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5 Dangers of Vaping

Is vaping dangerous? Should parents encourage their teens to quit vaping during or after recovery? The standard argument against this is that vaping “isn’t as bad” as cigarettes, marijuana, or worse. And while this is technically true, it’s also not good for your child either. We’re here to discuss five dangers of vaping for you and your teen to be aware of before it’s written off as harmless and cool.


1. Unknown Chemicals

We aren’t advocating for tobacco leaves, but at least it is an organic compound that we can see, touch, and feel, right? On the other hand, the chemicals inside vapes and e-cigarettes are unknown to us. Not only are we putting a foreign chemical into our body when we vape, but it’s also hard to definitively say the amount of risk it poses. Each cartridge is different, as is each brand and flavor. 


2. Illicit Substance Additives

Besides the nicotine and unknown chemicals, we get in typical vape cartridges, the risk of adding illicit substances to the blend is high. THC can be added to the vape in higher-concentrated doses (which is risky enough alone), but what makes this even worse when vaping is the flavored vapor that masks the smell and taste. This creates a perfect storm for concealed use and overuse of THC.


3. Vaping Impacts Brain Development

Nicotine is harmful to brain development in large amounts, especially in adolescents when this development is at its highest. Areas of the brain like neurotransmitters are slowed down and can even be broken with regular smoking or vaping. Since nicotine is addictive, it makes the slide to regular and overuse even more risky. Once you pick up the habit, it’s hard to stop–even when it’s hurting your brain. 


4. Long-Term Lung Damage

Vaping comes with adverse health effects to the lungs after continued use. Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath can all start to affect your teen after a few weeks or months of vaping, and these symptoms worsen over time. Lungs should be clear of excess substances to allow for proper airflow. Filling them with chemicals and water vapor causes an excess strain as they expel the foreign materials. 


5. Marketing and Media Influence

The sleek pod, the multitude of flavors, the “tricks” kids can do with vapor–all of these things create the perfect storm of unhealthy marketing to young adults. The visibility isn’t placed on the dangers of vaping and nicotine like a pack of cigarettes; the market focuses on the aspects that draw in younger and younger wallets. The misconception and misinformation surrounding vaping are some of the most dangerous aspects of it today. When it’s the cool thing to do, kiddos don’t realize the harm. 


So, when discussing vaping with your teen, keep these five dangers in mind: unknown chemicals, illicit substance additives, impaired brain development, long-term lung damage, and the marketing and media of vaping. The goal is to provide knowledge so that your family can have an informed conversation. It’s time to discuss the harmful parts of vaping that are so often left out and that your kiddo may not even have considered. 

If your child is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we’re here to help. Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to help with your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at, or visit our website at


Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now
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6 Dysfunctional Family Roles

Does someone you love have a substance abuse problem? Addiction is a vicious cycle. Unfortunately, when someone struggles with addiction, there is a ripple effect that leaves no one in the family untouched. How well is your family coping? Is your family managing the stress of addiction in a healthy way? 

There are six dysfunctional roles we often see within the family system of addiction. In order to break the cycle of dysfunctional family roles, you must first understand each role and the part it plays in the family unit. Take a look at this list, and see if you can identify any of these roles within your family:


#1: The Addict:
The entire family life revolves around the addict or alcoholic. Each codependent role has been taken on in order to “make sense” of, and handle, the dysfunction in the everyday life of the family.

If the dysfunction within the family unit is not acknowledged and addressed, the addict is more likely to continually relapse. This is why we believe strongly in family therapy. Family therapy is critical in helping teenagers recover from substance abuse.

#2 The Caretaker:
The caretaker will often cover up the addict’s problems and responsibilities to keep everyone happy. The caretaker role often enables the addict. 

Enabling may look like : Disbelief and denial of addiction, covering up the problem due to parental guilt and shame, attempting to make life easier as a solution by giving money or gifts not earned, expecting less, removing responsibilities, etc., overlooking bad behavior to keep peace, trusting the promises of an addict, inconsistency – not following through with logical consequences, preventing natural consequences, forgiving too quickly, blaming his or her peers, believing lies.

The caretaker works hard to keep everyone in the family happy, for fear that if the real issues are realized, the family could fall apart. What the caretaker doesn’t understand is that their fear of addressing painful issues is actually preventing the family from operating as a healthy unit.

#3 The Hero:
The Hero devotes time and attention to making the family look “normal” and without problems. By overachieving and being successful in school, work or social activities, the Hero feels he/she can mask or make up for the dysfunctional home life. 

Many times the Hero feels pressure to keep the family’s success and image afloat. This is a huge burden for one person to carry!

