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Treating Adopted Teens


At Paradigm New York, our treatment approach philosophy is built upon the goal of treating the whole teen, paying careful consideration to each and every aspect in his or her life.  In our experience, careful and precise consideration of all factors, ranging from Co-Occurring Disorders to environmental factors, is crucial in gaining a precise diagnosis and thereby, ensuring successful treatment.  To this end, we take special care to treating teens as individuals, addressing background information, including our treatment of adopted teens.


The Family Unit

One of the most unique aspects of teen treatment is the inclusion of teens’ families in the treatment process.  Because of this, sometimes there are specific needs of adopted teen families that exist.  Regardless of the particular family or teen, during teen treatment, everyone in the family is affected and the stress and tension can understandably cause challenges.  For adopted teens, sometimes there can be additional stressors and tension, brought up and/or aggravated by the current challenges.  First example, studies show that adopted teens may be at higher risk of suffering from a mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder.   Beyond this, adopted teens sometimes struggle with increased feelings of stress related to their identity and/or understanding their family unit.  It’s important for therapists to be aware and sensitive in addressing these unique needs and experiences, throughout the diagnosis and treatment process.


Paradigm New York:

We believe that one of the things that sets our treatment process apart at Paradigm New York is the thorough consideration of teens’ individual symptoms, environments, and needs, which may play a role in the way they currently experience life.  What we’ve seen is so often, important aspects and even illnesses are overlooked, when treatment programs simply follow a diagnostic protocol, which essentially evaluate every teen the same.  This unfortunately leaves gaping vulnerability for things such as Co-Occurring disorders and stressors to go completely missed and untreated.

At Paradigm New York, we implement regular family group sessions, as part of ever teen’s treatment plan.  These family groups supplement the individual and teen group sessions which teens partake in, and are meant to not only support teens within the family context, but parents and other family members as well.  Specifically for adopted teens, we provide family support groups which help teens to uncover, identify, and address potential stressors and/or tensions that may affect or contribute to their current struggles.  Our therapists also work with parents and siblings, to help the family consider ways in which dynamics or communication might be improved, to support the teen. In addition to our family groups, we also offer Parent Effectiveness Training, for any interested parents, which are courses designed to help parents navigate communicating and interacting with their teens in healthy, productive ways.  Cumulatively, our goal at Paradigm New York is to provide the teens and families with support that allows everyone to feel safe, valued, and understood, even while navigating this difficult time together.