Free Parent Workshop! Current Drug Trends affecting our Kids

Topic: Current Drug Trends affecting our Kids
Speaker: Jason Klarer, LAC, Licensed Associate Counselor

-What are some common drugs your kids might be exposed to?
-Is Marijuana really harmless?
-How could you tell if there is a drug problem with your kid?

Jason is a licensed counselor who specializes in substance abuse issues, mood disorders, co-occurring disorders (dual diagnosis), and faith based counseling. He received his Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northern Arizona University and went on to work for the Phoenix Rescue Mission- treating individuals who struggle with addiction and poverty. Jason has significant knowledge and experience of recovery and formerly oversaw the various recovery ministries of Vineyard Church North Phoenix. Jason uses a Person Centered Theory approach which incorporates CBT, Mindfulness, and Motivational Interviewing. When not working, Jason enjoys playing basketball with his son, reading, and serving the homeless population.

Substance Abuse IOP For Teens in Phoenix

The Substance Abuse IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) at Doorways is a group therapy program for teens ages 13-17 who are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse.  The program will take place at our teen counseling clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. 

IOP may be recommended for those who do not need medically-supervised detox. IOP can also enable people in recovery to continue their recovery therapies following successful detox, on a part-time yet intensive schedule, designed to accommodate school and family life. 

In the Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Program, you receive services primarily through group therapy. Groups are small and generally do not exceed 10 people, allowing for a safe and supportive environment.

Doorways has insurance contracts with Aetna, BCBS, Cigna and United Behavioral Healthcare for our IOP services. Please contact your insurance provider for coverage limits.  

Call us at 602-997-2880 or email for more information.  This IOP is set to begin in late-February, 2019.

Free Parent Workshop – Self-Esteem, Social Media & Teenagers

February’s Doorways Parenting Workshop will be focusing on Self-Esteem and your teenagers.  We will explore the current effects social media is having on our kids.  How does what they watch, subscribe to and give hours to affect their precious self-esteem? And what can we, as parents, do to encourage a true and right perspective on their self-perception and worth?
Join us!
Monday, February 4th from 5:30pm-6:30pm at Doorways for this Free workshop!

Our parenting workshops are FREE, informative, lively and will leave you knowing you are not alone in this journey of raising teenagers.

This workshop will be led by:

Jason Ellis, MA-Pastoral Services
Behavioral Health Paraprofessional

Jason has spent the last 30 years in youth ministry in Arizona and Oregon. He has a heart for young people and families and longs to see them living life to the fullest. He spends time in the outdoors as often as possible, has a recent growing love of pickleball and makes amazing pizza in his wood fired pizza oven at home.

Jason is married, has 3 kids and is currently enrolled in the MFT program at the Phoenix extension of the Fuller campus. Jason has spent the last three decades working with teenagers and raising three of his own.

The workshop is free, but seats are limited.

Text 602-999-8389 to confirm your attendance.

How to Deal with Prescription Drug Abuse in Young Adults

How to deal with prescription drug abuse in young adults

The dangers of taking hard drugs like heroin and cocaine have been highlighted over the years. Recently, the abuse of prescription drugs appears to be on the rise in America’s young population.

This may be due to a popular misconception that prescription drugs are less harmful than street drugs. However, studies show that over-the-counter medications can be equally addictive and could lead to fatalities if they are not used according to doctor’s direction.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), people aged 18 to 25 are the top abusers of prescription drugs in the US. Data from the NIH shows that up to 1,700 young adults died from the abuse of prescription drugs in the US in 2014.

The number of people in this age range who die from an overdose and other forms of prescription drug abuse yearly has spiked since 1999.

Types of Prescription Drug Abuse

There are three main categories of prescription drugs that are widely abused:

1. Depressants: These types of drugs, which include sleeping pills and barbiturates, have varied effects on patients including drowsiness, reducing anxiety, lowering blood pressure and more. Some examples of depressants that are abused include Xanax, valium, amytal, phenobarbital, Ambien, sonata, and more.

