Finding the right treatment program for your teen can feel like an overwhelming task. You have to take into account your teen’s specific needs and struggles while also making sure that the program and its staff are the best fit possible. An important service that Seven Stars uses with our students is family therapy. Understanding how family therapy can serve your family can help you find the right treatment program for your teen.
The Importance of Family Therapy During Treatment
Families who come to family therapy are there for a reason. Often they are in crisis and have been dealing with challenges both with their child and their family unit as a whole. They may have exhausted all their local resources and are looking for a higher level of support. There is usually a lot of work that needs to be done in the family system, and it’s important for therapists to understand the family dynamics. Each family has its own set of goals and requires support to transition their child into a treatment program.
Family therapy is a time where students and their families can learn together to use the same dialog and the same verbiage. Having everyone “speak the same language” can help families communicate better when their student returns home. Working collaboratively with the student and their family, therapists can understand how to best support the family and can help set them up for success.
Beyond these benefits, parental involvement in family therapy is essential for the child to be successful in residential treatment.
How Does Family Therapy at Seven Stars Work?
Students at Seven Stars participate in weekly family calls and they have telephone calls two to three times a week. Families are also encouraged to come visit their teen every four to five weeks to help support them and to see how what we are working on in the program can be translated into their lives back home. Practicing these new skills consistently with both the student and their families is important. Therapists can provide examples for methods of communication and verbiage for parents to use back home. Using the correct language while making positive statements can help reinforce the positive behaviors families would like to encourage in their teen.
Issues can arise when families have unrealistic expectations about what their teen “won’t do” versus what they actually can’t do. Family therapy can help parents better understand their child’s strengths and limitations, and aligning those can help the student reach their full potential. When a family is coming to visit, we will work on setting up expectations to best prepare the families and set everyone up for success. Through these phone calls and visits, therapists will work with families to understand what is going well and where the family unit may need more help.
Seven Stars Can Help
The struggles of our students are often struggles for our parents and their siblings, as well. This is not to say a Seven Stars student, who struggles with social anxiety also has parents who struggle with anxiety, although this sometimes is the case. We do know, however, when a child is struggling socially, emotionally and behaviorally, it impacts the entire unit. Part of the value of the Seven Stars program is to provide a “time out” for the entire family. While your child joins us for a journey of self-discovery and newfound skills, the parents and siblings back home have a chance for rebuilding family relationships and reflecting on how to make changes going forward. For more information please call (844) 601-1167.
Since 2003, Dr. Gordon Day has passionately helped young people with a wide range of family, emotional, social, neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems. Gordon’s mission has been to help people find their strengths and their own passion for living a full and rewarding life. He is particularly sensitive to the pressures, frustrations and disappointments that adolescents face that can sometimes cause them and their loved ones to want to withdraw and throw their hands up in despair.
Dr. Day knows that you really have to understand where a student is coming from and understand their patterns of strengths and needs. When we truly know an individual and their struggles, only then can we truly help.
Dr. Day has pioneered the use of outdoor therapy activities and outdoor living as a dynamic and effective therapeutic tool for learning, confidence building and skill building. His programs provide effective, supportive and encouraging environments that help students find their strengths and power.