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Honoring Teens’ Stories With Narrative Therapy

Honoring Teens' Stories With Narrative Therapy

Teens battling substance use disorder often find themselves in a cycle of negative thoughts and behaviors. Narrative therapy can be an effective way to help teens break out of this cycle. 

In narrative therapy, teens are encouraged to tell their stories and identify the positive aspects of their lives. This helps teens see themselves in a more favorable light and develop new meaning for their lives. As teens learn to tell their stories more positively, they gain empowerment and are more likely to make positive choices for their future. 

The Basics of Narrative Therapy

The development of narrative therapy in the 1980s was an attempt by New Zealand-based therapists Michael White and David Epston to empower people. It seeks out counseling that’s non-blaming or blaming with no pathology involved.

The concept was to help people feel better while giving them control of their lives. This counseling style helps people become — and embrace being — experts in their own lives. The emphasis is on the stories you develop through your life’s experiences; each event leads to another and so forth until they come full circle back with new meaning for what has happened before.

Elements of the Therapy

There are several main elements that therapists use in narrative therapy, including: 

#1. Externalizing the Problem

This means that the therapist works with the person to help them see their problems as separate from themselves. This can be done through different activities and exercises, such as story-telling or journaling. This separation helps prevent individuals from identifying too closely with the issue and pathologizing themselves. Instead, they learn that they are not the problem. They are people with problems.

#2. Breaking It Down

Deconstruction is breaking down a personal story into smaller pieces to understand it better. This can be done by looking at individual events or experiences and examining them in detail. Through this process, people can often see their stories in a new light and better understand themselves. This can be an incredibly powerful tool for helping teens make sense of their lives and experiences. It can provide a space for individuals to share their stories and be heard and understood. Deconstruction can also help people identify patterns or themes in their lives that they may not have been aware of before. 

#3. Choosing Different Endings 

Part of narrative therapy is choosing different outcomes for our stories. In narrative therapy, we work with the idea that our stories are composed of various components, including plot, characters, setting, etc. By rewriting the outcome of our stories, we can change how we think about ourselves and our lives. This can lead to feelings of hope and empowerment. Choosing alternative endings also helps us understand the role our past experiences have played in shaping our current lives. 

How It Helps Addicted Teens

Narrative therapy is an effective treatment modality for teens struggling with substance use disorders. It honors their individual journey and puts experiences into their own words.

Substance use disorders can be incredibly overwhelming for teens. Not only do they have to deal with the struggles of addiction, but they often feel like they have lost control of their lives. This therapy modality allows teens to tell their stories and be heard. It also empowers them to make healthy decisions and regain control of their lives. Narrative therapy can be a life-changing experience for teens facing substance use disorder, giving them the tools they need to recover and live healthy, happy lives.

Narrative therapy honors their stories by listening to them and using their own words to help them understand their experiences. This type of therapy can help teens feel heard and respected and provide them with a new way of looking at their lives. 

In narrative therapy sessions,  the therapist does not tell the teen what to do or how to feel. Instead, the therapist asks questions and encourages them to explore their own thoughts and feelings. This type of therapy can be beneficial for teens who have been through traumatic experiences, as it can help them make meaning of their experiences and develop a new perspective. Narrative therapy can also help teens to build self-esteem and to set goals for their future.

Teens who struggle with substance use disorder often feel lost and alone. Traditional therapies can be helpful but can also be daunting and alienating. Narrative therapy offers a unique and effective approach for teens struggling with addiction. This therapy emphasizes the individual’s story, helping teens make sense of their experiences and find hope for the future. 

Through narrative therapy, teens can learn to identify and change the negative patterns in their lives. This can lead to greater self-awareness and understanding and ultimately to lasting recovery.

Narrative therapy can have a number of benefits for teens struggling with substance abuse disorder. Narrative therapy focuses on the stories that we tell ourselves about our lives, and how these stories can shape our behavior. Through narrative therapy, teens can learn to identify the negative stories they tell themselves about their substance use and can reframe these stories in a more positive light. This therapy can also help teens to understand the role that substances have played in their lives, and can provide a space for them to share their experiences with substance abuse. In addition, narrative therapy can help teens to develop a sense of control over their lives and can empower them to make positive changes and set goals for the future. To learn more about how this therapy can help teens struggling with substance use, call Clearfork Academy at (888) 966-8604.

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What Is Family Systems Therapy?

What Is Family Systems Therapy?

