Individual Teen Therapy

Teen Individual Therapy Sessions in Brighton and Plymouth, MI.


Teen Therapy and Counseling Services - Brighton & Plymouth MI - counseling-services-teen-therapyIt can be very overwhelming and confusing to know where to turn to when your teenager is struggling.

Teens often do not want to listen to you because you “do not understand” and your advice falls on deaf ears. If your teenager is asking for help, this is a definite sign that you should call us immediately and schedule an initial appointment. When you call our office, let us know that your teen is reaching out for help and we will get you in immediately with one of our clinicians who specializes in working with teens.

In order for therapy to be effective, your teen will need to feel completely at ease and comfortable with their therapist. We will do our best to match your teen’s personality and age to a clinician who will be the best match for their style of interacting. 

What do you do if your teen refuses to come in for therapy, or is so withdrawn and defensive that you can’t seem to talk to him/her about your concerns?

Sometimes, parents feel more comfortable coming in for that first session themselves to openly discuss their concerns without their teen. This is perfectly ok and gives you the opportunity to meet the therapist and determine if you think that person will be a good match for your teen. As a parent, if you notice changes in your teen’s mood, behavior, grades in school or have concerns about their friendships (or lack thereof), possible substance use or self-harm, we are here to meet with you separately and confidentially to discuss your concerns without your teen present. By listening to you and asking questions, our experts can tell you if this is “normal” teen behavior or if this is something you should be concerned about. We will give you guidance as to how to proceed (even if your teen is resistant to coming in to meet with us). 

The adolescent years are a fragile, sensitive time of life
and missing something during this stage of development
can be fatal. 

In addition to the somewhat common conflicts between parents and teens, more serious conditions such as depression, anxiety, self-harm (cutting), eating disorders and substance abuse are also on the rise during this age. Intentional or accidental death are real possibilities if not caught early and addressed appropriately. We are very familiar with the difficulties teens face in today’s society, as many of us have teens ourselves. At McCaskill Family Services, we are here to help. We have specialists who work specifically with teenagers and are truly a family practice that addresses the needs of all age groups. We also have clinicians who can meet with you as the parent or caretaker in order to help you to know what to do to help your teen during this often difficult stage. 


Common Types of Teen Anxiety We Treat.

Teen Anxiety

Your teen may show outward signs of anxiety such as panic attacks, withdrawing from school or social activities, excessive worrying (the “what-if's”) or specific fears. These symptoms are easily recognized as anxiety. However, in children, anxiety often manifests itself as irritability, agitation, defiance, anger or sleep difficulties. We understand that watching your teen struggle with stress and anxiety can be very difficult. Your attempts to help your teen may not be working or he/she may be requiring constant reassurance through excessive questioning and self-doubt. You may be concerned that the symptoms are getting worse and may start (or continue) to affect their grades, friendships and ability to function independently.

We specialize in anxiety and after a brief consultation, we will be able to tell you if the difficulties your teen is exhibiting are something that will pass as a normal stage of development or if it is something more serious that can cause further difficulties if not treated. Anxiety is genetically inherited much like eye or hair color. If anxiety runs in your family, this is even more reason to address it as early as possible. Our clinicians at McCaskill Family Services specialize in the most empirically-effective treatment for anxiety known as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Through our extensive training and experience using this treatment approach, your teen will learn strategies in a caring, supportive environment to effectively manage their symptoms of anxiety and you, as the parent, will know exactly what to do to help your teen.

See Our Anxiety Treatment Services

Teen Excessive Worrying

If your teen seems to be worrying about every little thing, is needing more reassurance, is getting more and more clingy or is asking constant “what if?” questions, it is time to get them some help. Even if your teen was always a “worrier”, perhaps something has changed in his/her life to cause it to increase. Things such as advancing to a new grade in school, moving or changing schools, parental separation or divorce, illness or death of a peer or loved one, recent tragic news events or an accident can cause anxiety to increase. You may have tried everything to help your teen, but the excessive worrying continues.

