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Will School Get in the Way of My Teen’s Recovery?

Has your child recently finished rehab or drug counseling? Are you struggling to find the balance between back-to-school stress and recovery? You’re not alone; this is a hard part of the year for us at Clearfork Academy because we see so many families tackling this problem. If you’re concerned school may get in the way of your child’s recovery, let us walk you through what you can expect and how to help your family adjust to a new normal. 

1. How long after treatment can my teen go back to school?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions. Should you wait three weeks? One day? The best time frame is not a hard-and-fast rule, because each situation is unique. This is a difficult transition and can potentially be triggering for your child. Pay attention to their habits as they leave treatment–are they making friends with other kids in recovery? Do they take an active role in their recovery process or wait for you to prompt them? 

There is a party culture and peer pressure in schools, so make sure your child has the tools to succeed before sending them back in. Have conversations about your child’s triggers and what coping strategies they can use in a social setting. 

 

2. What should we talk about before my teen goes back to school?

It’s easy to make a laundry list of topics to discuss before sending your teen back to school, but some of the most important conversations can get lost in the mix that way. Focus your efforts on a few key areas: boundaries, triggers, and people. 

– Boundaries & Triggers

Setting healthy boundaries is a critical step in long-lasting recovery–remember: it’s a life-long commitment. What are the positive boundaries we can set to help avoid negative triggers? If your teen used to stop by a popular smoking spot before or after school, don’t just give them a vague lesson in avoidance. Replace things they should avoid with a positive alternative. Instead of going for a smoke with their friends after school, maybe they can stop for a snack on the way home or get involved in an activity like sports, drama, or community outreach to fill in the gaps. Sit down and make a plan on what their before and after school will look like. It’s also important to note these should involve positive things that your teen enjoys. If they don’t like the plan, it can feel like a consequence and has a higher-potential to fail. 

Have good places, good substitutions, and good habits ready for your child to pull from for any situation that could be triggering. 

– People

Peer pressure is one of the big concerns for parents when sending their teen back to school during recovery; however, not all peer pressure comes from wild parties or bad influences. Role models and icons come in all shapes and sizes–musicians, celebrities, and even people your teen knows in real life. Don’t tear down important figures, but it’s okay to stress that everyone can make good and bad decisions. Your tten may love a rock band’s music, but that doesn’t mean they have to play guitar and do cocaine, right?

It’s not just peer pressure to partake in drugs that needs to be on the radar–even old friends and teachers could be a potential point of failure. Good friends don’t always have bad intentions–they could be trying to have fun, or loosen up and not understand potentially triggering situations for your teen. Have the conversation NOW with your child and help them set their boundaries. Roleplay some ways they can discuss them with their friends and peers or how to get out of a triggering situation. 

Teachers can be pillars of support or cracks in your child’s armor. Identify the positive adults at school with your teen and find out ways they can spend more time with that teacher. If there is an authority figure your teen butts heads with, strategize how to diffuse conflict and maybe even how to avoid that adult as much as possible. 

There is no answer that will fit every family, but having some deep conversations can really make all the difference in your child’s success as they return to school. Recovery is an ongoing process and it’s important to identify positive support and potential weaknesses to help stay on track. 

 

If your teen is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com or visit us at clearforkacademy.com. Our team of specialists is standing by to help your family with your unique situation or just to talk and help you answer some questions. 

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Clearfork Treatment Modalities

Clearfork Academy serves adolescent boys, thirteen to eighteen years of age, as they undergo substance abuse and mental health treatment. But how does Clearfork make our program impact each kiddo? What are our treatment modalities?

Clearfork is built on seven core techniques that encourage a linear progression through treatment. It isn’t one size fits all and it isn’t composed of just one thing. It is as complex as a tree – from fruit to root, there are so many facets of each child and their unique situation. We admit these teens into treatment based on the low-hanging fruits that we see, but our seven treatment modalities are designed to target the well-hidden roots. 

 

Narrative Therapy

In narrative therapy, we address the personal narrative each child is spinning and make sure it’s framed in the proper context. When we view our story internally, things have a tendency to get messy as bias and emotion play their parts. Our goal is to look at these stories and help their expression be at an appropriate time and place. How are the characters interacting? What different archetypes are at play here? Someone that may have seemed like an antagonist, may actually be the person that cares the most. 

