Teen Girls Deserve a Healthy Space | Introducing Thrive @ Catalyst
• Seven in ten girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members
• 62% of all girls feel insecure or not sure of themselves
• 75% of girls with low self–esteem reported engaging in negative activities such as disordered eating, cutting, bullying, smoking, or drinking when feeling badly about themselves
• From 2007 to 2015, suicide rates doubled among teen girls
Today’s adolescent girls are faced with a myriad of stressors and challenges. Their environment is saturated with images and messages that focus on appearance, promote competition among peers, and frequently devalue females. Constant exposure to these messages has been shown to undermine self-esteem, promote poor body image, and diminish emotional resilience. Simultaneously, eating disorders, depression, unsafe sexual behaviors, obesity, and substance abuse are being reported at unprecedented rates among both adolescent and pre-adolescent females. Experts in both the adolescent mental health and eating disorder fields agree these two trends are significantly related.
The burden of coping with mental health problems cannot be overstated. Battling an eating disorder, struggling to overcome substance dependence, or suffering from the trauma of sexual assault or promiscuity robs an adolescent of their sense of self, their future potential, and potentially their life.
Resolving mental health problems once they are established requires considerable resources and therapeutic interventions and frankly, is not always possible. If we are going to improve the futures of teens, effective prevention and early intervention are crucial. Recent research has shown strengths-based prevention programs focusing on protective factors, interpersonal communication, and cognitive dissonance are effective in reducing prevalence and risk for mental and physical health problems. This is where Thrive comes in.
In response to the growing need for early intervention and prevention, The Catalyst Center is excited to introduce Thrive, a strengths-based therapy group for teenage girls. Led by psychologists who specialize in teen mental health, Thrive provides a therapeutic and supportive environment where teen girls can get the support they need to navigate a complex and sometimes dangerous world. Our participants have the opportunity to learn tools that will help them manage the varied pressures they face. The group helps teen girls focus on developing and maintaining healthy relationships with themselves, their peers, and their family. As they grow into adulthood, a foundation of healthy relationships and good mental health will propel them to meet their full potential.
We are welcoming a small group of 10th-12th grade girls to participate in Thrive, beginning January 2019. This group will be closed, and no additions will be added after the first group. This is one of the ways we hope to make the group setting feel safe, so that the girls can broach the topics that really matter to them.
Meet the Co–Leaders
Drs. Sarah Long and Karmen Thulin co-lead Thrive. Both passionate about teen mental health, Sarah and Karmen create a safe and welcoming environment where teen girls can open up, learn skills, and get support to determine their own futures.