We understand exactly what you and your teen are going through and you are not alone. Decades of research in anxiety and excessive worrying have proven that anxiety is a result of chemical imbalances in the brain. Using the most widely-used, empirically-based treatment called Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), we have proven techniques that work (often without medication) to reduce anxiety and worrying so that it is no longer negatively impacting your teen’s life. Your teen will love coming in to see us! We teach you the same strategies we teach your teen so that you can work with him/her at home in between sessions. Treatment is often short-term and immediately effective.

See Our Anxiety Treatment Services

Teen Stress Management

Stress is part of almost everyone’s daily life. If your teen is experiencing stress, it simply means that the demands of the current situation are not matching what he/she is reasonably able to handle at this time.

The two responses to stress are “flight” or “fight”. If your teen is battling you at every turn, then they may be in “fight” mode. If your teen is withdrawn and isolating themselves, they may be in “flight” mode. Although stress is normal, chronic stress can result in meltdowns, sleep disturbance, cognitive impairment such as memory loss, poor concentration and focus. Your teen’s academic performance may begin to suffer and the tension at home may be causing you to feel like you are “walking on eggshells”.

If you are looking for some help for your teen with stress management, you have come to the right place! We will work with you and your teen to develop an individualized stress management plan and we will teach them (and you) specific highly-effective techniques to reduce their stress. All of our strategies are based on research from top universities and medical centers. They will feel better and you will know that you are doing everything possible to help your teen during this difficult time. The skills they learn now will be with them in the future.

See Our Anxiety Treatment Services

Teen Phobias

If your teen is suffering from a phobia, you know that they are controlled by that fear and there is nothing that you can do to convince your teen that they are not in danger. The phobia may already be causing so much stress for your teen and for other family members who have tried to help or maybe there’s a sibling or parent that thinks this is ridiculous and doesn’t understand what the problem is in the first place.

Well, phobias are real. A phobia is defined as an extreme or irrational fear of something. A phobia is induced when your teen perceives a threat. That perceived threat could be anything, which is why we have names for so many different phobias. Some common phobias are claustrophobia (fear of small spaces), agoraphobia (fear of open or crowded spaces), arachnophobia (fear of spiders), acrophobia (fear of heights or flying), germophobia (fear of germs) and asraphobia (fear of thunder or lightening). Did you know that there is a condition called lepidopterophobia? Yes, it’s a fear of butterflies! It is interesting to Google the many different types of phobias. You will be surprised at how many there are. We have seen most of the different types of phobias in our office over the 125 years of combined experience our doctors have in treating phobias.

The more interesting thing that many parents do not know is that phobias are a completely treatable condition. Our clinicians use well-established components of cognitive-behavioral therapy and graduated exposure. Your teen is in control of the treatment process and his/her anxiety and fear reduces to the point of being almost nonexistent. Parents and children are often surprised that with a little bit of work and guidance from an expert in the field, the phobia becomes well-managed in a relatively short amount of time. Truly, your teen does not need to live with a phobia. There are proven treatment methods that work and we will help.

We also offer Child Therapy for Phobias 

See Our Anxiety Treatment Services

Teen Separation Anxiety

If your teen experiences extreme anxiety when separated from you to go to school or visit homes of relatives and friends without you, they may be suffering from separation anxiety. We understand that watching your teen struggle with anxiety can be very difficult. The intense clinging, crying and pleas for you to stay with them can be heart-wrenching (and sometimes frustrating to deal with). Despite your efforts, your attempts to help your teen may not be working.

We specialize in separation anxiety and after a brief consultation we will be able to tell you if the difficulties your teen is exhibiting are something that will pass as a normal stage of development or if it something more serious. Anxiety is genetically inherited much like eye or hair color. If anxiety runs in your family, this is even more reason to address it as early as possible. The clinicians at McCaskill Family Services specialize in the most empirically-effective treatment for anxiety, known as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Through our extensive training and experience using this treatment approach, your teen will learn strategies in a caring, supportive environment to effectively manage their symptoms of anxiety and you, as the parent, will know exactly what to do to help your teen.

See Our Anxiety Treatment Services

Teen Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is the fear of interacting with other people leading your teen to feel self-consciousness in social situations. Your teen may feel as though they are being negatively judged and evaluated or that people are talking about them behind their back. They may feel excessively embarrassed, inferior, inadequate, humiliated, lonely and depressed. They often avoid or withdraw from social situations when in fact they want more than anything to be able to socialize with their peers and fit in.

