10 Benefits of Talk Therapy for Teens

There are many benefits of talk therapy for teens, including providing a safe space to express their feelings, confront emotional pain, and develop coping strategies. With rising rates of anxiety, depression, and stress among teens, there has never been a more crucial time for therapeutic intervention.

The dilemma faced by parents and guardians is often whether to seek professional help for their teen’s emotional and mental issues. 

The numbers indicate an alarming rise in mental health disorders among adolescents. The question isn’t just about “if” you should consider therapy but “when.” 

Fortunately, talk therapy emerges as an effective approach to help teenagers navigate through their intricate emotional landscapes. In this article, we explore the various benefits of talk therapy for teens.

10 Benefits of Talk Therapy for Teens

Talk therapy is not just a place to “talk about your feelings.” It is a complex and beneficial process backed by years of research and success stories. 

Here are 10 benefits of talk therapy for teens:

1. Improved Emotional Regulation

One of the most significant benefits of talk therapy for teens is improved emotional regulation. Adolescence is a period marked by hormonal changes, social pressures, and identity formation—all of which can stir intense emotions. 

Without the right tools, teenagers may resort to harmful ways of coping, such as substance abuse or self-isolation. Talk therapy provides a structured environment where teens can explore these complex feelings under the guidance of a professional. 

Through techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness, they learn to identify triggers, manage their emotional responses, and express themselves more constructively.

2. Reduced Anxiety

The pressures of academic performance, social dynamics, and future uncertainties can contribute to escalating levels of anxiety in teenagers. 

Talk therapy offers a safe space for teens to untangle the complexities of their anxious feelings and thoughts. With the help of a trained therapist, teens learn coping strategies like deep breathing, grounding techniques, and challenging cognitive distortions. Over time, this allows them to build a mental toolkit to combat anxiety in different settings—be it in school, social gatherings, or even within their family environment. 

The reduction in anxiety levels can significantly enhance their quality of life and their ability to engage more fully with the world around them.

3. Enhanced Communication Skills

Talk therapy does more than provide a platform for emotional expression; it actively cultivates improved communication skills. Teens often struggle with articulating their feelings, which can result in misunderstandings, conflicts, and stress. In the therapeutic environment, they learn the value of clear communication, both verbal and non-verbal.

With guided conversations and role-playing scenarios, therapists help teens practice open dialogue. This fosters empathy and active listening skills, equipping them to navigate challenging conversations outside the therapy room. Over time, improved communication can lead to healthier relationships with family, friends, and even themselves.

4. Building Self-esteem

Low self-esteem is a common issue among teenagers, aggravated by societal pressures, academic expectations, and peer comparisons. Talk therapy can play a crucial role in building a teen’s self-esteem. It provides a space where they can explore their self-worth detached from external validations like grades or social media likes.

With targeted exercises and guided self-reflection, therapists help teens identify their strengths and areas for growth. The process often involves dismantling harmful self-beliefs and replacing them with more balanced, positive self-affirmations. As teens gain a more accurate and compassionate view of themselves, their self-esteem naturally improves, equipping them to face the world with greater confidence.

5. Crisis Management

Teenagers are not immune to crises, whether they come in the form of family issues, academic stressors, or sudden life changes. Knowing how to manage a crisis effectively is a skill that many adults, let alone teens, often lack. Talk therapy provides the training ground for learning such coping skills.

Through discussing past crises and hypothetical scenarios, therapists teach teens essential problem-solving techniques. This can include emotional regulation in high-stress situations, effective decision-making under pressure, and seeking appropriate support. The aim is to empower teens with the skills to not only cope with a crisis but to navigate through it in a way that promotes growth and learning.

6. Strengthened Relationships

Talk therapy has the transformative power to strengthen relationships, both within the family unit and beyond. The emotional intelligence gained in therapy often carries over into other facets of life, including friendships, family interactions, and even relationships with teachers or coaches. Teens learn important skills like empathy, active listening, and conflict resolution, which are vital for healthy relationships.

By understanding their own triggers and emotional patterns, teens can also engage in healthier ways with those around them. They become better at setting boundaries, articulating needs, and understanding the emotional states of others. This mutual understanding fosters stronger, more fulfilling relationships, reducing familial stress and increasing overall well-being.

7. Academic Success

The skills and emotional regulation learned in talk therapy don’t just stay in the therapist’s office; they translate directly to academic success. Focus and concentration often improve when a teen’s underlying emotional or behavioral issues are addressed. This improvement can manifest as better grades, a more positive attitude toward school, or increased participation in class activities.

Additionally, coping strategies learned in therapy can help teens manage academic stress, improving their performance during exams or large projects. By balancing emotional well-being with academic responsibilities, teens are better equipped to reach their educational goals without sacrificing their mental health.

8. Promotes Self-awareness

Self-awareness is a cornerstone benefit of talk therapy. Through the reflective space that therapy provides, teens gain a deeper understanding of their own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. This involves more than just understanding why they feel a certain way; it’s about recognizing patterns, triggers, and emotional responses.

With increased self-awareness comes the ability to make more informed choices. Whether it’s deciding how to handle a stressful situation or understanding the root of a recurring emotional state, self-awareness offers teens the tools they need to navigate their complex emotional landscapes. This improved self-knowledge can be a lifelong asset, serving them well into adulthood and in various aspects of life, from career choices to interpersonal relationships.

9. Resilience Building

One of the most invaluable skills that talk therapy imparts is resilience. Resilience isn’t just about bouncing back from adversity; it’s also about developing the mental and emotional fortitude to navigate through life’s challenges effectively. In a controlled, safe environment, teens can explore their vulnerabilities and work through setbacks, all under the guidance of a qualified therapist.

The strategies learned during these sessions are highly practical and can be applied in various areas of life. Whether facing academic pressures, social issues, or personal dilemmas, teens equipped with resilience can adapt and find ways to overcome. This skill is particularly important during adolescence, a period often characterized by turbulence and change, and lays the foundation for emotional resilience in adult life.

10. Future Planning

Talk therapy can be a vital resource for future planning, an aspect of life that many teens find overwhelmingly daunting. Whether they’re contemplating college, a career, or other significant life choices, the space provided by therapy offers them a unique platform to explore their options and preferences without judgment. Therapists can help teens explore their strengths, passions, and capabilities in a structured way, helping them make more informed decisions about their futures.

The process of future planning in therapy is about more than just logistical considerations; it’s also about aligning life goals with inner values and desires. By giving teens the tools to plan in alignment with their authentic selves, therapy facilitates not only a clearer path forward but also a greater likelihood of long-term happiness and fulfillment.

Explore Talk Therapy Today

Are you ready to explore the benefits of talk therapy for your teen? At Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers in Southern California, we specialize in talk therapy tailored for teens. 

Our approach involves multi-modal strategies treating complex mental health issues, ensuring a successful, long-term impact. 

