(917)-526-0766 | 200 S Service Rd Suite 108 & 110A Roslyn Heights, NY 11577 | Boca Medical Plaza 7100 West Camino Real Suite 404 Boca Raton, FL 33433

Dealing with Social Media Addiction

Social media is everywhere. In a large part because it speaks to a basic need we have. We are fundamentally social creatures, and we now live in a time where that social nature can be explored through technology. Apps like Instagram allow us to reach out and connect with others, to witness lives that are not our own, and to be entertained by the silly things strangers are doing.

This ability has given us new ways to keep in touch with friends or relax after a long day. However, it can sometimes be hard to stop ourselves from reaching for the familiar and easy comfort that these apps can bring. This can spiral into anything from an annoying habit to a seriously harmful problem. Social media addiction is tied to a slew of emotional and performance problems, and – like all addictions – can be quite difficult to escape.

 If you are dealing with this issue, one proven way of mitigating social media addiction centers on changing one’s thoughts and attitudes towards the apps. As simple as it sounds, thinking more intentionally can be effective. Targeted reflection and articulation of thoughts can break cycles of rumination and habitual usage.

 Try to follow this simple guide. It includes one session of reflection and writing, and a daily journal that can be as short or long as you desire.

 To start, ask yourself the following five questions:

  1. How much time do you spend on social media per day and per week?
  2. What other meaningful things could you do with that time?
  3. What are the benefits of not using social media?
  4. Why did you use social media and were there alternative ways to achieve the purposes?
  5. What are the adverse effects of social media use?

 After these reflections, find a sticky note, and write five pros and five cons of social media. You can keep this note around your desk and set it as your lock screen to keep these resolutions on your mind.

 Once this is done, try to keep a daily record of how much social media you used, and to reflect on your thoughts and feelings about your use.

 Following this intervention and breaking out of social media addiction is tied to an increase in self-esteem, mental health, and sleep quality. It is a way to break out of something that is potentially detrimental to happiness and productivity in high school or college.

 So many of our modern mental health problems require specific, experienced care. At Apple Psychological, our College Transition Team specializes in helping students with all the issues in the transitional time of entering college. Check out the Team or book a FREE consultation with a specialized therapist HERE.

In addition, Apple Psychological offers other Support for parents and teens. Find out more information and Register HERE or book a free consultation by Clicking Here

College Transition: Navigating the Journey of Choosing a College Major

Whether you are on your way to college or already in college, you know that choosing a college major is one of the most significant decisions you face as you move on to higher education. Your major determines what career you will have after the next 4 years of undergraduate studies, however, for many students this decision, along with the idea of selecting a major can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wrestling with the big question of what to study in college, rest assured–you are not alone.

 

It’s OK to Not Know

The first step is recognizing that feeling uncertain about what to study in college is completely normal. Rather than viewing these uncertain feelings as roadblocks, try to see them as an integral part of your journey. Take this opportunity to explore all of your interests, passions, and the different career paths available, without the pressure of having to figure it all out right away.

Figure Out Your Interests

Take the time to think about your interests. What subjects do you find the most engaging? What activities bring you joy? What volunteering or work have you done that has inspired you? Consider what your academic strengths are, and use this to your advantage. College is the place where you get to hone in on all that you love and are passionate about.

Seek Guidance and Get Involved

Don’t ever feel ashamed to reach out for guidance and support. Colleges have a vast array of resources that are meant to help you on this journey of self-discovery. You can find support through academic advisors, professors, mental health workers, and family. All of these resources can offer valuable insight, and perspective that will help direct you in the right direction. Many universities offer career counseling sessions and workshops that are designed to help students explore and identify potential majors and career paths.

Trust the Process

Remember, your choice of major is not set in stone. It is ok to change your mind, pivot, and explore new avenues along the way. Trust in yourself and the process of discovering who you are in this new phase. Keep an open mind, embrace the change, and believe that everything will fall into place.

And, if you need a little extra guidance, Apple Psychological is here to help! Check out Our College Transition Team which provides young adults with the necessary therapeutic support for students balancing the many stresses and responsibilities required during college life. If you need support during this time, check out our College Transition Team or book a FREE consultation with a therapist who will start you on your journey HERE.

In addition, Apple Psychological offers other Support for parents and teens. Find out more information and Register HERE or book a free consultation by Clicking Here

In-Person or Online Learning? A College Transition Experience

Completing high school and choosing to attend college is a big deal. COLLEGE… Sounds scary, right? Professors; Expensive textbooks; Lectures; Exams; Homework; and meeting new people.

The transition from high school to college can be a daunting experience for just about anyone. Usually, individuals have some level of control and choice in what kind of school they attend or what they want to study. Students want to have a say in their overall college experience.