As alone as your teen may feel when suffering from this condition, please tell them they are definitely not alone. Social anxiety is very common and we can help. By using empirically-validated treatment approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness approaches, your teen’s anxiety reduces in social situations. As a result, they become more relaxed and confident. They will find that they are able to speak to others just as well as they do when talking to a close family member or friend. Your teen will have more friends and feel happier and content. The skills your teen learns through therapy now will follow then into the teen years and beyond.

See Our Anxiety Treatment Services

Teen Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

All children worry. However, you may notice that your teen can’t stop worrying and their worries frequently cause them to do certain things repeatedly in order to get rid of the worry thoughts. These rituals or compulsions (such as frequent hand washing, checking, touching objects in a repetitive fashion, focus on evenness, etc.) stop the scary thoughts and help your teen to feel safe, clean or okay in some way.

Your attempts to help your teen may not be working or he/she may not know why they are engaging in these behaviors. You may be concerned that the symptoms are getting worse and may start (or continue) to affect their grades, friendships and the ability to function independently. We specialize in anxiety and, in particular, obsessive-compulsive disorder. After a brief consultation, we will be able to tell you if the difficulties your teen is exhibiting are something that will pass as a normal stage of development or if they are something more serious that can cause further difficulties if not treated. Anxiety and OCD are genetically inherited much like eye or hair color. If anxiety or OCD runs in your family, this is even more reason to address it as early as possible. Our clinicians at McCaskill Family Services specialize in the most empirically-effective treatment for OCD, known as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) including exposure and response prevention techniques. Through our extensive training and experience using this treatment approach, your teen will learn strategies in a caring, supportive environment to effectively manage their symptoms of anxiety and you, as the parent, will know exactly what to do to help your teen.

See Our Anxiety Treatment Services

Teen Perfectionism

If your teen is showing signs of perfectionism that are causing them to spend excessive hours on schoolwork, constant erasing and redoing assignments or having difficulty prioritizing tasks and “cutting corners”, they may need professional help. Perfectionism is a behavior that reduces the anxiety some children feel if they do not thoroughly complete a task in a detailed way. Perfectionism does not necessarily apply to every aspect of your teen’s life. For example, your teen’s room may be a mess and you wish they would put some of their perfectionistic energy into cleaning.

In children, anxiety and resulting perfectionism often manifests itself as meltdowns, irritability, agitation, defiance, anger or sleep difficulties. We understand that watching your teen struggle with stress and anxiety can be very difficult. Your teen may be resisting your attempts to help him/her or maybe requiring constant reassurance through excessive questioning and self-doubt. You may be concerned that their perfectionistic tendencies may be preventing them from living a balanced life with friends and extracurricular activities.

We specialize in anxiety and, after a brief consultation, we will be able to tell you if the perfectionistic tendencies your teen is exhibiting are something that will pass as a normal stage of development or if they are something more serious that can cause further difficulties. We specialize in the most empirically-effective treatment for anxiety, known as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Through our extensive training and experience using this treatment approach, you and your teen will learn strategies in a caring, supportive environment to effectively manage their perfectionism and you, as the parent, will know exactly what to do to help your teen.

See Our Anxiety Treatment Services

 

Common Types of Teen Depression We Treat.

Teen Depression  

If you have noticed changes in your teen’s mood and behavior such as becoming more withdrawn, sullen, angry or agitated, crying more than usual, low energy, decreased interest in things they used to enjoy and/or appetite or sleep changes, your teen may be suffering from depression. Depression in children can come on gradually over time or can be triggered by an event such as the loss of a loved one, change in schools, academic struggles, social difficulties or parental divorce.

If your teen says they think they may be depressed and are asking for help, please call us immediately and we will get you in as soon as possible. Timing is crucial with children, waiting to get help if they are asking can be dangerous and lead to long term problems. If you think your teen may be depressed or if depression runs in your family, please schedule an initial consultation appointment with one of our teen psychologists. We will help you to know if this is normal teenage behavior or if it something to be more concerned about. Depression in children can lead to future alcohol or drug use, school failure, cutting, self harm and suicide. Early intervention is crucial.

