Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

The Role of a Life Skill Coach in Your Teen’s Long-Term Recovery

Recovering from an addiction isn’t easy. Teens who enroll in comprehensive programs for their addictions may desperately want to get better, and they may work hard to change when they’re surrounded by the culture of recovery in their treatment programs, but they may fall back into bad habits when their treatment programs are complete. In fact, in a study in the journal Addictive Behaviors, 66 percent of teens who completed keep that original relapse from even taking place.

Different Types of Lessons

In order to deal with an addiction issue, adolescents need to learn more about how substances of abuse work, and why they might be harmful. But adolescent boys might also need to learn more about:

  • Being assertive
  • Controlling impulses
  • Planning for the future
  • Communicating openly
  • Sharing with others

These are the sorts of skills that can allow them to be successful in the adult world, and addictive drugs can keep teen boys from picking up these lessons. These boys might be sedated, focused on other things, as their peers pick up the skills that can ensure success. When teen boys leave a treatment program, they might be just a little behind their peers, and their isolation might be extreme. Turning to drugs might seem like a reasonable way to numb the pain.

A life skill coach can develop a program that can help teens learn how to navigate the adult world. The lessons are individualized, based on the needs of the specific teen at that specific time, and the work goes at a pace at which the teen feels comfortable. It can be a vital learning opportunity.

Other Benefits

It’s no secret that teens can slide into drug use due to low moods, but they might also dip into drugs due to the influence of their peers. In fact, in a study in the journal Addictive Behaviors, researchers found that adolescent relapses to drug use after therapy often took place in situations in which the teen was under social pressure to abuse substances. If teens are surrounded by poor role models, they might always feel as though substance use and abuse are acceptable. A life skill coach might help here as well, as these professionals are both sober and successful. They can embody the benefits of a sober life for a teen in trouble, showing them that there is another way to live. A life skill coach might even provide the teen with fun and sober activities, so a life free of drugs even seems like a beneficial thing to do, even if other peers aren’t engaged in the activity.

At Muir Wood, we’re committed to helping adolescent boys with addiction issues. Our comprehensive inpatient program can give addicted teens a good foundation upon which to build a life of sobriety, and we provide ongoing care in order to bolster the gains teens make in our care. The life skills coaching we provide in our program can be vital to the success of some teens, and it’s an important part of the care we provide. If you’d like to know more, please call us.