Why therapy doesn't work sometimes...
Did you know that 90% of poor treatment outcomes in therapy are related to assessment errors?
This means that MOST times, what your teen may be working on in therapy is focused on a goal or behavior that's not actually the root of the problem.
The "problem" is actually most times the solution!
When your teen engages in a behavior that you see as problematic, such as self-injury, school avoidance, arguments or risk-taking behaviors, most times, this behavior is the result of a prompting event that has triggered strong emotions for your teen.
Their "problem" behavior is actually the solution for your teen in the context of their life, their resources, the skills they currently possess and the habits and behaviors they have learned over time in their environment.
The problem is actually the prompting event and high emotions that come with that cue.
Unhealthy behaviors aren't the problem, they're a SKILLS DEFICIT.
Our goals for your teen at the teen support center are two-fold:
First, we help your teen envision a life worth living and partner with them to build a commitment towards their goals that's so strong that unhealthy behaviors become incompatible with their lives and begin to fade away.
(Have a teen who swears they don't have a problem or that their cutting isn't the problem? This is definitely the approach they need.)
We help our teens articulate what they WANT out of life... not just what they don't want, so that they can spend their time moving towards goals and enjoying the moment, rather than trying to escape or avoid difficulties.
Next, we help your teen identify what behaviors are getting in the way of their goals occuring and help them learn new behaviors that give them the same outcome (and at the same intensity) as the unhealhty beahviors that were providing them relief.
We're not just spending 45 minutes venting or talking about problems, we're supporting a structured process of behavioral change that will help your teen learn to act skillfully no matter what life throws their way.
6 Questions to ask yourself about your teen's behavior to find the root...
- What happened BEFORE the problem behavior occurred?
- Was anything else happening this week that caused them to be more emotionally vulnerable, like less sleep, more schoolwork or illness?
- What did I do as a parent to respond to my teen's problem behavior?
- Did my response make the behavior better or worse?
- What was the ultimate OUTCOME for my teen of engaging in this problem behavior? Did they find short-term relief, escape or avoidance?
- How can I help my teen achieve the positive outcome they desire (and at the same intensity) while helping them phase out unhealthy behaviors?
Help your teen act skillfully!
Groups have been proven to be the best way to help our teens learn new skills because it allows them to practice in a controlled environment and get real time feedback too!