Contact us today at (866) 889-3665 or via email at to discuss personalized treatment options.


Talk therapy can make a world of difference in your teen’s life, offering a range of benefits from improved emotional regulation to enhanced self-esteem. If you’re concerned about a teenager in your life, don’t hesitate. 

Contact Visions today and start your journey toward a healthier, happier future. 


How Does Teenage Trauma Affect Adulthood?

Teenage trauma can have lasting effects that carry into adulthood, often manifesting as mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unresolved trauma can also impact interpersonal relationships, leading to trust issues and difficulties with emotional intimacy. The coping mechanisms developed during adolescence can become maladaptive in adult life, hindering personal and professional growth. Therefore, early intervention and treatment are crucial for long-term well-being.

When a teenager experiences trauma, it can create emotional and psychological issues that follow them into adulthood.

These residual effects can manifest as various mental health disorders, trust issues, and even difficulties in professional settings. Understanding the long-term impact of teenage trauma on adulthood is not just essential—it’s critical for offering timely intervention and treatment.

In this article, we’re exploring a common question we hear – how does teenage trauma affect adulthood?

What is Trauma?

Trauma is a psychological response to distressing events that overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope. These can range from physical violence to emotional abuse, from natural disasters to personal crises. While the event may be short-lived, its psychological effects can last for years or even a lifetime, significantly impacting an individual’s quality of life.

Types of Trauma in Adolescence:

  • Physical Abuse: Physical harm inflicted by parents, peers, or others.
  • Emotional Abuse: Psychological mistreatment through manipulation or verbal abuse.
  • Sexual Abuse: Unwanted sexual advances or conduct, often inflicted by a trusted adult.
  • Accidents: Trauma caused by accidental events like car crashes or natural disasters.
  • Complex Trauma: Prolonged exposure to multiple traumatic events, often within a caregiving relationship.

How Does Teenage Trauma Affect Adulthood?

Teenage years are crucial for cognitive and emotional development, making adolescents particularly susceptible to the long-lasting effects of trauma. Traumatic events during this period can lead to mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Relationships in adulthood can be profoundly impacted, as trust issues and difficulties with emotional intimacy may arise.

In the professional sphere, unresolved trauma can hinder personal and career growth, potentially leading to a cycle of underachievement and dissatisfaction. A study published in “Psychological Medicine” revealed that individuals who experienced trauma during adolescence were more likely to have lower incomes and less education in adulthood. Moreover, coping mechanisms developed during the teenage years may become maladaptive, such as self-harming behaviors or substance abuse, contributing to a complex set of challenges in adult life.

Here’s how teenage trauma can affect adulthood:

The Psychological Repercussions

One of the most immediate consequences of untreated teenage trauma is the significant impact on mental health. Adults who experienced trauma during their teenage years are more likely to suffer from mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. These aren’t just fleeting feelings of sadness or nervousness; they are debilitating conditions that can interfere significantly with daily life. In more severe cases, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop, characterized by recurring flashbacks, nightmares, and heightened stress reactions that make normal life challenging.

The Emotional Toll

Aside from the diagnosable disorders that can result from untreated trauma, there are also more nuanced emotional ramifications. Many adults who experience trauma as teens report difficulties with emotional regulation. They may experience extreme emotional highs and lows or struggle to maintain stable relationships due to emotional volatility. Often, these individuals may have trouble trusting others and may develop attachment issues, making healthy romantic relationships difficult to sustain.

Relationship Struggles

The challenges don’t stop with the individual – they extend to their interactions with others. Trust issues are a common consequence of teenage trauma, affecting both personal and professional relationships. The individual might be hypersensitive to criticism, overly defensive, or generally wary of getting too close to anyone. This often leads to a pattern of unstable relationships, which can, in turn, exacerbate feelings of isolation and loneliness. The person may also be more prone to entering toxic relationships, where patterns of abuse and neglect may recur.

Professional and Career Impact

It’s not just personal lives that are affected. Professional life can also take a hit due to the lingering effects of teenage trauma. Adults with untreated adolescent trauma may find it challenging to hold down a stable job or perform effectively in their roles. Problems with authority figures, difficulty working in teams, or general productivity issues are common. The trauma impacts their self-esteem and self-efficacy, affecting their ability to aim high and achieve their goals, leading to a cycle of underachievement and dissatisfaction.

Self-Destructive Behaviors

To cope with the emotional and psychological pain, many adults resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms. 

Substance abuse is a well-documented coping strategy among those who have experienced trauma, which presents another set of problems altogether, including potential legal issues and chronic health conditions. 

Other self-destructive behaviors like self-harm, eating disorders, or reckless behavior may also be more prevalent in adults who experienced trauma during their teenage years.

Teen Trauma Treatment

It’s crucial to recognize the signs of trauma in teens and seek professional help as soon as possible. Early intervention can mean the difference between a challenging yet manageable adult life and one defined by ongoing struggles. Treatment often involves:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Medication
  • Supportive environments
  • Long-term follow-up and counseling

Start Your Journey with Visions

Are you or a loved one dealing with the lingering effects of teenage trauma? 

At Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers, we specialize in treating complex mental health issues in adolescents. Our multi-modal treatment plans are custom-designed to cater to individual needs. 

Don’t let the shadows of teenage trauma darken your adult life; contact us today for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan.


The impact of teenage trauma should not be underestimated, as its effects can reverberate through adulthood. 

Understanding these implications is essential for offering timely and effective treatment. If you or someone you know is struggling with the long-term effects of teenage trauma, the first step towards healing is seeking professional help. 

Reach out to Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers today to begin the journey towards a more fulfilling life.

Mental Health

Teen Sports and Mental Health: 10 Healthy Benefits

There are several mental benefits of sports for teens. Physical activity, especially sports, can help teens build good habits for a better, more health-conscious lifestyle.

However, in addition to physical benefits, sports also have immense mental health benefits for teens. Regular physical activity with other kids can help teens build confidence, learn to interact with others and reap the benefits of daily exercise for their mind and body.

In this article, you will discover ten mental benefits of sports for teens.

Mental Benefits of Sports for Teens

It’s recommended that teens engage in at least an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least once every day, seven days a week. Getting up and moving is important at every age, but it’s doubly important for teens. 

Kids and teens who exercise regularly also have stronger bones and muscles later in adulthood. Achieving stronger bones and lean muscle mass (without the help of exogenous hormones) can help reduce the risk of metabolic illnesses but can also decrease the risk of injury later in life and improve longevity. 

When it comes to mental health benefits, sports can be a powerful positive factor. Teenagers are at an impressionable age, where daily habits help shape who they become in adulthood. 

Furthermore, teens are at greater risk of advancing mental health problems than ever before. At least some of these problems, experts fear, are due to an increasingly isolated and sedentary lifestyle. Studies show that teens who exercise regularly are less likely to struggle with depression. Engaging in sports with other teens allows them to develop crucial interpersonal skills, build a healthy sense of self-esteem, and reap the benefits of physical activity. Let’s look at some of the ways teens benefit from engaging in sports for their mental health. 

