At Paradigm San Francisco, we recognize that every young person is different and thus, their treatment plans should look different as well. This is why we go above and beyond just designing treatment according to teens’ symptoms, which notably, can extend across multiple different conditions and illnesses. With our thorough diagnostic interview, our treatment team gains useful insights into numerous different important areas of teens’ well-being, including things like their personality traits, eating habits, relationships, school habits, and more. Then, by using this information in treatment design, we’re able to able to work with teens in ways that will have direct, practical effects on all different areas of their lives.
One of the unique program elements we offer at Paradigm San Francisco is our Introverted Teen Treatment program. Being introverted doesn’t mean that teens are necessarily shy or that they’re not socially adept; instead, the defining characteristic is that introverted teens gain energy from spending time alone. Therefore, in the residential treatment context, it’s important to make sure that introverted teens have adequate opportunity to spend restful time alone, so that they are able to engage in their treatment process as fully and meaningfully as possible. Very often, introverted teens can do very well even in group settings, so long as they have time and space to re-energize, on their own.
Another way that we tailor treatment to make sure it works for introverted teens is by ensuring that they are appreciated and allowed to maintain boundaries, when in settings that are more extroverted. For instance in peer group settings, while introverted teens will participate, it’s important to make sure the group is respectful, doesn’t interrupt, and doesn’t put pressure on the teens to be more extroverted than they are. Creating this safe, supportive group environment is key to introverted teens feeling comfortable enough to share in the group therapy session, which in turn contributes to a more meaningful overall treatment experience.
It’s worth noting that while some of these adjustments and considerations may seem obvious, it’s unfortunately much too common for teens to have treatment experiences where they feel like one more patient with a sickness, rather than an individual who is being heard, seen, and accepted. While we know that providing this level of individualized care requires more resources initially, what we’ve also seen is that the success speaks for itself, as far as supporting teens to make lasting meaningful changes in their lives, during this time. This is why we will always continue to stand by our small house population, our treatment design process, and our individual daily therapy sessions, which are trademarks of the Paradigm San Francisco difference.