Family systems therapy (FST) is an approach to treating teen substance use disorder (SUD) that addresses the family dynamic as a whole. While addiction affects the entire family, the family members often enable the addicted individual to continue using substances.

In FST, the family is seen as a system made up of interconnected parts, and each family member is seen as playing an important role in that system. By understanding how each member contributes to the problem, FST can help identify and change dysfunctional patterns of behavior.

FST can help break down the barriers that keep the addicted individual from seeking help. In addition, it can help to improve communication and build new coping skills within the family.

The 4 Subsystems in FST

There are four main subsystems in family systems therapy:

#1. Spousal

The first subsystem is the relationship between the husband and wife. This system sets the tone for how all other relationships will be in the family.

#2. Parental

The second subsystem is the parental system, which includes parents and their children. This system teaches children how to form future relationships outside of the family.

#3. Sibling

The third subsystem is the sibling system, the relationship between brothers and sisters. This system helps children learn how to resolve conflict without violence.

#4. Extended Family

The fourth and final subsystem is the extended family system which includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. This system helps individuals see themselves as part of a larger group.

The four subsystems help you to understand how a family functions as a whole. Each of these subsystems has its own set of rules and patterns of behavior. For a family to function well, all of the subsystems must be balanced.

If one subsystem is out of balance, it can cause problems in the other subsystems. For example, if the parent-child relationship is not working well, it can cause problems in the marital relationship. FST helps families find balance by working on each subsystem separately. By doing this, families can learn how to function as a whole and how to support each other through difficult times.

FST Promotes Unity

Family systems theory posits that family members are interconnected systems and impact each other’s behavior. This theory is often used in family therapy to help families improve communication and resolve conflict.

It can also be applied to teen addiction treatment, as family unity is crucial for a teenager’s recovery. Addressing family dynamics can help break down the barriers that enable addiction, such as enabling behaviors and family disagreements. In addition, family therapy can help family members learn how to support a teenager in recovery, promoting unity within the family system.

Focus On Being Human

Family systems therapy is a form of counseling that focuses on the family unit as a whole rather than individual family members. The theory behind this approach is that families are systems, and each family member plays a role in the system’s functioning. This means that when one member of the family is experiencing problems, it can have an effect on the entire family dynamic.

FTS teen addiction treatment addresses these issues by helping families understand their roles within the family system and learn healthy coping skills. This approach can benefit individuals as it helps them focus on being human rather than being mentally ill or an addict. By understanding the family system and learning how to cope with its challenges, families can begin to heal and move forward in a more positive direction.

Focus on Teamwork

Family systems therapy promotes teamwork within families. Family systems therapy aims to help family members understand and support each other to function more effectively as a unit.

This type of therapy can be particularly beneficial for families dealing with addiction, as it can help them communicate more openly about their experiences and work together to find solutions. By promoting teamwork within families, family systems therapy can help to create a stronger foundation for recovery.

Fosters Accountability

Family systems therapy is a form of counseling that views problems within a family as being caused by the interactions between family members. This therapy promotes accountability by helping family members understand how their actions and words contribute to the family dynamic.

In the context of addiction treatment, family systems therapy can be extremely helpful in getting teens to take responsibility for their recovery. By understanding how their behavior affects the family as a whole, teens can begin to see the need to change their habits and make healthy choices.

In addition, family systems therapy can help families to support and encourage their teen’s recovery by teaching them how to communicate and resolve conflict effectively.

Family systems therapy posits that the family is a complex system with many interconnected parts and that family dynamics play a significant role in individual behavior. This theory has a number of implications for teen addiction treatment. First, it suggests that family unity is essential for promoting recovery. By working to improve communication and strengthen family bonds, teens can create a supportive environment that promotes healing. In addition, family systems theory can help to identify underlying issues that may be contributing to addiction. By addressing these issues, families can help to reduce the risk of relapse and promote long-term recovery. FST promotes accountability and teamwork within the family unit, which can have a great effect on teens’ ability to stay sober. For more information on family systems therapy for teenage substance use disorder treatment, call Clearfork Academy today at (888) 966-8604.

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Why Is Rehab Important Versus Outpatient Therapy?

Why is Rehab Important Versus Outpatient Therapy?

Parenting comes with many challenges that often cause you to sacrifice parts of yourself for your child. However, when your child is struggling to overcome a substance use or mental health disorder, you may feel like you are at a loss on how to help your child. It may be time to consider professional help, such as inpatient or outpatient therapy.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

Inpatient rehabilitation also referred to as rehab, is when a person stays in a 24-hour care treatment facility. However, your length of stay depends on your diagnosis the severity of your symptoms. For some, treatment may last a few days, while it can last a few months for others.

