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Navigating The Holidays With A Struggling Teen

The holiday season is a stressful time of year for many families. If your teen is struggling with substance abuse, that stress can multiply exponentially. We understand, and you’re definitely not alone! You may have a kid at home that is fighting addiction on a daily basis. Or maybe you have a teen already in treatment. Whatever your situation, here are some practical tips to help you get through this holiday season.

 

For the family with a teen at home struggling with addiction:

If your teen has a problem with drugs or alcohol, the holidays can be especially hard on you as a parent. You want to celebrate as usual, but the stress and worry about your teen can take over quickly. Here are some ways you can still find joy this holiday season.

 

Tip #1: Let go of your expectations. 

This holiday season may look different than last years, and that’s ok. Don’t pretend that everything is ok if it isn’t. Be present in the moment with your teen and give them space to feel their feelings. (And allow yourself space to feel your feelings too! Feelings can be uncomfortable, but they are a normal part of the human experience!)

Tip #2: Accept your current reality. 

No matter who  sits around your table this year, try to find peace and joy in what you have. 2020 has been full of surprises! Navigating through the holidays with an addicted teen can be equally unpredictable. One day at a time, your family will get through this!

Tip #3: Find gratitude in the small things. 

Oftentimes, our minds gravitate to what isn’t right about a situation. This year, I challenge you to intentionally look for the good throughout the holidays. Thank God for the little blessings. You have been blessed for many years, and substance abuse cannot take that away! 

 

For the family with a teen already in treatment:

If your teen is in treatment for substance abuse, we know it’s especially painful being separated during the holidays. Looking back on holiday traditions that your teen is missing this year is hard! We empathize with you, and we want to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Remember when we mentioned that feelings are good and normal- despite being uncomfortable at times? Allow yourself the space to feel the uncomfortable stuff, while also reminding your brain of what’s true. When you feel down, remind yourself that the truth is that your child is in the right place, getting the help they need so that they CAN be a part of all of the holidays to come! Here are some tips to help you through this difficult season.

 

Tip #1: Be encouraged.

Know that your teen is right where they’re supposed to be! They are busy doing the work that must be done to restore their health. It’s hard, but it is worth it! The ultimate goal is for your teen to be sober, full of joy, and back on track. That’s exactly what they’re working on while in treatment! 

Tip #2: Relax while you can.

You don’t need to worry about your teen. They aren’t sneaking off to get high, or going to parties with kids that are a bad influence… Not this year! Take a breath, and realize that the responsibility isn’t on you this holiday season to keep them out of trouble. You don’t have to monitor their every move. You can rest easy, and know they are safe in recovery. 

Tip #3: Stay the course.

We know it may be tempting to pull your child out of treatment during the holidays. You miss them, and you want to be together. It’s so important to remember that leaving treatment too soon can result in huge setbacks. (Even if you’ve seen improvements.) The health and recovery of your teen likely depends on them staying in treatment. They must complete the course set before them! Remember, you’re sacrificing this holiday season so your family can have the next 20, 30, 40+ years of holidays together!

 

If your son is in treatment at Clearfork Academy, know that he is loved and well taken care of here! Our boys are being treated to some delicious holiday meals, and fun activities. Your son is putting in the recovery work, and finishing what he started. He is busy learning, growing, creating new habits, and ultimately- getting healthy!

 

If your teen needs help, don’t put it off any longer! Don’t wait until after the holidays, time is of the essence! At Clearfork Academy, our clinical admissions counselors are on call 24/7, even during the holiday season! Please reach out and let us help you take the necessary steps to get your teen on the road to recovery! Give us a call at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

 

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

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

 

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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!

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How Do I Talk To My Teen About Drug/Alcohol Use?

 

 

As a parent, we know you worry about your teen! You worry about their grades, their friends, their health, their future… and the list goes on. But, it can be overwhelming when those worries turn into things like, “Why is he staying out so late?”, “Has he been drinking?”, “Is he using drugs?”

 

If you’re concerned about your teen, don’t let those questions go unanswered. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Addressing the problem early gives your son or daughter the best chance of success.

 

We know it can be intimidating to initiate the conversation. What to say, what not to say… It feels so heavy. But the truth is, you don’t want to wait to start asking questions until the school calls because your teen was caught with drugs. Or even worse, you don’t want to wait until they’re in the ER due to an accident or overdose. It’s never too early to start the conversation. 

 

If you need to talk to your child about drug or alcohol use, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to help you get started:

 

🚫 Don’t accuse them.

👍 Ask questions.

 

🚫 Don’t try to make them feel guilty.

👍 Listen to them.

 

🚫 Don’t take it personally.

👍 Come alongside them.

 

🚫 Don’t talk down to or shame them.

👍 Get them professional help.

 

“It’s so important to have a relationship with your kids where you’re talking about the good days, the bad days, and the current events in the world. So when the time comes, the relationship is already there and you can ask the hard questions.” – Austin Davis, LPC-S, Founder/CEO

 

If you think your son or daughter may be struggling with substance abuse, don’t wait! Ask the questions. Have hard conversations. Seek professional help!

 

Our clinical admission counselors are standing by, ready to provide you with professional guidance on your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

 

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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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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

Prayer

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.

Expectations

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.

Meditation

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.

Rest

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.

Relaxation

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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