Evolve Treatment

Parent Guides

A pathway to understanding: if there were a manual for parenting teens, it might start here at Evolve.

Parents and teens from around California and across America trust our team of clinical experts to help them face many challenges and unique situations. We’ve developed Parent Guides that offer the latest information and advice relating to some of the issues we see in our clinics each day, as well as some of the therapies and approaches we use to turn hope into a new beginning.

Parent Guides A-Z

As a leading teen treatment center, we’ve heard from countless parents about their concerns over marijuana legalization. With the drug’s increased accessibility, it’s never been more crucial to understand its impact on adolescents—and its potential to lead to more harmful drugs. We’ve created a guide to help you identify whether your teen may be using […]

Some teens seem ambivalent, unburdened by the world around them, while others seem to take the weight of the world on their shoulders. It can be challenging to understand exactly how stress affects adolescents. As a leader in teen mental health, we’ve worked with countless parents of anxious teens around the country, helping them to […]

Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and self-harm in teens is both challenging and heartbreaking for parents to watch. Often, it can be overwhelming to accept that your teen is in pain, but it’s critical to understand the motivations behind NSSI. Your awareness and support can make a monumental difference in your teen’s life, and in some cases, […]

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is gaining more and more exposure as parents and therapists are recognizing its remarkable value in helping teens with emotional dysregulation, self-harming behavior, suicidal ideation, and other mental health and/or behavioral issues. If your child’s counselor or clinician recommended DBT treatment, know that providing this therapy to your teen can be […]

Psychosis is the clinical term used when an individual loses touch with reality.  In adolescents, psychosis can be caused by many different factors, ranging from substance abuse to the onset of a serious mental health disorder. The unusual and often bizarre behaviors associated with psychosis can be particularly frightening and confusing for any parent to […]

Adolescents and alcohol. Some people argue they’re an inevitable combination. Others argue they don’t have to be. We understand that teens are likely to experiment with alcohol in some form during their teen years. Some teens try it once or twice and then stop. Others try it and go on to consume alcohol on a […]

It’s heartbreaking to see your teen become so obsessed with body weight and shape that he or she diets to the point of become dangerously thin.  Attempts to reason with or reassure your child aren’t only futile, but often result in intense power struggles that reinforce your teen’s determination to waste away to nothing.  This […]

Adolescence can be a turbulent time. Anyone who lived to survive it – including those who are now parents of teens – know about the social, emotional, and physical rollercoaster that often characterizes the teen years. For a small percentage of teens, the emotional turbulence is especially intense, confusing, and painful. For some teens, emotional […]

Frequent binge eating, self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse, and excessive exercise are common indicators of bulimia nervosa – a serious and potentially deadly eating disorder that impacts many teens.  Bombarded with messages from the media, their peers, and society in general that suggest their value, self-worth, and desirability are directly tied to being thin, some teens […]

What are Co-Occurring Disorders? When a person – child, adolescent, or adult – is diagnosed with a mental health disorder and an alcohol/substance use disorder (AUD/SUD) at the same time, they receive a dual diagnosis. A person with a dual diagnosis has what mental health professionals call co-occurring disorders. Mental health disorders that commonly co-occur […]

There’s something inherently disturbing – at least for most people – at the thought of anyone intentionally cutting himself or herself.  And yet, a surprising number of young, vulnerable teens gravitate towards this behavior – and their parents are completely oblivious. Teens who engage in cutting usually aren’t trying to commit suicide.  Death is rarely […]

Mood Disorders in Teens: Depression Most parents of teens agree that adolescence can be a challenging phase of life, often accompanied by emotional ups and downs. The combination of rapidly changing bodies, identity issues, raging hormones, and myriad social pressures can trigger occasional sad and blue days for even the most well-adjusted adolescent. Unfortunately, for […]

What is DMDD? A relatively new psychiatric disorder known as disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, or DMDD for short, may be the proper diagnosis if you’re dealing with a teen with a combination of mood symptoms and highly disruptive and intense behaviors.  Frequent anger outbursts combined with persistent, severe, and chronic irritability are the primary symptoms […]

