At Eckert Centre it is our goal to assist each teen in finding and expressing their maximum potential and strengths as well as working through the barriers to expressing their true self, finding peace, joy, and self-acceptance.
Today's teenagers are under different stress than the teens of prior generations. Teens are exposed to peer pressure and social media in addition to the stress that comes with discovering who they want to become in the future. In addition, they have a larger workload at school and need to take a variety of significant tests every year. They may also worry about finding the right career, getting into university, finding a good friend or a romantic partner. With all of the stresses of our modern world, many teens can benefit from counseling as they navigate these challenges.
Ana Gomez, a well-known psychotherapist, does a good job explaining how therapy can help teens make sense of their past so they can live fully in the present.
“When we have bad or negative events in our lives like abuse, bullying, divorce, accidents, losses and death of a loved one, violence in the home among others, the brain creates ‘files’ or “apps” that contain all the feelings, thoughts, and body sensations connected to this event. When we have events that are not ‘too bad’, the brain has the capacity to work on these files/apps before storing them and locking them up as memories. What is stored has been sorted out and organized so the negative stuff has been let go, allowing us to keep the good stuff and learn from this experience. However, when the event is really bad or has happened several times, these files/apps get overloaded and the brain can’t do the work of sorting things out and putting all the pieces of the event together. As a result, these files/apps are all messy, in pieces that are not put together and organized by the brain. Different life events we call triggers can open up these files/apps or “click” on them. A “click” may be a classmate making fun of us, being ignored, not getting what we are asking for, parents asking us to clean up our room and so on. When these “clicks” open up the files/apps, we start to have the negative feelings, thoughts, and body reactions we had when the bad stuff happened. EMDR helps the brain organize these files and put all the pieces together. When the files/apps are finally organized, the “clicks” of everyday life won’t have the power to make us feel angry, sad or shameful or to think that we are not worthy or that we are not enough or to make us yell, become aggressive or do things we regret later. EMDR is not a “magic” cure. It takes some work, but it is sooo worth it because recovering our ability to feel good is worth all of our efforts.”
(This is an excerpt from Ana’s book: EMDR Therapy and Adjunct Approaches with Children: Complex Trauma, Attachment and Dissociation)