Uptown Dallas Counselors Talk Tech

Technology celebrates connectedness, but encourages retreat.
— Jonathon Safran Foer

Dallas Healing House counselors were afforded the opportunity to speak to the parents of students from Bishop Dunne Catholic School! The counselors discussed teen mental health in relation to social media. Founder, Anna Zapata, led the presentation with introductions and an overview of the presentation before Helen Pieracacos discussed the development of the teen brain and the risks and benefits of social media use. Lakeita Roberts, ended the presentation by explaining parent constructs and how parents can help teens foster healthier relationships with technology and social media.

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Highlights from the presentation:

  • The brain does not fully develop until the age of about 25.

  • Because teenage brains are not as developed as adult brains, teenagers have more difficulty thinking of consequences and making sound judgements.

  • Teenagers are in a life stage of understanding who they are. They are still developing a sense of self and exploring their independence.

  • Benefits of social media: connectedness, community, circulation of ideas, self expression

  • Risks of social media: toxic comparison, safety issues, misleading advice, cyberbullying

  • Increased exposure to social media can lead to higher levels of distress.

  • Parenting around social media is difficult because technology has become so personal and mobile.

  • Parents can set healthy boundaries and limits around social media use to limit some of the risks.

  • If parents need additional support, the counselors at Dallas Healing House can provide a safe and unbiased space to resolve conflict.

  • The counselors can also support the family and teen in increasing self-esteem and intrinsic validation.

The counselors not only educated parents, but equipped them with practical measures to implement instantly. One of the tips offered involved boundary reminders for the parents. It is important for parents of teens to model healthy behavior. When social media is involved, it can be helpful for parents to put a pause on phone usage when their children are around. Setting limits with social media can foster deeper relationships between parent and child by prioritizing time for togetherness. More tips are listed in the brochure below.

teen mental health and social media use

Parenting is difficult enough on its own. Parenting and social media provides its own set of challenges. Contact one of our Dallas uptown counselors if you need further support in exploring mental health and social media.

Michael Primeaux