The challenge of adolescence
Teens undergo many physical, emotional, and social changes during adolescence. Their relationships with their parents change during this time, as does the interaction between adolescents and their environment.
This is the time when teenagers must transition from complete dependence upon their parents to independence and develop their maturing personalities — a complex process that affects all areas of their lives. The rapid physical changes they go through include growth spurts and the appearance of secondary sexual characteristics that transform their bodies from those of children to those of young adults.
The typically high morbidity of childhood decreases for teens, and the main conditions that require medical attention are linked to behavior rather than disease.
Teens' brains continue to develop during adolescence. The gap between the earlier development of the cerebral regions responsible for risk-taking and the later development of the regions responsible for moderating and controlling behavior makes adolescents vulnerable to taking risks.
Adolescents are strongly influenced by their peers, and attribute much more importance to their opinions than to those of their parents. Adolescents lack the ability to think about the future in abstract terms.
The clinic tailors treatment specifically to patients of this age, taking into account these and other characteristics of adolescence.
What is risky behavior?
Risky behavior can take many forms. Some risky behaviors — such as alcohol poisoning, drug use, violence, and teenage pregnancy — have an immediate effect on adolescents' health, while others — such as smoking or alcoholism — have long-term effects.
The treatment team
The multi-disciplinary team, including a doctor specializing in adolescents, a psychologist and a nurse, as well as consultant across the spectrum of medicine, such as gastroenterology, neurology, endocrinology, nutrition, and gynecology.