Here are several mental benefits of sports for teens:

1. Sports for Stress Relief

Sports and physical activity are an excellent and healthy outlet for stress. Teens are often struggling with the emotional turmoil of adolescence; having something they can use to positively channel their stress helps them keep a cool head when dealing with their problems and avoid maladaptive coping styles. 

2. How Sports Can Enhance Mood

Regular physical activity correlates with a lower rate of depression. One way this is possible is through the impact of physical activity on the mind, through the release of endorphins, a healthier self-image, and a boost to confidence. 

3. Sports Improve Teen Concentration

Despite the stereotype of the jock, staying physically active is good for your concentration and cognition. Furthermore, as a testament to how physical activity can be a good habit, brain health improves with strength training, especially in older adults. 

4. Sports Experience Builds Resilience

Mental resilience is a protective factor against negative changes in mood and thoughts of anxiety. Positive experiences in sports can make you more confident, but sports also provide a healthy environment to learn about loss and frustration. Learning to cope with setbacks and focus on the positives after a negative experience is an immensely valuable lesson, and one many teens learn through competition or personal goals in training. 

5. Sports Camaraderie and Mental Health

Sports, especially team sports, help teens build valuable interpersonal skills and communicative skills on the field. For teens who might not have had the most positive experiences with their classmates until now, finding a sport or physical activity they enjoy can help them find a community they feel more welcome outside of school. 

6. Sports for Goal Setting

Whether competitively or simply for the sake of self-improvement, sports and other physical activities help teens set and reach positive goals, and teach them the benefits of concrete, realistic goal-setting. 

7. Sports and Self-Confidence

Many teens who struggle with feelings of anxiety or depression also struggle with feelings of self-doubt and a loss in confidence. While even pro athletes can struggle with mental health issues, teens and adults who continue to engage in physical activities and sports are more likely to have positive self-esteem and a healthier level of self-confidence. 

8. Physical Activity and Sleep Hygiene

Sleep is one of the most underrated aspects of teen health – and a cornerstone of any recovering athlete’s program. Enough food, enough sleep, and enough rest from the gym or the field is crucial in any athletic endeavor. 

9. Sports as a Positive Coping Mechanism

Teenagers want to experiment and try things out. Having a robust and healthy coping mechanism in the form of regular physical activity and a sports community can often help keep them away from other negative coping mechanisms. 

10. Sports and Mindfulness

Exercise and sports as an activity have therapeutic value, especially when it comes to teaching focus and mindfulness

Sports can have a positive impact on a teen’s mental and physical health, but they aren’t a substitute for treatment in the case of a serious mental health issue. You can be athletic, or even achieve great feats of strength and speed on the national stage, and still struggle with a mental health issue, including anxiety.

If your teen has had a history of anxiety or depression, and is currently in treatment, then encouraging them to seek out a physical activity or sport that they might enjoy can be a good thing, especially if you give it a try with them as a friend or family member. 

But if your teen might be struggling with their mental health for the first time, focus first on getting them the help they need. We at Visions work with teens, and treat a variety of mental health issues, ranging from major depressive disorder to substance use disorder. Contact us to learn more about out treatment options and programs for teens


It’s clear that teens need to stay physically active, both for their bodies and their minds. Team sports, or physical activities with a strong sense of community and camaraderie can be a great way to build a healthy lifestyle. But there are important caveats. Pushing a teen into a sport they aren’t interested in, or emphasizing an unhealthy level of competitiveness can backfire on the teen’s physical and mental health and development. 

It’s important to start with your teen’s interests and wishes. Younger teens are prone to changing interests and may try out many different sports before landing on something they stick with for years at a time. Encourage your teen to stay curious and try out different things. 


What Is Experiential Therapy?

Experiential therapy utilizes different activities to immerse teens in a calming experience, and better reach them through talk therapy methods. Where talk therapy focuses on the power of conversation to help achieve introspection, experiential therapy focuses on the power of actions. Experiential therapy includes different forms of art therapy, drama therapy, and animal-assisted therapies.

Teens might do well with experiential therapy for a few different reasons. In some cases, therapists might find that experiential therapy has a better shot of reaching a teen who might not seem receptive to discussing their thoughts or feelings in normal talk therapy sessions, or even within a group. 

In other cases, however, experiential therapy can serve as an alternative with a better chance of success due to the nature of a teen’s mental health issue. Experiential therapy can be more effective in the treatment of trauma or avoidance-based symptoms. 

What is Experiential Therapy?

The origins of experiential therapy as a formal framework for psychotherapy can be traced back to the 1940s. 

Since then, progress has been made in identifying different therapeutic activities and approaches that help people open up to a psychotherapeutic inquiry. In other words, finding and establishing helpful activities to facilitate the productive discussion of personal thoughts, anxieties, and past experiences, or act as a bridge for those conversations. 

Core Principles for Experiential Therapy

There are multiple core principles for experiential therapy. These include: 

  • Trust: The foundation of trust between client and therapist. 
  • Immersion: The immersion in an experience. 
  • Introspection: Using that experience to reflect. 
  • Client-driven: Therapists help guide clients, but don’t interfere in their experience, or try to interpret their experience for them. 
  • Problem-solving: Experiential therapy invariably leads to challenges or questions. It’s a therapist’s goal to help clients work through these problems themselves – and embrace the power to define and choose an answer. 
  • Awareness and Unconscious Processing: Experiential therapy delves deeper into the differences between thoughts and ideas we are aware of, and things that lurk beneath the surface. Part of experiential therapy involves helping a client choose to become aware of their unconscious thoughts and acknowledge them in a productive way. 

Types of Experiential Therapy

Experiential therapy exists in different forms. Some of these therapies may be more effective for individual teens than others. Clients and therapists work together to determine which kind of experiential therapy might work best for them. 

Some clinics and therapists utilize their own type of experiential therapy, but most experiential therapies can be broken down into the following categories: 

  • Art Therapy – Art therapy utilizes visual arts, primarily, as a therapeutic activity for teens. In these sessions, teens might be asked to work on something with a specific visual medium, such as oil paints, acrylic, crayons, watercolor, or charcoal. Art therapy can also include sculpting or arts-and-crafts activities, such as scrapbooking and origami. Sometimes, art is an outlet for frustration but doesn’t specifically relate to the therapeutic topic. Other times, it can be a vehicle for what a teen wants to say but can’t verbalize. 
  • Music Therapy – While music is certainly a form of art, most therapists separate art therapy from music therapy. The goal is the same – to harness the calming and positive nature of music, even aggressive or angry music, to act as an immersive activity to talk about mental health, and as a healthy outlet. 
  • Drama Therapy – Again, drama and acting can be art forms, but this type of experiential therapy is even further removed from the other two forms. During drama therapy, teens might be asked to write their own script, act out an existing script, or set the stage for a play. Drama therapy usually encompasses roleplaying and utilizes the benefit of exploring a character from the outside as a means to ask and answer difficult questions. 
  • Play Therapy – This form of experiential therapy is most often used with children, rather than teens or adults. Play therapy utilizes toys and games to help younger children work through difficult experiences or thoughts while talking with a therapist. 
  • Adventure-Based Therapy – Adventure-based experiential therapies may include hikes, sports or group activities, and team-building activities in residential clinics or facilities. These experiential therapies can strengthen the camaraderie between teen clients and serve as a positive outlet for stress in treatment. 
  • Animal-Assisted Therapy – Animal-assisted therapies usually utilize the soothing nature of taking care or being with an animal to help teens stay calm during therapy. Sometimes, taking care of an animal can help teens improve their sense of empathy and their communicative skills, as well as teach them about boundaries – both boundaries for other people, and boundaries for themselves. 

