Child Therapy Teen Counseling therapist: ANXIETY Disorders; Phoenix, Scottsdale Arizona

Child anxiety is simply a form of stress. It is an alarm system for all human beings. Everyone experiences anxiety. Children may feel it if they have a presentation at school or when life gets difficult. Children can face anxiety when taking tests, switching schools, moving to a new house, moving to a new city. Certain levels of stress and anxiety are normal. However when impacts getting things done, not going to school, not participating in school or social events, avoiding activities and makes life less enjoyable it is time to get an assessment from a counselor or therapist that is trained in working with children.

There are many types of anxiety disorders: Phobias, social phobia, panic attacks, PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive compulsive disorder, and more. There are two ways to deal with anxiety disorders. Learn tools via counseling and empower oneself to manage the stress or some people medicate themselves. Research shows that if one chooses medication that counseling is needed for best results. No medication can change your child’s thought process.

Some but not all symptoms of anxiety are: excessive worrying, trouble focusing, fatigue and being tired during the day, difficulty sleeping at night, a lot of worry that lasts days or more. Many children do not express their feelings about what is going on however if the above is happening you can deduce what most likely is going on. Many children express physical symptoms like: headaches, stomach aches, not feeling well etc.

Child and teenage Anxiety often manifests as a physical symptom like pain, fatigue, or inability to sleep. 30 percent of patients seen by primary care practitioners have at least one ANXIETYdisorder.

Children and teenagers with anxiety disorders typically experience intense fear, worry and discomfort that last for a long time and significantly impact an adolescent or child and families lives.

Anxiety Disorders can lead to school problems , social issues, academic problems, alcohol and drug use, anxiety issues as an adult.

Anxiety Disorders can impact obtaining employment and can create frustration and anger issues when goals are not reached and the anxiety continues to impede progress.

The great news is psychotherapy and counseling can alleviate your anxiety and stress and their are also medications that a physician would give if needed.

Depressed teenagers who received cognitive behavioral therapy also known as CBT in their recovered faster, and were also more likely to recover, than children and teens who did not receive counseling and psychotherapy services, this study was published in a pediatric journal recently in 2015.

Self-reported child and adolescent sleep across the last twenty fiver years are concerning and suggest that there is potentially a significant public health concern that warrants education for parents and counseling education for youth and teens in the USA.

There is a connection and awareness among the scientific community that insomnia, depression and anxiety disorders are linked with each other. The risks are psychological, emotional, social, and more and must be addressed as a system.

Having insomnia in addition to anxiety or depression can further intensify the problems being experienced with each individual disorder. It can lead to such problems as alcohol and drug misuse during adolescence.


Children and teenagers can experience stressors which can interfere with sleep. Consumption of energy drinks – which contain caffeine – is also known to disrupt sleep, as is use of certain medications: aniti-depressants etc. A majority of children and teens are spending 40-50 hours more than they should each week playing or involved w electronics: video games, you tube, TV, Snap Chat, Instagram, Facebook, Texting, gaming, and more on the internet. Research shows that this also is impacting sleep which is connected with motivation, mood, anxiety, depression and more. It may exacerbate symptoms or create mood disorders.

Diet is one huge component that creates anxious symptoms. Caffeine creates an artificial and temporary lift for people who are stressed out and tired. It is different than a lift you get from good food and exercise .

Here is a list of possible side effects from caffeine : restlessness , nervousness , irritability , shaking , sleeplessness , sweaty hands, irregular heart beat , nervous or upset stomach , panic attacks and more .

Counseling can teach you healthy ways to manage anxiety and stress and create calm and balance in your life .

Many children that are quiet or shy meet the criteria for social phobia or generalized anxiety disorder .

Children affected with social phobia display greater impairment socially and are more likely to experience anxiety, mood disorders, depression, behavior disorders, substance use and more. The intense fear can be crippling with regard to social interactions.

A large percentage of teens with social phobia fail to seek

professional treatment for anxiety.

Psychotherapy and counseling can help children manage their anxiety and phobia so they can interact with those they hope to connect with.