#4 The Scapegoat:
The Scapegoat often acts out in front of others. They will rebel, make noise, and divert attention from the person who is addicted and their need for help in addiction recovery. The Scapegoat covers or draws attention away from the real problem.

#5 The Mascot:
The Mascot’s role is that of the jester. They will often make inappropriate jokes about those involved. Though they do bring humor to the family roles, it is often harmful humor, and they sometimes hinder addiction recovery.

#6 The Lost Child:
The Lost Child is the silent, “out of the way” family member, and will never mention alcohol or recovery. They are quiet and reserved, careful to not make problems. The Lost Child gives up self needs and makes efforts to avoid any conversation regarding the underlying roles.


Were you able to identify a few of these roles within your household? If your answer is yes, you’re probably thinking “what now?” As we said, family therapy is so important! It not only helps the addict find recovery, but it also helps his/her family recover! 

At Clearfork Academy, we know addiction is a family issue, and we want to support each family member throughout the process. In addition to family therapy sessions, we have support groups for parents of kids in treatment, and for parents of alumni. We also have a private Facebook page just for parents, to help you connect, and have a safe place to ask questions and find support. 

If your son is “The Addict”, don’t try to cover it up or struggle through it alone any longer! Get him the help he needs, so everyone can begin to heal. We’ve helped thousands of boys find recovery, and we’d love to help your son too! Our clinical specialists are available to take your call any time of day, and offer professional guidance on your son’s unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at or visit our website at!

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The Top 5 Reasons Therapists Are Choosing Clearfork Academy



Your clients turn to you for guidance when they need substance abuse and/or mental health treatment. They ask you where to go, and who can help them and their family. We know you only want to refer your clients to treatment facilities you can genuinely trust. You want a place that’s equipped and qualified to handle each specific issue and diagnosis that your client is facing. 


If you’re looking for the best treatment facility to collaborate with, we are here to help! At Clearfork Academy, we offer gender-specific, faith-based, treatment for boys ages 13-18. We’ve successfully helped thousands of teen boys find a new path and create a new legacy.


Here are the top five reasons we are the #1 choice for many therapists:

1. Our Services

  • Residential Treatment
    Unlike others that only offer a 28-day treatment option, our program is a full 13 weeks long. We use that time to help our patients focus on their recovery, learn life skills, and learn how to lead a better life.
  • Medical Detox
    As patients begin to clear their body of substances, our medical staff customizes and oversees their care. The health and safety of our boys is always a top priority.

2. Qualified Staff

  • Master Level Clinicians
    At Clearfork Academy, we are well-equipped to treat multiple mental health diagnoses. Our masters level licensed therapists meet individually with each patient. They work to help these boys understand the underlying causes of their addiction, and find lasting change.
  • On-Site Nurses
    The health of our patients is of the utmost importance. For that reason, there is a nurse on-site 24-7. Our nurses oversee the detox process, and treat any other health concerns as needed.

3. Family Care

  • Family Therapy
    At Clearfork Academy, we have a full-time family therapist on staff. Substance abuse and mental health treatment is a family issue, so we care for the entire family. Additionally, the support of family plays a huge role in the success of many teens in treatment.
  • Family Support Groups
    Our family support group meets every Tuesday. It is our goal to be engaged with the families of our patients, and to stay engaged with them. This support group is for the families of current patients, and for the families of our alumni. We are here for the families of these boys for as long as they need us!

4. Treatment Modalities

At Clearfork Academy, we utilize a variety treatment modalities based on the patient and their specific needs. Through these different therapy options, we are able to successfully treat multiple diagnoses, including trauma and depression.

5. Aftercare

  • A Plan For Success
    On the first day of treatment, our team begins working on an aftercare plan for each patient. When boys leave our facility, we want them to be well-equipped to continue their recovery journey.
  • Alumni Team
    From the moment of admission, our patients become a part of the Clearfork family. We love inviting our alumni back to share their stories of hope with current patients. Our team is always available to assist with resources, guidance and recognition of important benchmarks no matter how long it’s been since graduation.


Over the years we have built relationships with many therapists. Our relationships are built on trust. When a therapist refers one of their clients to Clearfork Academy, they are able to rest assured with 100% confidence that their client and family are receiving the best treatment available. 


“My experience referring young men to Clearfork Academy has been positive. From the admissions process to returning to me for aftercare, I felt informed and engaged. More importantly, their active, intentional, & therapeutic approach helps teens work toward healing and living a life in recovery.” – Cristal Clark, LPC-S


If you’d like to learn more about the treatments available at Clearfork Academy, the first step is to connect with us and schedule a lunch or campus tour. Please give Missy a call at (214) 592-7012, email, or visit our website at


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Is It Safe To Send My Son To Treatment During COVID-19?