In contrast to talk therapy, experiential therapies are less known. Sometimes, parents and teens have questions about why certain experiential therapies work while others don’t, or why a therapist might have better luck addressing someone during a play or dramatic work than through a one-on-one conversation. 

Experiential therapies are a cornerstone of the treatment process here at Visions Treatment Centers. Alongside talk therapy programs and medication management, our various experiential therapies help teens with mental health issues and co-occurring disorders find better environments in which to explore their past, and face present challenges. Learn more about our treatment modalities and teen mental health programs at Visions. 


Whether through drama therapy or adventure-based activities, such as hikes, experiential therapies offer a powerful alternative path toward self-reflection and growth in a teen’s mental health journey. When part of a comprehensive and long-term treatment plan, experiential therapies also help teens discover positive coping mechanisms for the future, and help them find ways to tolerate different day-to-day stressors through art, music, or collaborative play. 


How to Talk to Your Teenager Without Arguing

You can talk to your teenager without arguing by fostering open communication, showing empathy, and avoiding judgment. Ask open-ended questions that encourage conversation rather than confrontation. Listening actively without interruption and validating their feelings can also create a respectful dialogue, nurturing understanding rather than fostering arguments.

Communicating with teenagers can often lead to misunderstandings and arguments, making it difficult for parents to connect and provide support.

The frustration from repeated arguments can strain the parent-teen relationship, lead to a breakdown in trust, and hinder the teen’s emotional development.

To talk to your teenager without arguing, establish clear communication guidelines, show empathy towards their feelings, ask open-ended questions, and ensure you’re both working towards understanding each other rather than winning a debate. By creating a safe and respectful environment for discussion, you’ll foster a more positive and constructive relationship.

In this article, you will discover several tips on how to talk to your teenager without arguing.

Tips on How to Talk to Your Teenager Without Arguing

Teen communication can be difficult. Not only is there a generational gap to account for, but the goals of teens and parents rarely overlap. 

The first lesson is not to stoop low. When teens get angry, don’t get angry with them. A conversation shouldn’t be a shouting match, and the moment it becomes one, it’s probably time to step away. From there, examine your communication style with your teen, and where you might be able to make some solid improvements: 

Here are some tips on how to talk to your teenager without arguing:

Setting the Right Tone for the Conversation

Setting the tone from the start of the conversation is important. Be positive with your initial statement or question. Teens get defensive immediately when they can sense passive aggressiveness or an aggressive-inquisitive tone. 

You’re not here to investigate or play the part of a cop – you’re a parent, and you want to foster open and healthy communication skills with your teen. Use indirect questions, rather than demanding your information. 

A Matter of Time and Place

Observe your teen’s emotional state before striking up an important or difficult conversation. You’re not likely to get much out of your teen if they’re feeling anxious or angry to begin with. You’re better off if you preface an important conversation with a fun Sunday activity; a drive out to the mall for some ice cream, a few hours at the arcade, or time spent out fishing. It’s always better to start things off on a positive baseline, especially when a topic can be distressing or uncomfortable, such as drugs or sex. 

Problem-Solving With Your Teen

With is the operative word. It’s not very helpful to just talk down on your teen when they come to you with a problem. It’s often a lot more effective when you try to solve a problem with them, by asking more questions and offering constructive words of advice or personal experience in between their responses. Interruptions are bad

Identifying (and Avoiding) Blame and Judgment

It’s important to talk to your teen without the overture of judgment. Yes, you’re older, you’re wiser, and you’ve seen more things, done more things, and generally have a better idea of what’s in store for your teen. But holding that over them is more likely to alienate you and make them a lot less likely to listen to what you have to say. 

Parents don’t realize that teens make the subtle switch from needing to be told what to do all the time (as kids) to wanting to figure things out themselves more, and more, and more. It helps to adjust your language towards subtle nudges, and indirect questions, and focus on assisting teens in finding the right answers themselves. 

Questions and Answers

We often see parents who struggle to connect with their children, especially teens. Teens are trying to find their own path through life and are learning to differentiate themselves from their home environment. However, they also can’t help but be molded by their parents and family members – making for a very confusing and emotionally fragile time. We often get questions about teen communication from parents, such as: 

How do I address a sensitive topic without leading to conflict? Some topics are a little harder for teens to talk about than others, whether out of embarrassment, shame, or even guilt and fear. Sex, drugs, body image issues, mental health problems, and even personal hygiene are tough topics for a lot of teens. Keep in mind that teens are looking for guidance. But they need these conversations to go at their own pace. Ask indirect questions, let your teens talk at length without interruptions, and do not become emotional or judgmental at any point. 

What can I do when my teenager seems to stonewall all conversation? Sometimes, teens don’t want to talk about certain things because these things might be awkward to talk about, in their eyes. Then it’s often a question of the right time and place. In other cases, they might feel like there is an irreconcilable difference between their opinion and yours – especially in political or religious matters. Sometimes, it’s okay to let sleeping dogs lie. 

How do I encourage my teenagers to share their thoughts and feelings openly with me? The only way to keep your teen honest – or as honest as possible – is by fostering and maintaining a solid foundation of trust, and by examining your own actions and expectations. Sometimes, teens lie because they don’t want to lose their parents’ approval. Sometimes, they lie because they fear their parents’ judgment. Whatever the case may be, you need to communicate clearly in your responses and dialogues that you won’t overreact to your teen, and level with them – about how omitting, embellishing, or lying only serves to create problems, and never actually helps bring solutions to the table. 

How can I address situations where our emotions are running high? It’s important not to let yourself get carried away in a conversation with your teen. If your teen escalates the conversation, the worst thing you can do is take it to that same level. And if you feel that you can’t help but respond in kind, cut the conversation short – and tell your teen to come back when they’re ready to talk in a calmer tone. 

No matter how difficult it can be, it’s important to stay in touch with your teen. Talk to them about how they’re doing and what they’re feeling often. Not only is talking more often an important element of a healthier parent-teen relationship, but it can also give you better opportunities to screen your teen’s mental health. 