Short-term inpatient treatment can happen in rehabilitation hospitals or specialized wings of acute-care hospitals. The most common form of intensive inpatient treatment is in addiction treatment centers.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

Outpatient rehabilitation programs consist of clinic visits or other therapeutic programs that do not require 24-hour supervision. Outpatient treatment helps when a person’s symptoms and mental health status are not severe enough for inpatient care or if that person does not show signs of harming themself or others. This treatment is more flexible with a patient’s schedule, and they are allowed to return home when they finish their appointment. Outpatient treatment typically consists of:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Medication management
  • Family counseling
  • Group therapy.

Signs Your Teen Needs Inpatient Rehab

Here are four indicators that your teen needs inpatient rehabilitation:

  1. Repeated relapse: If your teen has made numerous efforts to quit substance use and has repeatedly relapsed, then a more intensive approach is necessary. Repeated relapse can signify that previous efforts are not working, and there needs to be a reassessment of their plan. Many factors can contribute to why your teen is relapsing, and an intensive treatment center can address the issue.
  2. Dual-Diagnosis: Drug use is often associated with self-medicating. If your teen has any underlying mental health conditions, they may be using drugs to cope with other uncomfortable symptoms. Residential treatment will give your child access to medically assisted detox, therapy, and medication management. Drug use is most associated with mood, anxiety, and personality disorders but can co-occur with any mental illness.
  3. Safety Issues: If your child’s behaviors have caused a concern of safety for themselves or others, seek professional care. Inpatient treatment will monitor their behavior, and staff will keep them safe from themselves and others. Disorders such as bipolar, schizophrenia, and substance use can have psychosis features such as hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions. They could also contribute to difficulty controlling emotions. Such factors can cause dangerous behaviors that need professional care. Inpatient care can also help administer medications that assist with emotional regulation and mood stabilizers while observing direct side effects if any happen. They will also prevent the patient from developing a dependency on any medication.
  4. Understand Their Actions Have Consequences: If your teen is not learning that the negative effects of their actions result in consequences, this is a sign for intensive help. One of the key components to recovery is learning how their past actions brought harm to their lives and others. If they cannot take full accountability for their actions, they will continue to develop negative habits. Residential facilities give your teen the chance to remove themselves from their old environment that influences their behaviors and focus on making a full recovery.

Finding a Treatment Center

Talk to your child’s pediatrician or clinician once you realize that your child needs more intensive care. They can help you discuss which treatment option suits the child’s circumstances. They may want to assess symptoms to examine your child’s current mental and psychological state.

The next step is to start looking for a treatment center. You should include many factors in your decision, and your search should be comprehensive. You should only consider fully licensed and accredited facilities. Since teens experience different symptoms than adults, they require different care for detox. Teens also require a treatment center that is age-specific. Being in an age-specific environment will connect them with other teens who share similar experiences, which can be comforting.

Family involvement is also crucial to teen recovery, so look for a center that provides family programs and visitation. The center you choose will be home to your child for however long they need to complete treatment, so make every effort to find one that best suits them. Finding a professional and highly trained center will give them the best chance of full recovery.

The thought of sending your child away and placing their care in the hands of people can feel scary. For some teens struggling with addiction and mental health problems, removing them from their previous environment can be the most beneficial aspect of treatment and recovery. It doesn’t mean you failed as a parent. It simply means their condition has gotten out of your control, and professionals who specialize in treatment will help your child return to a healthy lifestyle. If you or someone you know is searching for an inpatient teen addiction and mental health treatment center, Clearfork Academy can help. We are committed to providing care that will meet the needs of every one of our patients. Our goal is to help our patients make a full recovery and stay healthy long after leaving our program. To learn more about our programs, reach out to Call Clearfork Academy today by calling (888) 966-8604.  

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What Coping Skills Can Your Teen Learn Through Equine Therapy?

What Coping Skills Can Your Teen Learn Through Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy is an effective way to help kids cope with stress and anxiety. It can also help them develop communication, problem-solving, and self-esteem skills. Teaching equine therapy often improves academic outcomes, social lives, and mental health.

Animal therapy can help teens cope with stress and anxiety, specifically with horses. Equine therapy offers teens the chance to engage with animals and the natural world. Such a modality helps teens gain perspective, develop coping strategies, and care for themselves and others.

