One of the cornerstones of our treatment approach at Paradigm San Francisco is that successful teen treatment also requires successful teen family therapy. In order to make meaningful, healthy, lasting changes in their lives, and in order to be able to sustain these changes, teens need a home environment that is supportive and understanding of their new life. This is why we have an extensive Teen Family Therapy program that incorporates numerous family therapy sessions and support programs into all of our treatment, here at Paradigm San Francisco.
Family therapy incorporation is one of the aspects of adolescent treatment that makes it especially unique. Adolescence is a complex time of life in which teens are very independent beings, and yet, still dependent upon and closely linked to their family unit and environment. In the context of teen treatment, the teens’ struggles often have very significant effects on parents and other family members and this can include high levels of stress, pressure, and worry. To this end, we’ve designed our Teen Family Therapy program to address and support the needs, questions, struggles, and experiences of the parents and family members as well. The goal within this family work is not just to create a healthier environment in which teens can successfully heal and progress, but also one in which all family members can benefit from improved dynamics and relational health. At the same time, teens that have recovered and made positive life changes are going to be significantly more likely to sustain these changes. The two central Teen Family Therapy offerings we provide are our Individual and Multi-Family Group sessions.
Our Individual Family Therapy sessions are conducted by teens’ lead therapist and are held either in-person or via phone or Skype sessions. During these sessions, therapists will help teens and families to communicate about what their experiences are, and how they view their current relationships. This may extend to include things such as their feelings, thoughts, behaviors, dynamics, and tensions that are present. Through the skillful guidance of our therapists, family members will observe more closely what kinds of habits, beliefs, and behaviors are present which continue to create stress, tension, and potentially distance, in relationships. This will include both things specifically related to the teens’ current struggles and treatment, as well as beyond.
Though these sessions can often be intensive and challenging at first, we also find them to be extremely powerful, in helping facilitate families recognizing and making positive changes toward enjoying healthier relationships. While learning to communicate and listen to each other may be challenging and even uncomfortable at first, our therapists help to provide the guidance and support needed, to help create this positive, safe, and open environment. What we see is that it often doesn’t take long for this open communication to provide both teens and family members with a sense of relief and freedom, to finally have the space in which to express themselves. This allows for families to address things that may have been ignored in the past, as well as making every family member feel valued and heard. Because teens and families put in the effort to gather together in this goal, these sessions also often end up providing a strong source of encouragement and hope to teens and their families, during this trying time.
The beauty of our Teen Family Therapy sessions is the benefits of this time together continue to be present ns teens and families both during treatment and also, once teens return home. The new practices and beliefs that therapists help families to create provide a powerful foundation for the home environment, in which teens and families continue to heal and grow together.