If you’re worried about your teenager’s behavior and actions beyond their communicative struggles, it’s also a good idea to talk to a professional. Get in touch with us at Visions, your partner in teen mental health treatments. The first step towards healing can often be the most difficult. 


It’s common to be at odds with your dad or your mom when you’re a teenager, and teens are awful conversationalists. They get defensive far too easily and may be prone to escalating the conversation. With patience, empathy, and understanding, you can improve your relationship with your teen, and teach your teen important communicative and problem-solving skills for adulthood. If you and your teen are struggling with continued communication problems and deeper behavioral issues, give us a call at Visions. 


10 Back-to-School Tips for Parents and Teens

Getting back into the academic swing of things can be a challenge for both teens and their parents, especially after a turbulent or life-changing summer vacation.

If neither you nor your teen has been keeping up with your school-based schedules and routines, it’s important to start things off on the right foot – and place special emphasis on consistency. 

In this article, we’re exploring 10 back-to-school tips for parents.

Back-to-School Tips for Parents

Going back to school can be an exciting yet stressful time for both teens and parents. Preparation is key to ensuring a smooth transition.

For teens, it’s a chance to reconnect with friends, engage in new learning opportunities, and perhaps embrace new responsibilities. Parents can support this by discussing the upcoming school year, setting goals, and establishing a routine before school begins.

Together, shopping for school supplies, talking about expectations, and addressing any anxieties can help everyone feel more prepared. Engaging in open communication and collaboration will foster a positive start to the new academic year.

Here are 10 back-to-school tips for parents and teens.

1. You Are Your Teen’s Greatest Influence

An important reminder for parents is that teens are still at an impressionable age – and while parents always worry about peer influences, parental influences remain stronger, and are a much more potent determinant of a teen’s behavior and habits. That means continuing to provide an important role model on how to healthily manage stress, confront and solve problems, and communicate with others effectively. 

2. Manage Your Emotions

Focus on your responses and emotions when talking with your teen. It’s normal for teens to lash out or become irritable when anxious, and getting back to school can be an anxious time. Don’t match your teen’s energy – be patient and stay calm. 

3. Establish a Healthy Routine

Getting back into a healthy routine with your teen before school starts can be a massive boon. Wake your teen up early, make sure they’re getting ready with you, and help them organize the last few days of their vacation to match the structure of an average school day.

4. Set Realistic Expectations and Goals

Studies show that teens seem to feel like they’re under too much academic pressure – even when their parents haven’t communicated wanting a specific grade or career from their teens. Schools are often designed to push for better grades and performances, without a care for whether this pressure helps teens develop skills that are important for adulthood. 

5. Practicing Extracurricular Self-Care

Prioritize sleep, nutrition, and exercise to boost your and your teen’s mental well-being, in and out of school. Remind your teen that it’s important to use school as an opportunity to build healthy habits, learn more about relationships and communication, and focus on skill-building, rather than the best possible scores and grades. 

6. Reach Out to Your Teen Often

Encourage your teen to talk to you, to their friends, or to school or counselors if they’re struggling; and make sure they understand that they’re not alone. 

7. Talk To Your Teen About Healthy Boundaries

Set limits on screen time and social media use for better mental balance during school weeks and talk to your teens about creating important and healthy boundaries between work (academic responsibilities) and play (from hanging out with friends to just relaxing online). 

8. Mental Resilience Starts with a Positive Mindset

It’s easy to spiral into dark thoughts, especially when the going gets tough, or when faced with an anxious change – such as going back to school. Rather than sharing in your teen’s worries, help them focus on strengths, achievements, and growth. Take weight off their shoulders by denouncing perfection – and encouraging them to celebrate the wins they’ve already achieved. 

9. Impart the Value of a Support Network

Support networks are the connective tissue of a healthy life, for teens and adults alike. We’re social creatures, and we need each other. Encourage your teen to build connections with supportive peers and lean on them when their help is needed (and vice versa). 

10. Getting Professional Help

During the back-to-school season, the pressures and anxieties may be especially intense for some teens, leading to potential mental health or substance abuse issues. A teen treatment program can be a critical support system for both teens and parents.

Such programs provide professional assessment, individualized treatment plans, counseling, and ongoing support tailored to each teen’s unique needs. For parents, it offers education and guidance on how to support their child’s mental well-being. Ultimately, the program can help foster resilience, enhance coping strategies, and ensure that the teen is mentally and emotionally prepared to face the challenges of the new school year.

Questions and Answers

Here at Visions, we field questions from teens and parents alike, especially about the challenges of balancing your own needs with your ongoing (and often growing) responsibilities. Some of the questions we get from both teens and parents on the topic of getting back to school include: 

How can I communicate my needs to parents or teachers if I’m feeling overwhelmed? Sometimes, it helps to start by writing things down. You don’t even have to show anyone what you’ve written – but itemizing or at least putting your feelings into print can help you consolidate and sort through your emotions, and be more direct with how you’re feeling, and what you’re feeling. 

What should I do if I’m having trouble making new friends? Common interests are often the best way to meet peers at school or outside of school. Look for clubs or extracurricular opportunities to spend time with others in an activity that you enjoy, whether it’s video gaming, sports, chess, tabletop games, or specific subjects of study (in a study group). 

What can I do to help my teen avoid burnout during the school year? Keep a close eye on how your teen is spending their time. Are they procrastinating more than usual? Are they putting off their chores and academic responsibilities? These are usually telltale signs that your teen is having trouble with both managing their time, and mentally managing their workload. Make sure they’re keeping on top of things a day at a time, rather than pushing through an avalanche of overdue schoolwork. 

How can I help my teen if they’re anxious about returning to school? Some teenagers get more anxious about returning to school than others. Sit down with your teen and talk to them about what they’re worried about. Listen to their worries and acknowledge them. Talk to them about what you might be able to do together to help resolve these worries. Ask them what they might be looking forward to at school, such as seeing old faces again or the routine and structure of a school week. Help them focus on the positives, first and foremost. 

Sometimes, the stress of getting back to school can reveal a deeper problem. Adolescence is a common period of onset for mood and anxiety issues, which can develop into conditions over time. However, these conditions, like depression and social anxiety, are treatable. Get in touch with us at Visions to learn more about our teen treatment programs


Now that you have some back-to-school tips for parents, you can move forward and help your teen transition back to school.

As the new school year begins, remember that mental health is as important as physical health.

By fostering better communication skills, setting realistic expectations, practicing self-care, and seeking support when needed, both parents and teens can navigate the back-to-school transition without a hitch. Work with us at Visions to help your teen achieve their best self. 

Mental Health

What is an Impulse Control Disorder?

It’s normal for teens to get the urge to sneak out against their parents’ better judgment, take unnecessary risks every once in a while, or even try a drug. Teenagers are more prone to risk-taking because they lack the experience and ability of forethought necessary to avoid unnecessary actions. 

