At Paradigm San Francisco, we incorporate family support, education, and therapeutic work into every teen treatment plan. Our many years of experience working with youth have shown us that by working with parents and family members during the treatment process, we can improve the home environment and family dynamics to become vastly healthier and more enjoyable, for everyone involved. This not only provides support and furthers the progress teens make during treatment, but also helps to protect them from relapse. At the same time, the family work also helps to address the needs and struggles of parents and family members, helping to alleviate stress and worry, while helping them to feel more equipped to better support their teens. One of the programs we offer to provide this support is Teen Family Dynamics and Education, in which we work with families to examine and address particular family dynamics, which affect all members of the household.
As many people already know, often family dynamics can be quite complex. Family relationships are the oldest, longest ones we have and because of the immense time family members spend at home together, dynamics develop and get set in place which become habitually (and often unconsciously) carried out. Because the dynamics become so habitual, it’s common for family members to be unaware of their own actions and/or how they’re affecting others. Over time, these problematic, repetitive dynamics can cause hurt, tension, and pain between family members. Even once all family members begin making real efforts to improve things, they might be unable to feel any progress, because the dynamics are so difficult to shift. When teens are in treatment at Paradigm San Francisco, we want to join them and their families in this journey, by educating them and providing direct support.
In our Teen Family Dynamics and Education sessions, our therapists work with families to help them become more knowledgeable and familiar with how family therapy works and also, how family dynamics can be changed, over time. These sessions will be more general and informational in nature, whereas family sessions will more directly address individual family dynamics and struggles. During these educational sessions, therapists help parents and family members to become more familiar with the family therapy process, so they feel prepared for family day sessions. This is also a time where family members can ask questions, and speak directly with members of our therapeutic team. We find that teens and especially family members value this time to learn more about the importance of Teen Family Dynamics and to feel comfortable and prepared for upcoming Family Day and Family Therapy sessions.