Our Psycho-Educational Services at Paradigm Treatment Centers are programs designed to provide young people and families with practical knowledge and skills that will help them to be educated and prepared, regarding all aspects of the treatment process. We also find that this knowledge better prepares teens and families to sustain and build upon their treatment progress, once they return home. One of these programs is our Teen Emotional Management sessions, which address the emotional challenges of Teen Mental Health and Substance Abuse conditions, as well as the treatment process thereof.
One of the cornerstones of our teen treatment plans is we support teens to dive deeper into the core emotional needs in their lives, which are causing and/or contributing to their current symptoms and struggles. In order for teens to do this kind of deep introspective therapeutic work, they must first learn how to notice and identify what they’re feeling. Our Emotional Management support program helps introduce teens to some of the concepts and practices they’ll be engaging in, as well as informing parents and family members about the therapeutic nature of teens’ time here.
One of the most powerful aspects of our Teen Emotional Management programs is the self-discovery that teens experience, through their individual and group therapy sessions. Our therapists are highly skilled and uniquely sensitive in leading teens through processes of exploring what their thoughts and feelings are, and in essence, who they are. While our therapists provide a balance of comfort and encouragement, this process of uncovering emotions can be challenging and uncomfortable at times. One of the reasons for this is the feelings and thoughts underlying teens’ current struggles are very often unconscious. In this sense, those thoughts and feelings are virtually affecting their every day and yet, while the teens are aware of the effects, they’re not conscious of the cause. This kind of disconnect is extremely common and may develop for different reasons, including as a coping mechanism, an automatic response following trauma, or directly related to the development of a mental health condition. Regardless of what challenges this process may include, we’re committed to this work because we firmly believe that it’s central to teens’ healing and recovery.
Just as this Teen Emotional Management Education serves to better prepare teens and help them understand their own processes, we find it to be incredibly valuable and supportive for parents and family members as well. Many of the parents we work with express frustration at the frequent frustrating conversations they have with their teens, surrounding what’s going on and what they’re feeling. Parents feel intimidated by the dichotomy of how little they know and how much they want to help. Moreover, even if parents understand their teens are struggling with difficult symptoms, it can nonetheless be challenging to understand how to provide support to their kids, especially as teens might be withdrawing from relationships and activities alike. In this sense, it’s helpful for parents to learn what kinds of behaviors and symptoms may seem surprising to them but are actually quite common among teens with these conditions. For both teens and parents alike, there can be incredible comfort in realizing that they’re not the only ones who have ever felt this way and in fact, they are absolutely not alone.
These Teen Emotional Management Education sessions also help parents to learn more about the clinical nature of what their teens are experiencing, which often helps them to feel more empathy for their teens’ struggles. At the same time, we find that parents also experience alleviated stress and decreased pressure, as they experience the benefits of a supportive space in which they can explore and express their own emotional experience, as well. One of our goals at Paradigm Treatment Centers is to create a safe, supportive environment in which teens and families can experience meaningful healing and growth, not only while at Paradigm but also once they return home. This is one of the many programs we offer that contributes toward this end-goal, and underlines teens and families’ journey of recovery, together.