Archive for the 'Adolescent Mental health' Category

Counseling Teen Mental Health Disorders Phoenix, Scottsdale Arizona

Monday, August 6th, 2018

I have been working with children and teens for over 18 years as well as families. There are many disorders that our society can label your child with including: ADD  Disorder, ADHD Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Generalized anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, OCD obsessive Compulsive Disorder, PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder, Depression Disorder, Dysthmia Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Adjustment Disorders, Non suicidal Self Injury Disorder.

My approach is a strength based approach. I believe it is vital to work with the parents and well as work individually w the child or teen to make desired change. The child’s most important person in their life is usually the parent and the parent is most involved and is the eyes and ears of hot is going on in your child’s life.

I do not label children and teens. In my opinion labeling a child can create a huge stigma of : disability, dysfunction, and disease. The reality is your child is  whole and may have areas that need improvement but he is not a label and he is much more than a diagnosis. Many youth will use their diagnosis as a reason not to excel or get better in life and this is why I have never labeled a child in almost 20 years of working with youth.

My approach is helping a child overcome issues, stress, challenges etc that are impacting him or her and the family. I believe we should focus on how we can : get homework done, How we can be respectful, how we can honor our Mom and dad, how we can exercise, How we can excel in school, how we can find a balance in our lives.  I believe it is important to look at a child’s sleep patters, eating habits, exercise, school, social patters, self esteem, and other habits and find a balance in your child’s life.

Many Child psychiatrists believe that children suffer from biological and genetic diseases that cause millions of youth to be mentally distressed and potentially violent. Many child psychiatrists reject that childhood trauma, poor parenting, neglect, and other social and environmental factors could lie at the root of the suffering displayed by 70 million youth in America.

One NIMH health expert stated that Columbine Type shootings and children with mental health issues are genetic. The expert did not state a word about: divorce, absentee parents, drug and alcohol abuse by parents, sexual abuse, trauma, broken love relationships, grief, loss, change,

There is inescapable evidence that trauma, abuse, neglect, loss of a relationship and more cause severe emotional disturbances that can last a lifetime, especially when inflicted on children and teens.

Millions of children are rejected from our military for taking mind altering medications : antidepressants, ADHD medications and more. Many parents are not informed of this information and seek a fix that does not look at the root of a child or teenagers pain.

Dr. Breggin a child psychiatrist states biopsychiatric treatments routinely given children do not really help them. The psychiatric drugs simply subdue children’s signs of suffering. Suppressing our children’s emotional signals with toxic agents not only harms them, it delays our recognition of the larger environmental stressors in the family, school, and community. When we treat children with drugs, we harm them as individuals by suppressing them and we harm the community by overlooking larger sources of the roots of the problems.

Creating relationships with all of our children is the key to not only preventing violence but also giving children happier lives. We need to be developing these relationships on a daily basis long before they start giving us signals of impending emotional imbalance and breakdowns.

Counseling Anxiety Phoenix, Cave Creek Arizona

Saturday, April 14th, 2018

There are many components that can feed anxiety disorders. There may be a genetic component that has been passed down from parents or grandparents or further down the lone in the DNA pool. There are also environmental issues that can contribute to anxiety and stress: divorce, high conflict , abuse, Emotional abuse, verbal abuse, Sexual abuse, Financial issues, Learning disabilities, Medical health issues, Mental health disorders, bullying, past trauma, social issues, self esteem issues, social and interpersonal issues, emotional and behavioral issues can feed anxiety and stress.


Child Counseling Obesity weight Phoenix Arizona Scottsdale Arizona

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017


Obesity is sky rocketing and is a huge problem among children and teenagers as well as a financial burden on our health care costs and system. The cost to our country for obesity among children , adolescents and adults is 150 billion dollars a year. Wow! It costs the Pentagon over a Billion dollars in added health care costs for obese troops and families.

In a recent extensive survey over 70 percent of all children and adolescents were not fit enough to meet the minimal requirements for military service due to being overweight or obesity, poor choices like drug use or abuse etc.

