Teen Interpersonal Therapy

Teen Interpersonal TherapyAt Paradigm Treatment Centers, we combine a number of approaches and modalities into all of our teen treatment programs. These are determined by the individual assessment and the treatment team’s insight into what strategies will best suit the specific needs of the teen. One of the modalities we incorporate is Teen Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), which is an evidence-based therapy, focused on addressing the role which teens’ relationships play in their current struggles and symptoms. Teen Interpersonal Therapy is most often implemented in cases of Clinical Depression but can also be effective in treating Teen Anxiety, Teen Bipolar Disorder, Teen Eating Disorders, and more. It’s worth noting that in most of our therapeutic sessions, numerous approaches may be incorporated and therefore teens will likely engage in IPT alongside other supplemental styles. Our Teen Interpersonal Therapy sessions extend to include all of teens’ current relationships, including those with peers at school, friends, and family members.

As the name implies, Teen Interpersonal Therapy focuses on the relationships in teens’ lives, including how specific dynamics (or interpersonal stress) may be contributing to the teens’ low mood and/or current emotional struggles. Within these struggles, there are four particular focuses of Teen Interpersonal Therapy, which include: role transitions, role disputes, grief, and interpersonal deficits.

Role transitions include events in teens’ lives such as moving to a new school or city, a drastic change in a friendship, or any other big transitions which disrupt teens’ current daily experience, thereby causing considerable stress in their lives. Role disputes are similar disruptions, in which teens’ understanding of their role changes, because of a life event such as a divorce, a marriage, or a loved one becoming ill. Experiences of grief address situations in which teens have lost a loved one and are struggling with severe feelings of grief and depression. And interpersonal deficit refers to stress caused by the lack of meaningful relationships in teens’ lives. Usually, this stress is caused because teens have had difficulty for some reason in forming and/or maintaining close relationships.

In Teen Interpersonal Therapy sessions, therapists work with teens to identify what stressors and triggers are present. Stress is a common denominator amidst all mental health and substance abuse conditions, and can create and/or aggravate a large number of physical and mental symptoms. The goal, then, is by recognizing and addressing the stress that specific relational dynamics are causing, the teens can reduce their stress, thereby alleviating symptoms.

As with all of our therapy sessions at Paradigm Treatment Centers, our Teen Interpersonal Therapy sessions are not predetermined, but are designed according to therapists’ assessments of teens’ specific needs. In individual therapy sessions, our therapists work to help teens explore and uncover some of the deeper factors present in their current experience, especially including sources of stress and aspects of low mood, such as anxiety or depression. As teens gain a better understanding of their feelings and thoughts, therapists then help them to make connections between their experience and the triggers and sources, thereof. This is a process that involves teens learning to recognize when thoughts and feelings arise, especially in relationship to their interactions with others. Therapists work with teens to develop this self-awareness both in individual sessions as well as family work sessions. Lastly, therapists then work with teens to help them come up with new behaviors or strategies which teens can use to improve dynamics and/or to reduce the stress they’re experiencing, in certain relationships. In some circumstances, this may mean reducing time in certain peer groups; practicing active listening with parents, in family sessions; implementing new boundaries in relationships; and learning healthy coping mechanisms for instances when triggers occur. At Paradigm Treatment Centers, Teen Interpersonal Therapy sessions are incorporated amidst a combination of other styles and approaches, in order to provide treatment that thoroughly address teens’ needs and empowers them to make positive changes in their lives.