This seems to be the number one question these days, and understandably so! COVID-19 has affected many aspects of everyday life, but the truth is, addiction hasn’t stopped. Substance abuse and mental health can’t wait! Your son’s treatment is still essential, and we are ready and equipped to help.

“We’ve been here every day since March, and we continue to fight the good fight for our kids and for our families.”

Austin Davis, LPC-S, Founder/CEO

So, what are we doing to ensure your son’s health and safety? We are following all policies and procedures as required by the CDC, in addition to our regular health and safety protocols. This includes things like temperature checks for anyone entering the building, twice a day cleaning of high traffic areas, and pre-screening of all new admissions for COVID-19 symptoms. Here are some additional ways we are prepared to keep your son healthy and safe:

  • Social Distancing – Our facility is situated on over 80 acres of land, so it’s really easy for us to spread out! It also means your son can take part in plenty of fun outdoor activities, and avoid enclosed spaces.
  • No Large Crowds – We have one staff member for every four clients. Our groups are kept small, and our counselors maintain individual case loads. This means your son will only be around a small group of people on a regular basis.
  • Medical Staff – Not only do we have an MD on staff, we also provide nurses 24/7! We have all necessary PPE equipment available as needed, and a plan in place if anyone should become sick. If your son needs medical attention in any capacity, we are already equipped to handle it!
  • Distance Learning – We have a partnership with the University of Texas Charter School already in place. Our staff works alongside the charter school teachers to ensure that each student stays on track academically. Through this partnership, your son is able to stay in school from the safety of our facility.
  • No Visitors – As a COVID-19 precaution, family members are not permitted to visit our facility at this time. The good news is, we already have a system in place to make sure you are still able to meet with your son! For the last several years, we have offered our non-local clients the option of Zoom meetings. Now we are able to offer this option to all of our families, to ensure your time with your son.

At Clearfork, our staff is highly trained, and we have your son’s well-being in mind at all times. We are taking every precaution to keep him safe while he’s in our care. If you have other specific questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask.


Don’t let COVID-19 keep you from getting your son the help he needs.


To speak to our clinical admission specialists for professional guidance, call 888-966-8604 or visit our website at!

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4 Ways to Keep Kids Out of Trouble

When you think about summer you might think of the hot summer sun, beaches, the lake, vacation, or snow cones (or ice cream)… mmm. But if you are a parent you think of unsupervised children for extended periods of time during their long summer break. You worry about what they could be getting into, who they could be seeing, or even where they are.

You can provide a way to gain back some of your sanity by introducing some of these ideas to your kids. Do it in a way that makes it their idea if you have to. Get them engaged in something other than the TV or Snapchat and Instagram. You have a very limited time with your kids, 18 years for most parents.

That’s only 936 weeks to take advantage of that time and embrace their curiosities and ideas without moaning an exhaustive, overly boring yawn every time they want to do something… for the hundredth time.

1. Get Them Interested in a Career

Encourage them to get a summer job. Not only does it keep them less involved with bad influences it also builds lasting character in them that they can carry into adulthood. Share with your kids the importance of financial responsibilities and security. Summer jobs don’t have to be monotonous and uninteresting either. Consider amusement parks and water parks, jobs at the zoo, or summer camps.

Some of these jobs come with the added benefit of being able to get into the park for free or discounted rates. Even being a golf caddy, sports ref, or barista can be an exciting job that builds on a current hobby. Consider the fact that these jobs are summer jobs and they do not have to be permanent so your teen can try different jobs every summer and see what works for them. There is no obligation to stay at the job as long as your teen is upfront about the intention of the job being a temporary summer position.

2. Help Them Get into Extracurricular Activities

Preferably ones that get them out of the house and out of their comfort zone. Pursuing an interest that presents some reservations because it is out of there norm may produce in them the ability to step away from peer pressure situations. While all their friends are pursuing something that is morally wrong, they will begin to flee from it because it no longer feels comfortable just because their peers are engaging in it.

Think of this as an opportunity to invest in their future by finding a hobby that sparks interest in them in a healthy way and literally buying into it.

If they become interested in woodworking maybe pay for them to get into a 4 to 6-week hands-on woodworking class. This has a dual purpose; they can pursue something they are actually attentive to and it keeps them preoccupied during those long summer breaks.

3. Taking Family Trips

Taking family trips is a fun exciting way to get the entire family involved in stepping away from life and taking a break to recharge. Even if you cannot afford to take some big family cruise somewhere consider the “stay-cation” not only is it good on your budget it allows you to explore your city or the ones surrounding it. This is a great opportunity to have them do the leg work for the trip; finding deals, researching the times and costs of the activities they want to do.