Diabetes and children that are overweight is sky rocketing in the USA. Children and teens in many states are close to 40 percent obese in America.

Teaching children and teens to learn how to deal with : stress, abuse, trauma,anxiety, depression, Bipolar Disorders, relationship and family issues, grief and loss is vital for a healthy mind and body. If a child is not coping with above issues stress will ooze into unhealthy activities like over eating and diet is not the solution it is how to cope with pain and stress at past trauma. teaches children about healthy life choices and creating balance : physically, mentally, and in all areas of ones life.

Teen Depression, Anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and obesity is on the rise! Grades are heading SOUTH.

What is creating the above rise in child and teen mental health issues?

Many experts believe it is the rise of the smartphone and social media applications as well as internet use.

In psychology it is well know that spending time with people face to face is a huge predictor for psychological well being.

One of the best measure to prevent mental illness is to spend time face to face with people that are loving and supporting.


The addictive nature of the technology is throwing children and teens out of balance. Children and adolescents are out of balance in spending time with family and loved ones . Youth are addicted to their: video games, smartphones, you tube, instagram, and snapchat. Children and teens are drunk on their technology and out of balance.


Children and teens are not spending enough time exercising. Exercise is vital for physical well being and mental well being. Without 24-7 technology your child is more likely to ride a bike or walk or join a team or individual sport. Schools often are not providing adequate PE or exercise in fact many schools do not even offer exercise at all.


Over thirty percent of children and teenagers are overweight and or obese. Diabetes and many other physical health issues are connected to this inactivity.


Research shows that blue light emitted from screens damage your child’s sleep. We also know that poor sleep is connected to poor performance as well as mood and behavioral issues in your child and adolescent teenager.


Many children and teens are performing well below their ability either failing classes or obtaining D’s when they have the ability to receive higher grades. The lack of motivation is connected to using smartphones, and social media , and texting, and internet usage. Children and teens are spending hours and hours entertaining themselves on technology however are not taking the time to do homework or study for tests. Further teens are up in bed receiving and sending texts and photos and videos till 3am etc. This behavior impacts sleep and performance at a very high level.


Children and teen motivation to do activities with family is down. Youth are not motivated to do chores at home when they can immerse themselves in : Netflix, video games, social media, you tube, instagram, snapchat and more.


Parents must set limits on these devices and make it a priority in order to modify behaviors. Teaching children work comes before play is an important lesson for life skills. Teaching children to honor and respect their parents is vital before they are spoiled and entitled with electronic gadgets.


It is possible to modify your child’s behavior. I have worked with parents with children that have: learning disabilities, autism, oppositional defiance, downs syndrome and many other disorders. Obtaining support to help you from a professional is a sign of power and strength.




Clinical research has suggested that more than half of all treatment-seeking Bipolar Disorder patients are overweight or obese.

Obesity is prevalent in patients with BD and associated with increased medical morbidity. There is on on compelling need to better understand the complex nature of events that lead to obesity.

Evidence documents biological, psychological, and sociodemographic variables.

The above info is from any article in the journal of clinical psychiatry called Obesity in Patients with Bipolar Disorder.




Caloric restrictions greatly reduces the risk of age-related diseases and even postpones death that is why this article is important to society. This alone is not enough for a healthy child!


Parents can take an active roll by purchasing healthy foods at the home.

There is no way to shelter children from sugar or unhealthy foods however limiting it and setting healthy boundaries is key to your child eating a nutritional diet and avoiding severe health problems later on in life . has expertise in counseling children and teens that are out of balance and overweight .


David Abrams MAPC , LPC has expertise working with relationships, family , children , and teens in Phoenix, Scottsdale , Arcadia, paradise valley Arizona, Tempe and Ahwatukee





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adolescent counseling mental health Phoenix, Arizona

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017


Children and teens who have mental health services and support are less likely to suffer from depression than those who have similar challenges and do not seek support.