The use of certain psychiatric medications during pregnancy can result in children born with depression by early teens and adolescence. A great deal of research from Finland, and other countries have found found that children exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during gestation had more chance of being diagnosed with depression after age 12.

What is best for your child? Working with an expert in counseling that can treat children and teens and families. One type of therapy is not the only technique to create change. A wide array of therapies can help a child manage his mood, behaviors, anxiety and depression. A holistic and a multi systemic approach is the best prevention and the best way to facilitate desired changes for your child and teenager.

Receiving input form parents on daily and weekly behaviors and working together to modify unhealthy habits and routines as well as setting up a system that is reward based for positive behaviors is vital in creating balance and success for your child.

Children and adolescents suffer from anxiety. Some of the most common types of anxiety are : panic , phobias, generalized anxiety ,PTSD, and separation anxiety. Obsessive compulsive behavior is also a part of anxiety disorders .

Psychotherapy and counseling can be extremely helpful in learning ways to overcome anxiety ridden thinking and anxiety due to physiological responses., child and teen psychotherapist David Abrams MAPC, LPC, CAGS has extensive expertise in working with children and families in order to manage stress, anxiety , as well as other child, teen and family disorders and challenges . David has worked with children and families for over 15 years as his focus in private practice.

Research shows Cognitive Behavioral therapy is extremely helpful for anxiety disorders and there is more research expanding on CBT and ways to manage anxiety via counseling therapy.

Intervening early when a child or teenager or young person starts struggling to cope is proven to reduce the likelihood of that young person developing much more severe and entrenched mental health problems. Counseling and child and teen therapy is vital. Family counseling and parenting will help the child even more than just one on one child psychotherapy. provides a multifaceted approach that works with teens and also with parents to help their child.

Anxiety can be a normal reaction to stress . It helps us deal with challenging situations like a test or a speech .

It is when anxiety becomes excessive , and interferes with daily life situations that it can become disabling. Some types of anxiety that manifests itself in children and adolescent teens are : separation anxiety , post traumatic stress disorder , social phobia , specific phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and more.

Cognitive behavioral therapy , exposure therapy , and mood regulation skills have a lot of research behind it and show great success in treating anxiety disorders . There are many other approaches as well that have show success.

Stress and anxiety in Scottsdale, Arizona are on the rise due to many things. Both parents are working and busy. Children and Teens have infinite distractions with: Facebook, instagram, texting, video games, I pad, smart Phones, Net Flix, and more. These distractions can impact : sleep, mood, behavior and motivation in relation to academics and family life.  There are a number of things that must happen to address anxiety and the more pieces addressed the quicker balance will occur in your child or teen.

Children as young as five are being referred for treatment for depression and anxiety in the United States of America. Figures showed mental health teams are working with more than 1,000 children and young people who were referred for therapy.

Research shows that family stress, financial issues, unemployment, and substance use or abuse is connected with child depression and child anxiety.

Twenty percent of children between ages 10-16 will be diagnosed with some type of mental health diagnosis. It could be ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Autism, Oppositional defiant disorder and more.

The tendency to develop depression and anxiety involves a complex mixture of factors, such as (genetic) factors and life-stressors.

Children and adolescents who get depressed have often had adverse experiences, such as, losing a parent or being abused as a child. Some have had struggles academically. Many children have been bullied or have been verbally abused and not accepted at their schools. Many struggle with social skills and communication skills. Many have very low self esteem.

Such early life experiences sets a person up for later depression and anxiety.

In addition recent events often precipitate an episode of depression or anxiety. A life event is simply a stressful occurrence. Friendship difficulties and disappointments are common triggers for depression and anxiety in children and adolescents.

Having a family history of depression can also put individuals more at risk as there is some genetic contribution to depression.

Although there is no evidence that family difficulties actually cause depression, when there is a lot of family conflict, this can interfere with a person’s recovery.

