How the Arts Support Teen Brain Development

Most people agree that art and music are enjoyable, but a growing field of study – neuroaesthetics – shows they can also change the way the brain works. Through brain imaging tools, we know that the arts make people feel good, teach essential thinking skills, and help wire the brain for success. Exercise for the […]

Read More

March is National Social Work Month

This month is National Social Work Month. The theme this year is “Social Workers Are Essential.” It offers a nod to the challenges brought about by COVID-19. During mandated lockdowns, public health guidelines placed firm guidelines for businesses and individuals. Nonessential businesses were prevented from operating, and individuals were strongly discouraged from any trips outside […]

Read More

How do Adolescent DBT Programs Help Depressed and Anxious Teens?

An adolescent DBT program empowers teens to make their own choices and live life on their own terms. There are several evidence-based therapeutic approaches that can help adolescents manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety and live a life free from major impairment or daily disturbance. Research shows that the most effective treatment for depression […]

Read More

Report: Almost Half of California Teens in Psychological Distress

A policy brief published on January 27th by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research reveals a set of statistics that are a genuine cause for alarm for parents of teenagers living in California. Data collected throughout 2019 by researchers for the annual California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) show that what many parents, teachers, and […]

Read More

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month 2021: Know Your Worth

The theme for TDVAM 2021 is about self-empowerment, self-respect, and self-esteem. This year’s message is for all teens, with a special focus on teens who have experienced dating violence and for teens who date and want to prevent dating violence. Advocates from LoveisRespect – the organization responsible for TDVAM – created the theme to remind […]

Read More

February is Boost Your Self-Esteem Month. What Exactly is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is a phrase most of us encounter early in life. Our first understanding of self-esteem is typically a simple one. If we like ourselves and think well of ourselves, then we learn we have what the adults in our lives call high self-esteem. But if we don’t particularly like ourselves, think negatively about ourselves, […]

Read More

National School Counselor’s Week 2021

Every year the American School Counselor Association (ACSA) celebrates National School Counselor’s Week (NSCW) during the first week of February. This year, the dates for this special week of recognition are February 1st-5th.  The ACSA created a hashtag for this year – #NSCW21 – as well as a theme to unify their goals 2021: “School […]

Read More

Cigarettes, E-Cigarettes, and Substance Use in Adolescents

If you follow our articles and blogs, you may have noticed we spend time and energy writing about tobacco use. More specifically, we write about e-cigarette use – a.k.a. vaping nicotine – and its dramatic increase in prevalence in the adolescent population over the past five years. In a recent article highlighting the results of […]

Read More

Research Report: The ABCD Study Renews Funding

In 2013, a group of public health agencies in the U.S. formed a partnership to launch a research initiative called Collaborative Research on Addiction and the National Institutes of Health (CRAN). The agencies directly involved in initiating CRAN were the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), […]

Read More

New CDC Guidelines on Exercise and Activity: What They Say for Adolescents

In 1996, the Surgeon General of the United States released a report that served as a wake-up call about the general state of health and wellness of people in the U.S. The Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health outlined serious issues in two areas. First, the report identified a disturbing, wide-ranging, population-level prevalence […]

Read More

Research Report: Quarterly Patterns of Adolescent Marijuana Use

In the summer and fall of 2020, researchers at New York University conducted an in-depth analysis of marijuana use data from the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The study, released online in January 2021 and scheduled for publication in February 2021, assessed quarterly trends in past-month marijuana use among people […]

Read More

80% of Young Adults Report Depression During COVID-19, Study Says

The mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are just beginning to be understood. According to early studies, young adults feel the impact of social isolation and loneliness more than other age groups. For many, the pandemic derailed their hopes and plans during a critical transition into adulthood. Lost wages, less time with friends, missing […]

Read More

Five Steps to Achieve and Maintain Mental Wellness

Now that we’re well into 2021, we won’t mention why we want it to be an amazing year, or why we – at the very least – want it to be better than 2020. To be fair, we give January and February 2020 a pat on the back. For most of us, they were fine, […]