Helping your child navigate the choppy waters of adolescence is probably one of the most difficult parenting tasks of all. Teens are hard-wired to stretch their wings, try new things, and take risks to learn about themselves and grow into young adults. Unfortunately, experimenting with mind-altering substances is a dangerous temptation many teens find irresistible […]

Most of us never gave much thought to our gender identity growing up.  As we navigated our way through childhood and adolescence, we felt comfortable – for the most part – aligning with the expected behaviors associated with our gender.  It was a non-issue.  Sadly, however, that’s not the case for some individuals.  They never […]

Many adolescents worry from time to time about things like passing an exam, their weight or appearance, family problems, and whether some boy or girl really likes them.  Generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD for short, causes teens to feel anxious and worry excessively about everything and anything, even when there’s no rational reason to be […]

It’s normal for teens to be impulsive, forgetful, and distracted at times.  Their energy levels can fluctuate as well, depending on how much sleep they’re getting and what’s going on at any given moment in their lives.  Some teens, unfortunately, struggle on a daily basis with being able to focus, remember everything they need to […]

It’s heartbreaking for parents to discover that their child’s development isn’t on par with other children his or her age.  Asperger’s Syndrome, which primarily impacts social and communication skills, fits into a category of delayed development formerly known as “pervasive developmental disorders”. Up until 2013, Asperger’s Syndrome was diagnosed as a distinct disorder.  However, since […]

Binge eating disorder (BED for short) is a relatively new diagnosis, although binge eating has been around for a very long time.  While many teens binge eat from time to time, the behavior becomes problematic and serious when it’s occurring on a regular basis.  Since the excessive eating often occurs in secret, it’s not always […]

What is Bipolar Disorder in Teens & Adolescents Mood swings are often considered a typical part of adolescence – just ask any parent with one or more teenagers at home. However, typical teenage mood swings are different from the intense mood swings of associated with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a serious, lifelong psychiatric illness. […]

Frequent acting out, cruelty to people or animals, defiance, and aggressive behavior are just some of the warning signs of conduct disorder in children and teens.  While some of these behaviors can be alarming to parents, they can also have serious consequences for you teen –  including getting suspended or expelled from school or landing […]

What are Mood Disorders? Broadly speaking, a mood disorder is a mental health condition characterized by a significant, prolonged emotional disturbance that affects an individual’s ability to function in their daily life. The emotional disturbance can be low, sad, and depressive, or high-energy, unpredictable, and manic. The type of disturbance depends on the disorder, and […]

Adolescence is a challenging phase of life, so it’s not uncommon for teens to develop their own quirks and idiosyncrasies as they attempt to navigate the turbulence.  Unfortunately, for a small percentage of teens, these quirks and unusual behaviors are indicators of a serious mental health issue – obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Typically referred to as OCD […]

Angry outbursts, acting annoyed by the seemingly smallest things, defying the rules you’ve set, being spiteful, swearing, irritability, and making hurtful remarks when they’re upset.  Almost every parent of a teen has observed these frustrating behaviors at least on occasion, and perhaps even numerous times, particularly during periods of high stress.  Some degree of non-compliance […]

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder that causes a person’s brain to suddenly go into fight-or-flight mode at any given moment, even though there’s no actual threat or danger.  The anxiety and fear experienced are very intense and perpetuate the fear of having future panics.  This can seriously disrupt the life of teens, often making […]

Turn on the TV on any given day and it seems there’s news of yet another school shooting, deadly accident, or natural disaster somewhere in our country.  When you include the plethora of tragic stories regarding the physical or sexual abuse of youth, any caring parent can easily become consumed with fear regarding the safety […]

For decades, many parents worried about their adolescents experimenting with or getting addicted to “hard” drugs, such as meth, heroin, or cocaine.  The good news is that those drugs aren’t as common among teens as they once were.  Unfortunately, prescription drugs are increasingly taking their place.  These drugs are much more accessible because they’re found […]

Our teens are struggling. Evidence shows rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, substance use, and self-harming behavior have increased, with teens and young adults reporting escalating levels of adverse mental health symptoms. In light of this evidence, we’ve prepared some tips on preparing your adolescent for the transition back to school after the summer, including […]

