BEHAVIORAL HEALTH TREATMENT
Teenagers that struggle with behavioral health issues are generally highly intelligent adolescents that rely on negative coping mechanisms to manage their emotions.
It is important take to note that many of the poor behavioral choices in which some teens engage are done for different reasons than a parent may assume. For example, not all teens that use drugs do so because they are addicted to them. Rather, a teen may be using or abusing drugs as a means for self-medicating. Another example of a negative coping behavior is that of self-harm. Often parents think that young people, who inflict self-harm, such as cutting, do so as an attention seeking or suicidal behavior. In reality, many teenagers that cut view their scars as a source of strength, and may not at all have thoughts of suicide. Regardless of the reason behind a teenager’s harmful behavior, seeking professional guidance for how to be most supportive may be beneficial. Every teenager is different and will have nuanced needs. Pacific Teen Treatment insures a safe environment and a detailed, individualized treatment plan for each of its residents. There are a number of treatment approaches for young people with behavioral health problems.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, also known as CBT, is a type of therapy that primarily utilizes a goal-oriented approach. It focuses on a young person connecting his or her thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.
CBT is widely used to help teenagers suffering from substance abuse, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and depression. A therapist will use cognitive behavioral therapy to help the teen break unhealthy behavioral patterns by identifying and replacing dysfunctional patterns. CBT is helpful for adolescents because during a young one’s formative years, it helps to replace and adjust negative self-views through behavior modification.
DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY
Dialectical behavioral therapy, also known as DBT, is a type of treatment designed to help young people learn to regulate their emotions and behaviors.
It uses a combination of strategies from cognitive behavioral therapy and a mindfulness-based approach. DBT is a rigidly structured therapeutic modality. It is primarily used with young people who struggle with emotional dysregulation, also known as severe emotional instability (i.e. suicidal thoughts, self-harming behaviors…etc.). Through dialectical behavior therapy an adolescent engages in accepting his or her feelings while simultaneously using his or her thoughts to change negative feelings. This in turn, will teach teens a myriad of tools and techniques to understand their emotions as well as various ways to adjust their emotions resulting in the reduction of negative and/ or self-harming behaviors.
Interpersonal Therapy, also known as IPT, is a therapeutic modality that mainly focuses on interpersonal issues.
IPT is primarily used to help treat adolescents that struggle with depression, mood disorders, and eating disorders. Interpersonal therapy is split into three stages of treatment. It begins with the initial stage (diagnosis), the middle stage (teens learning to make connections between how their relationships affect their moods), and the termination stage (transitioning out of therapy). Through IPT, a young person will learn to identify and address various aspects of his or her relationships that can contribute to behaviors that may be negatively affecting other areas of his or her life.
Pacific Teen Treatment works with adolescents and its resident board certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist to help teach healthy and sustainable coping mechanisms. In addition to creating tailored treatment plans, we model and encourage engaging in healthy everyday choices. Healthy nutrition, regular exercise, and proper sleep habits are an integral part of our program. The goal of Pacific Teen Treatment’s program is that each teenager who attends will leave with a solid foundation of coping mechanisms and have had ample time to practice integrating them into their lives.