We specialize in the most empirically-established treatment for teenage depression called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). We will work with your teen in a comfortable setting to first figure out what the source of their depression is and then teach them skills to manage their feelings. You as the parents will be also be provided with instruction on what to do outside of the sessions to help your teen. Treatment is usually short-term and very effective.

See Our Behavior Testing Services

Teen Grief and Loss

Children experiencing the loss of someone they love at an early age can be devastatingly painful. Losing a mother, father, sister, brother, best friend or pet hurts so badly. Your teen may become withdrawn or depressed or perhaps anxious about their safety and the safety of those they love. Grief can also come in the form of a relationship ending, moving or physical abilities/participation in sports due to an injury.

The most important step that you can take right now is to make that first appointment and allow us to help your teen get through this so that the pain becomes more manageable. This will prevent them from shutting down or worse yet experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Through empirically-proven treatments such as Mindfulness and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), your teen will feel better and get some relief. As part of your teen’s therapy, we will work with you as their parent to give you practical strategies and suggestions for how to help your teen through this difficult time.

Death of a Parent

Losing a parent as a teen is one of the most difficult things for a teen. It is a totally different level of pain and grief than they have ever experienced. They desperately want to speak to their mom or dad again and may not even understand how to channel those feelings.

Children who lose a parent are at high risk for depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide. They may not talk openly about their feelings, making it difficult to know how well they are coping. We specialize in intense grief during the teenage years and we are able to evaluate and monitor their functioning as they go through the grieving process. We will work with you as the other parent or caretaker to know what to do to help your teen get through this. Through empirically proven treatments such as mindfulness and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), your teen will feel better and you will know that you are doing everything possible to help them during this difficult time.

Death of a Sibling

Losing a sibling as a teen is very, very difficult. It hits very close to home and your teen is not only intensely grieving the loss of their brother or sister, but they are also faced with the realization that death is not only for the elderly. It is a totally different level of pain and grief than they have ever experienced. They desperately want to speak to their sibling again or hold them one more time and they can’t. Your teen may have regrets for things they said or didn’t say, did or didn’t do.

Teens who lose a sibling are at higher risk for depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide. They may not talk openly about their feelings, making it difficult to know how well they are coping. We specialize in intense grief during the teenage years and we are able to evaluate and monitor their functioning as they go through the grieving process. This is comforting to parents who are also trying to get through their own intense grief and are worried they may miss something with their teen’s ability to cope. Through empirically-proven treatments, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), we will monitor your teen’s functioning and they will feel better and get some relief.

Death of a Friend

Losing a friend as a teen is a very painful experience. It hits close to home and your teen is not only intensely grieving the loss of their friend, but they are also faced with the realization that young people their age can die. It is a totally different level of pain and grief than they have ever experienced. They desperately want to speak to their friend again and they can’t.

Children who lose a friend are at higher risk for depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide. They may not talk openly about their feelings, making it difficult to know how well they are coping. We specialize in grief during the teenage years and we are able to evaluate and monitor their functioning as they go through the grieving process. Through empirically-proven treatments such Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), we will monitor your teen’s functioning and they will feel better and get some relief. We will give you advice on what to do at home to help your teen get through this difficult time.

 

Common Types of Teen Health Conditions We Treat.

Teen Eating Disorders

If you think your teen may be suffering from an eating disorder it is crucial that you get help immediately. The longer that it goes untreated, the more difficult it is treat on an outpatient basis and may lead to hospitalization. Restricting food intake resulting in being underweight, an intense fear of gaining weight, excessive focus on body image and inability to recognize the severity of the situation are common symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa. Binge Eating Disorder involves episodes of consuming very large amounts of food with a feeling of being out of control followed by intense feelings of guilt and shame. Bulimia Nervosa is similar to Binge Eating Disorder although attempts are made to prevent weight gain by vomiting or other methods.

Eating disorders are quite common in teens and adults. However, because the person affected by the condition is often not able to see how serious it is, it is often a loved one who prompts them to get help. If you are reading this and you are concerned about your teen with a potential eating disorder, we can help you.

