Exploration of identity: the ego and me

This time of development is concerned with the emergence of a young person’s identity, and it is a highly vulnerable and confusing time for many teens and tweens, and it can also be a difficult time for parents as they allow their teen the room to grow and explore the different aspects of their identity, emotions and values.

The prefrontal cortex area of the brain is the area that adults use to think. It is responsible for higher order functioning and helps us to plan, make decisions and moderate our social behaviour. For teenagers and adolescents this area is still developing and won’t be fully developed until the age of about 25, instead it is the part of the brain called the amygdala, or the emotional centre, that dictates their responses to the world around them.

Areas addressed:

  • Body changes and the overwhelm of hormones

  • Self-esteem, anxiety, depression

  • Friendships, relationship anxiety

  • Family dynamics

  • Bullying - power issues

  • Importance of diet and gut health

  • Sleep hygiene

  • School refusal

  • HSC stress

  • Drug use, self-harming

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken
— Oscar Wilde