It’s all about building a healthy storyline and worldview while creating a safe space for the boys to share their feelings.

 

Family Systems

Similar to narrative therapy, family systems provide a systemic look at what’s occurring in each boy’s life. We construct genograms to find patterns of struggles within families and build alliances with these commonalities. Was there something broken in the system that contributed to their actions? How can we use positive connections to move forward?

 

DBT & CBT Therapy

Cognitive behavior therapy and dialectical behavior therapy work together to help us understand ourselves and gain control of our actions. CBT focuses on thought–how to recognize troublesome thoughts and redirect them towards positivity. DBT focuses on self-management–personal acceptance, safety, and emotional control are invaluable skills for any young person today. 

More and more teens are coming to us with what we call a “big-T” trauma. This trauma is addressed in a safe environment. EMDR and other talk therapies are also used as we work through some of these core issues. 

 

Logotherapy

A full week is dedicated to logotherapy as our boys really contemplate what is valuable, meaningful, and gives life purpose. This is a strong foundation that they can take with them for the rest of their lives, through any situation. When grasping something of high importance, it’s much harder to focus on temptation, depression, etc. because the thing we are holding is so much more important to the individual. 

 

Aftercare & Solution Focus

We know every family wants the next steps and what aftercare looks like once treatment is finished, so we spend a full week dedicated to aftercare and solution focus. A pivotal part of long-term success is focusing on what’s ahead rather than what we leave behind. There is always a next opportunity, a next time, a next moment to be better–focusing on what comes next creates a canvas of possibility. 

As the frontal lobe develops in adolescents, it can be hard to think with logic rather than emotion. We encourage mapping out plans, goals, and stepping away from emotion-ruled decision making. 

 

Play Therapy

Lastly, it’s time for some fun after all of that hard work. Clearfork arranges age-appropriate events to get the boys moving mentally and physically. We’re proud of our beautiful campus that boasts things like our rope course, lake, and even equine therapy! We engage in a tactful, fun way to let their brains experience real-life examples of what comes next. And the best part? Everyone has a blast and proves to themself they can tackle any obstacle we throw to them during play therapy. 

 

So, we’ve pulled back the curtain on the seven treatment modalities we use here at Clearfork Academy. Our methods are intensive, fun, and geared towards growing each young man that joins us on campus. 

If you have a child struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we are here to help! Reach out to us. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit us at clearforkacademy.com. Our team of specialists is standing by to help your family in any way we can.

 

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The Mental Health Effects of Covid-19 on Teens

No one could have prepared for the sudden COVID crisis of 2020, and that includes our kids. It’s been undeniably hard on everyone, and when one of our greatest coping mechanisms is the positive reinforcement we get from our friends, what is your teen supposed to do when they’re cooped up at home?

How is the pandemic affecting them?
What are some signs that parents need to be on the lookout for?


Depression is More Prevalent

Sadly, depression has seen a big rise since the start of the pandemic. Teens are even more susceptible to its effects because of their natural hormone imbalances and brain development. They don’t yet have all of the coping skills that adults have crafted over a lifetime.

It can be more than just the blues; severe depression is something to be concerned about. Changes in your child’s behavior or mood could be indicators that they are struggling emotionally and are in need of help.


Signs of Depression

Teens can be moody, even in the best of circumstances, so keep your child’s unique personality and patterns in mind as you go through the possible signs of depression:
        • Irritability
        • Mood swings
        • Withdrawal and isolation
        • Excessive sleeping or napping
        • Loss of appetite
These are symptoms that will typically last for an extended period of time. You should monitor how long you notice certain behaviors. Has it been one or two days? A week or longer? The more severe signs of depression require urgent attention:
If you’ve seen these behaviors in your teen, please seek professional help right away.

 

What You Can Do to Help

If you see any of these behaviors that give cause for concern, don’t be afraid to ask your child about it. Having open lines of communication can be an extreme comfort for you and for them. Urging them to speak to a trusted friend or adult can also foster healthy ways for them to express their emotions in a safe space.

