Therapy for Teens with Anxiety
Newport Beach, California
Newport Beach, California
The adolescent phase of development is one riddled with life stressors. Teens must navigate the increased demands at school, hitting puberty, learning about dating, worries about fitting in or being liked, and much more. With great stress comes great consequences, which is why so many teens struggle with clinical levels of anxiety (see Costello, Egger, & Angold, 2005).
Anxiety can bring about many odd behaviors in teens, and it is important for parents to pay close attention to how anxiety may be affecting their child’s functioning.
Avoidance of certain activities or settings
Atypical behavior (lying, sneaking, etc.)
Nausea or feeling sick
Difficulty with sleeping or eating
Nervousness that affects performance (sports, testing, theater, etc.)
The trick with anxiety is that is often comes with other issues. Teens that struggle with anxiety can also begin to develop other mental and physical health issues as they transition into adulthood (Essau et al, 2018). If you have begun to notice anxious behavior in your teen, let us help. Early detection and treatment of anxiety can make a significant difference for their trajectory, and it is never too late to get them started on a healthier, happier path. Mental health professionals (like those of us here at The OC Psychology Center!) are trained to help identify, diagnose, and treat anxiety. If you or your teen struggle with anxiety, contact us today.
Here at The OC Psychology Center for Psychotherapy and Assessment, we conceptualize anxiety as a process of worry, avoidance, and learning:
First, teens will experience anxiety regarding a certain activity or object (anxiety trigger). For example, they may trip in the hallway at school in front of their middle school crush. The anxious experience is learned and stored in memory as an emotional association with the trigger, which then motivates the teen to avoid that trigger in the future. The teen may thus feel highly motivated to skip school or request home schooling. By avoiding the trigger, the teen’s emotional association goes unchallenged and is reinforced over time.
Worry about traveling via airplane
Anxiety about test or athletic performance
Discomfort with leaving the home or socializing
Obsessions about certain fears (blood, animals, etc.)
Loneliness and not fitting in
Questioning identity and beliefs
The key to overcoming these and other anxieties involves caring collaboration as the teen learns to challenge their worries and live more freely. Our team of mental health professionals is determined to help your teen overcome their fears. Contact OC Psychology Center for Assessment and Therapy today to schedule your first appointment. Our mission is to help children and their families find answers and solutions through assessment (testing and diagnosis) and psychotherapy (treatment) services. To read more about our assessment services, check out our other pages on psychological testing and diagnosis. To learn more about what treatment for anxiety looks like here in our clinic, read on!
As with any health issue, the first step in treatment is accurate diagnosis. The diagnosis provides clarity regarding your teen’s struggles and shapes the direction of treatment. Thankfully, anxiety is very treatable through psychotherapy (Barret et al, 2001). In severe cases, we may also provide consultation regarding medication options that would supplement your teen’s functioning.
Communicate better with parents and teachers
Focus more effectively
Feel safe and secure
Quiet their thoughts and be mindful
Experience increased wellbeing and happiness
Regulate and identify their emotions
Here at the OC Psychology Center, we prioritize your teen’s wellbeing, and we also prioritize their autonomy and privacy. Teenagers who receive treatment for anxiety particularly benefit from an additional layer of confidentiality with the psychologist, which allows them to share freely without the worries of mom or dad hearing about things considered more private. After you schedule your first session, we will decide what boundaries we might set on information shared throughout the treatment process. To learn more about what therapy looks like for teenagers, check out our Therapy for Teens page!
Our adolescent therapy specialists are skilled at teaching teenagers and their parents cognitive-behavioral strategies to manage anxiety, stress and worry.
Want to learn more about our team of child, adolescent and young adult behavioral health specialists? Select a provider below to learn more about the credentials and specialties of each provider.
Learn more about child therapy, teen therapy and young adult therapy for treatment of ADHD, depression, anxiety and learning problems, and how our counseling services and psychological testing can help.