Read More

For Therapists: The Challenges of Working With Teenagers

At Evolve Treatment Centers, our mission is to support adolescents with mental health, alcohol, and/or substance use issues. Our clinicians are committed to helping each of our teens create a life worth living, despite the challenges they face. Whether those challenges are related to emotional disorders/dysregulation, defiant/life-interrupting behavior, or the disordered use of alcohol or […]

Read More

Virtual School: How to Reset for a Better Second Semester

By now we should all be experts at virtual school. We had a practice run last spring, time to recalibrate over the summer, and then a second shot at virtual school this fall. This article is for families that haven’t quite got the hang of virtual school yet. We understand. Virtual school is not for […]

Read More

What Do You Do in the Middle of an Adolescent Meltdown?

In our article  “What Causes Adolescent Meltdowns? ” we shared that adolescents with oppositional defiance disorder (ODD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), conduct disorder, sensory processing disorder, or other behavioral issues can have frequent meltdowns or temper tantrums. So can teens with depression, anxiety, panic disorder, emotion […]

Read More

Winter Break: Time for a COVID Mental Health Check-In

The holidays are finally here. Which means the new year is right around the corner. This means that very soon, we all get to put 2020 behind us, and look forward to a better 2021. We don’t need to reiterate why everyone is excited to turn the page. We know every one of you is […]

Read More

Kate Atwood Dispels Two Myths About Childhood Loss and Grief

In a recent Ted Talk, grief specialist Kate Atwood spoke about the topic of childhood loss and grief. The statistics on childhood loss are alarming. For example, did you know that one in fourteen children in the U.S. will experience the death of a parent or sibling before they turn eighteen? In some states that […]

Read More

What Causes Adolescent Meltdowns?

Most parents think meltdowns should only happen during toddlerhood, and – if they last past toddlerhood – they should end by late childhood. Just so we’re on the same page, experts generally agree that toddlerhood happens between ages two and five, and childhood ends at around age twelve. By the time adolescence arrives at age […]

Read More

How Blended Families Make the Holidays Work

When we think of blended families in the U.S. we often forget we have an iconic example of a blended family that was mainstream, popular, and widely accepted by the public as a new norm in our society – and that was 50 years ago. Can you name the family? If you guessed instantly that […]

Read More

Five Holiday Co-parenting Tips

When parents who aren’t married agree to share the responsibility of raising a child together, it’s called co-parenting. We think of co-parenting duos most often as divorced parents, but they’re not the only types of co-parents. Some unmarried couples have children together, and if they decide to continue raising their children together when they break […]

Read More

Parents: Consider Treatment for Teens Over Christmas Break

2020 has been a year to remember. Or forget. We can’t decide. Either way, everyone will be glad to put 2020 in the rearview mirror. This time last year, we were gearing up for the second half of the winter holidays, highlighted by Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Day. This year, things are completely […]

Read More

Prevalence of School Bullying in Santa Barbara: How Parents Can Help

Public school students in most school districts in California take the California Healthy Kids Survey every year. This is a confidential, anonymous self-report survey that asks elementary and secondary school students about safety at school, support, academic involvement, substance use, and mental health issues. Many of the questions ask students about their experiences of bullying […]

Read More

Holiday Season at Evolve: Our Chefs Bring More Than Food to the Table

Thanksgiving and the winter holidays are often associated with special meals and old-fashioned comfort food. The on-site chefs at our residential treatment centers understand this and bring in the holiday cheer by preparing delicious Thanksgiving meals for our teenagers and staff. We’re thankful for our chefs all year round because they bring comfort and warmth […]

Read More

How We Celebrate the Holiday Season at Evolve

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, and Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa right around the corner, everyone here at Evolve is getting excited about the holidays. At our residential treatment centers, our house managers are planning decorations, brainstorming holiday activities, and coordinating special meals with our onsite chefs. They’re attending to the details that will make […]

