Individual and group therapy sessions at Muir Wood are designed to help teen boys at their specific developmental stage. We normalize the intensity and turmoil typical for this life transition while reviewing the impact of the choices they have made.
Muir Wood boys are helped to navigate questions of identity, role, and emerging masculinity in individual psychotherapy sessions conducted by our trained staff of licensed primary therapists. We combine techniques from motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), mindfulness-based practices, and other evidence-based techniques.
Muir Wood clients will:
- Build a toolkit of adaptive and healthy responses to emotional stress and uncertainty
- Manage emotional states using proven ways of reshaping thinking
- Develop trust and intimacy in a one-on-one relationship
- Experience being heard in the service of developing a more authentic voice
- Learn to experience emotions without reacting in destructive ways
- Develop alternatives to numbing, escaping, blaming, and self-defeating behaviors
- Improve accountability
- Practice self-acceptance and awareness to deepen confidence and value stillness
Our team also utilizes group therapy as a core treatment modality to provide the boys with a structure that allows developmental challenges to be normalized and shared. In their search to belong and achieve social acceptance, boys will typically seek an in-group hoping to find acceptance and support. Many of the boys who come to Muir Wood have been unable to sustain membership in emotionally reliable and safe groups of peers. In addition, many of the boys at Muir Wood have complicated their efforts to negotiate this complex developmental phase by their use of mood-altering substances.
Group therapy provides a number of social and emotional benefits to your teenage boy as he rebuilds his life and learns how to have positive interactions with peers. When group therapy is accomplished in a gender-specific setting, it allows boys to discuss sensitive underlying issues in a safe environment that might not be difficult to explore effectively in a mixed-gender setting.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states that teens in recovery from a substance use disorder may benefit from group therapy in a number of different ways:
- Positive peer support. Rather than encouraging teens to get high or drink as most peers would, teens in group therapy or other support groups will encourage your child to stay clean and sober.
- Release from isolation. Many teens in recovery feel that they are alone in their fight against drugs and alcohol—that no one else has had to struggle so hard, messed up so often, hurt so many, or been as hurt as they have. Group therapy counters isolation and allows your son to realize that not only is substance misuse a symptom of a larger issue, but that with good communication and treatment, long-term recovery is possible.
- A place to share. Your child does not need to keep feelings, frustrations, and fears pent up inside. Group therapy provides a place to share those issues and get the support, advice and encouragement necessary to deal with these issues in a safe and structured setting.
- Demonstration that treatment works. Other teens who have been in recovery longer will be able to attest to the effectiveness of treatment by example and help your son stay committed to his recovery.
- The opportunity to learn from the good—and bad—choices of others. In the group setting, teens share the mistakes they have made as well as stories about good choices that helped them with their recovery. Hearing their stories, and sharing his own, will provide your son with support from others as well as the confidence boost of being in a position to assist others in early recovery.
- Intervention when a member is at risk. If a teen’s behaviors are leading to relapse or it is believed that a member of the group is struggling, the group therapy setting provides a positive and natural intervention. Accountability is essential to ongoing recovery, and teens are able to intervene for one another when one is at risk of relapse.
- Family communication practice. When group therapy sessions meet regularly, it can give participants the feeling of family, which also provides them with the opportunity to practice effective communication as well as learn how to manage conflict and ask for help in a way that nurtures relationships.
- Positive peer relationships. Many positive peer interactions turn into friendships that expand beyond the therapy setting and provide an ongoing social support system that can help your son feel more grounded in recovery.