What Is Equine Therapy?

Equine-assisted psychotherapy focuses on helping children and adolescents heal from their emotional or mental pain. The horses used in equine therapy allow the participant to trust their body and emotions. At the same time, they receive treatment from a qualified professional therapist. Horses are particularly good at understanding human emotions and helping people cope with difficult situations.

Caring for the horses can provide teenagers with a sense of connection, trust, and closeness as they learn to ride and care for them. It is an effective method for restoring balance in emotions and relief from stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, and other issues. The practice helps teens develop better self-esteem, communication skills, and problem-solving abilities.

What Are the Benefits of Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy offers a variety of benefits for adolescents, especially when it comes to mental wellness and emotional healing. These benefits help:

  • Improve participants’ academic outcomes and social lives.
  • Help adolescents develop proper communication skills.
  • Teach participants how to regulate their emotions and how to handle difficult situations.
  • Become better equipped to deal with stress and anxiety in their own life.
  • Treat depression, OCD, PTSD, and other mental health conditions.
  • Reduce self-consciousness and body image issues.
  • Promote positive emotions such as joy, self-confidence, and happiness.
  • Develop a strong relationship with an animal which can help them foster relationships.
  • Understand and deal with emotions.
  • Trust their instincts and intuition.
  • Embrace change and adventure as life are full of changes and challenges.
  • Commit and engage in therapy that serves them well.

Learn Crucial Coping Skills From Horse-Riding Therapy

If your teen is struggling with mental health and SUD, horse-riding therapy may be the perfect solution for them. This unique therapy helps adolescents overcome emotional issues and build healthy coping skills. With years of experience in the field, our therapists at Clearfork Academy help teens manage stress and develop tools to cope with life’s challenges. Some of these coping skills include:

  • Setting healthy boundaries. Because of the hands-on approach, adolescents learn the importance and process of setting boundaries. From riding and caring for the horses, teens learn how to handle complex dynamics by taking control of their emotions, communicating effectively with others, and setting realistic expectations.
  • Learning how to serve others. Serving others increases people’s self-esteem and puts their problems in perspective. As the teens feed, brush, and care for their companion horse, they develop a desire to act unselfishly. These unselfish acts often help participants overcome feelings of guilt or shame that stem from the past. They come to realize their inherent value can improve the lives of others if they put kindness into action. It also demonstrates that their past lives or conditions do not define them.
  • Use relaxation exercises. Teens can gain a sense of peace and relaxation as they ride their horses. The horse can provide a safe environment where teenagers can explore their feelings and problems. Horses are known for providing physical and emotional support to teens. Teens can experience a similar calming effect via meditation, listening to music,  exercising, dancing, and socializing with friends, family, or animals.
  • Practice self-awareness and problem-solving skills. Equine therapy helps teens develop self-awareness. Self-awareness can help them face and embrace their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. As a result, they form an accurate understanding of themselves and their environment. Equine therapy gives teens the chance to confront the issues as they arise head-on and work through them. For example, teens’ self-awareness and problem-solving skills grow as they learn the skills and techniques needed to become better riders. This practice will cultivate their confidence in handling challenges as they arise.

Equine Therapy at Clearfork Academy

Our equine therapy program continues to be effective in helping addicts learn how to live a healthy lifestyle without using drugs or alcohol. At Clearfork Academy, we offer equine therapy to help our participants cope with their addiction and recover from its adverse effects. Our treatment helps people move through complex emotions healthily and develop new skills that will ultimately save them from relapse.

Equine therapy helps teens break through the blocks in other areas of their lives. With the help of an equine therapist, you can learn how to take control of your life and make healthy decisions. Equine therapy offers an opportunity for teens to achieve a sense of accomplishment as they progress in building a relationship with their companion horse. It will also help them feel more confident in building relationships and trusting others. At Clearfork Academy, we teach coping skills from Horse-Riding Therapy. Our therapy serves to help your child manage the problems that may arise during the recovery process. We use horses as a means of providing support that can improve your child’s emotional well-being while helping them learn how to live a healthier lifestyle. We work with teens who have had problems related to depression, anxiety, trauma, self-esteem issues, and SUD. To learn more about our treatment plan, call us at (888) 966-8604.

