PTSD and Brain Research for Teen Trauma Victims
With adolescent trauma victims and their families, therapist Brad Rentfro, LPC, is using new brain research to great effect. Since neural pathways can actually be re-routed, says Rentfro, PTSD patients can literally change how their brains process both old and new situations.
Everyday Family Wellness: Volunteering
While volunteering to help others may not seem like a sophisticated mental-health technique, those who engage in community service tend to weigh less, have fewer health problems, and report a higher measure of subjective happiness than those who don’t.
Everyday Family Wellness: Living Rooms
This series of blogs is designed to serve as a reminder of some basic building blocks for emotional and behavioral health. These are not treatment modalities with fancy names or reams of clinical research. These are simple lifestyle choices that can help you and your family feel and function better.
It’s true of nearly everything—gifts, massages, meals, hugs, praise—that the better you are at receiving the better you’ll be at giving. It’s true of gratitude as well. If you find yourself deflecting other people’s efforts to thank you with a dismissive wave of the hand, a falsely humble headshake, or a blocking phrase like “not at all,” or “it was nothing,” then knock it off! For everyone to benefit maximally from an act of thanksgiving, that act must be accepted. If someone lobs a sincere “thanks” your way, do them—and yourself—a favor: look them in the eye, smile, and say, “you’re welcome.” Enjoy it! That’s what gratitude is all about, after all—giving, receiving, and enjoying.
Willpower Exercises for Struggling Teens
According to Dr. Kelly McGongal, a health psychologist and Stanford University instructor, self control isn’t something you either have or don’t have. It’s a strength that can be developed over time; like a muscle, your self control can be exercised to make it stronger. She also reminds us that lapses are normal and should be treated as such; normalizing these failings can help them have less power to discourage us…less power to push us deeper into victimhood.
Stressed-out Teen? Talk to Spot!
While most pet dogs have just a few stress triggers that come and go with just enough frequency to make their day interesting, their unfortunate owners have created a world of constant stress. For teens in particular—who are emotionally charged to begin with and haven’t yet learned to cope with adult stressors—there’s an almost never ending list of stress triggers constantly circling, threatening, taunting. Tests, gossip, competitions, pimples, mean girls, family stress, a learning disability, an over-scheduled life…teens have a lot to deal with.
Learning Disabilities and Adolescent Emotional Health
Emotional and behavioral issues are common with individuals struggling with learning challenges. Everyday experiences are what nurture emotional regulation and maturity. Individuals with learning challenges, however, are often blocked from these everyday “normal” experiences.
Family Crisis = Opportunity to Grow
Following a family crisis–while your still open, flexible and a little messy inside—is the best time to break the old habits that festered into dysfunction in the first place and create some new ones. The good news is that a lot of personal growth work can be awfully nice! Following are several areas to explore that can complement the intervention, treatment, therapy and medication your family has just experienced, leading to longer-term healing instead of just emotional triage.
Treating Enmeshed Teens and Parents
Most of us want to connect and most of us want to be accepted by others. We just need to channel our efforts to meet these needs in a healthy direction. That’s what we aim for with enmeshed relationships at Innerchange, to redirect relational energy in a direction that will bring out the most peace, connection, and growth possible.