Ask Dr. Samantha
Dr. Samantha Talks with Teens About All Life’s Issues
Teen Depression Therapy in San Diego, CA Mindshift Psychological Services
There are many reasons why parents seek therapy for their teenagers. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing behavioral issues, problems with anxiety or depression, difficulty coping with the aftermath of traumatic events that have occurred or divorce, or even making a successful transition to high school and making friends. Other times it is because parents have difficulty understanding and managing their adolescent’s behavior. Adolescence is such a tumultuous time for both parents and teens under normal circumstances. And, often many parents find it difficult to know WHEN their teens need additional support. It’s challenging to understand how the teenage brain works and why they do the things they do.
Dr. Samantha can help provide guidance, insight, support, and new strategies for all types of challenges parents and teens may be having. She can help address many types of issues including self-esteem and identity issues, coping with parental divorce, depression, anxiety, peer relationships, grief, stress management, perfectionism, body-image issues, bullying, and transition to middle/high school/college. Dr. Samantha urges you to call for a short consult if you have any concerns about your teen because untreated depression and anxiety in teens can put teens at serious risk for suicidal behavior.
Dr. Samantha provides perspective for divorced, separated, or single parent households. She assists parents with effective co-parenting through collaboration and focus on the needs and best interests of the children/teen. Oftentimes these types of families are mired in conflict and the children become the lightening rod for distress or the pawn to inflict pain. Co-parenting peacefully with your child’s other parent can provide children a stable and close relationship with both father and mother. Often finding balance and coexistence can be a struggle. Dr. Samantha can assist both parents with important communication and conflict resolution skills to ensure that collaboration prevails and children have strong, positive connections and relationships with both parents.
If your teen is engaging in any kind of self-harming behavior such as cutting, burning, scratching or hitting themselves, please encourage them to be open to mental health counseling immediately. Self-injurious behavior is often the teen’s attempt to cope with very painful feelings that they don’t know how to manage any other way. The teen seeks physical release for emotional pain. These kinds of behaviors are very dangerous as the teen can accidentally cause serious harm to themselves. Self-injurious behavior does not necessarily mean the teen is suicidal; however, it must be taken very seriously to avoid the behavior becoming compulsive. Dr. Samantha helps teens discover new more adaptive means of coping while exploring the basis of the emotional pain the teen is experiencing.
Unfortunately, children and teens are not immune to experiencing the death of someone they love. Grief is a perfectly natural response to losing someone who is really important to you and there is no “right” way or specific time period of grieving. Oftentimes, the grief can feel overwhelming; as if it will never end. Please be open to allowing children and teens to talk about their feelings after a death. Dr. Samantha provides a safe space for teens to talk about all of the mixed feelings that they may have about their loss.
Exposure to distressing events (either witnessed or experienced personally) may have caused your teen to feel severely threatened psychologically, emotionally, or physically. Sometimes the lasting effects of trauma are persistent, and may cause an individual to live with fear, deep emotional pain, confusion, or sensory symptoms long after the event(s) have passed. Often, the guidance, support, and assistance of a mental health professional are crucial to the healing process. Therapeutic intervention would assist you in exploring the impact the trauma exposure had on your body, brain, and emotions. The body/brain implements survival strategies needed to survive trauma which become maladaptive coping strategies when utilized daily in everyday life. Therapy explores these coping strategies and helps you identify and implement more adaptive coping skills. One of the most important patterns of thinking that trauma survivors have to master is that the trauma exposure is not the only thing that defines who they are as a person. Trauma exposure is an event or series of events that have occurred that need to be understood within the context of your life and development, so you feel emotionally free to move beyond the trauma and experience life differently.
The purpose of Anger Management counseling is to first understand the underlying psychological root of the anger issues. Angry outbursts are often related to high stress, depression/anxiety, or intense frustration. It is concerning the degree of stress and frustration that exists for kids and teens every day. Academic pressures and expectations, athletic requirements, low self-esteem, social pressures, and peer problems can reach extremely unhealthy levels. Without adequate coping skills and an impulsive brain, teens can get angry pretty fast, leaving parents unsure as to how best to help their adolescent manage their behavior. Dr. Samantha will teach your teen new strategies for managing their anger. She may also consult with teens and parents together to work on improving their communication with each other.
How are school and family stress affecting your teen? Are they more irritable? Frustrated? Fatigued? Do they seem to have lost pleasure in the things and people that usually brought joy to their life? Teens often feel overwhelmed by the hormonal and growth changes they are going through, the social pressures of peer relationships, and the challenges of navigating new relationships with their parents. While we may not be able to eliminate the external stressors entirely, what we can do is explore ways to shift your teen’s relationship to stress and reduce the impact the stressors are having in their daily life. These new tools and techniques, along with a change in perspective and outlook, will help your teen develop increased capacity to respond in new ways to stressors, thus lessening the degree of internal stress you are experiencing. Dr. Samantha can also help parents and teens work on improved communication and managing increased independence.
The adolescent years can often bring with them a sense of overwhelming fear, confusion, and anger. Teenagers may sometimes turn to damaging behavior (self-harm, drug or alcohol abuse) or just completely withdraw and disconnect from their parents and siblings. These damaging behaviors can be heightened by traumatic life changes, like family separation, moving or troubled relationships. Other times, these same behaviors seem to take place for no particular reason at all. Teens often feel powerless and misunderstood by the adults in their lives and parents often feel helpless and confused about how best to support their teen.
Dr. Samantha creates a safe and confidential environment where teens can explore their stressors and learn new more adaptive coping skills. The main goal of psychotherapy with adolescents is empowering them to make more positive choices while helping them discover how to be more confident about who they are and who they are becoming. Dr. Samantha also supports parents in learning how to more effectively communicate with their teen and how to manage the increased desire for privacy and independence.
Location: Dr. Samantha’s office is conveniently located in Carmel Valley region of San Diego. Convenient distance from central and northern San Diego areas our office tries to be as flexible as possible to your needs and schedule.
Rates: Please contact to discuss rates for services.
Insurance: Dr. Samantha does not participate as an IN-NETWORK provider for any insurance carrier. For all insurance carriers, services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefits plan. Please check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:
- Do I have mental health insurance benefits?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How much does my insurance carrier pay for an out-of-network provider?
As your out-of-network provider, fee are collected directly from you at the time of service; you then be provided with a monthly statement that allows you to file an insurance claim for reimbursement.
Payment: Cash and major credit cards accepted for payment.
Cancellation Policy: If you do not show up for your scheduled therapy appointment, and you have not notified us at least 24 hours in advance, you will be required to pay the full cost of session.