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Empowering Teens: Life Skills for Successful Transitions

a sign that reads difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations with a plant next to it

When struggling with mental health or addiction as a teen, these disorders can be extremely challenging and burdensome in one’s life. For teens in residential treatment, they must cope with different transitions. These transitions do not have to be overwhelming and stressful, though. Developing essential life skills is crucial to help ease transitions not only out of treatment but also for the success of one’s life overall.

At Destinations for Teens, helping teens heal from their mental health or substance/alcohol use disorder is a priority, alongside learning healthy coping mechanisms and life skills. This is a kind of whole-person approach that Destinations for Teens embodies to help their clients grow and succeed, not exclusively within the realm of mental health and addiction but also ensuring that your teen’s academic progress remains uninterrupted during their time with us. Our holistic approach addresses all aspects of a teen’s life, ensuring a smooth transition back to academic and social environments after treatment.

Transitioning Out of Residential Treatment

There are different pathways clients take after completing residential treatment. Because each client is unique, this is very normal. Some teens may feel ready to transition back into their normal daily routines, while others opt for additional support. Regardless of the path, it is important to have the right tools to transition into whatever the next phase of recovery is for the client.

For teens transitioning into their normal routines, they may experience stress when thinking about returning to school, work, or extracurriculars. Family and home life may also invite anxiety. For those transitioning into an outpatient or intensive outpatient program (IOP), clients may feel wary as to what the program consists of and how their lives will have to adapt.

Destinations for Teens helps clients through these transitions to make them as smooth and easy as possible. Part of this is making sure someone is in contact with the teen for at least a year post-treatment to see their progress and offer support when needed. This continued support, combined with the insights from Vista outcome studies, which offer comprehensive data on treatment effectiveness and client progress, contributes to smoothing these transitions, making them as seamless and stress-free as possible.

How Does Destinations for Teens Support This Transition?

In residential treatment, clients gain trust and transparency with their team to make Destinations for Teens like a second family and home. Here, emotional, mental, academic, physical, social, and behavioral needs are addressed. This allows one’s team to address any effects or underlying causes of the disorder(s) at hand. Mental health and addiction are very complex, so understanding the teen’s broad history and experiences can be crucial. In addition to clinical care, our program aims to create a familial atmosphere where clients feel supported and valued. This sense of belonging reinforces the therapeutic journey, empowering clients to gain insights into themselves and their disorders and facilitating long-term and sustainable progress.

Teens in residential treatment are exposed to numerous therapies as well. These range from clinical therapies, like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), to holistic services, like yoga or art therapy. This is part of the whole-person approach, allowing teens to explore themselves through creative and engaging therapy practices. Holistic care and the whole-person approach, in general, help teens connect to their sense of self, identity, and overall health again. This includes practicing healthy coping mechanisms and life skills.

Because the transition from residential treatment into whatever the next step in recovery is for the client can be daunting and stressful, the team is there to help ease every client’s nerves. For instance, when transitioning into another treatment program, Destinations for Teens sets the client up for success by explaining what they can expect and which skills and tools they can use to help ease anxiety. Additionally, through Vista outcome studies, we ensure that clients have the necessary support for their journey.

When transitioning back into daily routines, Destinations for Teens is there to ground the client and discuss with them how the client can apply their learned skills and tools to their lives. Clients are never left in the dust, either. As said before, the staff keeps in contact with clients to ensure their recovery post-treatment is going smoothly. Even after moving beyond the walls of Destinations for Teens, aftercare and alumni programs are always there to welcome clients with open arms.

What Are Important Life Skills Learned in Treatment?

Life skills fall into three broad categories: thinking, social, and emotional skills. Within the thinking category, clients are encouraged to develop analytical, creative, problem-solving, and decision-making thinking skills. For social skills, communication, management, leadership, advocacy, and cooperation skills are important to work on. Emotional skills include emotional regulation, coping with stress and other difficult feelings, and resisting peer pressure.

Often, those struggling with mental health or addiction lose life skills that are crucial to building a happy, progressive life. Especially for teens who are still navigating their lives, developing these life skills can make a huge difference in recovery and healing. Another reason why developing these life skills is important is because they can support one as they gain self-confidence and empowerment.

Goal-setting, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills, among many other life skills, help clients take control of their lives. Overcoming hardships and challenges is supported by having these life skills to fall back on. Rather than allow the negativity to cloud over one’s mindset and life, clients can redirect their energy and turn the challenge into something positive.

Applying These Life Skills

At Destinations for Teens, we are focused on empowering our clients to take charge of their lives after they’ve completed their treatment with us. That’s why we make sure they can apply the valuable life skills they’ve learned in real-life situations. Our educational program keeps them engaged academically, ensuring they don’t miss a beat during their time with us. This holistic approach gives them a sense of stability as they prepare to face the ups and downs of recovery and daily life beyond our doors.

These life skills become a client’s support system, helping them navigate challenges and embrace positive changes. With dedication and consistency, our clients develop a mindset of self-empowerment and resilience, laying the groundwork for lasting recovery and personal growth outside of Destinations for Teens.

Call Destinations for Teens Today

Here at Destinations for Teens, we help teens develop key life skills to empower them throughout their recovery journeys. Mental health and addiction can have drastic effects on an individual, often compromising certain life skills. These may be social skills, emotional regulation, or self-advocacy skills. However, these are skills developed and strengthed at our facilities in residential treatment. Beyond that, we help clients as they transition into each phase of their recovery. Part of this transition is teaching clients that they are capable of whatever awaits them on their journey, how to fall back and trust their developed life skills, and how to create a plan of action. For more information, please call us at (866) 678-8123.