Anxiety & Stress Therapy for Teens in San Francisco

Wouldn't it be nice if you could help your kid to focus their energy on what he or she can control, rather than worry about the past and future? Severe anxiety, though it comes in many forms, can be paralyzing.  Sasha Lustgarten is a San Francisco based therapist and counselor who utilizes current and proven methods to help adolescents stop stress, worry, and fear from running their life. 

Stress & anxiety can show up differently for different people

Anxiety is often a protective instinct that can help to keep your child from physical or emotional harm. Anxiety becomes problematic when it sets off false alarms or over reacts to small or insignificant threats.  The more frequent and severe it becomes, the more it gets in the way of your child’s ability to be their true self.

High levels of stress or anxiety can impact your kid’s ability to learn new things or remember important facts. In extreme circumstances, such as trauma, it can actually stunt physical and mental development.

Sometimes anxiety stops your son or daughter from doing what he or she really wants to do.  Fear takes over and they freeze, when they really want to do something.  The cost can be that your child isn't living their life the way they are capable of.

Anxiety can isolate kids and cause social angst that often leads to additional problems or increased levels of fear and isolation at a time when social experiences are critical to feeling good and developing relationships.


Your kid gets anxious for a reason

A mild or contained level of stress and anxiety can be motivational and just what is needed to get your son or daughter into action. In such cases, it isn't necessary to see a therapist and venting can actually decrease their motivation to create change.

Your kid’s level of stress and anxiety is proportional to their perceived level of control or efficacy in a given situation.  Feelings of anxiety can often signal that change is needed, but when your child feels powerless it is hard to find solutions and change seems impossible. Symptoms can get worse and professional help can be very beneficial.   

In today's world it can be common for your child’s brain to be hyper-sensitive or over stimulated and respond to stimuli with an automatic fight/flight response, causing high levels of tension, stress, and anxiety. Your son or daughter’s brain thinks that it is protecting itself from harm, as the brain was built to do back in the hunter-gatherer days, but now the brain may be reacting to an otherwise normal but strong emotional response and treat it like a threat. In such a situation your kid’s mind creates chemicals to prepare them to fight or run and deal with a threat, which is helpful in survival situations, but harmful to their bodies over time.  Getting help soon can help to decrease the spread of inflammation in the body and interrupt destructive patterns before they firmly set in.  

Your tween or teen can learn to be calm

There are proven methods to address different kinds of anxiety and relief can make a huge difference in your child’s life.  Imagine your child being able to make decisions based on what they were taught and what they really want, rather than on fear or compulsory actions.  Treatment can help to calm down the fight or flight signals in their brain so that your child can retake control. Fear can be present to thwart your child from an actual threat or from opportunity.  It is possible to distinguish between the two and conquer the kind of fear that keeps your kid from living the life that they want to live.

I would like to help

I have helped many adolescents deal with stress and heal from anxiety and trauma. As both a Marriage and Family Therapist and Professional Clinical Counselor, I am uniquely qualified to help tweens and teens reduce anxiety and find more control in their lives.