ACNC Teenage and Puberty Clinic
ACNC Teenage and Puberty Clinic was established in 2015 as the first and only specialized teenage and puberty clinic in Iran. At the same time as the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement focusing on juvenile issues, the clinic began its specialized work to raise the mental health of the adolescents in Iran. ACNC specialized teenage and puberty team focuses on all juvenile and adolescent issues including the simplest concerns of a teenager or educational problems, identity issues, communication with the world around, adolescent self-esteem and any possible disorders in adolescence.
Teenagers who were born late 90s and 2000 have different needs comparing to their parents and like a different lifestyle. Teenagers no longer live only in their city or town; they spend several hours in virtual world. Therefore, they have different standards and factors than their past generations.
Unfortunately, some parents do not differentiate between a child and an adolescent. They consider their teenage as grown-up child. A report published by World Health Organization (WHO)in 2014 entitled “Health for the world’s adolescents: A second chance in the second decade” indicated that therapeutic approaches and parenting styles should be specific for teenagers – i.e. recognizing teenager as a distinct identity and considering appropriate communication and therapeutic methods for them. WHO declares that 1 billion adolescents will be the next generation on the earth and their health means the health of the whole world.
Puberty is the most important development stage of the adolescence. Physical and mental changes during adolescence result in profound changes in teenagers and leads to disturbances in mental and physical balance. Adolescents experience rapid physical growth. They might be emotionally immature, and culturally fragile and vulnerable. Since the conflicts, there are different types of puberty which need to be considered:
1. Physical Puberty
2. Mental Puberty (both intellectual and mental)
3. Social Puberty
4. Emotional Puberty
For the first time in Iran, ACNC Teenage and Puberty Clinic provides specificservices with a specialized team of adolescent mental health experts. To provide high quality service, it is necessary to understand and examine common adolescence disorders or problems. Educational issues, sexual issues, aggression, pertinence and disobedience, conduct disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression are some of the common problems in adolescence. It is also possible to have some disorders from childhood entering adolescence. For instance, adolescent may have untreated ADHD from his/her childhood. Since this disorder has not been treated, adolescent may show up symptoms in other ways or with adjustment disorders, pertinence, and high-risk behaviors.
Adolescents and their parents should take the importance of this period and its impact on their life seriously. With effective communication and authentic but simple training, possible complex problems can be avoided. Treatment and intervention process at ACNC starts just after examination in Specialized Teenage Diagnosis Commission. ACNC Teenage and Puberty Clinic’s services are described below.
ACNC Teenage and Puberty Clinic’s Services
Evaluation and Diagnosis: Examination and diagnosis process is carried out by clinic manager and specialized teenage diagnosis commission in order to evaluate mental health score, communication quality, social and cognitive performance of adolescent by validated scientific tools and planning a personalized treatment plan.
Psychological Screening and Diagnostic Test:Personal and communication skills, cognitive abilities, intelligence, personality, talents, educational and occupational interests, mental health, and addictive behaviors (such as internet addiction, porn addiction, binge-eating, video game addiction, …) are evaluated and measured at ACNC Teenage and Puberty Clinic for presenting a comprehensive image of characteristics, personality and talents of adolescents.
Parenting Courses:Most of the adolescents’problems are due to the lack of proper knowledge of adolescence. Correct Nurturing, developmental environment, availability of a learning context, and education of parents to communicate effectively with adolescents are the main effective measures in the treatment and prevention course.
Educational Consulting and Planning:At ACNC Teenage and Puberty Clinic, Educational consulting is done based on psychological approaches. Learning barriers are detected as well as helping and tracking high school students with their educational plans and goals. Consulting for selecting study field at 9th grade and also for university is carried out along with IQ, personality, and educational and career interest tests.
Preparation for University Entrance Exam:Different disorders and suppressed problems may show up as a result of high competitive atmosphere for university entrance exam which puts adolescent in difficult circumstances. Therefore, adolescent may confront behavioral problems or mental disorders at the last grade of high school when he/she should take university entrance exam. Thus, ACNC Teenage and Puberty Clinichelps high school students to pursue their educational goals with a team of experienced educational psychologists.
Psychotherapy:There are times when the adolescent is confused and does not know how to choose the right path. Confusion is common among adolescents which can be solved by the help of a psychotherapist. The purpose of psychotherapy sessions -usually held with the psychotherapist and the client- is to communicate effectively with the teenager, find adolescent’s concerns, identify factors causing the problem and understand adolescent. During psychotherapy sessions, adolescent learns how to look at his/her problems, solve them or accept them.
Technological Treatments:Today, advanced neuroscience technologies are improving cognitive abilities and helping experts to diagnose and treat mental disorders. These technologies are known as popular therapy and cognitive rehabilitationapproaches for their low cost, few or no side effects, being invasive (no need for surgery) and short therapy period. Biofeedback is one of these new methods used at ACNC Teenage and Puberty Clinic. Biofeedback is used for improving cognitive abilities (attention, concentration, and memory), reducing physical symptoms of anxiety (rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, hot/cold flashes, shallow and fast breathes), reducing agitation, controlling anger, regulating emotions, and treating insomnia.