A study published in a Psychiatry journal recently stated fourteen year youth had a greater decrease in depressive symptoms than those who did not receive support in counseling or mental health services.


By reducing the levels of depressive symptoms in teens it is shown that adolescents have significant improvements and are less likely to develop depressive illness later in life.



This study by the Lancet Psychiatry journal shows that early intervention with counseling and other mental health services that teens can see dramatic improvements.


Depression is on the rise in the USA among children and adolescents is one of the highest reasons for death among youth in THE USA; AMERICA. This includes Phoenix Arizona, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Arcadia, Biltmore, and Ahwatukee, Arizona. It has been on the rise for a very long time.

Depression in children and teens is on the rise and depression is the number one cause of disability in the world. The World Health Org states that by 2020 Depression will be the second largest cause of suffering throughout the globe.

There are many studies connecting low cholesterol world wide with the risk of developing depression.

Experts world wide have a variety of reasons and research that supports many rationales behind depression. Many experts believe it has to do with hormones and some believe it is hereditary. It is carried in the genetic code and it is important to look at a family’s history and gene pool to see potential links to depression and bipolar disorders.

Brain inflammation and gut inflammation have links to depression; gluten has been a focal point. Experts believe society and Big Pharma spend all their time focusing on symptoms and there is limited time focusing on prevention. Experts in medicine have made a case for linking gluten sensitivity from many brain disorders like depression and Bipolar disorder. It has also made the link to ADHD, Schzophrenia and epilepsy.

A lack of certain Vitamins like Vitamin D has been connected to increased risk of diseases like depression, bipolar, and many mood disorders. Vitamin D deficiency is not just about an increase in weak bones it is associated with one’s risk for depression!

Above is just one reason why a depressed mood is present in your child, adolescent or an adult. There are many other reasons like sleep habits and diet and negative cognitions, low self esteem, judgmental thoughts, negative thoughts, lack of exercise, trauma, stressors in life from family to work to school to relationships. looks at all aspects of a child’s life: social, family, sleep, diet, exercise, friendships, school, activities, past trauma, family dynamics and more to help each unique child find balance and success in their life. works with the child as well as with the parents to provide a team approach to helping your child. David Abrams has worked with children, teens and adults with depression and bipolar disorders for over 15 years. He uses a wide array of strategies to address the roots of depression to help manage mood and create health and balance in your child or the family.


Mental illness often starts in childhood. When child or teen mental health issues go untreated it can be a life long problem and ruin lives

Child conduct, Behavioral Disorders, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

In 2010 a very large study was done on children and teens with mental health disorders. The study states that 20 percent of children and adolescents have a mental health disorder. Some of the most common mental health disorders included: ADHD, ADD, Behavioral disorders, Conduct disorders , anxiety, depression, substance use, Autism spectrum disorders, Aspergers, Tourette syndrome and more.

Between 2007 and 2010 alone mental health inpatient services increased 25 percent. Hospitalization for mood disorders in youth has increased over 79 percent in the same time period. Psychotropic medications increased at a very high level as well.

There are many components that can increase mental health disorders in children. There is a biological component however environmental components play a huge role. Death of a loved one or pet can cause great trauma and anxiety to a child. Children must address their emotional needs during times of a loss. A parent that withdraws emotionally can have a significant impact on a child. The loss may be due to; marital issues, unemployment , alcohol or substance use, health issues, and more.

Parents usually hope to shield children from conflicts involved in a marriage. Hostility , rage and anger is very destructive to children and  can rarely be hidden even though that is a parents true desire. Children very often feel: hopeless, helpless, and alone. Children need to feel secure and safe in this process and medication does not do so. Children that see physical and verbal violence often feel: helpless, humiliated, and terrified.

Children can be hurt with subtle changes in parenting. Contradictory parenting patterns, confusing parenting adversely will affect a child and adolescent.Children need an environment they can understand and that they can predict. An unpredictable environment makes them feel they can not do anything right. Self esteem, focus, and confidence are impaired and can develop hopeless responses to stressors.

