At Paradigm New York, we understand that adolescent treatment is something that involves the entire family. When any person is struggling with mental health and/or substance abuse conditions or going through treatment, the loved ones are affected; however, in the case of adolescent treatment, the effects can be even more profound, especially on parents and siblings. This is true both because of the household environments as well as the interconnectedness of family members’ every-day lives. Because of this, we understand that adolescent treatment can be difficult for family members and have designed a number of support services to help address family members’ needs. Our Sibling Support Services program is a program we offer to any siblings of teens that are in treatment with us, and has been designed to educate and support siblings, throughout this time.
We understand that when you have a sibling in treatment, it can be a time of frustration, fear, pain, confusion, anger, and fatigue. It’s very common for siblings to have a lot of questions, to feel at once very affected and overlooked; to feel both helpless and responsible. Depending on the amount of time that the teen has been struggling with Mental Health or Substance Abuse, siblings may feel exhausted by the ways these struggles negatively affect lives, create conflicts, and complicate relationships. And depending on the age relationship between the siblings, they may feel pressure to help or confused and overwhelmed. While all of these different feelings are understandable, over time these kinds of things can lead to bitterness and resentments, which will only hurt relationships further.
In addition to individual family and multi-family group sessions, we offer Sibling Support Services to address the specific needs and experiences of siblings of teens in treatment. These services are really tailored to the specific family, but will always include sessions with therapists which may be shaped as family sessions or perhaps sibling specific sessions. More than anything else, the goal of these sessions is for siblings to have a time of focused, direct support, where they can ask questions, share their experiences, work through their feelings and thoughts, and gain insight on some of their challenges and conflicts.
Generally speaking, what we find is that regardless of what specific conversations take place in the Sibling Support Services sessions, siblings often gain significant relief and restored sense of energy and hope, just simply from having the time and place to express themselves, to be seen, and feel heard. Sometimes, it’s common for siblings to feel a sense of pressure to not add to the problems or stress in the house, and therefore feel they tend to keep quiet about what they’re feeling and thinking. In these sessions, they have the ability to express themselves freely, without worrying about negatively affecting anyone and/or being judged. Furthermore, they gain knowledge and skills that can be very helpful in forming a healthier perspective on their siblings and the therapeutic process, which contributes toward better communication, understanding, and healthier family dynamics, overall.
Paradigm New York is a residential treatment facility that specializes in adolescent treatment for teens struggling with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders. Paradigm New York is located in Westchester, New York.