Remember to also lead by example. Talking about your own feelings can prompt input from your teen. Keep a positive outlook even when dealing with your own stress. Take care of yourself, each other, and encourage time spent together as a family.

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Calling your pediatrician, counselor, or a treatment facility like Clearfork to get an assessment of your child’s mental state can make a big difference. It’s never too soon to ask questions, but there could come a time where it is too late. 

Take your child’s mental health seriously, and above all, just be there for them. Let them know that you care. 


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 help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at
www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

 

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
Want to learn more? Click here to check out our YouTube Channel!

 

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Mental Health Treatment at Clearfork Academy

Clearfork Academy is known for helping teens recover from substance abuse and addiction, but did you know we also offer mental health treatment? We are fully equipped with psychiatrists,  psychiatric nurse practitioners, and master’s level therapists to treat a wide variety of mental health concerns. We treat the following:

 

*It’s important to note, we do not treat diagnoses such as major schizophrenia, psychosis or high level autism. 

 

Often substance abuse and mental health issues go hand in hand. We think it’s important to be able to treat the root of the issue, not just the symptoms. We are able to treat teens whose primary concern is mental illness and teens whose primary concern is substance abuse/addiction.

 

 

“Treating mental health concerns makes a huge impact. By treating mental illness soley and purely, we are able to help so many kids in a longer term way. Other treatment facilities offer 30 days of treatment at best to these teens, but we have a 90 day program.” - Austin Davis, LPC-S, Founder/CEO

Click here to hear more from Austin about Mental Health Treatment at Clearfork Academy. 

 

We use a variety of treatment modalities for mental health including DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). We use a family systems approach with these clients as well, and stay solution-focused.

 

Our goal for teens struggling with mental illness is to help them find continued mental health and relapse prevention support. We want these teens to have sustained recovery and maintain a healthy headspace and thinking patterns to ultimately avoid things that would trigger relapse

 

In addition, we offer intensive outpatient services as an after care option for our mental health clients. We encourage each of these teens to continue individual therapy and to maintain social engagement at school and elsewhere after they complete our program.

 

We have helped hundreds of teens find a new path and a new legacy. If you are looking for a place that offers residential treatment for teens with mental health concerns, you’ve found the best! Our clinical admission specialists are available 24/7 to provide guidance on your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

 

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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Here’s Why Clearfork Academy Is The Best Treatment Option, Even If Your Son Isn’t A Christian!

 

 

You’ve landed here in your search for answers. You’re trying to find the best way to help your son with his substance abuse issues. You’ve seen what Clearfork Academy has to offer, and you like what we do here… but you’re a little hesitant. Because we are a faith-based organization, you’re wondering if your son will fit in. Are you a Christian, and your son is not? Has your family never done the “religion” thing? Does your son have completely different religious views from Christianity? How will all of this affect his treatment if he comes to Clearfork Academy? Will he feel uncomfortable or left out?

 

Let me start by saying, your son’s health and recovery will always remain our #1 priority.

 

“I am a clinician first! By choice and by law. My world view is through Christianity, but we are person-centered here at Clearfork Academy.”Austin Davis, LPC-S, Founder/CEO

 

Person-centered therapy has a way of sparking a desire for personal growth in the boys we treat. We want them to be comfortable here and know they can trust us. If your son is into sports, music, sneakers.. that’s where we are going to start! We want to build a relationship and rapport with him, so we can help him take those first steps towards recovery.

 

We are God-centered in the things we do day-to-day. We have chapel, devotions, and prayer before meals, but NOTHING is ever forced.  Once a relationship is built, and your son is used to our culture/community, then we will discuss “the faith thing.” Only when he’s ready. He will decide when/if that is something he wants to talk about.

 

Rest assured, your son does not have to be a Christian to come to Clearfork Academy. Likewise, we aren’t looking to brainwash your kiddo with our religious views. We care about your son. We care about his health and recovery. We are here to help teens like him overcome their addictions, and find a new legacy! 

 

If you still have questions or concerns, contact us today. Our clinical admission counselors are standing by, ready to provide you with professional guidance on your son’s unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com!