Read More

Get Your Teen Interested in Thanksgiving Again, Despite COVID

The winter holidays are upon us – but this year the holidays are going to be different than any year in recent memory. In the U.S., the six-week period between mid-November and New Year’s Day – in a typical holiday season – is the most publicly festive time of the year. These holidays take over […]

Read More

November 21st is National Adoption Day

Each year on November 21st, adoption awareness advocates recognize and celebrate National Adoption Day. A group of national adoption organizations – including The Dave Thomas Foundation, The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, The Alliance for Children’s Rights, and The Children’s Action Network – held the first National Adoption Day on November 18th, 2000. That day, […]

Read More

Why Starting Treatment at Evolve Over Thanksgiving is a Good Idea

If your teenager has a mental health or substance use disorder, you may have considered residential treatment for them at some point in the past. If they have a mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, you understand that if they spend a period of time focusing solely on healing and recovery, […]

Read More

How Many High School Teens in Santa Barbara Use Drugs? Where Do They Get Them?

If you’re a Santa Barbara resident – a parent, teen, or a professional who works with adolescents – the current data on substance use among high school students in your area may be of interest. The following information comes from the California Healthy Kids Survey. Officials administer the anonymous survey to every school district in […]

Read More

A Conversation With Jessica Byrd-Olmstead, PhD: Part Two

In “A Conversation With Dr. Jessica Byrd-Olmstead, PhD: Part One” we talked about Dr. Byrd-Olmstead’s journey to private practice, and left off as she began to talk about the challenge – and excitement – of leaving a salaried job to focus on her own private practice full time. This article picks up the conversation right […]

Read More

A Conversation With Dr. Jessica Byrd-Olmstead: Part One

Dr. Jessica Byrd-Olmstead is a licensed psychologist in the Bay Area treating adolescents, adults, and their families. Currently, she’s president of the Santa Clara Psychological Association. In addition to psychotherapy, she provides training and consultation to organizations in both the public and private sectors. She advocates at state and federal levels for improved psychological services […]

Read More

Mental Health and Addiction Statistics: Teens in Beverly Hills

What are the rates of suicidal ideation for teens in Beverly Hills? What percentage of high school teens in Beverly Hills use drugs? We have the answers. 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 […]

Read More

Rates of Mental Health Symptoms and Substance Use in Santa Barbara High Schools

Teens in the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) 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, […]

Read More

Digital Self-Harm: What It Is and Why Teens Do It

Hannah Smith, fourteen years old, received waves of horrible, abusive messages on ASKfm, a social media site popular with teens. On August 6, 2013, she committed suicide. Her parents immediately blamed cyberbullies, until an investigation proved that the aggressive posts hadn’t come from peers: She wrote them herself. Self-Bullying Hannah is not the only one. […]

Read More

What to Do When People Don’t Believe Your Depression is Real

You know you have depression. You might have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). But what happens when other people minimize or discount your depression? What if they don’t believe you at all? Friends, family, peers, or even strangers may tell you that your depression isn’t real. They might say most people with depression […]

Read More

Palo Alto, CA: Mental Health and Suicide Statistics for Teens

Palo Alto has received considerable attention in recent years from media and mental health professionals concerned about its alarming rates of teen suicide. In this affluent Bay Area town, seven adolescents ended their own lives in the span of just ten years. And, over the past decade, there has been an unusual amount of teen […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Is My Depression Real?

If you have depressive thoughts, you might sometimes wonder if you have depression – as in clinical depression. A voice inside your head may say things like: “Is this really depression? Maybe it’s just a phase? Or maybe I’m just overanalyzing my feelings? If I was actually depressed, shouldn’t I be… XYZ?” What makes it […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

COVID-19, High School Athletes, and Mental Health

The coronavirus pandemic touches almost every facet of life for people in the U.S. The way we work, the way we play, the way we socialize – it’s nearly impossible to find an area of day-to-day living that coronavirus does not affect. At the start of the pandemic, most of us thought we were at […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Happy National Parents’ Day 2020 

