Teens at Muir Wood enjoy game night

Gender-Specific Treatment

A Clinician’s Perspective

A gender-specific treatment approach is important to teens’ recovery. Teens will often externalize symptoms of substance abuse by:

  • Fighting with peers or authority figures
  • Getting into trouble with the law
  • Displaying irritability and anger
  • Performing poorly at school
  • Associating with negative peer groups
  • Using drugs and alcohol in group settings to increase acceptance
  • Isolating themselves from parents
  • Dropping out of sports and other activities

Muir Wood’s Addiction Treatment Program for Teens

In a program designed specifically for adolescent teens, we have developed a safe, therapeutic environment where teens are not confronted, but rather engaged and challenged to work on early recovery skills, effective communication, life skills, stress management, spiritual development, accountability and being of support and service to others.

In this therapeutic and non-adversarial approach, teens tend to be kinder and more collaborative with their peers, feel a true sense of safety to discuss sensitive issues in group settings, hold each other accountable for participation in the treatment program, are more open to discuss mental health issues such as depression, and display less aggression and posturing as there are no females to distract from the treatment process.

Our addiction treatment program for teens offers a few key elements that make it such an effective program:

  • Adventure Therapy: Through weekly adventure outings with a master’s-level therapist, teens develop confidence, build mastery, and have incredible outdoor experiences. Designed around the “Rights of Passage” model, each therapeutic outing includes lectures, discussions, and experiential activities focused on challenge and achievement.
  • Life skill development: In our group residential setting, teens learn personal responsibility, accountability, and effective communication. There is a high level of expectation around behavior and participation in shared activities such as chores and group meals.
  • Testing and Assessment: As a program that specializes in treating co-occurring disorders, our testing and assessment program provides the most accurate diagnosis of any underlying mental health, learning, or behavioral issues. This is critical for long-term success.
  • Physical fitness and nutrition: Teens need to learn how to feel good in their bodies without the use of drugs and alcohol. We provide multiple sessions with a certified personal fitness trainer each week, weekly sessions with a certified yoga therapist, as well as a nutrition plan that helps teens develop a positive relationship with healthy food.

In Muir Wood’s therapeutic setting, adolescent teens feel valued and engaged. Interventions that address the unique needs of adolescent teens significantly increase treatment effectiveness, retention in treatment, and positive treatment outcomes.

If you have any questions about the gender-specific approach to treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. You can also learn more about our clinical program or find out about the types of teens we treat at Muir Wood.