The Adolescent Brain: How it Works

Understanding your teen’s brain development will help you better understand their decisions, thoughts and behaviors. In teens, the parts of the brain involved in emotional responses may actually be heightened. They are able to “feel” passionately about music, politics, families, school and friends. But keeping this passionate ability to “feel” in check or manageable is a secondary brain development process. It comes later and is more complex. Because teens feel so passionately, but don’t have total brain development to manage those feelings, we see more unpredictable or extreme emotions which can lead to more impulsive behaviors. Our special guest, Dr. Erin Smith, Ph.D, of Partners in Change Psychological Services, will give us additional insights into the teen brain, as well as strategies for navigating the emotional roller coaster that is adolescence.