However, impulse control disorders take things far past any parent’s red line. When a teen is struggling with an impulse control disorder, their inhibition towards criminal behavior is greatly reduced, as is their compassion and their conscience. Teens with an impulse control disorder are often dishonest, act aggressively, and may commit crimes such as theft, arson, and assault while acting out. 

What is an Impulse Control Disorder?

Impulse control disorders are characterized by an inability to stop intrusive thoughts and belligerent, aggressive impulses.

In adolescents and adults alike, this translates into five distinct types of impulse control disorder, as per current psychiatric knowledge. These include kleptomania, pyromania, conduct disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder. Other examples of impulse control disorder that don’t fit into the aforementioned categories are usually described as another specific or unspecified disruptive, impulse-control, or conduct disorder. 

  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) – characterized by punctuated, episodic outbursts of violence. 
  • Kleptomania – theft-related impulse control disorder.
  • Pyromania – arson-related impulse control disorder. 
  • Conduct Disorder (CD) – characterized by repeatedly violating other people’s rights and spaces, as well as chronic rule-breaking. 
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) – characterized by refusal to obey adults, argumentativeness coupled with angry outbursts, temper tantrums, and inability to make friends. 

What Causes an Impulse Control Disorder?

Causes for an impulse control disorder range from genes to trauma. Certain environmental risk factors more heavily contribute to a teen’s likelihood of developing impulse control disorders, such as abuse, childhood poverty, or witnessing violence. Meanwhile, it’s estimated that anywhere between 50 and 60 percent of cases of certain impulse control disorders are passed down from generation to generation. 

Brain scans indicate that the problem can be neurological. Some people are predisposed towards struggling with impulse control more so than others. People who have impulse control disorders may also be more likely to struggle with memory and executive functioning (self-control and long-term planning). 

As with other teen mental health issues, risk factors are always an indication, but never a sure reason. A person could have all the risk factors for an impulse control disorder, and never develop one. Someone else might develop one without any clear causes. Looking for a specific cause to blame can be difficult – it’s usually a mix of multiple contributing factors.  

Treatments for Impulse Control Disorders

The treatment for a teen impulse control disorder centers on talk therapy. There are multiple different approaches and therapeutic programs. The most common ones include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family systems therapy, parental management therapy, and social skills training. 

There are no medications to treat impulse control disorders, but co-occurring disorders are often treated with medication. Treating a co-occurring disorder like bipolar disorder or ADHD alongside an impulse control disorder is important. In many cases, these co-occurring disorders can affect each other, making each other worse. 

At Visions, we get many questions about teenage behavior, and differentiating between normal and pathological. It can often be a fine line. Some of the questions we hear most often about impulse control disorders include: 

Can teens grow out of an impulse control disorder? They can. It’s not something to rely on, however. Unlike the “terrible twos” or many other childhood phases of destructive behavior, impulse control disorders are serious mental health conditions that are diagnosed in only a few percent of the population. Symptoms usually begin in adolescence, but don’t always persist into adulthood. That being said, when they do persist, they can lead to serious legal complications and dire consequences. 

What kind of mental health conditions can co-occur with an impulse control disorder? Impulse control disorders often co-occur with certain mental health disorders more often than others. This may have something to do with related risk factors, or a genetic predisposition. By far the most commonly associated co-occurring disorders are attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and substance use disorder (addiction). Other co-occurring disorders include generalized anxiety and bipolar disorder. Impulse control problems may also be neurological and are commonly associated with Parkinson’s disease. 

Is trauma related to impulse control problems? Yes, certain impulse control disorders are strongly linked to childhood trauma, such as oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder. What might have started out as a way to act out from abuse or neglect can develop into a behavioral problem during adolescence. This can happen even if there isn’t a history of impulse control issues in the family. 

What should I do if my teen has an impulse control disorder? If their condition is co-occurring with a personality disorder or a substance use disorder, it may be even more difficult to convince them that treatment is in their best interests. If you aren’t sure how to start a conversation with your teen about mental healthcare, your best bet may be to talk to a therapist about a step-by-step plan for an intervention. 

Impulse control disorders can co-occur with other mental health problems, such as ADHD, anxiety, or addiction. It’s crucial to work with a professional as soon as possible, to identify and execute an effective treatment plan. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at the Visions Treatment Centers via (818) 889-3665 to get started today. 


Impulse control disorders can be frightening and frustrating alike. They are complex mental health conditions with a myriad of potential causes and co-occurring risk factors. Identifying a cause for an impulse control disorder can be difficult – thankfully, identifying an effective treatment plan is less complicated. Impulse control disorders can be managed through a combination of individualized talk therapy, family therapy, social skills training, and an effective support system, especially at home. Work with us at Visions Treatment Centers to get your teen the help they need for their impulse control disorder. 

Substance Abuse

The Danger of Teens Self-medicating to Deal with Stress

Self-medicating in teens to deal with stress can lead to a multitude of dangers, including addiction, worsening mental health issues, and physical health problems. Without proper guidance, they might misuse substances that can harm their development. This can further lead to poor academic performance, broken relationships, and a dangerous spiral into more severe mental health conditions.

The Danger of Teens Self-medicating to Deal with Stress

The phenomenon of teens self-medicating to deal with stress is a growing concern that has dire implications. With rising academic pressures, social anxieties, and personal issues, many adolescents find themselves overwhelmed and turn to substances like drugs or alcohol for temporary relief. However, this approach not only masks the underlying problems but can lead to addiction and long-term mental health issues.

The situation becomes more alarming when considering that the adolescent brain is still developing, making it more susceptible to the harmful effects of these substances. Self-medication can create a vicious cycle where the very substances used to alleviate stress end up causing more harm and even more stress. Relationships with family and friends can deteriorate, and academic performance may decline, leading to a spiral of negative consequences.

Addressing this issue requires a multifaceted approach. Education and awareness about the risks of self-medicating must be promoted among both teens and their parents. Schools and communities should offer resources and programs that teach stress management techniques, healthy coping mechanisms, and provide professional support when needed. By fostering an environment that emphasizes understanding, compassion, and proactive intervention, we can guide our teens away from the dangers of self-medication and towards healthier ways of dealing with life’s challenges.

Here are some of the dangers of teens self-medicating to deal with stress …

  • Addiction Development: Teens are at risk of developing addictions to the substances they use to self-medicate.
  • Worsening Mental Health Issues: Self-medication may mask underlying issues, leading to more serious mental health problems.
  • Physical Health Problems: Unregulated use of substances can cause serious physical health concerns, including liver or kidney damage.
  • Legal Consequences: Depending on the substance, teens could face legal consequences, affecting their future prospects.
  • Poor Academic Performance: Self-medication often leads to decreased focus and energy, resulting in a drop in grades.
  • Damaged Relationships: Substance misuse can strain relationships with friends and family, leading to feelings of isolation.
  • Increased Risk of Overdose: Lack of medical oversight might result in an overdose, which can be fatal.
  • Impaired Judgment and Decision Making: Substance abuse can impair judgment, leading to risky behavior and poor decision-making.
  • Hindrance in Emotional Development: Self-medication can hinder the emotional growth and development that are crucial during teenage years.
  • Potential for Gateway to More Dangerous Substances: Starting with seemingly benign substances might lead to experimentation with more dangerous drugs, escalating the risks further.

