TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: Therapeutic Programs

Posted Oct. 31, 2018, 8 a.m. by Roberta Cannon | View Comments
College student carrying boxes into dorm with dad in background.

All teens who head off to college do so with some anticipation, anxiety and fear of the unknown, along with excitement about the freedom this new environment has to offer. But students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, often experience more stress and have more academic difficulties than other students, according to Children and Adults Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, a nonprofit that provides facts and information about ADHD. If you are the parent of a child with ADHD, you probably began preparing for college when your child started kindergarten. You made sure they took everything they needed for the day at school, double-checked ...

Posted Oct. 16, 2018, 8 a.m. by Roberta Cannon | View Comments
Female student in a lotus yoga position.

While there are many programs to help support teens through the various challenges of adolescence, mindfulness has become more popular over the last few years as a way to deal with pressures such as stress and bullying. “Mindfulness or mindful awareness is paying attention on purpose to what’s happening right now, internally and externally,” said Katie Medlar, director of school and community-based programs at Calmer Choice on Cape Cod. “We do this with kindness and curiosity for ourselves and others.” Calmer Choice is a nonprofit organization that sponsors secular mindfulness programs in more than 28 schools, for 15,000 students and ...

Posted Jan. 19, 2017, 3:58 p.m. by Stacie Allphin | View Comments
marijuana therapy

As marijuana becomes legal in more and more states, it may be tempting to overlook its use among teenagers. But those of us who work in the world of drug addiction at Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center, think there is still reason for concern. One reason: Levels of the intoxicating substance in pot – delta-9tetrahydrocannibinol, commonly known as THC – are much higher now than they were in the era of Woodstock. From the 1970s to 1990s, the average amount of THC found in confiscated marijuana was about 3.7 percent, according to an NBC report on a 2015 Colorado ...

Posted July 19, 2016, 9 a.m. by Ellen Wassif | View Comments
Therapeutic Programs: Learning the Language of DBT

When you are new to the world of teen therapeutic programs and schools, you have to learn a new language. Acronyms, jargon, metaphors – they can all sound foreign and confusing when you have a teen struggling with mental health issues or addiction. In addition to learning about diagnoses and programs, you may also be hearing recommendations to specific therapeutic options for teenagers. But as someone unfamiliar with therapeutic jargon, how do you understand the recommendation? Or whether it is right for you or your family member? Recently, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) has gained popularity. And rightly so. DBT holds ...

Posted July 7, 2016, 9:34 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Announcing TeenLife's 2016 Guide to Therapeutic Programs & Services

It’s a tough job to find help for a teenager with mental health or addiction issues. It can leave parents and even educators feeling isolated and overwhelmed. Just the numbers are staggering. One in five of children age 13 to 18 has or will have a serious mental illness; 11 percent have a mood disorder and 8 percent an anxiety disorder, according to data collected by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. That’s why we publish TeenLife’s Guide to Therapeutic Programs & Services. Whether you are dealing with a long-term problem or a sudden crisis, we can link you with ...

Posted Sept. 10, 2015, 8 a.m. by Susan Moeller | View Comments
failure and suicide prevention

“Let your child fail” is the new anti-helicopter-parent mantra. And now some experts even say that failure and the ability to recover may be part of what protects teenagers and college students from depression and suicide. “What we’re seeing is a lot of kids going off to college and experiencing their first bad grade or broken up relationship … and they don’t know how to handle it,” says Stephen Gray Wallace, the author of “Reality Gap – Alcohol, Drugs, and Sex – What Parents Don’t Know and Teens Aren’t Telling.” Wallace, a psychologist, camp administrator, and former CEO of Students ...

Posted Aug. 11, 2015, 8 a.m. by Dana Elmore | View Comments

The first time I heard the term “self-reflection,” I was working on my second graduate degree, a master’s in education and was required to keep a self-reflective journal. My professors believed that “reflective practices made better teachers.” At the time, I had no idea what a self-reflective journal or reflective practices were. I later realized that self-reflection was something that I did naturally, but making a conscious effort to do it deepened my practice. Self-reflection can easily become a daily part of your life at any age. It involves giving careful thought to your beliefs and goals, and then evaluating ...

Posted May 26, 2015, 8 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Out of the Darkness – Walk to Prevent Suicide

Madison Holleran had always been a happy kid. In high school, she was a varsity athlete (track and soccer) and an A student. Madison was looking forward to attending a top tier college and running for their track team. Her father Jim Holleran recalls, “After her first week at school she tweeted about college, ‘This is the greatest place on earth.’” But the transition from high school to college was difficult for Madison. She missed home and her family. The academic and athletic demands were intense. Madison was used to being a high achiever in the classroom and on the ...

Posted Jan. 8, 2015, 9 a.m. by Andrew Schlegelmilch, Ph.D. | View Comments
college readiness for special education

It was not so long ago that individuals with executive functioning (EF) disorders, such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism, had a tough time finding a university setting that was a good match. Obstacles such as the traditional high school grading system, college-level entrance exams (e.g., SAT, ACT), college application essays and interviews, and even the process of managing the intricate and complex process of applying for college were enough to stymie many with EF deficits who did not have adequate support. These days we know much more about EF deficits, and specifically about how to properly support individuals ...

Posted Nov. 28, 2014, 10 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
depression on college application

Between the ages of 13 and 18, approximately 20% of American adolescents will deal with some form of mental illness. Under this umbrella falls anything from minor depression or anxiety all the way to potentially more serious conditions like pediatric schizophrenia or post traumatic stress disorder. For many, dealing with a mental health condition will negatively impact their high school career in some way, potentially impacting areas such as academic performance, school attendance, teacher relationships, and extracurricular involvement. Given the prevalence of mental illness among teenagers, a significant number of high school seniors are faced with a difficult choice each ...

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