See Our Behavior Testing Services

Teen Weight Loss

If you are concerned about your teen’s weight, but do not know what to do or how to address this issue, you have come to the right place. We specialize in cognitive-behavioral therapy for weight loss in teens. Given that children are vulnerable to body image problems during this age, we approach this topic from the aspect of healthy lifestyle changes rather than weight loss. It is so important that you get help for your teen now rather than wait until the adult years when they may be more resistant to seek the help of a therapist on their own. Early intervention is key to long-term success.

Our behavioral psychologists have helped hundreds of teens make changes in their eating and exercise habits to be healthier, lose weight and keep it off. Teens love coming to meet with their therapist weekly and are excited to report the positive lifestyle changes they (and other family members) are making. Sometimes families decide to come to family therapy to improve the overall lifestyle of all family members, so that the one teen is not the target or focus of attention. Parents meet with the therapist to get advice on how to support their teen’s efforts at home. Behavioral therapy is usually short-term and very effective.

Teen Chronic Illness

If your teen has a chronic health problem, you know the devastating effects it has had on your teen’s daily life. Getting to school can be a challenge and the work piles up after too many days absent. A day can start out as a “good day” and two hours later, you are getting a call from the school to pick him/her up because they don’t feel well. Chronic pain and distress from migraines, stomach aches, asthma and diabetes are familiar to many children. The effects of these conditions can lead to parental exhaustion and despair, as well as teenage depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and social withdrawal. It saddens you as a parent to watch your teen sit on the sidelines of sports they wish they could play or activities they wish they could do. They may miss birthday parties or can’t fully participate in the fun their peers are having, leading to further loneliness and isolation.

We have worked with many children who have chronic health conditions over the years. Our doctors have received advanced specialized training in pediatric psychology at University of Florida/Shands Hospital, one the leading medical centers for teenage pain disorders. As a result, we are able to bring the most effective and advanced psychological treatments to your teen. Through treatment using Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and mindfulness techniques, we have watched many teens live happy, well-balanced lives. Individual psychotherapy is a necessary component to give you and your teen the support you need from professionals like us who understand your struggles. We will teach you and your teen effective strategies to manage pain, depression and anxiety. We will help your teen to live the life they deserve.

Teen Fibromyalgia

Living with Fibromyalgia syndrome is a constant struggle. The chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep difficulties and painful trigger points make is difficult to get through the day. People may not understand and sympathize with what your teen is going through because they can’t “see” it.

Treatment for Fibromyalgia includes medications, lifestyle changes and stress management. We specialize in the lifestyle changes and stress management part. Since our doctors specialize in teenage chronic health problems, and specifically Fibromyalgia, we know what you and your teen are going through and we can help. By using empirically-supported treatments such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), mindfulness, acceptance and interpersonal therapy, we can alleviate some of the pain and discomfort your teen is experiencing.

Teen Migraines

As a parent of a teen living with migraines, you know the struggle well. It is so hard to see your teen continuously suffer with seemingly no end in sight. Migraines often come on suddenly and interrupt their daily functioning. Pain medications are only minimally effective at times and you hate to give your teen narcotics to manage their pain in fear of addiction. Children living with migraines often experience depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, social withdrawal and school difficulties due to chronic pain.

There are many teens with chronic migraines who live happy, well-balanced lives. Individual psychotherapy is a necessary component to give you and your teen the support you need from people like us who understand your struggles. Our doctors have received advanced specialized training in medical psychology at University of Florida/Shands Hospital, one the leading medical centers for pain disorders. We use Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and mindfulness techniques to teach you and your teen effective strategies to manage his/her migraine pain and associated depression and anxiety. We will help your teen to live the life they deserve.

Teen Diabetes

Diabetes treatment is provided by a team of healthcare professionals that consists of a physician, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian and psychologist. We have psychologists who specialize in teens with diabetes to provide them with help and support in making lifestyle changes necessary to adhere to their diabetes regimen. We will work with you and your teen to hold them accountable to following their meal plans, administering insulin, recording blood glucose and sticking to a regular exercise plan.