2. Medications Containing Opioids and Morphine: Drugs which contain opioids and morphine are arguably the most abused today. Currently, the US is dealing with what has been described as an opioid epidemic.

As many as 19,354 people died in 2016 due to abuse of opioids. These drugs are usually prescribed for pain relief. Some examples of opioid and morphine-derived medicines that are widely abused include medications that contain codeine, Roxane, methadone, Duragesic, Vicodin, oxytocin, Darvon, and many others.

3. Central Nervous System Stimulants: As you can probably guess from the name of this category, stimulants are drugs used to induce increase energy and alertness in patients. Some stimulant drugs that are abused include Adderall, concerta, biphetamine, Dexedrine, Ritalin, and more.

How Prescription Drugs are Abused

The abuse involves using the prescription drug for non-medical purposes or failing to use it in the way prescribed by the doctor. Some people swallow multiple tablets of these drugs, some inject them, some smoke them, and some even snort them.

Why Prescription Drugs are Abused

There are several reasons why people abuse prescription drugs. Some of the reasons are:

  1. Peer Pressure: The pressure to feel accepted by peers and to experiment is one of the top reasons why young adults abuse prescription drugs.
  2. To Get High: Many people also tend to abuse prescription drugs in the quest to get high.
  3. To Increase Alertness: Some young adults abuse prescription drugs to stay alert when they want to study or perform something taxing.
  4. To Relax: Another reason why people abuse prescription drugs is to relax. This is especially true for people who have insomnia or similar conditions.
  5. Addiction: Sometimes, people who are addicted to hard, street drugs turn to prescription drugs to get their fix.

Dangers of Abusing Prescription Drugs

There are many dangers of abusing prescription drugs.

1. Physical Dependence and Addiction: This is one of the top consequences of abusing drugs. People can quickly develop a craving for the stimulation that prescription drugs provide. This often leads to physical dependence and addiction.

2. Risky Behavior: People who abuse prescription drugs tend to engage in risky behavior which can result in accidents or imprisonment.

3. Crime: Drug abuse and crime are closely linked. People who abuse prescription drugs are likely to commit crimes.

4. Use of Illegal Drugs: Abusing prescription drugs can lead people to start abusing street drugs.

5. Unstable Relationships: Another consequence of abusing prescription drugs is troubled relationships. People around drug abusers tend to have a hard time coming to terms with their poor choices as well as their mood swings and this often damages their relationship.

Doorways Can Help You Deal with Prescription Drug Abuse

If you are abusing prescription drugs or you have a friend or relative who is, Doorways can help. We have a team of dedicated staff who help every step of the way by providing a safe and supportive environment.

Our approach involves helping patients identify the things that made them start abusing prescription drugs and offer counseling to enable them to overcome these issues. Give us a call now at 602-997-2880.

DBT Can Help Restore Balance for Adolescents Struggling With Disorders and Addictions

DBT can help restore balance for adolescents struggling with Disorders and addictions

Social pressures, exposure to a wider range of emotions and situations, and the challenges of living in a highly connected world can affect adolescents in many ways.

Some adolescents face fewer challenges in their growing years, especially if they have a strong support system.

Others face more challenging situations and can develop mental or physical disorders such as depression, anxiety issues, eating disorders, or addictions.

If your child is struggling or is facing specific individual behavioral challenges, it is only natural that you would want to find ways help them.

If they open up to you, fantastic. But if the lines of communication have gone quiet, dialectical behavior therapy (or DBT) might be the best option for helping your troubled teen.

What is DBT Therapy and How Can It Help My Child?

DBT offers a highly structured approach to help adolescents deal with the pressures and challenges of their growing years.

The therapy is a potent combination of individual cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, assertiveness training, and the four components of DBT which include mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

In adolescents, the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which controls personality, behavior, and problem-solving ability, is still developing. Because of this, adolescents don’t always consider the outcomes of their behavior and actions.

