At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we strongly believe that successful teen treatment must also mean successful teen family treatment. One of the defining aspects of adolescent treatment is teens are at such a unique time of life, in which they are exploring their independence and freedom and yet they are still dependent upon, and responsible to, their parents and families. Because of this dualistic nature of adolescence, when teens are struggling with substance abuse and/or mental health conditions, these struggles greatly affects the entire family, and can be especially hard on the parents. Similarly, if teens are going to make healthy changes that serve to support improved health and well-being, then their home environment with their families’ needs to be supportive and conducive to these changes. For this reason, we incorporate teen family therapy and multi-family group sessions into each teen treatment plan, as well as numerous other family support services and programs.
One of the primary goals of our teen family therapy sessions is to support the work teens are doing in their greater treatment plans. As teens are reflecting upon themselves and their lives to identify positive changes and ways to achieve healing and health, we also want to work with teens and families together, to discuss these changes and what they require. While at first, this involvement can be intimidating to some family members, we find that very quickly they realize that this processing and discussion is not only going to benefit the environment for the teen in treatment, but for everyone involved. As a result, these family sessions become an incredibly special, powerful time for both the teens and family members to experience meaningful healing.
The two central family therapy groups we offer at Paradigm Treatment Centers are weekly individual teen family therapy sessions and multi-family group therapy sessions. Our weekly Teen Family Therapy sessions are when the teen’s lead therapists meets with the teen and family, in a more focused, personalized therapy session to discuss both the teens’ current therapy experience, as well as how their struggles may involve and/or affect their parents and family members. These sessions are focused and precise, and often address things such as communication styles, environment stressors, and relational dynamics within the family.
In our Multi-Family Group Therapy sessions, all teens in residence and their families meet together for a larger group therapy session, usually led by several of our lead therapists. These sessions are a time for our different families to connect, enjoy a sense of community, and engage in a healthy, open, and honest conversation, about the nature of mental health, substance abuse, and treatment.
While at the beginning, the family work can seem admittedly challenging, we find that often, these individual and multi-group sessions prove to be the most powerful, helpful, and life-changing work that teens and families experience here. Teens and families alike receive incredible encouragement, inspiration, and healing from getting to be with other families, who understand and respect what they’re going through. Parents often form relationships and gain support that they have been seeking for months, if not years. All in all, our Family Therapy program is one of the aspects of our treatment we are most proud of and which we believe is central to our ongoing success.