In-Person or Online Learning? A College Transition ExperienceOnline Learning vs. Traditional Classroom Setting
Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, there has been a significant acceleration in the availability of online learning, especially for college students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 15% of college students in the United States attended primarily online institutions in 2020. The appeal of online learning is that most institutions offer fully remote programs that benefit working students.

As a student myself, I truly valued having the opportunity and privilege to take online courses because I lived more than an hour away from campus. Online learning gave me more time with my loved ones and helped me gain responsibility and leadership skills throughout my online courses.

According to Cooke (2024), 70% of students agree that online classes are better than traditional classroom settings based on reduced expenses, schedule convenience, becoming more skilled with using technology, and better retention of learned information. Moreover, online learning can help students retain between 25% and 60% more information, compared to traditional classroom settings. Furthermore, if you are a student who cares about the environment, online learning also uses 85% fewer CO2 emissions per student compared to learning in a traditional setting.

Student Perspectives
There is little research in comparing students’ experiences of the two modalities of learning; online learning and traditional classroom settings. However, a study conducted by Frontiers in Psychology sought to examine undergraduates’ preference for academic performance, class material, and assessment in online learning and traditional classrooms. Students expressed a preference for completing activities face-to-face rather than online, but there was no significant difference in their test performance between the two modalities.

In addition, students expressed a strong preference for class discussions to be face-to-face, because they felt more engaged and received more immediate feedback compared to traditional learning. What is more interesting is that students in this study appreciated the convenience of completing writing activities online in their own time, but strongly preferred to discuss course content with their peers in a classroom setting rather than online. This study concludes that online learning and traditional learning lead to similar levels of academic performance, but ultimately it comes down to student preference in the type of learning that is most beneficial for their unique needs.

Choosing to attend college is a great start. Making the right decision about how to successfully achieve your academic goals is an even better start to your college journey.

Are you looking for a safe space to discuss decisions regarding college and further education? Together we can provide you support and guidance at Apple Psychological. See our website Apple Psychological to learn more about the services our practice offers, including the College Transition Team.

Cooke, C. (2024). In-person VS online learning statistics: The top list of 2024. Upskillwise. https://upskillwise.com/in-person-vs-online-learning-statistics
Hamilton, I. (2024). By the numbers: The rise of online learning in the U.S. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/education/online-colleges/online-learning-stats/
Kemp, N., & Grieve, R. (2014). Face-to-face or face-to-screen? undergraduates’ opinions and test performance in classroom vs. online learning. Frontiers in Psychology, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01278

In addition, Apple Psychological offers other Support for parents and teens. Find out more information and Register HERE or book a free consultation by Clicking Here

Crucial Role of Mental Health Prevention in the College Transition

The Crucial Role of Mental Health Prevention in the College TransitionEmbarking on the journey from high school to college is undoubtedly an exciting adventure filled with new opportunities, friendships, and academic challenges. However, it’s a transition that can also bring about heightened stress, anxiety, and mental health concerns for many students. Let’s explore the paramount importance of mental health prevention in ensuring a smooth and successful transition to college.

The College Transition: A Rollercoaster of Emotions

For most students, the transition to college represents a significant shift in their lives. It involves leaving the familiar surroundings of home, adapting to a new academic environment, and navigating the complexities of newfound independence. While this transition is a rite of passage, it can also be a breeding ground for mental health challenges, including anxiety, depression, and stress.

The Need for Proactive Mental Health Support

Preventing Escalation of Issues:

● By focusing on mental health prevention, colleges can identify and address potential issues before they escalate. Early intervention can make a significant difference in a student’s overall well-being.
Building Resilience:
● Mental health prevention equips students with coping mechanisms and resilience strategies. These tools become invaluable in managing the inevitable ups and downs of college life.
Enhancing Academic Performance:
● A healthy mind contributes to academic success. Preventative mental health measures can positively impact a student’s focus, motivation, and ability to manage stress, ultimately enhancing their academic performance.

The Unique Challenges of the College Environment

Academic Pressure:

● The rigorous academic demands of college can be overwhelming. Mental health prevention programs can help students develop effective study habits, time management skills, and stress-reduction techniques.
Social and Peer Pressures:
● The social landscape of college can be both exciting and daunting. Prevention programs address the social and peer pressures that students may face, promoting healthy relationships and self-esteem.
Independence and Decision-Making:
● With newfound independence comes increased responsibility. Mental health prevention emphasizes the importance of sound decision-making and self-care practices for maintaining mental well-being.