They are more vulnerable to intense emotions. And because they haven’t yet developed a clear sense of self, this impacts their problem-solving and decision-making abilities, especially in situations where emotions run high.

Adolescents also tend to be more impulsive and conflicted in their interpersonal relationships. This can leave them confused and unsure about how they should act, talk, or behave in a difficult situation. Often, it is this lack of clarity which drives them towards reckless behavior.

This is where DBT can prove to be highly effective – it helps teens and young adults understand their emotions, develop skills to better manage their emotions, and make specific behavioral changes which can help improve their lives.

Adolescent Issues Treated Using DBT

DBT is a highly effective program for dealing with emotional instability and extreme behavior. The therapy is especially effective in treating teens and young adults who are prone to self-harm and suicidal tendencies.

Some of the common disorders in teens and young adults which can be treated with DBT include the following:

  • Addictions and substance abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Disruptive behavior disorder
  • Depression

DBT uses both individual therapy and group therapy to treat adolescents with multiple problems.

So, while group sessions provide the required skills and space for overcoming specific challenges, individual sessions focus on personal issues and difficulties (emotional distress, addictions, or suicidal tendencies) thereby ensuring the adolescent makes parallel progress in both areas.

Awesome Attributes

DBT can help teens and young adults face the challenges of gaining more control over their emotions while also helping them to acquire the skills they need to navigate through difficult situations.

It can also help adolescents who, because of mental health disorders, may feel alienated from family and friends. 

DBT Therapy at Doorways

Our DBT program focuses on a holistic therapeutic approach to help participants overcome the difficulties and challenges in their lives. We understand the degree of distress can be different for everyone.

At Doorways we use a multi-pronged program which includes:

  • individual cognitive behavioral therapy techniques,
  • group sessions,
  • DBT components,
  • and assertiveness training.

All these components work together to help teens and young adults make necessary behavioral changes in their lives.

If your child or someone close to you is struggling with an addiction, or any kind of mental disorder, please connect with us at Doorways. We can help in identifying the underlying cause for the condition and provide professional counseling and help. You can also give us a call at 602-997-2880.

Academic Pressure Among Adolescents:

How Can I Help My High Schooler?

Academic pressure among adolescents. How can I help my high schooler?

Every parent wants their teenager to succeed in school. You’ve no doubt made a lot of sacrifices to ensure they have access to a solid education.

But with each passing year, academic pressures increase – more homework, growing difficulty of assignments, assessments are stricter and more time-bound.

There is greater pressure on teens to not only perform well, but to do so consistently. After all, higher education possibilities depend on how well a student performs in high school.

In addition to academic pressure, there is the added pressure of after-school activities, such as sports or clubs, or an after-school job. These are often seen as ways to help students gain entrance to universities or even win a scholarship.

Performing consistently well under pressure in all these areas can take a toll on your teen’s mental and physical health. If you feel they are buckling under pressure, then it is time to step in and help.

The Extreme Stress of Falling Grades

Falling grades can lead to a lot of stress among high schoolers and their parents. The natural tendency of most parents is to push the student to work harder.

However, if your teen is falling behind on homework or assignments, and it’s affecting their grades, then it could be due to poor prioritization of their academic and non-academic pursuits.

It could also be because they are struggling with certain concepts or subjects. In these circumstances, pressuring your teen to continue to perform well can be extremely stressful.

Moreover, some parents over-manage their high schooler’s lives. While the intentions might be well-placed, it can lead to your child buckling under the pressure to please you.

In some instances these falling grades can lead to depression or other mental health conditions such as anxiety. Students may become vulnerable to substance abuse or even resort to stimulant abuse to keep up.

5 Important Steps in Dealing with Academic Pressure

Given how competitive schools and the job market have become, performing well is important. It is normal to expect your child to aim high.

