The brain is going through so many structural changes during adolescence. Teens are extremely emotional and while this is all a normal part of the developing brain, it can feel so overwhelming for the teen and so confusing for parents.
Research is showing us that anxiety and depression among this age group are significantly on the rise. Not only is their brain going through all of these structural changes, but they now have to navigate all of these changes and emotional responses in the era of social media.
I specialise in helping people who are experiencing psychological pain and teenagers are a cohort I am extremely passionate about helping. I was very lucky to have some great friends growing up and so many happy times, but my teenage years were still the hardest of my life. I was (still am) someone who experiences emotions really deeply.
There are so many amazing benefits to feeling deeply and this is the part of me I now am the most grateful for. I experience joy, creativity and passion to such a strong degree. I am so thankful every day for being a sensitive person who has the capacity to feel so much.
That doesn’t mean this doesn’t come without its challenges. I know how to mind myself now but when I was a teen, sometimes these big emotions I felt really did feel like the end of the world. Navigating the excruciating pain of the loss of friendships, trying to cope with bullying, trying to fit in when you experience social anxiety, struggling with perfectionism, not understanding why I felt so lonely, so sad sometimes. As for self compassion, what was that?
This is a comprehensive 4 week video led program that you can watch in your own time. It is for both the parents of teens and the teens themselves. There are just over 5 hours of content and you will have access to all of this information for 6 months.
The first week of the program is for parents. The goal of this week is to help you reflect on your own emotions and what is being triggered for you as you are parenting your teen. When it comes to parenting, we are all just trying to do the best we can, but there is nothing like parenting to evoke strong emotions within us, such as agitation, anxiety, upset, shame, and anger. It can be so hard to stay regulated and respond in the ways we would like. I hope these modules will help you gain a deeper understanding of your emotions, feel more compassionate to yourselves and feel more equipped to connect with your child.
The following 3 weeks consists of 9 modules spread out across the 3 weeks. Module descriptions are outlined below.
During this program, you will have access to me throughout the month for support. You will be able to ask me questions privately and I will upload videos, answering your questions throughout the month. This will all be done anonymously and no identifying information will ever be used when I am helping you through your specific difficulties.
I am really looking forward to sharing all of this information with you and I hope it will be a huge help!
Dr. Aoife Durcan
Chartered Counselling Psychologist
- Introduction to the program.
- Empowering you as parents and helping you tune into what you need to be a more regulated parent.
- Understanding your nervous system, triggers, and learning skills to soothe your stress response system.
- Exercises and guides to help you with emotion regulation and self-compassion.
- Learning how to validate and support your teenager.
- Understanding your emotions and your stress response. Exploring what anxiety or feeling down might feel like in your body. Self awareness exercises.
- Becoming aware of your self talk. Learning skills to manage your self critic and build your self compassion.
- Becoming aware of the coping strategies you might be using (eg/ perfectionism, people pleasing, pushing people away) and learning how to tune into your needs.
- Learning how to manage stress and practical tools to help you in every day life. Name it to tame it!
- Learning how to communicate your needs effectively in your relationships.
- How to use self compassion exercises for what feel like heavier emotions.
- Understanding your triggers. Becoming a detective! Learning how to notice what is happening in your nervous system, in your relationships, in your environment that might be contributing to how you feel at the moment.
- Learning how to manage anxiety and intrusive thoughts.
- The importance of staying connected and managing any challenges you might be experiencing with family/friendships/
relationships. Understanding the impact of bullying and practicing self compassion.
It is important to say too that this is not a replacement for therapy. If you need support please link in with your GP, they may have a list of therapists in your area who have availability. Alternatively, the Psychological Society of Ireland have a list of psychologists who work with teenagers on their website. Jigsaw is also an excellent service offering 1-1 counselling to young people age 12-25. I will attach a list of alternative supports available here.