The Role of Supportive Communities

Campus Resources:

● Colleges should invest in comprehensive mental health resources, including counseling services, support groups, and workshops, creating a campus culture that prioritizes mental health.
Parental Involvement:
● Families play a crucial role in the college transition. Mental health prevention involves educating parents on how to support their children during this transformative period.

The Apple Psychological Approach: A Holistic Perspective

At Apple Psychological, our College Transition Team is dedicated to proactive mental health prevention. We believe in a holistic approach that combines evidence-based treatment, multimodal therapies, and a collaborative effort among mental health professionals, medical doctors, and experts in executive functions.

Conclusion: Fostering Healthy Futures

In conclusion, the importance of mental health prevention in the transition to college cannot be overstated. By prioritizing proactive measures, colleges and support services can empower students to thrive emotionally, academically, and socially. The journey to college is a transformative one, and with the right preventative strategies in place, it can be a time of growth, resilience, and lasting well-being. Let’s collectively work towards creating college environments that foster healthy futures for all students.

Learn More about our College Transition Team and do not hesitate to call us at 917-526-0766 with any questions or to schedule a FREE 15- minute consult call HERE.

How Can I Help My Teen Get Ready for College?

As a parent, it is hard not to worry about our kids. Of course, this is what we have been doing since they have been born. Is it possible that we are already thinking about them leaving the nest and living away from home? We want to take inventory of what we are doing as parents to support our children at home, because as well meaning as we are, we will not be there to provide this support when our children are living away from us at school.

Questions that you might consider when you are wondering if your child can thrive at school are: 

  • Does my child have good hygiene habits? 
  • Does my child know who to ask for help if he/she/they need it? 
  • Who does my child go to when they have a problem? 
  • Does my child know how to solve problems when they are faced with stress? 
  • Does my child know how to cope with multiple tasks at one time?
  • How does my child face challenges in his/her/their life?
  • Does my child know how to make healthy choices with regards to nutrition? 
  • Does my child have healthy sleep habits? 

Of course, while no child is perfect and realistically, teenagers are notorious for unhealthy habits, it is important that internally, they are aware of the choices that are best for them, even if they are not always making the best decisions possible. It is also important that they know who they can go to if they do not have the answer to a problem, and need help.

As a clinical psychologist, I have seen many cases in which teens who struggled with mental health issues in high school such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, borderline personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and trauma have gone off to college without the appropriate level of support and have significantly regressed in their mental wellness. The reason for this decline is often due to:

  • Difficulty with emotional regulation causing the teen to retreat to their bed and skip classes, miss assignments, and isolate themselves.
  • Lack of ability to cope with conflict combined with the lack of psychological support required to help the teen resolve conflicts that present themselves, especially during the transition to college.
  • The teen becoming overwhelmed with academic and social demands of college without the proper level of psychological and psychiatric support, again, especially as they are transitioning to college 
  • Avoidance of assignments or social situations that cause anxiety, which can result in social isolation or avoidance of academic tasks such as an assignment, or studying for a test. 
  • The teen having difficulty making friends or finding their social group, causing them significant anxiety, stress, or even depression.
  • The teen procrastinating when they become overwhelmed with academic demands due to executive functioning deficits such as time management deficiencies, as well as difficulties with planning, organization and prioritization.
  • Difficulty with tolerating stress or disappointment due to social rejection or poor grades and regressing in terms of their depression or anxiety.
  • The teen requiring psychiatric treatment due to increasing mental health issues or side effects of their current medication.

If you are concerned that your child might need support when they go away to school, consider getting them assistance through our First Semester Consultation Program. In this holistic preventative program, your teen will receive:

  • Psychological support weekly from a doctoral level therapist specializing in helping your teen have a smooth and easy transition to college
  • Bi-weekly Psychiatric support from a member of the psychiatric team
  • Team meetings by the psychiatric and psychological staff who will consult on behalf of your child’s treatment to create the best outcome for your teen and ensure success for their first semester. These meetings will be held with and without the Parents.
  • A review of their previous psychological records, assessments, and IEPs, which will identify their strengths and weaknesses, and will make recommendations for continued success in college.
  • Connections with your child’s school’s Student Service Support Center,  helping your  child learn the services they offer and how they can take advantage of these support services.   

With this supportive team approach, we truly believe that this can prevent teens who we know struggle with mental health issues to face the pitfalls that we have seen many times in our collective practices. Being in a supportive program can make the difference between a teen being successful in college, and coming home after having an emotional, and difficult setback, potentially holding them back from the important independent, young adult trajectory that we are hoping for them.

 

If you have any questions about this program, or want to learn more, please reach out to our team at: (917) 526-0766, visit our website at: https://applepsychological.com/contact-us/

or book a FREE consultation call at  https://applepsychological.janeapp.com/