However, if your child is struggling with academic pressures, then there are a few things which can help them cope with the pressure better.

Rest and Relax

Long hours at school, followed by time spent on homework and after-school activities can leave your teen with little time to rest and relax. On top of this, enough rest and relaxation might be exactly what they need the most. If your high school age child is not getting enough of both, it might be a good time to go over their schedule and make necessary changes.

Timely Breaks

As adults, we tend to take breaks or schedule some “me-time” as a way of dealing with work stress. The same should be said of our high schoolers – they need time to do things that calm them and bring them joy. While this shouldn’t mean spending more time in front of a video game console than a text book, it CAN mean making sure there are a few hours set aside at the weekend to play those games.

Open Communication

Encourage your teen to talk to you about any difficulties they might be facing at school. Let them know they have your complete support and that you will do everything possible to help them perform better.

Sleep Routine

Lack of sleep is one of the most treatable health risks in kids, especially in the teen population, a group for which chronic loss of sleep has become the new normal. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes, around the onset of puberty, many teens experience what is called a sleep-wake phase delay. This means teens will have a harder time falling asleep and rising at early times. Their circadian preference shifts from a morning type to an evening type. Consider working with your teen to come up with a sleep routine that suits this shift while also taking their school schedule and responsibilities into account.

Consult with a Professional Counselor

If you are unable to help your teen manage academic pressures, consult with a professional counselor. The counselor can help them deal with pressure in a more constructive and healthy manner. Professional help is especially important if you suspect your child has developed anxiety, is struggling with depression, or if they show signs of addiction.

The Rigors of Academics

Academic pressures can impact adolescents mentally and physically. They are under a lot of pressure to ace their classes (or at least try) and to pursue high paying jobs. The kind of competition which exists in today’s world can be unrelenting and it can take a toll on both teens and parents.

Picking up signs of distress and guiding your high schooler through academic intensity can help them deal with their problems better and enable them to deal with future issues and challenges as well.

Professional Counseling with Doorways

If you feel your teen is unable to deal with academic pressure and it is affecting their mental health, it might be time to seek professional help. Connect with us at Doorways or give us a call at 602-997-2880.  

Free Parent Workshop: How to Communicate With Your Teen

Do you feel like it’s difficult to communicate with your teen? 

Do they roll their eyes, or give you an attitude whenever you try to talk to them? 

Is it hard to be on the same page and have a dialog without anger or frustration being in charge? 

Do you want to improve the quality of your ability to discuss things with your teen? Then join us for a free parent workshop on How to Communicate with Your Teen.

This workshop will be led by:

Jason Ellis, MA-Pastoral Services
Behavioral Health Paraprofessional

Jason has spent the last 30 years in youth ministry in Arizona and Oregon. He has a heart for young people and families and longs to see them living life to the fullest. He spends time in the outdoors as often as possible, has a recent growing love of pickleball and makes amazing pizza in his wood fired pizza oven at home. 

Jason is married, has 3 kids and is currently enrolled in the MFT program at the Phoenix extension of the Fuller campus. Jason has spent the last three decades working with teenagers and raising three of his own.

The workshop is free, but seats are limited. 

Text 602-999-8389 to confirm your attendance.

The Fear of Failure Among Adolescents – Why You Should Intervene Early

The fear of failure among adolescents--why you should intervene early

To fail at a task or goal is one thing. Fearing or anticipating failure without even trying is another ball game altogether.

The fear of failure can be crippling, and it can prevent a person from reaching their full potential. The reason adolescents develop a fear of failure often stems from unrealistic pressure to win and succeed.

Now, this pressure could be from parents, teachers, peers, or friends. Or it could be self-directed, especially if they associate success as crucial for acceptance by parents/family/teachers or within their immediate social groups.

Some adolescents can channel failure into improvement, while others take failures to heart and develop crippling fears. In extreme cases, they may even develop a mental disorder such as depression or anxiety.