The most important element in treating depression and anxiety is feeling safe and comfortable with one’s therapist and having someone with a great deal of experience working with youth. I see youth all day in my office and many only see one child per week; so make sure you find someone who has rapport with parents as well as your child. You can read 50 plus testimonials from parents and other professionals regarding David Abrams MAPC, LPC, CAGS. counseling teaches your child and teen a variety of techniques to manage: anxiety, depression, and elevate mood. Lifeworks David Abrams MAPC LPC has been working with you and anxiety disorders for over 15 years. This includes: Social anxiety, Generalized anxiety, Phobias, PTSD, separation anxiety and more.

The more adverse or challenges in childhood for example stress and trauma the more likely one can suffer from mental health issues like “ depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and many other disorders.. The more challenging and adverse a child is exposed to will impact risky behaviors and poor physical and mental health in the future.

Negative childhood experiences are connected with : heart disease, diabetes, sexual diseases, risky behaviors and more. The greater the amount of childhood trauma the greater the association with less life satisfaction. The higher amounts of trauma and intensity and frequency of the trauma showed more frequent symptoms of : depression , anxiety, substance abuse, and more health issues.

Just because a child has trauma does not mean he or she can not find balance, happiness , and success. David Abrams MAPC, LPC has a specialty in child and family counseling as well as a specialty in Trauma, abuse, and deprivation. He also works with parents and families to create desired change and has been working with youth and families for over 15 years .

Children can learn many tools that they can use to balance their mental health and have skills to manage mood, school, family activities, healthy communication, academic success, build self esteem, make healthy life choices, manage anxiety, manage stress, and much more.

Adverse childhood experiences include living with someone who is mentally ill ,or suicidal; experiencing divorce or parental separation; living with someone who has an alcohol or drug problem; being a victim or witness of neighborhood violence; experiencing financial hardship; witnessing violence; having a parent in prison or incarcerated ,being treated or judged unfairly due to race or ethnicity ( racism/sexism etc); and experiencing the death of a parent ( grief and loss)

Teenagers and children who have experienced an adverse event are about twice as likely to engage in bullying behavior and the propensity to bully others goes up by 30 percent with each additional event of being victimized.

Teens 13-17 in Arizona have been exposed to forty four percent adverse events that are traumatic.

Children that have these experiences are more likely to have mental health issues, health problems, academic issues, obesity, and struggle in life.

Strong evidence showed that individual and group cognitive–behavioral therapy can decrease psychological harm among symptomatic children and adolescents exposed to trauma.

Recovery from childhood trauma involves owning the experiences we have disowned. It includes owning parts of ourselves that we continue to want to push away. This is a painful process because it means that we will need to embrace painful realities. Everything in us (and often around us) tells us that this is not the right path to take. But it is always truth, no matter how painful, that frees us. Embracing our life experiences and their ongoing impact on us is the path to freedom and wholeness.

Learning to not allow unhealthy defense mechanisms and behaviors from the past that helped shield you from pain and taking control of your unhealthy habits is vital for healing and balance. Looking at the ways you avoid feelings and how you cope with pain is also essential. Accepting the fact that you were not at fault and you can cope with your pain in a healthy way and that you are strong and can handle it is also important.

Grief and trauma in youth

Grief is a mixture of feelings : anger , guilt, frustration, fear , anxiety , when dealing with loss. Losing a loved one, family member, dog , cat are all areas that connect with grief . A parent that is not involved in a child’s life is a great source for grief and loss.

Children and teens may not be able to verbalize they are grieving however here are some symptoms that can show signs of grief: anger, irritability, lack of focus , anxiety, sadness, drug or alcohol abuse, self destructive behaviors , somatic problems ( headache , stomach pain, fatigue and more), promiscuity , addictive behaviors like being too busy ( blocking pain), decline in academic performance or lack of motivation , confusion, feeling alone , jealousy, constant thoughts of the loss, shock, numbness and more.

Children and adolescent teenagers can learn ways to identify feelings and express them in safe and healthy ways.

Parents need an objective professional that has expertise working with children , teens and families to help work through grief and loss.

