Control & Anxiety
Anxiety is frequently associated with a lack of control; anxiety can be caused by a lack of control in one or more areas of life. This lack of control can lead to a sense of helplessness in the face of fears and worries. Identify what is and isn't in your control is something I am often working on with my clients. I find it can be a very empowering tool for creating boundaries, growing self-awareness and breaking cycles of negative thinking.
I have many parents call me puzzled, because their adolescent appears to be well on some days but acts as if the world is ending on others. Isn't this what teenagers do? If you're worried because they may have had a recent meltdown that appeared completely out of character, that's okay. Know that you are not alone in worrying. It can be very difficult to detect teen depression. This is because adolescents have a developmental ability to compartmentalise. They may be able to have a good time with their pals one night and then appear depressed and sad the next. This is a strength that many teenagers possess. They can switch off different aspects of their lives to survive. If you're worried, reach out and we can discuss how we might be able to help your teen.
Rather than disregarding our sorrow or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism, self-compassion means being warm and compassionate towards ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate. We are naturally very good at being kind to our friends when they are being hard on themselves, but we are not good at being kind to ourselves. Teaching my clients self-compassion is a key component of my therapeutic process. I encourage strategies such as kind self-talk, celebrating small wins and moving away from an inner-critic. Have you been kind to yourself today?