Why Are Some Teens Self-Medicating to Deal with Stress?

Self-medication is a popular coping mechanism among the general population, from adolescents to the elderly. The popularity of self-medication as a so-called maladaptive coping mechanism is also one of the reasons that it’s often considered a potential cause for substance use issues among people with serious anxiety and mood disorders, and one of the reasons there is so much overlap between people with mental health issues and substance use problems. 

The reasons why self-medication is popular aren’t very complicated: it works, to a degree. You can feel better after a drink or two or after a smoke, or something stronger. It’s much faster and often even cheaper than going to therapy or spending the time and energy needed to seek professional help. 

The drawbacks far outweigh the positives, though. Alcohol use, especially long-term alcohol use, can significantly increase anxiety symptoms. Marijuana use, while rarely addictive, can leave a lasting impact on the brain, impairing cognition, memory, and motor skills. 

These substances affect the brain by encouraging the release of feel-good chemicals, among other things. These can help take your mind off an encroaching problem or overwhelming situation, be it the midterms, an imminent breakup, the loss of a family member, or a particularly bad bout of depression. 

And while some teens do rely on prescription medication to self-medicate, that too is a bad idea. 

Using a prescription drug that hasn’t been prescribed to you can lead to severe adverse effects, depending on dose, concurrent drug use, and individual circumstances. Even something non-addictive like an anti-depressive drug can have serious side effects, especially if not properly monitored by a physician. 

Learning and applying healthy coping skills is important. But the operative word is healthy

Other Dangerous Coping Styles

Self-medication is one of the most common examples of a maladaptive coping mechanism, but it is not the only one, especially among teens. Teenagers who self-medicate may also be more likely to engage in other maladaptive coping mechanisms, such as: 

  • Unprotected/risky sex. 
  • Unnecessarily risky behaviors (drunk driving, parkour without safety precautions, handling a weapon). 
  • Illegal activities (theft, arson, vandalism, assault). 
  • Online gambling (easier to bypass age filters, such as ID checks).
  • Overeating and binging. 
  • Spending sprees. 
  • Self-harming without suicidal intent. 

Here at Visions, we often hear parents ask questions about their teen’s drug use, and how to differentiate between experimentation and a serious problem. Self-medication can be a common reason to turn to drugs. Here are some of the questions we hear often:

What are some healthier coping mechanisms that teens can adopt to manage stress? Coping skills need to be individualized, but there are some general ones that are often applicable to most teens. These include exercise, art, and constructive problem-solving. However, even healthy coping skills can be driven to a dangerous point. The dose makes the poison. In exploring different coping mechanisms, it’s also important to recognize that sometimes, it can be hard to be consistent about self-care, and outside help becomes necessary – whether that’s through friends and family, or therapy, or both. 

Can self-medication lead to addiction in teens? It can, though it doesn’t always do so. Some teens might go through an exploratory phase with drugs as part of their individual development. Experts agree that this can be normal. But when a teen’s behavior becomes increasingly disruptive and problematic because of their drug use, it’s a sign that they need outside support to help prevent a full-blown substance use issue. 

Is medication an effective coping mechanism for stress? Medication is not a coping mechanism. It should be a prescribed treatment for a specific, targeted issue, and requires a consistent back-and-forth between patient and physician to remain effective. If your teen is struggling with their social or academic responsibilities, they shouldn’t look towards medication as a solution to their problems, especially without the guidance of a doctor. 

How can I convince my teen to seek help? Sometimes, talking to your teen about how they feel and hearing them out can be a good first step towards convincing them to talk to a therapist or a psychiatrist about what they’ve been going through. If they refuse to consider treatment time and time again, you may want to talk to a professional about your options for intervention. 

Self-medication is often a red flag that something may be wrong. If you’re worried about what your teen is going through but aren’t sure where to begin or how to proceed, get in touch with us at Visions today


Some teens self-medicate to take the edge off, while others turn to drugs and alcohol because of thoughts of depression, severe anxiety, or post-traumatic stress. Whatever the reasons, self-medication should always be treated seriously. Identify the warning signs and seek treatment for self-medication and teen drug use here at Visions Treatment Centers. 

Mental Health

How Does Alcohol and Drugs Affect Mental Health?

The effect that alcohol and drugs can have on mental health, specifically the mental health of our children, can keep parents up at night worrying. You may find yourself wondering: exactly how does alcohol and drugs affect mental health?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 17.1% of high school seniors reported binge drinking (consuming 5 or more drinks on one occasion) in the past two weeks in 2020. And 14.3% of high school seniors reported using marijuana in the past month, according to that same 2020 NIDA survey.

By understanding the effects of alcohol and drugs on mental health, parents can take steps to protect their children from harm. Here’s how to better understand the effects of alcohol and drugs on childrens’ mental health, how to protect your children from the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol on mental health, and some frequently asked questions that other parents have asked us many times before.

The Effects of Alcohol on Mental Health

Alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system. When consumed in large amounts, it can cause significant changes in a teenager’s brain, leading to behavioral and cognitive problems. These behavioral and cognitive problems can include difficulty with decision-making, impaired memory, and reduced inhibitions. Additionally, underage drinking can also lead to academic and social problems, as well as an increased risk of accidents and injuries. Here are some of the ways alcohol can affect the teen mental health:

  • Increased Risk of Depression and Anxiety: Alcohol consumption can lead to changes in mood and behavior, leading to an increased risk of developing depression and anxiety.
  • Impaired Cognitive Functioning: Alcohol affects the frontal lobe of the brain, which is responsible for decision-making, reasoning, and judgment. This can lead to poor decision-making skills, impulsivity, and risk-taking behavior.
  • Disrupted Sleep Patterns: Alcohol consumption can disrupt the normal sleep cycle, leading to insomnia and other sleep disorders. Lack of sleep can further exacerbate mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

The Effects of Drugs on Mental Health

Drug use among teenagers is a growing problem, with many young people experimenting with drugs such as marijuana, prescription drugs, and illegal substances. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that in 2020, approximately 35% of high school seniors reported using marijuana in the past year. Additionally, prescription drug abuse is also a concern, with many teens obtaining these drugs from friends or family members without a prescription. Here are some of the ways drugs can affect the mental health of children:

  • Increased Risk of Psychosis: Certain drugs can cause psychosis, which is a severe mental disorder characterized by a loss of contact with reality. Symptoms of psychosis include hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking.
  • Increased Risk of Depression and Anxiety: Just like alcohol consumption, drug use can lead to changes in mood and behavior, leading to an increased risk of developing depression and anxiety.
  • Impaired Cognitive Functioning: Drugs affect the brain’s ability to process information, leading to poor decision-making skills, impulsivity, and risk-taking behavior.