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Adventure Therapy Can Help With Addiction Recovery

Campers on an adventure

Adventure therapy is beneficial for teenagers in recovery because it incorporates real-world challenges to help them cope with behavioral, social, and emotional issues. Further, such practices create an environment that engages the mind, promotes communication skills, and helps teens get out of their comfort zone. Ultimately, adventure therapy will have a positive impact on your teen’s overall mental and physical wellbeing. If your teen has not considered adventure therapy, perhaps now is the time to start. Let’s take a closer look at this model of therapy and how it can become one of the best choices your teen will make for their recovery.

How Does it Work?

Adventure therapy is a form of experiential therapy that incorporates elements from many other beneficial practices such as exercise, mediation, and relationship-building skills. Perhaps, the best part about this therapy is that it provides natural healing properties because most activities happen outdoors.

Additionally, many teenagers discover that they feel more confident after they participate in these activities.

What Does Adventure Therapy Include?

Addiction and risky behavior go hand in hand; however, the risks associated with addiction are unhealthy and could cause your teen to harm themselves or others. Further, risks associated with addiction are often motivated by the need to find the next drink or drug.

Alternatively, adventure therapy is effective because of its ability to present healthier risks and challenges conducive to your teen’s development. Encountering these risks and challenges will help your teen discover confidence and trust within to handle challenging situations. Developing these skills is essential to sustaining recovery as it will translate into their everyday challenges such as school, home life, and work.

Certain risks and challenges include:

  • Bungee jumping
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Zip Lining
  • Paragliding
  • Camping

Adventure Therapy Helps With Expressing Emotions 

Developing a strong emotional range is also important for recovery. Being able to express oneself will help a teenager process and discover feelings attached to emotions that feed their impulses and cravings. However, sometimes teenagers become apprehensive about sharing their feelings with family or healthcare professionals. Adventure therapy can help teenagers express their emotions more comfortably.

Adventure therapy accomplishes this by:

  • Helping Teens Develop Good Self-Esteem: Addiction can diminish confidence, communication, and social skills. During situations where a teen’s self-esteem is low, it’s hard to communicate mental health challenges. Adventure therapy helps teenagers regain their self-esteem and express their problems to address the source of their negative thoughts and emotions and work to find resolve.
  • Helping Teens Develop Problem Solving Skills: Adventure therapy plays a crucial role in developing problem-solving skills. When teenagers undergo challenges during their adventures, they consciously and subconsciously learn how to deal with every challenge coming their way. It might require developing navigational skills during forest expeditions or reaching the summit of a mountain by traveling through difficult terrain. Developing these skills is great for continuing to build confidence.
  • Helping Teens Develop Social Skills: One of the most important parts of any recovery regimen is developing a healthy relationship with yourself and others. Such skills can deteriorate during active addiction and create residual feelings of isolation and detachment even after becoming sober. Some adventure therapy practices depend on strong communication between peers. Since everybody is focusing on the task, it can be easier to open up and communicate needs. Over time, this kind of communication will create healthy communication skills that your teen will become more comfortable using in their everyday setting.

Adventure Therapy Develops a Sense of Service 

Guilt and shame are commonly associated with early recovery. Such feelings can perpetuate negative self-perceptions and one’s overall outlook. While your teen might not like the way they behave, they might also feel helpless to change. However, adventure therapy can help your teen develop their self-worth through the art of giving back. Team-building skills help teens participate, allowing them to see how they can help and contribute their skills and ideas within a group setting. It also allows them to understand that there is a sense of shared support and that they and their peers are never alone when facing a challenge. It also helps them understand that mistakes happen and how to move forward from them.

Adventure Therapy Promotes Good Mental Health

Mental health is important during the recovery process, and participating in adventure therapy will provide opportunities and places where your teen can sit silently and meditate. The calmness of forests, mountains, and seas encourages positivity that fosters healthy thoughts and behaviors. Such reflections can lend a sense of empowerment and inspiration for the teen to realize that they can become whoever they want to be.

While being resilient and proactive is necessary for lasting recovery, this doesn’t mean mistakes won’t happen. Real recovery is about making mistakes and learning how to move forward from them. Your teenager has their entire life ahead of them, and at Clearfork Academy, we want to ensure that they live their best life. Therefore, if your teenager is currently struggling to manage their addiction, Clearfork Academy can help. We provide both conventional and holistic approaches to care to ensure that we meet your teen’s individual needs. Part of our treatment includes adventure therapy because it incorporates many helpful tools that will provide your teen with the know-how to handle life and recovery’s most difficult challenges. If you or your teen are currently struggling to manage and confront the challenges of addiction, then the time to seek help is now. To learn more, reach out to us today by calling (888) 966-8604.