You are awesome. You probably don’t hear it often, especially if you’re raising teenagers, but it’s true. And there’s no better time to celebrate you than National Parents’ Day. On July 26, 2020, and every year on the fourth Sunday of July, the nation honors the vital role parents serve in their families and communities. […]

Read More

Art Therapy for Anxious Teens

Most teen treatment centers offer art therapy as a supplemental treatment to traditional talk therapies like dialectical behavior 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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More

The Trick to Avoiding a COVID-19 Mask Induced Panic Attack

In many parts of the U.S., new rules require citizens to wear facemasks whenever they leave home. The orders are meant to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives. But many teens feel wearing a mask is uncomfortable. It covers their mouth and nose. It gets hot. Now that it’s summertime, the heart make […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

The Connection Between Teen Trauma and Psychosis

According to NAMI, any traumatic event can trigger a psychotic episode. Car accidents. War. Violent assaults. Terrorism. Physical abuse. Sexual abuse or extreme neglect. However, certain events are more highly linked to psychosis. Experiencing a natural disaster and seeing someone killed or injured are both traumas that have been shown to induce psychosis in many […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Five Tips for Making Your Practice a Safe Space for LGBTQ+ Teens

June is Pride Month! In honor of #Pride, we asked Clarissa Harwell, LCSW for advice on making the therapy room a safe and welcoming space for teens who identify as LGBTQIA. Clarissa works for Uplift Family Services in the Bay Area and also has a private practice in Campbell, California. In addition to working with […]

Read More

Non-Binary Gender Identities: An Introduction

For some teens, exploring their gender identity is an important part of figuring out who they are. Most people are familiar with two gender identities – man and woman. But some cultures recognize a third gender identity. They view gender as something that can be more complex than two categories allow. The term non-binary is […]

Read More

Tips for School Counselors Switching to Telecounseling

With schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, high school counselors are in a strange position: They need to keep tabs on their students’ mental health, but they’re forced to do so from afar. So how have they been managing this difficult feat? And what lessons have they learned – so far – from the […]

Read More

Family DBT at Evolve: How We Do It

Dialectical Behavior 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 […]

Read More

When Therapists Experience Burnout

What is burnout? Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by exposure to long-term stressors in one’s profession. Dr. Christina Maslach, a burnout expert and a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, is the creator of the Maslach Burnout Inventory. In her research, she finds that burnout is particularly common in […]

Read More

Peddlers of Hope: How School Counselors Help Youth Cope Through Coronavirus

With schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, high school counselors are in a strange position: They need to keep tabs on their students, but they’re forced to do so from afar. And when it comes to underserved youth, the situation is even more difficult. Alejandra “Ali” Cortes, MA, MFTI, is the Clinical Youth Outreach Worker […]

Read More

Four Lessons for Teachers Navigating Distance Learning During COVID-19

The New Normal – For Now Yoni Lichtman, LMFT, is a teacher and school counselor at Valley Torah High School (VTHS), a private all-boys high school in Los Angeles, California. Like other schools around the state, COVID-19 forced VTHS classes to shift all classes to an online format. We were very curious to learn what […]

Read More

Six Tips to Help Therapists Transition from In-Person to Virtual Therapy

We’re in the midst of a global pandemic. It’s a big deal. But it doesn’t change the fact that teenagers all over the country still need intensive treatment for mental health and substance use disorders. In light of the current regulations, most therapists have shifted over to teletherapy. Likewise, since adolescent intensive outpatient programs (IOP) […]

Read More

Therapists: Do You Practice Self-Care?