Remember that this is a family vacation and the events and activities should be pertinent to them.

Save the not-so-kid-friendly activities like watching the grass grow for another time (unless they are into it.) After all, you only have 18 short years (or less) with your kids. Find a supervisory balance during these trips. You want to allow your kids some freedom while maintaining your parental responsibilities. Give them some freedom to explore but do not lose sight of your intention to draw closer as a family.

4. Have Fun with Them

Lastly, do something fun with your kids. Not something you think is fun. Find that movie they love, that place they like to eat, the sweet kicks convention they have been begging to go to, or even the Taylor Swift concert and make it an event for them. Let them make the choice and plan the day.

Roll with it, whatever it is.

Get involved with their lives authentically and remember that you are there to guide them but also that you were a kid once too. You were probably into some really cheesy, boring stuff too. So, take the selfie and show interest in things they like even if you have no clue what dope, Gucci, and lit mean. Cool, good, and amazing respectively. But do it without being thirsty (trying to get attention) or throwing shade (giving dirty looks).

Ultimately, build a genuine connection with them and allow them to get into healthy activities and hobbies. If it seems mind-numbing and uninteresting to you consider that it could be much worse and in too many homes across the world it is. Take interest in their hopes and dreams specifically in 9th and 10th grade because their minds are exploding with new interests and curiosities. Keep them on track with what is good in life, so you do not have to bury them early because they jumped onboard with drug and alcohol abuse. Steer their choices by engaging in what they like so that they will be more willing to pursue them.

They want to connect with you so give them a way to do it.

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Differences Between Adult and Teen Treatment

Although, substance abuse treatment is often regarded as being the same across the board there are several differences. Specifically differences for adults and teens. In the following, we will show you some ways that Clearfork Academy is different.

Substance abuse treatment is most successful when the treatment program is personalized to an individual’s specific needs. Most of the time a treatment program is tailored to those individuals based on their developmental needs which are most often determined by age. Because adolescents have vastly different developmental, psychological, and physical needs compared to adults and because this is the time frame in which most people experiment with drugs and alcohol, it is imperative that treatment is finely tuned to fit the needs of our teens. Since the program is personalized to fit their needs it builds a better foundation for our teens to succeed when they leave treatment. It provides a firm foundation for them to rebuild upon and they have a greater understanding of their underlying issues.

teen leaning on wall


Diagnosing substance abuse in teens and adults varies slightly. The use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has a set of 11 criteria the help determine the presence and severity of a substance use disorder.

  • Using more of the substance or using it longer than intended
  • Needing more of the substance over time to get the same effect
  • Craving the substance
  • Spending large amounts of time using or seeking the substance
  • Developing relationship issues over substance use
  • Having physical or psychological problems related to substance use
  • Spending less time in favorite activities due to substance use
  • Neglecting work, home, or school responsibilities due to substance use or its effects
  • Using the substance in dangerous situations
  • Being unable to stop using the substance even in the face of consequences
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if substance use is stopped

In adults the presence of 3 or more of these symptoms is an indication of a substance use disorder, however, many signs and symptoms presented in the DSM-5 are normative behaviors for teens. For this very reason, substance use in adolescents is often missed or overlooked as being part of “normal” youth development. Because of this, it is suggested to look at some of the criteria more rigorously. For Example:

  • Tolerance – Adolescents may more quickly develop a tolerance for substances for a variety of reasons, especially when moving from experimentation to more regular use.
  • Risky behaviors – Adults are more likely than teens to engage in hazardous activities while using drugs or alcohol partly because teens have limited access to these activities.
  • Withdrawal – These symptoms usually appear after years of drug abuse, making them less likely to occurs in teens, even with frequent heavy use. But just because the signs are not there does not mean substance use disorder is not present.
  • Cravings – The existence of cravings and how they are defined in teens may be vague. Some teens who use heavily report cravings, however, the definition of cravings for younger people may affect whether or not they are reported accurately.

Family sitting


Family participation is considered extremely vital in helping teens reduce their drug or alcohol use. Since teenagers have a required dependency on the family for many things including; transportation, monetary stability, living arrangements, and emotional connection, keeping the family involved in the recovery process increases the likelihood of follow-through. At Clearfork Academy we format this in a weekly meeting we do every Saturday before visitation with our client’s families called T.E.A.M. This resource explores ideas that the families can implement while their teen is in treatment. It provides parents and other loved relatives the chance to work on things while their teen is working on things. All of this then comes to the forefront in individual and family counseling sessions. This ensures that the family is growing together rather than becoming further separated by the distance that addiction causes.

