The Teenage Brain – by Vanessa Brown – Counsellor for teens and young adults
Modern life can be tough for young people. At the moment I am really fascinated by recent research into the teenage brain, since this helps me to understand what’s going on for them. This new research focuses on the neurological development of adolescents, and investigates the impact of things such as drugs, sleep, stress sleep and multitasking. It’s causing a revolution in our understanding of the teenagers’ world, since it shows us that many of the things we worry about for young people such as mood swings, increased emotionality and risk taking, are a completely normal part of teenagers’ brain development.
As a counsellor, I take particular note of the fact that emotionally stressful situations in adolescence can have permanent effects on mental health, and may lead to higher risk for certain neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression.
I recommend the book “The Teenage Brain” by Dr Frances Jensen. This accessible account provides surprising insights and practical advice for adults and teenagers.
Youtube has some great stuff on it too! See “Insight into the Teenage Brain by Adriana Galvan at TEDxYouth@Caltech”. (If you search ‘The Teenage Brain’ on Youtube clips by Dan Siegel and Sarah-Jayne Blakemore are also good.)