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Teen Mental Health a National Emergency: Prioritizing Therapy in an Age of Crisis

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According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and Children's Hospital Organization, our teens are experiencing a crisis in their mental health. These organizations have described this crisis as a "national emergency".

One of the major factors cited for this emergency in mental health is the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The physical effects of COVID-19 are serious and have been addressed by many sources.

The mental health effects of the pandemic are just as serious. It's time to focus on the mental health needs of our teens during this difficult time.

Teens across the nation have struggled with the impact of COVID-19. Although every teen is different, some of the common struggles include:

• Increased isolation

• Pervasive uncertainty

• Fear

• Grief over the loss of loved ones

According to AACP President Gabrielle A. Carlson, "we are caring for young people with soaring rates of depression, anxiety, trauma, loneliness, and suicidality that will have lasting impacts on them, their families, their communities, and all of our futures."

There is an important call to action here. We must prioritize our teen's mental health. One of the most important ways to prioritize your teen's mental health is by providing them a space where they can explore their struggles and discover strategies to help them cope through this crisis.

Teen therapy is one of the most effective ways to help teens manage this mental health crisis.

3 Reasons Why Teen Therapy is Effective

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Teen depression was on the rise before the pandemic. Rates of teen depression had increased 59%. Other struggles like anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety and other struggles have also increased greatly.

Teen counseling can be very effective in helping your teens to overcome these emotional challenges. These challenges stand in their way of succeeding academically, socially, and finding lasting happiness in their lives.

Below are 3 reasons teen therapy can be effective:

1. Teen Therapy Builds a Relationship

In light of the increased isolation, teen therapy is designed to foster a genuine relationship between the teen and the teen therapist. While a therapist is not a friend, they do work at creating an environment of genuine trust, empathy and acceptance.

The relationship that's established between the teen and the therapist is a social bond that helps build confidence and motivation in the teen. The relationship creates a sense of safety and this provides the teen with the strength to keep moving forward.

2. Teen Therapy Builds Practical Skills

Managing mental health requires the use of practical skills and coping mechanisms. In teen counseling, clients learn to investigate their negative thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

Teens learn strategies that help them calm their mind and body. In teen therapy, teens develop a tool box of psychological skills that help them cope with anxiety, depression, trauma and other struggles.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an approach to teen therapy that is supported by research and shown to be effective. CBT underscores the connection between thoughts, emotions and behavior. Teen learn to work on their thoughts to improve their emotions.

They also collaborate with their therapist to develop behavioral goals that can improve their overall well-being.

Other approaches that have been supported by research and shown to be effective for teens include:

3. Teen Therapy Builds Hope

Many teenagers report feeling hopeless in light of the effects of the pandemic. When teenagers lose hope, their self-esteem can drop, their grades suffer and some of them contemplate suicide.

Teen therapy is a process of instilling realistic hope. Through teen therapy, clients learn to highlight the positive aspects of their life and build on their small successes.

A teen and their therapist explore the importance of gratitude and work on building resilience in the face of adversity.

Katy Teen & Family Counseling: 50+ Years of Combined Teen Therapy Experience Katy, Texas & Houston

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At the Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we specialize in providing teen counseling for trauma therapy, PTSD treatment, teen anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety, school anxiety, depression, ADHD/ADD and other emotional or behavioral struggles.

Our teen therapists can help your teen. Other priorities can compete with teen counseling. Help your teen today to overcome the emotional barriers that affect their happiness and success. We typically don't grow out of but into mental health issues. Start today in helping your teen find hope, happiness, and connected family relationships.

If you are ready to start your healing journey with one of our teen therapists, you can follow these three simple steps:

  1. Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling, PLLC.

  2. Meet with one of our caring therapists specializing in teen therapy.

  3. Take that first step in restoring hope, happiness, and connected family relationships.

Other Teen Therapy, Family Counseling, & Young Adult Therapy Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling

At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we provide other counseling and therapeutic services such as Marriage counseling and couples therapy.

Often, when parenting a struggling teen, this can have a direct impact on the parents relationship. Our marriage counselors and couples therapists can help.

We also provide other counseling and therapeutic services for teens, young adults, & families at our Katy, Tx location:

Board Certified Neurofeedback

Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)

Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

About the Author

Quique Autrey is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Quique specializes in teen therapy and helping teens build upon their innate strengths while developing skills and tools to overcome depression, anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, ADHD, and more.

Quique views each individual through that lens and provides therapy for the family system which includes: teen therapy, young adult counseling, family counseling, marriage counseling & couples therapy.

Quique also has a passion for helping teens, young adults, and adults who may be on the Autism Spectrum. He has a talent for connecting with and helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

If you're ready to start your healing journey in teen therapy, you can call us at 346-202-4662 or email us at

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