There are many teens with diabetes who live happy, well-balanced lives. Individual psychotherapy is a necessary component to give you and your teen the support they need from people like us who understand their struggles. Our doctors have received advanced specialized training in diabetes management at University of Florida/Shands Hospital, one the leading medical centers for medical psychology. We use Cognitive-Behavioral techniques to teach your teen effective strategies to manage their diabetes and cope effectively with their condition. We will help your teen to live the life they deserve without diabetes taking control. We also help you to effectively work with your teen to improve their compliance with their diabetes management with less fighting and resistance.

Teen Lupus

It was likely devastating getting the diagnosis of Lupus for your teen. Now that you know what it is, you know that it is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.

Treatment for Lupus is primarily medication. However, stress exacerbates the symptoms and stress management therapy must be part of your teen’s treatment plan. We specialize in lifestyle changes, stress management, and coping with a chronic medical condition. Since our doctors specialize in teens with chronic health problems, specifically Lupus, we know what you are going through and we can help. By using empirically-supported treatments such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (CBT), mindfulness, acceptance and interpersonal therapy, we can alleviate some of the pain and discomfort.

Teen Chronic Fatigue

Your teenager has been experiencing extreme tiredness and has been through test after test to try to figure out what is going on. It has affected their ability to concentrate and they may suffer from frequent headaches, joint pain and a sore throat. Doctors tell you that your teen has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and that there is no cure.

Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is physical therapy and psychotherapy to help make lifestyle changes and cope with the condition. We specialize in lifestyle changes, stress management and coping with a chronic medical condition. Since our doctors specialize in chronic health problems, specifically Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, we know what you are going through and we can help.

By using empirically-supported treatments such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (CBT), mindfulness, acceptance and interpersonal therapy, we can alleviate some of the pain and discomfort.

Teen Epilepsy

As you and your teen know, living with Epilepsy very difficult. The seizures often come on suddenly and interrupt daily functioning. Over time, living with Epilepsy can lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and social withdrawal.

There are many teens with Epilepsy who live happy, well-balanced lives. Individual psychotherapy is a necessary component to provide the support needed. At McCaskill Family Services, we use Cognitive-Behavioral and mindfulness techniques to teach your teen effective strategies to manage the condition, as well as its associated depression and anxiety. We will help your teen to live the life they deserve and improve their current situation.

Teen Asthma

As you know, seeing your teen struggle with asthma is very difficult. Asthma attacks often come on suddenly and interrupt their daily functioning. They are unable to participate in sports activities they enjoy and, over time, studies show that living with asthma can lead to depression.

There are many children with asthma who live happy, well-balanced lives. Individual psychotherapy is a necessary component to give your teen the support they need from people like us who understand their struggles. Our doctors have received advanced specialized training in medical psychology at University of Florida/Shands Hospital, one of the leading medical centers for medical psychology. We use Cognitive-Behavioral and mindfulness therapy techniques to teach your teen effective strategies to manage their condition, as well as the associated depression and anxiety. We will help your teen live the life they deserve.

Teen Autism

We work with teens with high-functioning autism and related social, emotional and behavior difficulties often referred to as “on the spectrum”. In order to determine if our level of intervention is appropriate for your teen, it is best to schedule an initial consultation appointment with one of our specialists. If we can help, we will outline our treatment plan which is based on behavioral therapy and parent coaching techniques. If the level of service we can provide is not a good fit for your teen, we will connect you with more intensive treatment facilities using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which often requires 10 -15 hours of weekly training sessions.

*We also offer treatment for Child Autism 

 

Behavioral and Other Concerns in Which we Offer
Parenting Help.

Teen Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional defiant behavior is common during the teen years. However, some teens take it to another level, challenging your authority and breaking your rules. Every day seems to be a constant struggle and you may feel like you are constantly in battle mode trying to help your teen stay on the right path. Your teenager seems to set the tone of the entire family, siblings become frustrated or, worse yet, copy their problematic behavior. Fights emerge more often between you and your partner when each of you are trying different approaches to get control of your teen’s behavior and gain respect. After all of your efforts, nothing seems to be effective. You may feel isolated and alone when you see other well-behaved teens who seem to be on the right path toward becoming a successful adult. You never imagined that you would be the type of parent who ignores some of the bad behavior or words that come out of your teen’s mouth to avoid yet another battle.

