Treating Adopted Teens

Adopted Teens | Paradigm San Francisco

At Paradigm San Francisco, we’re committed to maintaining sensitivity and attention to the particular needs and challenges of teens from diverse backgrounds. All pertinent background details are always carefully considered within treatment design, in order to ensure that teens are receiving the most holistic, precise, and thorough treatment possible. Research shows that in some instances, teens that were adopted experience unique forms of stress and emotional challenges that can result from a number of complex factors. When working with teens that were adopted, we integrate specific methods of support and guidance throughout the treatment process, in order to help teens explore and address any ways in which their unique family background may be related to, or overlap with, their current struggles with mental health and/or substance abuse conditions.

In designing treatment, first and foremost, at Paradigm San Francisco we are committed to considering each teen as a unique individual, with unique experiences. With that said, research has shown that teens that were adopted may in some cases have higher likelihood of struggles such as mental illnesses, substance abuse issues, and/or trouble forming healthy relationships. This can be due to a number of complex factors, including things such as genetics (such as history of mental illness and/or substance abuse) and social settings, as well as environmental factors such as high-stress environments and/or high-stress early childhood experiences, which can both affect brain development. It’s also not uncommon for teens that were adopted to experience additional questions and stress related to questions of background, as they discover and form their own sense of identity and place in the world. While working with teens that were adopted, we maintain an awareness and sensitivity to noticing and addressing ways in which these factors may be affecting teens’ current health and well-being.

One of the most challenging aspects of teen treatment is all teens have such a unique combination of complex factors that affects their current well-being. More often than not, the sad reality is that instead of carefully and thoroughly mining and addressing these individual factors, teen treatment centers simply create generic, one-size-fits-all treatment that may address outward symptoms and behaviors but essentially do nothing in addressing teens’ deeper core emotional needs. The unfortunate result is teens may appear to feel better temporarily but will often revert back to old struggles and behaviors because the underlying causes at play were left virtually untouched. At Paradigm San Francisco, we’re committed to helping all teens examine and work through the core emotional needs that are affecting their lives at the deepest level possible. In cases where teens were adopted, we assist teens in exploring and identifying their own unique experiences, thoughts, and context, in order to ensure their treatment experience is as meaningful, thorough, and deep as possible.

Individual & Family Support

At Paradigm San Francisco, we’re aware of the unique ways different life experiences can affect teens that were adopted and therefore pay careful attention to the underlying factors that may be at play. During individual and group therapy sessions, our therapists take special note of particular aspects of teens’ background which may unconsciously be affecting their current experiences and struggles. Often, there might be correlations which teens are completely unconscious of, but which can have tremendous effects on their daily lives. When therapists help teens to process and address these issues, the results can be profound relief and growth, in numerous areas of the teens’ lives. This work with therapists might include things such as restructuring false belief systems, recognizing particular triggers or stressors in their lives, reforming ways of communicating with their parents, and becoming conscious of their process of understanding and forming identity.

Our therapists also provide special support to parents and family members. This support includes programs such as our Parent Coaching and Parent Effectiveness Training, as well as Family Day and weekly family therapy sessions. By incorporating relevant aspects of the teen’s adoption into therapy sessions, the therapist can provide important support for both teens and parents to learn how to better address and support each other. Therapists can also help parents to recognize ways to structure support at home, ways to communicate with teens about certain issues, and ways to respect teens’ process and journey. What we find is by supporting the whole family throughout the teen’s treatment process, teens are able to engage more deeply in their greater treatment, and parents are better able to support their teens, both during treatment and beyond. This leads to a more meaningful, thorough, and successful teen treatment experience for teens, so they’re able to leave Paradigm and be equipped to lead happy and healthy lives.