Older children often can victimize younger sibling children. This can be traumatic and terrify children.

Changing schools can be extremely difficult and create social issues, anxiety, depressed mood, and more. Change is very hard for children and teenagers.

Major changes in family structure: births, remarriage, adoptions, blended families can create resentment, anger,anxiety, isolation and withdrawal fro children.

The cost of child mental health care costed over 250 Billion dollars in 2006. This included juvenile services, special education services, economic loss due to loss of productivity.  The great news is that their are tools out there to help your child and teen create: health, balance and success through coaching, counseling,a nd therapy ( individual and family counseling and therapy). Lifeworksaz has a great deal of experience with children in: Scottsdale, Arizona, tempe Arizona, Chandler Arizona, Ahwatukee Arizona, Glendale Arizona, Paradise Valley Arizona, Phoenix Arizona and more.

Teen children adolescent cheating?

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Fighting test cheating is big business with the advances in technology . There are concerns such as wirelessly transmitting questions outside of an exam and hacking into the computer based tests .

Over 1.8 million children took the ACT a national college placement exam taken by high school students . The test will be computer based starting in 2015.

Test takers have used advanced technology to download questions or capture their images with digital cameras or other devices while taking a test and then they transmit them wirelessly outside of a testing room. These questions can end up for sale on various web sites.

Major testing companies like CTB/Mcgrawhill are developing security software to sell to schools and licensure boards to protect them from cheating .

Computer based exams are expanding rapidly . We are using technology for a large majority of life activities and this is why tests are becoming more computer based as well .

Wireless technology where students that are cheating have reached people outside of the classroom during a test has been a threat to test taking .

An Individual recently used a tiny video camera in his glasses to transmit questions on a drivers test to a person outside the test room who then was able to relay the correct answers for the test via a small earpiece .

Many educators in high schools prefer pencil and paper testing and are opposed to computerized tests due to : hacking , and the ability to cheat through technology .

Teaching children to be honest is important and that shortcuts will not help them in the long run . Cheating does not pay !

Lifeworks Az works with children , teens and families to create health and success in life . Contact to set up an appointment .

Teen in Tempe, Arizona arrested for explosive device

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

A Tempe Arizona high school student was arrested for possessing allegedly a improvised explosive device . The device was not big however police state it could cause serious damage .

A house keeper discovered several explosives in the home while cleaning the house . Authorities are not sure of how these explosives were intended as in was there a plan to use them ? Why did the student have them ?

Bomb technicians defused the explosive device and it was an IED that was active and could cause serious damage .

Gunpowder and two more bombs as well as another improvised explosive device was found in the home .

The parents were not aware that their son age 18 had these devices in their home .

It is difficult for parents to know exactly what is being hidden in a child’s room or in the home . It is important for parents to be open with their children and let them know what is safe and acceptable in the home and what is not safe. Also parents must set limits and communicate boundaries as well as consequences for bringing illegal substances. ( drugs , weapons , stolen property ) anything that is illegal , dangerous ,and not healthy.

In today’s age of technology 24/7 it is important that parents monitor friends, activities, and that they have access to technology to prevent potential dangerous , illegal, and unhealthy choices for their children .

Being aware of what your child is doing after school is vital . What type of friends is he or she associating with? Have you net the parents ? Are the children supervised when away from the home ? Is your child isolated ? Is your child sad? Is your child angry? Is your child’s grades suffering ? Is your child zoned out on video games and Internet and tv? Is your child involved in productive activities ?Are they using drugs, marijuana, or alcohol ? Is your teen doing homework daily ? Is your teen or child involved in sports , music, a club,
positive activities ? Is your child spending quality time one on one with parents? Do you spend time one on one listening to your child without solving the problem or cutting them off before they tell you their thoughts and express their feelings ? Does your child or teen have balance ? Enough sleep? Enough healthy foods ?

It is best to be safe and aware.

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