During adolescence, there are many transitions taking place including psychological, neurological and emotional changes.
For an adolescent beginning high school, there is likely to be apprehension about the unfamiliar environment and the changes to social interactions. Academic demands and expectations also increase in high school. This can result in several behavioural changes at home, including greater fatigue, irritation and heightened emotions.
At Diverse Minds, we aim to identify the specific aspects of the classroom that are obstructing learning. These may include difficulties with verbal instructions, working in a group, transitioning between tasks, or maintaining concentration. In isolating the specific issues, our psychologists work alongside their client in enhancing academic skills such as organisation and time management. School visits can also be arranged to observe the adolescent in the school environment and meet with teaching staff and counsellors.
Adolescents will also experience physical, cognitive, social and moral developments. These changes are experienced at different times for each individual. During puberty, adolescents will have physical growth spurts, while their brain will be undergoing a period of rapid development. Adolescents increase their abstract thinking abilities, whereby they are able to engage in reflective thinking about the future, past and present, as well as question the perspectives of others. They can become overly self-aware of judgement from others, which can lead to a fixation on physical appearance and in the worst cases, eating disorders.
The psychologists at Diverse Minds are specialised in working with the challenges that adolescents face and work with both the client and family to reduce the anxiety associated with social transitions.
Leaving high school will present several challenges, as the anticipation of entering the “wider world” can often be overwhelming and terrifying for any adolescent. Towards the end of high school there can be pressure to make decisions and set goals for one’s career. This is not an easy task for an individual who is dealing with the stress and anxiety associated with the Higher School Certificate. It is important that the adolescent feels nurtured and supported when transitioning out of high school, as they will no longer have the structure and routine provided by school. Ensuring that skills such as: time management and organisation, following instructions, and adapting to change, are in place will assist adolescents in their transition into employment or further studies.