Referral Link


Drug and alcohol abuse recovery is a collective responsibility that requires community across all facets of an individual’s life. Many adults tend to relapse due to stress or other negative emotional effects. For teens, aftercare and relapse prevention require a different direction. Teenage relapse risk is primarily based on peer pressure and the feeling that continuing to abuse substances contributes to social standing. We begin planning their next steps within the first week in treatment. We want our kids to succeed so we begin making connections for them outside of residential treatment at Clearfork Academy. Whether that means going to an Intensive Outpatient Program three times a week for a few hours upon discharge or going to a Sober Living facility that will maintain accountability or helping them find a Sober High School in their area. All of the decisions are made with the teen and their parent. We empower the teen to present their ideas to their parents which allows them the ability to confront a situation constructively and with compromise in mind.

praying for teen


When working with teens if they are not mentally stimulated, encouraged, or motivated regularly they begin to take steps backward impeding the recovery process, so we are constantly engaging them, showing interest in them and walking right beside them in this battle of recovery. When we continue to build this rapport, it provides a safe space for the teens to open up and share what is going on beneath the surface. We know that most teens are rightly reluctant to open up to strangers so our Recovery Team, from the CEO all the way down, have to be seen as mentors for our teens. We take time and go out of our way to connect with our teens and they become family the moment they arrive on campus. We remind them they do not ever have to do this alone. We show them that we care by forming relationships with them and confronting challenges beside them.

new legacy


The teenage brain is still developing and at a rapid pace, therefore, they do not always make logical decisions. In fact, the information is often perceived in a very different way than the adult brain. We have to focus on emotional reasoning rather than logical reasoning. They act purely on impulse and emotion, so we take that momentum and drive it into a more positive decision. We fuel them with positivity so that when a moment or difficult situation presents itself their impulse is to remain positive. We cannot give our teens a dissertation of the day’s events, they need short, quick facts. Brevity is the key to presenting the information in a way that they can digest. We cannot say:

“Good morning. Today’s weather is sunny and 79*. First, we are going to have hygiene time so make sure you give yourself enough time to get all that done, and your bed made. Then, we are going to do our morning devotional and talk about our 3 G’s. Afterward, we are going to eat breakfast, I think its biscuits and gravy today, and then we are going to do our chores. Make sure you get with your teammate for your zone to split your chores. After that, we are going to have a process group about the addiction cycle that you learned about yesterday…”

Instead, we just say, “Good morning. Time to hygiene. After that get out to the couch so we can do morning devotional.”

When we give them short bursts of the direction it is easier for them to process and stay on task. It provides them very rigid boundaries about what we are expecting from them at that moment.


Our team is dedicated to the process and they are willing to walk alongside our teens through the thick and thin of a life in recovery. We understand that addiction can take a toll on a teen and their family and that is the way we take our unique approach in presenting information clearly and directly to our teens while keeping their families engaged in the process. We believe that through balancing all of these aspects and more in the boundaries of treatment that a teen can be successful in recovery and that they will become a vessel of change for those around them.

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Shame “Less” Recovery

SHAME – How often in addiction do we hear people say, “You should be ashamed of yourself!” or “Look what you’ve put us through!”? It is likely more often than we should.

Shame is a real, raw and painful emotion. It brings in alliance the ideas of regret, self-hate, and dishonor and boils them together into a chaotic muddling with often devastating results and sometimes even addiction. People tend to align guilt and shame jointly, however, they are vastly different. Guilt says, “I did something wrong,” while shame says, “I am something wrong.”
Theologically shame has been around since the first humans, Adam and Eve, roamed the lush fields in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were both warned not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and after Eve was so easily tempted by the serpent they indulged, thus resulting in the first sin. The writer of Genesis tells us “At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness…” (Genesis 3:7a, NLT.) Later, when they heard God, they hid (as if the all-knowing, all-powerful God could not see them.) God called out to Adam, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9, NLT) To which Adam replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” (Genesis 3:10, NLT) In that very instant the sin that so easily entangled them led to the shame that is now woven into the thread of, not only this story but religion, culture, society, and even our belief system.

Adam and Eve after they were banished from the Garden of Eden for disobeying God. The beginning of shame.
Adam and Eve after they were banished from the Garden of Eden for disobeying God. The beginning of shame.

Shame has become the mushy, pliable foundation on which we construct lies, develop secrets, and contrive facades of who we pretend to be. If unaddressed it continues to increase slowly and persistently in our psyche; establishing itself with one singular internal insult at a time. It then has the capability to cultivate itself into an incredibly sized festering monster of self-hatred, doubt, depression, and worry that will demolish everything in its path.

