At Paradigm Treatment Centers, our commitment is to working with young people and families to help them address the core emotional and mental health needs. Our teen treatment programs for mental health and substance abuse conditions extend far beyond just addressing symptoms and behaviors, to include all different aspects of teens’ health and wellness, especially including the health of their family environment and dynamics. Within this scope, we provide Teen Parent Alienation Treatment.
Teen Parent Alienation refers to instances in which teens are negatively affected, due to unhealthy dynamics among divorced parents, in which a parent who manipulates them by causing the teen to “side” with them, and creates an antagonist of the other parent. In these instances, the parent works to create a sense of alienation between the teen and other parent. This causes significant pressure and stress upon the teen, who is placed in the middle of the parents and constantly made to choose. The parent who creates this divide often does so in order to strengthen his or her own relationship with the child, or sometimes also because of the parent’s own unhappiness, insecurity, and/or bitterness toward the past marriage. While this kind of selfish behavior may not be done intentionally or with cruel intention, it nonetheless causes considerable harm and stress on the teen, especially in instances where teens might already be struggling with other issues, such as mental or behavioral health conditions.
It’s important to recognize that the particular nature, and effects of, Teen Parent Alienation can be quite varied, depending on the family. Some of the common things that occur include the parent badmouthing the other parent, lying about the other parent and/or creating a false image of the parent, manipulating or limiting time with the other parent, or insulting the parent. Essentially, the behaviors usually involve putting the other parent down while lifting themselves up, in order to create an emotional wedge in the relationship with the teen. One of the reasons these dynamics can be so stressful for teens is even in instances where teens are aware of what’s happening and make efforts to stop it, they may have little power to change how their parents are behaving. Teens often end up feeling like they are the ones who have to be mature and actually take on a parenting role, in the unhealthy situation.
Paradigm Treatment Centers:
At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we approach all treatment holistically, taking into consideration all different aspects of teens’ current health and experiences. We then identify precise ways we can work with teens and families in order to provide them the best opportunity to find meaningful healing, relief, growth, and improved overall health. In our Teen Parent Alienation Treatment programs, we combine both individual and group family therapy sessions, as well as multiple different modalities. In working with teens individually, we help them to recognize specific stressors, thought patterns, and behavioral dynamics which create tension and conflict for them. The goal is by helping them to become more aware of the dynamics at play, they can also learn to make intentional, healthy choices as to how to best navigate those relationships, in order to gain relief and reduce their stress. At the same time, we work with teens to help them learn new behaviors and practices to encourage their own mental and emotional well-being, including things such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, exercise, and even nutritional regimens. And lastly, we work in family therapy sessions to help parents and teens examine the nature of their dynamics together, and to provide a safe, supportive space in which they can speak open and freely about their experience. We find these sessions to be extremely powerful and beneficial for everyone involved, and often lay the important groundwork for meaningful change to occur. The goal is by supporting teens in this thorough, holistic way, we empower them to make active choices toward healing and improved quality of life.