Teen Anxiety Counseling Phoenix, Cave Creek, Scottsdale Az

There are many reasons that are unique to each teen in relation to anxiety. Genetics is always unique and has an impact on anxiety so biologically you come into the world with genes that may be more or less prone to anxiety disorders. Your environment plays a huge role on stress and anxiety and how you cope with it. Some families have parents that teach their children skills to manage stress at a young age and some do not. Some families have a mixed approach with each parent doing their own parenting skills to address anxiety and stress. So the biggest factors in anxiety disorders are : Genetics, Life experiences, how we group up in our families , and environmental influences.

Anxiety disorders in teens can become worse at times with: side effect of a medication, emotional health issues, Alcohol or substance use or dependence, Marijuana use or dependence, Trauma ( emotional, mental, or physical ), long term stress, a family history of anxiety and or depression, and chemical imbalances in the brain.


Anxiety can be triggered by any physical pain in your body, stressful events ( school, moving, bullying etc), work stress issues, school anxiety and stress in school with peers or academics, illness and health issues, relationship issues with friends or family or others.

There are many evidence based techniques that are used in teen counseling and psychotherapy to help a teen manage his anxiety. One very powerful technique that has been around over 60 years is CBT Cognitive behavioral Therapy and it is very powerful. Teens can learn CBT and use CBT skill at home or wherever they are and this helps them gain strength in that they can control and manage their anxiety. I could go on about how great CBT therapy, however, I am going to give you a very brief synopsis for you. CBT looks at thoughts that are unhealthy, distorted , and not supported by facts. CBT then identifies feelings associated with these unhealthy thoughts. CBT then helps the client identify why these thought are distorted and allows the client to change the thought to a healthier more accurate thought. It is through theses exercises awe are able to see a huge reduction in anxiety and stress and well as other emotions the are not working for us at the time.

There is another exercise called VMBR that helps client’s bring in all senses: hearing , feeling, seeing, smell, and taste and allows the client to create a short video movie of themselves showing them confident, safe, tranquil and able to perform said task or overcome the anxiety that is getting in their way. It could be of taking a test at school or kicking a field goal, or going to school, or meeting a girlfriend, or a job interview.

Progressive Relaxation techniques tied in with diaphragmatic breathing techniques are an excellent evidence based skill that can be learned and used at home or out in the world. Research shows that when muscles are relaxed the body will follow and I believe everyone should use progressive relaxation for anxiety and stress management.

Mindfullness is an exercise that helps one learn to stay in the moment and not get caught up in the past or caught up in future thoughts. Mindfulness helps one notice thoughts like they are passing through like a cloud as well as feelings and does not allow the thought or feeling to rule ones day. Acceptance of self and learning self compassion and empathy as well as non criticisms or non judgment is important as well. Setting boundaries and effective communication skills is important to build healthier and more fulfilling relationships. Emotional regulation skills are helpful in managing ones anxiety before it builds and gets bigger for oneself.

Lifeworksaz.com has been working with youth and families for over 18 years in Phoenix AZ and Valleywide. David Abrams MAPC, LPC has a great deal of experience working with anxiety issues. You can read more about him at www.lifeworks.com and read testimonials as well.

Articles are not to be taken as a substitute for professional advice or counseling.