The shame cycle states that if shame is not addressed it will continue to worsen.
The shame cycle states that if shame is not addressed it will continue to worsen.

Recognizing shame within oneself is a critical part of the process to overcome the negative impact on the live’s of our clients here at Clearfork Academy. We are affording them the opportunity to step out of the Shame Matrix: Attacking Self, Avoidance,  Attacking Others, and Withdrawal using a simple awareness assessment.

  • I physically feel shame in/on my…
  • It feels like…
  • I know I’m in shame when I feel…
  • If I could taste shame, it would taste like…
  • If I could smell shame, it would smell like…
  • If I could touch shame, it would feel like…

One step for defeating shame is to “break the silence.” Becoming transparent and exposing the secrets and lies that were so flaw-fully fabricated provides open channels to gaining freedom. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32, NIV) Accepting emotions is also a pivotal part of ridding one’s life of shame. Shame is afraid of exposure, however, providing the opportunity for a client to contain their guilt while also releasing the shame can prove to be difficult if you are not prepared.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36, NIV)
“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36, NIV)

Strategically, addressing shame is similar to addressing trauma and often it is directly connected to trauma. It is always expressed as a present event in its exposure. Applying an empathetic approach is the catalyst for the continued sharing of the shameful thought processes. Empathy continues to establish, confirm, and solidify the safe environment in which shameful thoughts can be revealed. Providing positive reflection of how you presently view the client should always be introduced into the process.
We teach our client’s to be appreciative of what they do have and to develop a sense of gratitude. Each morning as the clients gather around for their morning devotional we begin asking them three questions to start the day:

  1. What is good about today?
  2. What are you grateful for?
  3. What is your goal for the day?

The most amazing part of asking the “3 G’s” is that the answer does not have to be eccentric or elaborate. This simple exercise teaches the client to be grateful for the small things first. They are now aware of and able to acknowledge a shared experience of receiving things of worth. More importantly, this proves to them that they are worthy recipients of positive things. Worthy enough to receive the blessings and glorious riches that can only be given by a redeeming father, God. A process that we call Belief Transformation, rather than Behavior Modification.

We believe that shame becomes unbelief that materializes as a God-shaped-hole in the heart. But by applying these methods and practices we can begin to see the developmental adjustments of the belief system.


If you know a teen that is struggling with substance abuse. Call us today. 817-382-8463
If you know a teen that is struggling with substance abuse. Call us today. 817-382-8463

In recognizing and becoming aware of shame and its damaging effects, there has to be a full transformation. Pathologizing states, “I am bad” and “Something is wrong with me” and “I screw everything up.” On the other side normalizing enforces a separation between the individual and the event, “I did a bad thing” and “I’m not the only one” and “I made a mistake this time.” This transfiguration develops and eventually becomes shame resiliency.

Shame resiliency allows for a client to recognize their shame triggers (person, place, statement, or event) and see the personal vulnerabilities that led to the feelings of shame much like doing an accountability inventory. After this, they can grasp an awareness of the external forces that introduced shameful thinking into their life. Accessing empathetic support such as a mentor or sponsor then allows the individual to voice the shame (it cannot survive exposure.) This approach diffuses any avenue that shame will take to manufacture and introduce negative thoughts and feelings back into the individual’s belief system.

Developing compassion for those individuals that are suffering in shame shows applied empathy and further nurtures the person’s identity. Our counselors use all of these techniques while concurrently developing the clients through teaching/education and mindfulness to show them that they can learn new acceptable behaviors to counteract the shame and other behavioral disorders. By design, over the course of 90-days the walls come down, the shame comes out and the clients are ultimately provided with a safe environment to embrace the redemptive grace of Jesus Christ and journey on to a #NewLegacy.
If you know a teen that is struggling with substance abuse please contact us today at 817-382-8463 or go to our admissions tab.




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How to Stage an Intervention for Your Teen

You’ve discovered that your teenager has been using drugs. You most likely have a strong desire to confront your teen, harnessing your parental authority to reprimand their behavior. Being teenagers, they’ll likely meet your threats and demands with equal resistance and a passionate assurance that you have no idea what it’s like to be them. This argument could go on for hours but, in truth, there’s no productive resolution here.

Don’t give up hope.

It’s completely normal for any teen to naturally push their parents away, especially when drugs are involved. If there’s any hope in getting through to your child, you’ll need to approach the situation delicately.

