Adolescent Outpatient Services

In 2010, Merikangas and colleagues published a prevalence study of mental disorders in adolescents in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Using the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement NCS-A data gathered on U.S. adolescents between 2001 to 2004, the authors found that one in every four to five youth ages 13-18 met criteria for a mental health disorder. Anxiety disorders were the most common (31.9%) as well as beginning earliest (age 6) compared to other disorders. Behavior disorders (19.1%) was the second most common, with age of onset of 11 years. Mood disorders (e.g., depression) was third most common (14.3%) with age of onset of 13 years, and substance use disorders (11.4%) was the fourth most common with age of onset of 15 years. 

More recently, in 2018, Bitsko and colleagues analyzed the National Survey of Children’s Health data from 2003, 2007, and 2011-2012, allowing them to compare prevalence rates over time from a national sample of ages 6 - 17. They found that between 2007 and 2012, there was a 19% increase of anxiety disorders for this age group, whereas rates of depression did not change significantly within the same timeframe, indicating a sharp increase in anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Overall, they concluded that over 1 in 20 children between the ages of 6 and 17 had a current diagnosis of anxiety or depression in 2011-2012, and Ghandour and colleagues (2019) found that the presence of anxiety and depression increased with age, as pictured in the chart on this page.

Experts agree that early intervention and prevention is key for reducing the functional impact of anxiety and depression on children and adolescents, as well as reducing parenting aggravation and family conflict. Despite the recommendation for early intervention, about 20-40% of children with anxiety or depression surveyed in 2016 did not receive treatment (Ghandour et al., 2019). It is because of this need that Advanced Therapeutic Solutions for Anxiety aims to increase awareness, education, and treatment for this population. We do so by incorporating the adolescent’s ecosystem in treatment, aiming to address home, school, and community in the adolescent’s treatment plan.

At ATSA, you can expect to be included in your pre-teen/teen’s treatment since we know from research that not only is early intervention key, but parent education and involvement is also key to healthy outcomes in adolescents Outpatient treatment begins with an intake session with parent(s) only so that we can gain a full history and review of systems before meeting with your teen. Next is our adolescent baseline assessment where we gather more information from your teen, using age-appropriate models. The third session is with parent(s) only to discuss the results (including diagnoses and rule-outs), as well as a proposed treatment plan. In these first three sessions, we provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision on whether or not to pursue treatment at ATSA. Parents have given us feedback that our intake process is thorough and helpful, and beyond what they have experienced in other clinics. We are very intentional in our process with the aim of bringing you hope and solutions. 

What We Treat

As you read through the links below, you will see an outline of how treatment sessions may be laid out for specific conditions. These are provided as examples so that you can see our overall process, which is informed by evidence-based treatment research. 

Anxiety    Depression     Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)     Test Anxiety    Adjustment Issues     ADHD     Selective Mutism     Separation Anxiety Disorder     Generalized Anxiety Disorder     Agoraphobia     Panic Disorder     COVID-19 Anxiety     Specific Phobia     Behavioral/Conduct Problems

We hope this information helps you understand the importance of early intervention. Still have questions? Call our Intake Coordinator at 630-230-6505. We are here to help!

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National Survey of Children's Health Data

Evidence-Based Treatments

You may have noticed that when you take your teen to the pediatrician, your teen is asked to fill out a brief questionnaire. That's because your teens pediatrician is implementing the recommendation for pediatricians to screen for mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. This is a great first step to identify those at risk for anxiety and mood disorders, but what happens when an adolescent is flagged as at-risk? Ideally, your teens pediatrician will refer you to a mental health therapist who uses evidence-based treatments. However, how can they know for sure that the therapist is adequately trained and competently delivering evidence-based treatments? At ATSA, our therapists not only have masters or doctorate degrees, but they also have advanced training and certifications in evidence-based treatments to treat anxiety disorders and related conditions. Click below to learn more about our evidence-based treatments.

Evidence-based treatments at ATSA

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