The sophistication of teen counseling has evolved over the years. In 1990, research into the brain took a gigantic leap forward with the advent of the fMRI. Armed with a better understanding of how our brains work, developers have created helpful apps to help calm our teens anxious and stressed. But first, what is fMRI?
What is Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI)
fMRI is a imaging tool used to read the blood oxygen level in the brain. Researches can study the brain at rest, the brain engaged in task dependent activities, and compare the differences. Researchers are also able to image the brain of teens with teen depression and teens without teen depression to study the differences.
There have been between an estimated 100,000 - 250,000 studies of the brain since the start of the fMRI. Counseling approaches that we have known to work are now being studied using fMRI to examine how these approaches help heal the brain.
Below are a few of the approaches that we use at Katy Teen & Family Counseling that have also been studied using fMRI:
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Apps That Help Calm The Anxious & Stressed Teen Brain
There are many apps available, supported by brain research, that are effective in helping calm the anxious and stressed teen brain. Below are three apps and information about each:
Anxiety Reliever is an app that includes the following:
Calming music and audio recordings
A tracker to note thoughts, feelings, and experiences
A deep breathing tool to help the mind and body relax
Supportive messages to reinforce progress made and encouragement to continue the progress
This is a good app as calming music and breathing exercises help trigger the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is the 'deactivating' network in our brain and body that helps us to calm.
Having helpful guides, a tracker, and supportive messages can continue to educate and motivate your teen to continue to apply the skills this app teaches. The more consistent and the more your teen practices, the more effective and deeper the calming experience will be.
This app has a limited free version and the full app costs $5.99 monthly or $32.99 annually.
Headspace helps a teen learn how to meditate and practice Mindfulness Meditation. Studies show the effectiveness of Mindfulness Meditation in helping to reduce teen anxiety and stress. Headspace uses an approach that is already shown by studies to be effective (Mindfulness Meditation). Headspace has also conducted research into the effectiveness of their app using an already supported approach in treating teen anxiety and stress.
Mindfulness meditation helps a teen focus on the moment. It teaches a teen that for that moment, during meditation, not to think about the past or worry about the future -- only focus on that very moment.
Mindfulness Meditation teaches a teen to use their senses to observe, without judgment, what they are experiencing in that moment. Combined with deep breathing, guided imagery, and other tools, Mindfulness Meditation is an effective approach for reducing stress and anxiety.
Headspace costs $12.99 a month or $69.99 a year if you subscribe with an annual subscription.
Panic Relief is the brainchild of Danish psychiatrist and specialist in cognitive therapy, Marianne B. Geoffroy.
Panic Relief helps teens who may be experiencing panic attacks in their lives. Panic attacks are in intense fear reaction that often come out of the blue. The trigger behind panic attacks are often not related to a danger yet, the brain perceives it so.
Panic attacks can be scary for a teen and very frustrating. Teens also recognize that there is nothing dangerous in that moment yet, their brains take over and prevent them from engaging in that moment. Teens are often held back from using their full potential due to panic attacks.
Panic Relief uses coping tools that are supported by research to help teens better manage their panic attacks. Panic relief uses those tools and skills that your teen can easily learn to help reduce or manage times when panic attacks hit. These tools help the brain calm and help reduce the intensity or stop the Panic Attack.
Panic Relief currently costs $.99 and is a great deal given the effectiveness of the skills and tools contained in the app for Panic Attacks.
Final Thoughts on Healthy Uses of Technology
Many apps you will find offer approaches that can be helpful in reducing teen anxiety and stress. These apps are also effective for the adults in the teen's lives.
With the advances in technology helping us to uncover the hidden secrets of the brain come advances in technology to help us heal the brain. These apps are a safe, convenient way for teens to be able to help relieve teen anxiety and stress and help heal the brain.
We are not affiliated with any of the apps discussed in this blog nor do we receive any compensation from companies who developed the apps.
We are, however, huge fans of the healthy use of technology and plugging teens into these apps as an adjunct to teen therapy and family counseling. They are accessible tools that reinforce the skills we teach in our teen counseling sessions.
Katy Teen & Family Counseling:
Specialists in Teen Counseling & Family Therapy
If your teen is struggling with the affects of anxiety or stress, you want to find the best help for your teen. At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we have the expertise in teen therapy and family counseling to help.
We have dedicated out career to helping teens and families and are specialists in teen and family therapy. We only work with teens and families which enables us to focus solely on the what teens and families need in these challenging times.
If you would like to begin the healing journey in overcoming teen anxiety and stress, you can follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling, PLLC
Meet with one of our teen therapy specialists
Start the process of freeing your teen from the grips of anxiety.
Other Teen Therapy & Family Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling:
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we provide a variety of research supported therapy approaches. Many of these teen counseling and family therapy approaches have been shown to be effective in the shortest amount of time. Below are the services that we provide:
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy) For:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) For:
How to Begin Teen Therapy or Family Counseling
To begin teen therapy or family counseling, simply contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling through our website or by calling 346-202-4662. Our Owner and Lead Clinician answers each phone call to help match you with the right therapist for you teen and family.
About the Author
Jason Drake is a Licensed Clinical Worker. He is a Specialist in Teen Therapy & Family Counseling. He has provided therapy to teens and families since 2003. Through his expertise, he helps teens who struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD/ADD, and PTSD. He works with talented teen athletes who have experience mental blocks. Gifted students have unique challenges that Jason understands well. Jason uses CBT, EMDR, Neurofeedback, FFT, and Motivational Interviewing. We only work with teens and families which allows us to focus on what teens and families of today need. Resolving the struggles of today can assure a more successful tomorrow. Proudly serving Katy, Tx and Houston.