Psychologists have a new directive for anxious teens: Post selfies on Instagram and Snapchat.
During a week-long boot camp for teens with social anxiety at the Child Mind Institute in New York over the summer, psychologist Amanda Mintzer worked with patients on texting: Anxious children can find it difficult to initiate texts or speak up in group texts. “They are typically falling into thinking traps, or worst-case scenarios, ‘they are going to think I’m weird or this is going to sound really pushy,’ ” says Dr. Mintzer. “We’ll divide the children into different rooms and have them text each other and practice having a conversation,” she says. Eventually she’ll have them text their real-life friends. Dr. Mintzer also created a private Instagram group for the program and required patients to post selfies and leave comments on others’ posts.