Growing up today is very difficult. Teens and young people are often overwhelmed with stress
from school and families, from pressures, from unrealistic expectations. But there is help at hand.
Today’s teens are overwhelmed with stress from school and families, from pressures and unrealistic expectations. Social media is constantly drawing their attention. Impossible standards are being set much closer to home, not by celebrities and models but by classmates and friends. With social media, teens can curate their lives and the resulting feeds show only the best and most enviable moments while concealing efforts, struggles and the merely ordinary aspects of day-to-day life. And there’s growing evidence that these images and unrealistic expectations are causing distress for many teens.
Psychological Therapist, Yvonne Earl specialises in psychological therapy for young people and teenagers and has seen teenagers dealing with some very complex health issues, many of them stress-related. Unrealistic expectations, the pressure to look and act a certain way, academic pressure and the impact of social media can cause depression and anxiety in the young. Yvonne says “I have spent most of my working life in child and adolescent psychological health and I believe that now, more than ever, young people’s mental health is important especially with all the social networking that impacts them.”
Psychological therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) are talking therapies which aim to help you feel better by identifying unhelpful patterns of thought and behaviour. They can help provide teens and young people with tools to stop their habitual automatic reactions and negative feelings which are often harmful to themselves and to others. It teaches them ways to engage with life’s difficulties in order to develop useful patterns of thinking and behaviour. Awareness of this kind also helps a young person notice signs of stress or anxiety earlier. Yvonne explains “We offer tools within psychological therapy to enable someone to change the way they think and feel about their experiences. A growing body of evidence has found that when you are given the tools to manage problems by changing the way you think and behave, you feel less stressed, anxious and depressed.”
Yvonne who has over 26 years’ experience working in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry is now bringing her expertise to North Berwick’s Barefoot Sanctuary. She specialises in the areas of; self esteem, depression, self-harm, exam stress, anxiety, OCD, phobias, parenting problems and family work, eating disorders, bereavement and lack of confidence. Yvonne offers individual sessions which follow a structured process and teach a range of techniques including CBT and mindfulness which can be used to help relieve and manage symptoms.
One of Yvonne’s clients sums up how CBT helped her “Through sessions with Yvonne, I learnt the crucial techniques to be able to change my mindset and feel well again. I couldn’t be more grateful for Yvonne’s help and support, I am truly a different person now.”