Professional Counseling & Psychotherapy
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By

Charles Mills
In an earlier post (On the Way to Becoming an Adult), I described advantages and disadvantages in relation to the developing teenage brain. While the draw to novelty, risk, and peer relations helps to prepare teenagers for becoming independent adults, their impulsivity can also be hazardous. As teenagers are finding their way through adolescence, it...
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With recent technology, we have learned that a great deal of brain development takes place through the teen years all the way up to at least age 25. From age 12 to 25, communication between brain cells gradually increases by a hundred times. But it is to the teenager’s advantage that these physical changes move...
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We are continuing to learn more and more about how brain cells behave. We know now that neurons can respond to change. This is what we mean by neuroplasticity. And neuroplasticity may be involved in maintaining a normal mood in response to experiences in our relationships and our lives. Bipolar disorder may involve difficulties with...
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Among those afflicted with one or more episodes of major depression, there are differences in the kinds of symptoms experienced. Some individuals feel sad, empty, or hopeless. Others lose interest in almost all activities. One’s appetite may decrease or increase. One may have difficulty sleeping or sleep excessively. One may behave restlessly or become lethargic....
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First, we must distinguish between an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) and an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). They are not the same although they may have commonalities, and an individual could have both. For individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder, the compulsive behavior is an effort to resolve obsessive doubt. In a classic example, the individual checks to see...
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In an earlier post (Why Is Sexual Violence So Prevalent in Our Society Today), I shared information regarding the prevalence of sexual violence and the importance of talking with teenagers about healthy relationship behavior. About 1 in 10 teens have been physically or sexually abused on a date. The U.S. Department of Health and Human...
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Tragically, sexual violence and abusive behavior have been prevalent throughout history. It has never been uncommon for the most vulnerable individuals, particularly women, children, and those who are handicapped to be preyed upon by perpetrators of violent and controlling behavior. And it has a long history of being ignored or dismissed. Sigmund Freud, for example,...
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Teenagers with avoidant disorders may struggle with a chronic state of heightened anxiety which can impede their ability to make friends and participate in social activities. They may lack confidence, struggle with feelings of low self-worth, have difficulty expressing themselves, and exhibit extreme sensitivity to criticism. Their fear of rejection can become so extreme that...
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In an earlier post (Attachment Styles), I shared information regarding individuals with insecure attachment styles who may be anxious or avoidant in relating closely with others as adults. While growing up, one or both of their parents may not have been consistent in attending to them, nurturing them, guiding them, and encouraging them. Or they...
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John Bowlby, the father of attachment theory, described several characteristics of attachment including the desire to be near those we are attached to, the feeling of being securely attached while separated, and the comfort experienced in turning to those with whom we are attached in times of distress. Mary Ainsworth described three major styles of...
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