We specialize in teens who are pushing the limits and we love them! They are the ones who will be the CEOs running a company someday if we can channel all that strong-willed defiance in the right direction. We will help you learn parenting strategies specific to getting your teen to be more cooperative and listen more. If your teen is willing to participate, we will try to understand what is causing your teen to rebel so strongly and help your teen to see the long-term consequences of their actions. Teens tend to listen to everyone except their parents. Since we are not in the parental role, we can help them to gain insight into their life and the results of their decisions they are making today. Do not worry if your teen is resistant to coming in to see us. We will meet with you as their parent(s) and help you to know what to do next. Our empirically-supported treatment approaches for working with oppositional and defiant teenagers have allowed us to see the results of our interventions, as many of our once difficult teens are now highly-successful adults who have come back to thank us for understanding, guiding and believing in them.

See Our Behavioral Testing Services

Teen Video Game Addiction

If your teen seems to be obsessed with playing video games and becomes angry, agitated or depressed when they are not allowed to play, he or she may have a video game addition. The word addiction is often associated with substances such as alcohol or drugs, but addiction can be in the form of behaviors as well, such as playing video games. Research shows that there may be a biological/physical component of compulsive gaming in that it may increase dopamine levels in the brain. There is also the psychological component of video game addition in that it allows teens to escape and feel good about life.

As a parent, you may not even fully understand what they are playing. You hear names like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Minecraft, Dota 2 or League of Legends, but you have no idea how violent, sexually explicit or dangerous the content is on your teen’s developing brain. Multi-player games add a whole new dimension. As a parent, you have no idea who your teen’s “friends” are because they only exist in the cyber world. Yet, they communicate with each other using explicit language that you would never allow their friends to say if physically present in your home.

Video game addiction is on the rise and doctors are now just beginning to recognize it as a serious addiction that can contribute to school difficulties, sleep disruption, relationship struggles and depression. You already know the effects it has had on your relationship with your teen, as you face the daily struggle of limiting his/her gaming time.

The first step is to schedule an individual private consultation appointment with one of our addiction experts. We will be able to tell if your teen is showing signs of an addiction in need of treatment. We will also help you to understand the games that your teen is playing and if they are appropriate for your teen and their developmental level. We will work with your teen to address the psychological addiction and help you as a parent know exactly what to do on a daily basis to help the situation improve and get your teen back into real life.

See Our Behavioral Testing Services

Parenting Divorce in the Teen Years 

If you are going through a separation or divorce, your main concern is likely, “How is this going to affect my teen?” In fact, maybe this is why you stayed in the marriage as long as you have. Protecting your children is the highest priority, but you may not know how to do this effectively.

You are not alone and we are here to help. We have been working with children to help them get through the separation or divorce of their parents for over 25 years. By working directly with your teen, they learn that their therapist is not on “Dad’s side” or “Mom’s side” and that they are truly right in the middle with them. We do not do custody evaluations or provide information to attorneys or courts. We feel that by keeping ourselves out of the legal system, we are better able to work with your teen completely confidentially without the fear that what they say to us in confidence may be exposed in open court. Through this approach, we find that your teen will grow to learn and trust their therapist to help them get through this difficult time.

 

Common Types of Teen School Problems We Treat.

Teen School Refusal

If your teen is refusing to go to school, there may be an underlying reason such as a learning disability, bullying or problems with a teacher. Your teen, who was once happy and eager to go to school, has become increasingly frustrated, defiant and oppositional. It begins to negatively affect your relationship with your teen because you are constantly in the role of “school enforcer” and they grow to resent you.

We know your struggle and we can help you and your teen. Going to school is the law, so you need a plan for how to get them there willingly to avoid being accused of parental neglect and getting into legal trouble. We have been working with teens who refuse to go to school in every grade for over 25 years. We have developed a comprehensive intervention approach that really works to get them back to school. The sooner we get this plan in place, the better. Do not wait to schedule an initial consultation appointment so that we can discuss your situation and begin to develop your road map of success.