As parents, you can do a lot to help your child develop a healthy attitude towards failure and help them overcome the anxiety and apprehensions that comes from a fear of failure.

Associate Success with Effort Instead of the End Results

Every parent wants their child to succeed. However, it is important for teens to know and understand that the effort they put in is as much a part of the success formula as is the end result.

Don’t just praise your child for getting a high score on a test or for hitting a home run; make it a point to praise their study habits and their commitment to batting practice, too.

The next time your child scores an “A” on that math test, instead of saying “I am so proud you got an A,” you could try saying something like “I know how hard you worked for that test. All that hard work really paid off!”

It is crucial for your child to know that your appreciation and love is not linked to how well they perform at school or at a sport.

4 Steps to Help Your Teen Overcome Fear of Failing

  • Talk to your teenage child about failure and discuss how they feel; encourage them to openly talk about the emotions associated with failures such as anger or embarrassment. It is important for them to talk about how they feel instead of bottling their emotions.
  • Cite personal stories of famous personalities who fought through their failures and succeeded in their lives instead of giving up.
  • If you have a personal story about overcoming failure in your own life, share that with your child so they understand how failure can be a good teacher or present them with opportunities to succeed.
  • If your child is struggling with school or club activities, encourage them to ask for help and work with them to find a solution to the problem instead of avoiding or ignoring it.

Seeking Professional Help

The fear of failure is something that even adults experience. The brain of an adolescent is still developing which means they are unable to process a lot of emotions associated with failure which include embarrassment, anxiety, or anger and logically work through their difficulties.

This is when your support and understanding can enable your child to not only correctly process the fear of failure and its associated emotions, but to overcome their fears.

However, if you find it difficult to communicate with your child, consulting with a professional counselor might help. It becomes absolutely necessary to consult with a professional counselor if mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety are triggering the fear of failure in your teenager.

In addition, the fear of failure could lead to depression or other mental conditions and even drive your adolescent towards addictions and substance abuse or destructive behavior. 

Professional counseling can help identify the triggers for your child’s fear of failure. Once the cause is known, professional counselors can then work out a plan for addressing these factors and help your adolescent overcome their fears.

Professional Counseling with Doorways

If your teen or someone you know is struggling with a fear of failure and you feel they need professional help, we are here. Please feel free to connect with us at Doorways or give us a call at 602-997-2880.

Now Hiring: Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatrist

Doorways LLC. is a faith-based counseling organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that provides comprehensive outpatient treatment focused exclusively on 13-25-year olds and their families.

Doorways provides a supportive, family-focused environment, flexible schedule, competitive salary and benefits, and a fun place to work!

Providers at Doorways specialize in treatment for eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety/OCD, substance abuse, depression, ADD/ADHD, self-harm, suicide prevention, and family counseling.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Certification with current unrestricted license from the Arizona State Board of Nursing or Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathic Medicine with current unrestricted license from the Arizona State Board of Medical Examiners,
  • Current DEA License, NPI Number,
  • Three or more years’ experience in the delivery of mental health treatment for adolescents and young adults,
  • Current CPR & First Aid Certifications
  • Empaneled with at least one major insurance carrier in Arizona preferred.
  • Able to support a faith-based, holistic, integrated model of treatment
  • Energetic and passionate regarding working with the adolescent and young adult population
  • Possess excellent interpersonal skills and the desire to grow with a rapidly expanding practice
  • Team player willing to work with a multidisciplinary team of professionals in treatment planning and provision of care 

Responsibilities will include:

  • Psychiatric evaluations and medication management of patients
  • Prescribe, direct, and administer psychotherapeutic treatments and/or medications to treat mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders.
  • Collaborate with our team of professionals for best care practices in the treatment of adolescents, young adults and their families.

If this position is of interest to you, let’s talk! Please contact Jan Hamilton, PMHNP-BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, at Doorways LLC.