Many children and teens suffer childhood trauma. Trauma can be from : emotional abuse , physical abuse, sexual abuse, divorce, grief, loss, health issues, family issues and more.

There has ben a great deal of research on the brain and trauma from PTSD for soldiers to childhood neglect and abuse. the latest research shows how important it is to address the trauma instead of avoiding it, stuffing it, acting as if nothing happened. In fact ignoring the trauma is the worst thing a child or an adult can do according to researchers on trauma and the brain.

Children and teens that were exposed to therapy that addressed these traumas show an 80% decrease on average in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Syndrome symptoms. Children and teens that addressed trauma were less depressed and less anxious and were able to function much better in all areas of their lives. Not addressing the past trauma in children and teen adolescents allows the trauma to fester in the brain and this will potentially ooze into unhealthy habits, behaviors, and mental health issues. Many reach for medications to alleviate pain, many start using illegal substances to numb out or cope with their past pain.

Children and teens that can express their trauma can build a strong sense of confidence that they can handle the most painful events. They can build their self esteem. They can learn that they can cope with life’s pain and still have a happy, healthy, and balanced life. It is a relief to release this heavy pain that the child or teen carries around like a 1000 pound weight squeezing their mind and body and soul.

One big piece of dealing with the trauma is also that children become aware that they are not truly safe and that the trauma is in their past and is no longer carried with them today in the present moment. Releasing these traumas take some time however letting go of it and processing the abuse and trauma and pain is the biggest piece in healing the brain and finding health and balance in one’s life physically, mentally and emotionally.

The research has been published in medical journals and has been done at many ivy league schools in the USA.

www.Lifeworksaz has an advanced graduate specialty in Trauma and has worked with: children, teens, adults and families to create balance in one’s life. David Abrams has a specialty working with children and families for over fifteen years.

Many children and teens are facing a variety of mental health issues: anxiety, depression, anger issues, self harm, OCD, Oppositional defiance, behavioral issues at school, social issues, emotional issues, self esteem issues as well. Children are being bullied at school as well as on the computer or via texting or social media ( instagram, snapchat, facebook etc)

It is important to talk to your children about how they feel and how they think on a regular basis( daily if possible). If your child does not express his thoughts and feelings this can be a huge red flag and you do not know what is going on inside your child’s world.

Parents can lame themselves and this is not helpful for the parent or the child. Great parents have children that struggle with mental health issues so keep this in mind. Reach out for professional help and support.

Everyone struggles with life this is a huge part of mental health and we should not be ashamed or embarrassed by it. Society tells us to be strong and do not cry and do not show emotions , however, we all have pain in our lives and it is how we cope with our pain and stress that is important. Every child and adult has stress and it is a strength to reach out for help. If a child is struggling with math we get him or her help or a tutor. If a child is struggling with : anger, stress, social skills, self esteem depression, oppositional defiance, anger, anxiety, phobias, self harm, issues with family we need to provide an outlet for support.

Typically schools for children and teens have very few counselors on staff . For example at one school I attended there was one counselor for over 600 children. It was great that the school had a counselor because many schools do not have a mental health counselor. The reality is that the counselor does not have time to meet with all 600 students on a weekly basis and give them the support they may need. Finding an expert that has daily experience with children, teens and families is important for parents and for the child. Being able to work with the child and parent provides the best systemic support for your child. Letting your child know that you are working on improving your relationship with your child and you are a team player is important to show your child you are dedicated to therapy and counseling and also it is important to you that things change. Labeling the child as the “ problem” is not a good approach for life changes in mental health and in life skills including school academics and more.

Lifeworks AZ David Abrams MAPC, LPC, CAGS is passionate about helping children and families help themselves . David looks at all areas of a child’s life . He looks at : self esteem, social, family issues, academics, sleep, diet, exercise, anger, mood, anxiety, behavioral issues, emotional issues, depression, self harm, negative thinking and more and creates a plan and goals that create a win win for the child and family. David has been working with children, teens, and families for over 15 years and this is one of his specialty areas. You can read a lot more about what parents are saying about David at

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