Your first step should be a casual, empathetic conversation, realizing that your teen is probably just as frightened as you are. Choose a non-threatening environment, like a restaurant or a park. Remain calm as you address your concerns, asking questions to learn and understand the thinking behind their decisions. If you are met with resistance and defensive anger, move on from the discussion, making sure not to escalate the situation further.

If you’re not having any luck with this approach, your next step should be organizing a formal intervention.

When planning an intervention for your teen, it’s important to have a plan. Don’t just round up every friend and neighbor and corner your child in their bedroom. Below are a few considerations to be made in advance that will increase the likelihood of your message being received.


Similar to your first attempt, choose a location that’s comfortable, private, and non-threatening. If possible, try to stage your intervention outside of the home, like at a friend or relative’s house.

Who To Include

Invite close friends and family members who have been impacted by your child’s behaviors. Think about including influential figures in your child’s life, such as coaches, pastors, or other mentor-like figures who may be willing to participate.

Know The Facts

Before the intervention, do some research to learn how addiction is treated and what the recovery process looks like. Keep in mind that your teen is likely scared of what may happen during treatment, and you should be prepared to address the concerns they have.

The Conversation

Participants should share how they’ve been affected by the child’s behavior, making sure to use “I feel” statements. Make sure to keep the conversation centered around how you and others have been hurt without pointing fingers and making your teen feel guilty or defensive.

Be Tough, But Loving

Lay out what is going to change if your child does not agree to treatment. Explain that privileges, such as vehicle use, allowance, cell phone, etc., will be withheld until they agree to get help.

Follow Through

None of your threats will hold any merit without your commitment to follow through. Don’t let your teen convince you to make exceptions; stand firm in your decisions.

Throughout the intervention process, stress your desire for your child to get treatment. If they agree, at any point, immediately take them to a predetermined treatment facility. If you can, review the treatment center’s guide regarding “what to bring” and have a bag packed for your child in advance.

If your teen walks out of the intervention, or consistently refuses to get help, end the intervention. For now, stick to the consequences you outlined earlier, and begin planning for another intervention.

Don’t be discouraged if your attempts fail the first few times. In many cases, it can take several conversations to get the response you would like. Be persistent, but don’t push too hard. Sometimes a little patience will go a long way.

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How to Tell if Your Teen is Using Drugs

As parents, it’s easy to forget the challenges our teens face in our popularity-driven culture. The overwhelming pressure of fitting in, the emotional toll of rejection, and the stress of academic success can all increase a teenager’s risk of caving in to any number of dangerous behaviors.

For some teens, drug and alcohol abuse is a tool to fit in or cope with the hardships of growing up. But, the truth is that too many parents miss the warning signs associated with teen substance abuse which, too often, wind up revealing themselves much too late.

Here are a few signs to look for:

Physical Signs

  • Bloodshot eyes: Sure, maybe your teen was up all night studying for an exam, but expanding blood vessels in the eyes is common in alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana use. Abnormal changes in pupil size may also be caused by substance use.
  • Changes in hygiene: Teenagers go through quite a few physical changes, which can be both seen and smelled. But are these differences a result of a changing body or their changing habits? Substance abusers often have a tendency to neglect their hygiene and personal appearance.
  • Change in appetite: Depending on the substance, appetites can either increase or decrease, leading to sudden fluctuations in eating habits and weight gain or loss.

Behavioral and Psychological Signs

  • Academic performance: Substance abuse changes the brain in many ways, so if your teen’s grades are suffering- especially if they had previously averaged good marks- this may be an indicator of substance abuse.
  • Missing items: Drugs and alcohol cost money. If you’ve been suspiciously losing cash or other valuables recently, they may be funding your teenager’s habit. Also, pay special attention to disappearing prescription medications that are accessible throughout the home.
  • Changes in friends: Teen substance abuse is common in kids struggling to fit in. If they’ve recently begun “fitting in” with an unusual crowd, drugs and alcohol may be at the heart of this friendship.
  • Mood or personality changes: This one may seem laughable because, well, they’re teenagers. But outbursts of spontaneous anger or agitation may be an effect of drug or alcohol use.

Looking back at these possible signs of substance abuse, it’s understandable how each one could easily be mistaken for today’s typical teen. Even so, if you observe any combination of these changes in your child, question the reason behind them. Be objective and open to the possibility that your teen could be using drugs or alcohol, even if that means accepting this commonly denied truth.

Take a look at a more comprehensive list of signs and symptoms here:

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5 Self-Care Tips

Self-care is very important! We can often get overwhelmed at what life can throw at us and with the hurried mentality that the world has today we made this infographic of tips. Enjoy!