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Teen ADHD

ADHD is one of the most over-diagnosed and misunderstood conditions in teens. Please do not rely on questionnaires administered by your physician or school personnel. Many symptoms of ADHD such as distractibility, hyperactivity, disorganization, absentmindedness or forgetfulness can actually be symptoms of another disorder such as a learning disability, anxiety or depression. We conduct comprehensive evaluations in order to make sure that these symptoms are actually the result of the neurological condition of ADHD.

If your teen has been properly diagnosed with ADHD, we can help you to know what to do next. Treatment for ADHD does not necessarily involve just medication or therapy. By meeting with one of our expert ADHD clinicians, we will work with you and your teen to first teach you what pieces need to be in place and then how to get them in place. ADHD therapy involves working with you as the parent, your teen’s teachers and your teen to collaboratively develop intervention plans so that your teen will excel in school, improve their behavior and reach their highest potential.

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Teen Social Problems and Social Skills Training

Many teens struggle with socializing and making friends. They may find it hard to know what to say and find that it is easier to avoid interacting with peers or stand on the sidelines as a silent observer. Your teen watches other kids laughing, telling jokes and coming up with the perfect punch line to draw in people’s attention, but when they try to contribute to the conversation, their comments may be ignored or perhaps not even heard.

Some children are born with weaknesses in the area of social communication which creates anxiety in social situations. The anxiety further shuts down an already weak system. Social skills training is very effective at targeting those weaknesses. In combination with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for the anxiety component, your teen will find socializing with others to be easier and more natural. They will make more friends and communication with adults will improve. Therapy is usually short-term and success happens rather quickly.

Teen Bullying

If your teen is being bullied and your efforts to help them have not been successful, we are here to help. We have helped so many children over the years to become more empowered, strong and confident through our proven, established approaches to dealing with bullies. Bullied teens are at high risk for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, self-cutting and suicide. Please get help for your teen before it is too late.

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Teen Friendship Difficulties

Many teens struggle with making and keeping friends. It is hard to watch your teen struggle with friendships and they may be getting their feelings hurt more often when they do not get invited to social events.

Social skills training is very effective at helping children who struggle with friendships. In combination with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for the anxiety component, your teen will find socializing with others to be easier and more natural. Through learning conflict-management strategies specific to children, their relationships will improve and it will open the door to more opportunities to make new friends. Therapy is usually short-term and your teen will experience success rather quickly.

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Teen Self Esteem

Low self-esteem/low self-confidence in teens may be because of an underlying condition such as a learning disability or social skills weakness. If your teen is engaging in behaviors such as bullying, excessive lying, giving up easily, cheating or stealing, he/she may be suffering from low self-esteem. Your teen may be finding it difficult to have fun. Many children with low self-esteem who are not bullies end up in the role of a victim and present as excessively shy and timid.

As a parent, you likely have showered your teen with love, care, praise and positive reinforcement and it may be confusing as to why they are showing signs of low self-esteem/self-confidence. Perhaps their other parent or caretaker has taken more of an authoritarian role to parenting and you wonder if this has caused your teen to be insecure or act out in other ways. Your teen may be struggling with friendships, underachieving at school, depression or anxiety.

Low self-esteem/self-confidence can lead to a host of problems during the teen years such as promiscuity, substance use, date rape and pregnancy. It is very important that you get help for your teen now before it begins to affect even more aspects of his/her life. First, we will figure out if there is an underlying problem contributing to the low self-esteem/self-confidence and if there is, develop a plan to address it. Individual therapy, along with parent coaching in strategies to use at home to supplement treatment, is highly effective for improving a teen’s self-esteem/self-confidence. With advances in treatment approaches using components of Cognitive-Behavioral, interpersonal and Dialectical Behavioral treatment, your teen will feel better about themselves and his/her behavior will improve.

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If you think that your teen is suffering from any of these aforementioned conditions, please do not hesitate to contact McCaskill Family Services today to schedule an initial consultation!
Outstanding Psychologists & Therapists
I highly recommend McCaskill Family Services as outstanding psychologists and therapists. I have found them to be both extremely knowledgeable and professional as well as warm and compassionate. They use a highly individualized and respectful approach to their assessments for learning disabilities, ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, etc.. The detailed "roadmap" that they provide allows you to knowwith confidence how best to help your child reach their fullest potential. Christine J.