People often think therapists don’t have the same kind of problems the rest of us have. They have all the coping mechanisms at their disposal, so they should be fine – right? But the truth is that more than three-quarters of psychologists acknowledge experiencing distress in their personal lives. And almost forty percent say that […]

Read More

How Therapists Use DBT to Treat DMDD

Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, or DMDD, is a relatively new psychiatric disorder described in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Behavioral Disorder (DSM-V, 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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Six Ways to Validate a Client, According to DBT

Your client is upset about something or another. You know you have to validate. But did you know there are six levels of validation, according to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)? DBT developer Dr. Marsha Linehan identified six ways to validate another person, with each level increasing in difficulty. The higher the level, the more intensely […]

Read More

Carolina Dozal: Evolve’s All-Star Therapist

Carolina will be presenting Managing High-Risk Behaviors in Teens during our February Community Workshop. Learn more and sign up here. Meet Carolina, DBT Therapist at Evolve—and a Nike-Affiliated Athlete Evolve prides itself on its dedicated staff. Often, our clinicians are experts not only in their field of mental health, but in other areas as well. […]

Read More

The Role of Exercise in Teen Depression Treatment

Teen depression is a complex disease that doesn’t always respond to traditional therapeutic approaches. Many mental health treatment providers use a trial-and-error approach to establish what works and what doesn’t for each client. Initially, the therapies treatment centers use include antidepressant medications and talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Complementary approaches like exercise […]

Read More

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. […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Can a Teen Be Diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder?

Diagnosing a teen with Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, is “tricky,” says Alyson Orcena, LMFT, Executive Clinical Director of Evolve Treatment Centers. 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. Historically, this is why […]

Read More

DBT, Fitness, and Depression

While exercise has not yet been shown to cure any mental health disorder on its own, there are mountains of evidence showing its benefits on mood, self-concept, and work ethic. Exercise has a huge effect on a teen’s emotional wellbeing and even improves cognition. It also has a host of physical benefits: it increases heart […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Diagnosing ADHD in First Graders

Over the past two decades, rates of ADHD diagnosis in children and adolescents have increased steadily. According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2016, approximately 6.1 million children age 4-17 – 9.4% – received an ADHD diagnosis at some point during their lives. Of these children, 2.4 million age 6-11 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Comprehensive DBT vs. DBT-Informed Teen Treatment Centers: What’s the Difference?

Many teen treatment centers offer Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). But 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 four treatment delivery requirements were originally meant to be […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

CRAFT: Family-Based Approaches to the Treatment-Resistant Adolescent

Intervention. Obviously a scary word. It’s also a word most of us associate with another relatively scary word. Or phrase, rather. Tough love. We all know what tough love is. Tough love is when you tell someone you care deeply about something they don’t want to hear. For example, tough love can be trivial, between […]

Read More

Trends in Education: Social and Emotional Learning

Educating our Children: What Matters Most Parents, teachers, school administrators, and policy makers engage in a robust and ongoing debate about the primary goal of education in the U.S. Relevant stakeholders in the conversation seem to have come to a loose consensus in recent years. That consensus: the primary goal of education is to prepare […]

Read More

Trends in Treatment: Brain Imaging and Recovery

Neuroimaging and Addiction Treatment: What It is and How It Can Help Modern medicine is like a miracle. Today we can treat diseases, injuries, and chronic conditions that not long ago would have left many of us dead or disabled. This is true for everything from cancer to heart disease to broken bones and torn […]

Read More

How Therapists Can Help Parents Accept the Need for Teen Residential Treatment

Therapists who treat teenagers struggling with mental health problems, addiction, and/or substance abuse disorders tend to encounter resistance from their clients at some point during the therapeutic process. Typically, resistance comes from the individual in question – the teenager – but if you’re a therapist working with adolescents on these issues, be prepared: parents may […]

Read More

How the Arts Support Teen Brain Development

Most people agree that art and music are enjoyable, but a growing field of study – neuroaesthetics – shows they can also change the way the brain works. Through brain imaging tools, we know that the arts make people feel good, teach essential thinking skills, and help wire the brain for success. Exercise for the […]

Read More

March is National Social Work Month

This month is National Social Work Month. The theme this year is “Social Workers Are Essential.” It offers a nod to the challenges brought about by COVID-19. During mandated lockdowns, public health guidelines placed firm guidelines for businesses and individuals. Nonessential businesses were prevented from operating, and individuals were strongly discouraged from any trips outside […]

Read More