If you’re like most parents, the idea of your teen intentionally harming himself or herself is a tough one to wrap your mind around.  However, an increasing number of adolescents today are secretly harming or mutilating themselves while their parents are completely oblivious. Self-harm behavior is usually not done with the intent to die.  In […]

If you’re like most parents, you want your kids to learn to be comfortable in their own skin, develop self-confidence, and thrive socially as they grow up.  Unfortunately, some children develop in the exact opposite direction, for example being painfully self-conscious, afraid of rejection or embarrassment, and extremely uncomfortable in social settings.  The anxiety they […]

It’s normal for teens to experience a bit of anxiety or fear in certain situations, such as giving a presentation at school or going to the dentist.  However, a surprising number of teens – more than 10% – suffer from what’s known as a specific phobia (or simple phobia).  This common anxiety disorder involves having […]

One of the most heartbreaking losses for any parent is the death of a child.  When the cause of death is suicide, the gut-wrenching pain is often more pronounced and excruciating than ever.  To add insult to injury, the parents’ pain is inevitably accompanied by a barrage of guilt, unrelenting “what ifs”, and harsh self-judgments. […]

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, […]

Cutting is a heartbreaking form of self-harm that has been steadily increasing among teens and adolescents. As a parent, it’s crucial to understand the signs, causes, and best approaches to addressing this alarming issue. Evolve specializes in providing comprehensive and compassionate care for teens struggling with a variety of mental health issues, including cutting. This […]

As parents, witnessing our children navigate their teenage years can be both rewarding and daunting. One of the critical areas that require our attention is their relationship with food and body image. Disordered eating in teens is a huge issue, and it is crucial for parents to understand, recognize, and address it effectively. At Evolve […]

Fentanyl is one of the most powerful drugs in the world, and it’s increasingly becoming a parent’s worst nightmare. At Evolve Treatment Centers, we recognize the significant increase in substance abuse among teenagers, particularly with dangerous opioids like fentanyl. This guide is a resource for parents looking to educate themselves and take proactive steps in […]

It can be absolutely heartbreaking to see your teen struggling with depression, and it can be difficult to know how to help. Major depressive disorder (MDD) in teens has recently become an issue of increasing concern for parents, educators, and healthcare professionals alike.  As a treatment center that specializes in the well-being of teens, we […]

As a parent, you love your child more than anything, but raising a teenager can be enormously challenging. When elements like respect and communication are missing between you and your child, it can lead to a parent-child relational problem. Often, these problems reflect dynamics or patterns that are harmful to both the parent and the […]

Is your teen caught up in a gambling addiction?  With adolescents increasingly exposed to gambling opportunities, the prevalence of teen gambling has become a growing concern. With the rise of online gambling, it has become more accessible than ever before. As parents, it’s crucial to recognize the signs of potential gambling problems, and know how […]

Adolescence is a critical time of development, bringing with it physical, emotional, and psychological changes. Teen insomnia disorder can stunt that development and significantly affect a teenager’s daily life, impacting their mood, energy levels, and overall well-being. As a parent, understanding teen insomnia disorder, its causes, symptoms, and potential treatments is crucial in providing the […]

There are few things more devastating than learning that your child has been sexually abused or assaulted. Teen sexual assault is a gravely serious issue, with consequences that can reverberate throughout a person’s lifetime. At Evolve, we provide treatment for teens who have been sexually assaulted and want to begin the road to recovery. This […]

Choosing to start using tobacco is one of those crucial decisions that can alter the course of your teen’s life. In this guide, we’ll unpack the complexities of teen tobacco use and how it can impact their health and their future. We’ll provide you, as parents, with the necessary tools and insights to navigate your […]

The rapid escalation of teen vaping in recent years has become a pressing concern for parents, educators, and health professionals alike. As vaping devices have evolved and become more discreet, the challenge of identifying and addressing teen vaping has grown increasingly complex. But what are the different vaping uses, and what are teenagers vaping? At […]

The teenage years can be tumultuous, filled with high emotions, growth, and change. Often, parents of teens have trouble distinguishing normal teenager behavior from red flags in teenage behavior. One crucial area of concern is aggression.  True aggression is not just about teens acting out, it’s about behavior that borders on violent. It’s essential for […]

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