How to Protect Your Children from the Effects of Alcohol and Drugs on Mental Health

As a parent, you play a crucial role in protecting your children from the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs on their mental health. It’s important to have open and honest conversations with your children about the dangers of substance use and to educate them on the risks associated with alcohol and drug use. By being informed and proactive, you can help your children make healthy choices and prevent substance use disorders. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Educate Your Children: Talk to your children about the risks associated with alcohol and drug use. Help them understand the long-term consequences of substance abuse on their mental health.
  • Set Clear Rules and Boundaries: Set clear rules and boundaries around alcohol and drug use. Let your children know that you do not tolerate substance abuse and that there will be consequences for breaking the rules.
  • Monitor Your Children: Keep an eye on your children’s behavior and watch for any signs of substance abuse. If you suspect that your child is using drugs or alcohol, seek professional help immediately.

You may also want to consider exploring the benefits of joining a teen program that provides educational information and professional guidance regarding alcohol abuse and mental health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions that we get from parents of teens in regard to how alcohol and drugs affect mental health:

How do I know if my child is using drugs or alcohol?

Parents may be concerned if they notice changes in their child’s behavior, such as a sudden drop in grades, changes in friends, increased secrecy, or mood swings. Physical signs of drug or alcohol use may include bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, slurred speech, or coordination problems.

How does drug or alcohol use affect the teenage brain?

The teenage brain is still developing and drug or alcohol use can disrupt this development, leading to long-term consequences. It can impact decision-making, memory, and learning, and increase the risk of addiction. Using drugs or alcohol can increase the risk of developing mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis. It can also worsen pre-existing mental health conditions.

How can I talk to my child about drugs and alcohol?

Parents can start by having an open and honest conversation with their child about the risks and consequences of drug and alcohol use. It’s important to listen to their concerns and provide support and guidance. Parents can also provide accurate information about the effects of drugs and alcohol on mental health.

Get Help for Your Teen

When it comes to the effects that drugs and alcohol can have on mental health, early intervention is key. If you suspect that your child is struggling with substance abuse, seek professional help immediately. If you do not work with a professional in the field of substance abuse for your teen there is the potential for missed or incorrect diagnoses. On the other hand, working with a teen treatment center, like Visions Adolescent Treatment, can provide your teen with a structured environment and access to professional support, leading to improved chances of successful recovery.


Alcohol and drug use can have a significant impact on anyone’s mental health, but it particularly damages the mental health of teens. As a parent, it is essential to understand the risks associated with substance abuse and take steps to protect your children. By educating your children, setting clear rules and boundaries, and monitoring their behavior, you can help prevent substance abuse and ensure that your children’s mental health is protected. Contact Visions Adolescent Treatment to discover how we can help your teen today.


Helpful Tips for Parenting Teens

Parenting is a rewarding journey, but the adolescent years can often pose unique challenges. As children transition to teenagers, they strive for independence, experiment with their identity, and sometimes, test boundaries, all while dealing with hormonal changes and societal pressures. It’s a tumultuous time for them and for you as a parent. This article aims to provide helpful tips for parenting teens, guiding you through this critical period, and helping you foster a nurturing and understanding relationship with your teenager.

Promote Healthy Communication

Good communication forms the cornerstone of any relationship, and it’s no different when it comes to parenting teens. Maintaining an open dialogue with your teenager allows you to understand their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Here’s how you can promote healthy communication:

Be an active listener: Show your teen that you value their opinions. Reflect back on what you hear and ask clarifying questions to ensure understanding. Avoid interrupting or making quick judgments.

Foster an open environment: Encourage your teen to express their feelings and thoughts freely. Make it clear that they can talk to you about anything, without fear of judgment or punishment.

Keep lines of communication open: Regularly check in with your teen, and not just when there’s a problem. Show interest in their daily activities, friendships, and hobbies.

Teaching Accountability and Responsibility

Instilling a sense of accountability and responsibility in your teen is essential to their development. Here’s how you can help:

Set clear expectations: Be clear about what you expect in terms of behavior, chores, academics, etc. Make sure your teen understands the consequences of not meeting these expectations.

Encourage decision-making: Allow your teen to make decisions, and let them face the consequences, whether good or bad. This will teach them to take responsibility for their actions.

Recognize effort: Positive reinforcement goes a long way. Acknowledge your teen’s efforts and achievements, even if they’re small. This encourages them to take responsibility in the future.

Nurturing Self-Esteem and Confidence

During the teen years, self-esteem can fluctuate greatly. Here’s how you can help nurture their self-esteem and confidence:

Praise effort, not just results: Encourage a growth mindset by praising effort, resilience, and determination, not just successful outcomes.

Promote healthy body image: Reinforce the message that everyone is unique and that worth is not tied to physical appearance.

Encourage their interests: Support and encourage your teen’s hobbies and passions. This can give them a sense of accomplishment and boost their self-confidence.

FAQs About Parenting Teens

In this section, we’ll answer some of the frequently asked questions about parenting teens. These questions are based on the common concerns and uncertainties that many parents have while navigating through their child’s adolescent years.

How can I support my teenager through emotional turmoil?

It’s important to provide a safe and non-judgmental space for your teenager to express their emotions. Regularly check in with them, validate their feelings, and assure them that it’s okay to experience emotional ups and downs.

How can I set effective boundaries with my teenager?

Clear communication is key when setting boundaries. Discuss the rules and expectations and the reasons behind them. Be consistent and fair in enforcing these boundaries, and allow for negotiation as your teen matures.

How can I promote healthy habits in my teenager?

Modeling healthy habits is effective. Demonstrate the importance of a balanced diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and good hygiene. Encourage your teen to incorporate these habits into their routine.

Contact Visions to Learn How We Can Help

Are you facing challenges while parenting your teen? Do you need professional assistance to navigate through this complex period? At Visions Treatment Centers, we’re here to help.

Navigating through the adolescent years can be daunting. We understand the challenges you face and the concerns you have for your teenager’s well-being.

Our team of experienced professionals specializes in adolescent mental health and substance abuse treatment. We provide comprehensive, clinically-based, dual diagnosis treatment plans that are customized to suit the needs of your teen.

We believe that every teen deserves the chance to thrive. By partnering with us, you’re giving your teen that chance. We’ll work with you, your teen, and other professionals to ensure a successful, long-term impact.

Contact us today at (866) 889-3665 or at Let’s work together in shaping a brighter future for your teen.

Fostering a Healthy Parent-Teen Relationship

Parenting teens can be challenging, but with understanding, patience, and the right strategies, you can successfully navigate these years. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Help is available. By implementing these tips and knowing when to seek professional guidance, you can build a stronger and healthier relationship with your teen.

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