Here are 5 Self-Care tips to help you center and regain your energy: 5 Self-Care Tips


1. Pray -It’s no surprise this is first. Jesus prayed constantly. He prayed at his baptism, he prayed alone on a hill, he prayed for Peter’s faith, he prayed for forgiveness, and he even prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, a moment of suffering, praying for his Father’s will. Prayer connects us to the Healer whose loving presence ought to be a part of our self-care practices. Since prayer is often reflective, it allows for inner healing as we become attentive to the movements within us, how our day to day experiences (and even burnout) are affecting us.

Prayer is that place we can grapple with the pain but also where we can find inner peace. This is why making a retreat can be so helpful. Luke 5:16 says, But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Set healthy boundaries. Connect spiritually for the journey ahead. Even if your prayer is as simple as, God, thank you for blessing me. This simple task will adjust your perspective on things and help you to slow down and focus on the present.


2. Lower Your Expectations – The higher your expectations the lower your serenity. If happiness and compassion are your sole goals, lower your expectations. Through the floor. Expect no good things to come to you, from you, from circumstances or from others and you’ll be eternally delighted, grateful for any good things that happen. No expectation of a pony means no risk of disappointment. Find peace in lowering your expectations and you will become happier in difficult situations and know how to handle them.

Not only does lowering expectations help you to become happier but it also allows you to lower your anxiety and depression as well.


3. Practice Mini-Meditation – One minute of awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations; one minute of focused attention on breathing; and one minute of awareness of the body as a whole. Incorporating this simple self-care exercise into your day can transform your relationship to yourself, to others, and the world around you. While the practice of meditation dates back centuries, it has recently gained newfound popularity. Why the sudden popularity boom?

Meditation is accessible to everyone and can be tailored to accommodate a variety of time constraints, demanding responsibilities, physical disabilities, and lack of space. Meditation is a healthy form of self-care and both experts and meditation enthusiasts say it’s a valuable antidote to the fast pace of our technology-driven culture. Taking this short period of time out in your day will help you to become more effective and productive.


4. Find Some Rest – Catch a few extra Z’s. Unwind before you conk out. Go to bed early one night a week and see the difference it can make for your stress levels. Studies have shown that children and teens need the most amount of sleep. From 1-5-years old 10-14 hours is sufficient, and from 6-17-years old 8-11 hours of sleep per night is more suitable. And despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, most older people still need at least 7 hours of sleep. Since older adults often have trouble sleeping this long at night, daytime naps can help fill in the gap.


5. Goof Around A Bit – Stop taking yourself so seriously. Schedule in five minutes of non-directed activity several times throughout your day to make yourself smile. Laughter has a wealth of unexpected wellness benefits. Laughter has a ways to go before it becomes formally accepted by the medical community as a legitimate form of treatment and therapy. But do we really need a gold stamp of approval before embracing it more? Laughter feels good and is an immediate mood booster. That alone justifies adopting it and incorporating it into your self-care routine.

So, If you know a teen that is struggling with substance abuse please call us today: 817-382-8463




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What Is Faith-Based Recovery?

If you’re considering getting help for your addiction, the treatment possibilities can be overwhelming. You likely have many uncertainties and questions like, “what type of treatment is best for me?” or “will any of this really work?” After all, no one can truly guarantee that you’ll actually achieve sobriety, right?

That’s a true statement. But what if it were possible to find a place where hope powerfully drowned out your doubts and instilled within you strength and perseverance? In fact, there is such a place, and all you need to find it is a little bit of faith.

“Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me,” says Psalm 50:15. What greater joy than the assurance of healing? When you choose a faith-based recovery program, you’ll get evidence-driven clinical treatment, similar to that of the typical treatment facility, with the added confidence that comes from belief in a higher power.

Because recovery is more than just kicking a bad habit, the foundation of a faith-based treatment program empowers people in recovery through biblical teachings and philosophy to build a complete, healthy lifestyle. In fact, embracing these Christian values throughout treatment can be a critical element in recovery for many.

Addiction is not simply a physical dependency, it also takes its toll on the mind, body, and spirit. Those who struggle with addiction can be overcome with guilt and shame. But we know that, through Christ, we are forgiven. Once that settles in, it becomes easier to acknowledge those around us who we’ve hurt, and ask forgiveness of them. Similarly, we can extend the same love, grace, and forgiveness to those who may have hurt us, as well.

No doubt, one of the strongest benefits of faith-based recovery is the opportunity to receive an opportunity for a second chance. Throughout the recovery process, the values of Christian living help guide addicts in restructuring their lifestyle and starting fresh.

It’s true, no one can guarantee your complete recovery. But, through a faith-based recovery program, you’ll be on the receiving end of a promise much larger than anyone else can offer.