A woman receives behavioral therapyAddiction is a complex disease, and there are countless factors that cause substance abuse. While coping with the physical aspects of addiction, teens and young adults need behavioral support as well. Explore how behavioral therapy for teens is an effective method for lasting recovery.

Changing Negative Thought Patterns

With cognitive or dialectical behavioral therapies, teens change their negative thought patterns. Often, a negative mindset contributes to substance abuse and eventual relapse. Thus, learning to be more positive can be extremely helpful.

Therapy helps by showing young adults how to recognize instances of negativity. When a negative thought pops into your head, you can identify it and respond appropriately.

For example, you may lack confidence and feel awkward in social settings. Unfortunately, you might lose control, leading to thoughts of isolation. With a positive outlook, you’ll realize negativity won’t help. Instead of avoiding social interaction, you can look for positive feedback from others.

Create Healthy Stress Responses

The major cause of substance abuse and addiction is the inability to handle stressful situations. Stress is a normal and common part of life. However, if a teenager can’t manage stress, they may turn to unhealthy means of coping. Often, this includes drug or alcohol abuse.

During recovery, it’s important that teens start identifying healthy ways to handle stress. This can be any number of things, and it’s often unique to the individual. For example, some teens benefit from being active and going for a run. However, others might deal with stress by talking to loved ones, cooking, or painting.

Disrupt Self-Destructive Behaviors

Self-destructive behaviors are common among teens struggling with addiction. Often, teens have a black and white mentality. If one thing isn’t perfect, they could irrationally decide to discontinue treatment.

This is self-sabotage. In therapy, teens begin identifying destructive behaviors. Instead of acting out irrationally, they start to explore the gray area in between.

For example, a teen’s goal might be to stick to a routine each day, exercise, eat well, do well in school, and stay sober. That’s great, but one slip-up doesn’t mean the entire plan is ruined. If a teen sleeps in late or does poorly on one test, adhering to the additional goals is still extremely important. Overall, this approach is about letting go of perfection.

Addressing Mental Health Disorders with Behavioral Therapy

Half of the teens struggling with addiction also struggle with one or more behavioral disorders. Behavioral therapy is an excellent way to address mental health issues that contribute to addiction.

Problems ranging from depression to anxiety become further recovery obstacles. Fortunately, therapy can address, resolve, and treat these conditions effectively. Behavioral therapy can be a solid part of any dual diagnosis treatment plan.

Behavioral Therapy at Zelus Recovery

Cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapies are two ways teens can work toward lifelong recovery. At Zelus Recovery, these therapies are supplemented by a range of treatment methods and addiction strategies. They may include:

Family therapy
Dual diagnosis care
Group therapy
• Relapse prevention
• Individual talk therapy

Behavioral therapy can be one of many strategies for teens and young adults facing addiction. At Zelus Recovery in Meridian, Idaho, you can find the help and resources you need most. Call 866-365-4436 and explore the right program for addiction treatment and lasting recovery.