, How Can They Be Sure?

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: their child being abused. Sexually, emotionally, or physically, it doesn’t matter which – they’re all virtually unbearable to conceive. And that’s for us, the adults, thinking about it from the outside. We have life experience, we have perspective, and we have a fully developed prefrontal cortex that enables us to […]

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Wraparound Services in Schools

What are Wraparound Services?  Wraparound services originated in the 1980s based on the work of children’s health professionals and developmental psychologists seeking effective ways to help children with significant behavioral, emotional and developmental learning challenges. Through the 1990s and 2000s, wraparound services evolved into a comprehensive system which include not only children with significant challenges, […]

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Trends In Education: Place-Based Education

What is Place-Based Education? Parents, teachers, school leaders, and public policy makers have their hands full keeping up with the latest trends in education. It’s a complex process. First, creative thinkers propose new ideas for better serving our students. Second, teachers apply these theoretical models in the classroom. Third, school leaders learn about the success […]

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School Shooters: How Can Parents Not Know?

School shootings are a problem that horrifies everyone who hears about them. And over the past few years, everyone has heard about them. The news media makes sure of that: depending on which outlet and methodology you prefer, the number of school shootings in the United States in 2018 is between 17-23. CNN reports the […]

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My Teen is Counting – Does She Have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? The gold standard diagnostic manual for mental and behavioral health disorders, the DSM-V, defines Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as a neurological disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions that take up at least an hour a day and cause a significant amount of psychological and emotional distress. Statistics show that about one in […]

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The Common Sense Census Part 3: Racial and Ethnic Differences in Tween and Teen Media Use

We recently posted two articles about a mammoth report published in November, 2015 by Common Sense Media about the way young people in the United States use media and technology. Conducted over six weeks in the early spring of 2015, the study included 2,658 children age eight to eighteen. Tweens were defined as children age eight […]

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The Common Sense Census Part 2: Socioeconomic Differences in Tween and Teen Media Use

We recently posted an article about a mammoth report published November 2015 by Common Sense Media about the way young people in the United States use media and technology. Conducted over six weeks in the early spring of 2015, the study included 2,658 children age eight to eighteen. Tweens were defined as children age eight to […]

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The Common Sense Census Part 1: A Report on Media Use by Tweens and Teens

In November 2015, Common Sense Media published a large-scale study that examines the way young people in the United States use media and technology. The study, conducted over six weeks in the early spring of 2015, included 2,658 children age eight to eighteen. Tweens were defined as children age eight to twelve. Teens were defined […]

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The Communication Conundrum

How Teenagers Hear Criticism Parents often find it challenging to offer constructive feedback or criticism to their children. Especially when those children enter their teenage years. Though it’s not a universal absolute, the following pattern is familiar to almost all parents of teens. It goes like this: a parent attempts to initiate a conversation with […]

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The Children of 9/11: How Are They Now?

The Children of 9/11 The attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and The Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. were the largest attacks on the U.S. soil by a foreign entity since Pearl Harbor. Historians, war buffs, and armchair foreign policy experts can quibble about the details of this claim, but one thing […]

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Trends in Teen Violence: 1991-2015

Anyone who pays close attention to the news media would think the world is getting more dangerous by the minute. Local news seems to lead every broadcast with crime. A robbery here. A murder there. A kidnapping nearby. National news highlights tragically violent stories over positive stories every day. We know about the college student […]

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