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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How to help a severely depressed teenager with avoidant personality?

    My teenager has extreme and chronic depression and anxiety and has been to three psychologist, but didn't connect well or wasn't taken seriously by them. She finds it difficult now to open up or trust enough to talk to a new person.
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  • I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about … View Profile

    It's important that your teen feels she is able to connect well with her psychologist, and so probably important to 'shop around' until she finds someone she feels comfortable with. What may also be important is that she is encouraged to hang in there and not avoid getting the help she needs. If you haven't already done so, make sure you find someone who has a specialty in working with children and adolescents, and who includes parents as partners in treatment (while of course respecting your daughter's need for confidentiality). It will also be important for you as her parent to get support. It is very difficult caring for someone with anxiety and depression. Support for you may include strategies to help you help your daughter and encourage her to not just seek treatment, but to hang in there - the symptoms of anxiety and depression may make it harder for your daughter to connect and open up to a psychologist. The following link may be a useful starting point http://headspace.org.au/family/All the best.

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