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Adolescent Psychology

Forces Affecting Our Youth

The teenage years can be an emotional assault course for all concerned. A gulf can grow between parents and their children during adolescence. Why do so many of us find it so hard? It’s a time of rapid physical development and deep emotional changes. These are exciting, but can also be confusing and uncomfortable for child and parent alike.

In the midst of these developmental changes, adolescents experience pressures from many areas. There is the stress to maintain high academic achievement and extracurricular activities, especially with the added incentive to pursue post-secondary education after high school. They also face social pressure. For some, the pursuit to fit in with one’s peers can be severely damaging in the face of bullying and harassment. Many teens feel that the problems they face will never go away, as they have not yet developed adult-level perspectives which might enable them to process their issues in healthier ways. There are also some adolescents who come from unstable or abusive homes whose environmental circumstances cause them even further stress.

Although most individuals transition from childhood to adulthood without significant problems, there is an increasing amount of youth who face mental health concerns that require help and attention. By age 25, approximately 20% of Canadians will have developed a mental illness. As a psychology clinic, we know that it’s imperative to reduce the number of youth who are not receiving enough support needed to prepare for adulthood. Our goal is to provide the youth in our surrounding area the necessary help they need.

Teens today are living in a time where mental health awareness is higher than it ever has been before. Due to a decrease in the stigma surrounding psychological illness, they are more likely to reach out for help through their friends, social media, school counselors, or families. When teenagers feel that they are heard and understood at home, they are more likely to seek parental support as they undergo challenges. This trend is encouraging because mental illness treated early in life is generally more manageable to overcome than for adults that have waited a longer time to get help.

Disorders and problems most typical for this age group are:

  • Anxiety
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Self-Harm
  • Substance Abuse
  • Suicide

At Our Clinic

We offer psychological and counselling services to youth-aged clients and their families. We encourage those that feel they need help to reach out for support, even if the goal is to simply talk to someone they can trust. If you are a teenager and feel that therapy is right for you, tell a parent or caregiver so that they can refer you to our services. Self-referral is an option for individuals who are 18 and older. If financial concerns are an issue, see our section on Low-Fee Services.

For Parents, we offer an Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) two-day workshop. This program is for parents and/or caregivers of children, teens, and young adults of all ages with intense emotional and behavioural difficulties, or mental health challenges. This hands-on group provides practical skills for individuals to increase the ability to coach their child through difficult life situations, re-build parent-child bonds, and to gain more confidence in their parenting roles.


This page has been adapted from the following websites. For both parents and teens, these pages are helpful resources. Click below to go straight to their information articles about adolescent well-being and mental health.

The Mental Commission

Canadian Mental Health Association

American Psychological Association

American Academy of Pediatrics

Oshawa Psychological & Counselling Services serving Oshawa and surrounding communities in Durham Region including Ajax, Whitby, Brooklin, and Courtice.
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