The Adolescent Brain

Adolescence is a time of change for everyone. Adolescents are experiencing biological changes (think puberty), emotional changes (such as dealing with hormones), and often times, multiple environmental changes (transitioning schools and/or changes in friendships). During this period, adolescents are trying to further develop their sense of self. They are seeking autonomy from parents, discovering their interests, and possibly planning their futures.

Meanwhile, parents who have adolescent children are going through their own changes. Parents may be dealing with their own emotional changes and environmental changes with their adolescent child. Parents may need to alter their parenting styles to accommodate their child’s growing independence, parents may suddenly have to manage their own stress and how they react to their child’s changes, and/or parents may be finding a balance to be supportive and encouraging of their child (i.e. helping their child do his/her homework) while also letting a child experience consequences (i.e. failing a test because the child did not study).

Just as adolescents are going through many changes, parents are too.

In the following TED talk, cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jane Blakemore discusses the biological changes that occur during the process of adolescence in the human brain. She explains why there can be a disconnect between parents and their children during this critical developmental period, but more importantly, she discusses how important it is developmentally for children to experience these biological changes at this particular time.

For adolescents, remember, this period is only temporary. At times it may be uncomfortable, but the process is allowing your brain to develop new skills that will help you to function as an adult.

For parents, remember, this period is only temporary. At times it may be frustrating, but the process is allowing your child to develop new skills that will help him or her function as an adult.

During this period adolescents may experience problematic symptoms such as impulsivity, hormone imbalances, or symptoms associated with depression or anxiety. If you are interested in how neurofeedback may help alleviate these symptoms, contact a neurofeedback technician to see if neurofeedback is right for you.