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Teen Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

At Paradigm New York, we implement Teen Cognitive Behavioral Therapy sessions, as one part of teens’ overall treatment plans. Teen Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a goal-oriented therapy approach, which focuses on supporting teens to recognize connections between their behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. By understanding these connections, teens can then form goals as to how to make positive changes in their lives which will result in both improved quality of life and relief from current symptoms and stress. If we were to characterize Talk Therapy-based approaches as being the process of helping teens to explore and identify the underlying feelings and thoughts they’re experiencing, then Teen Cognitive Behavioral Therapy might be understood as the second part of this process, wherein teens use this gained information in order to take meaningful action in their lives.


During Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT) sessions, therapists work with teens to focus on the sequence of how their thought patterns, beliefs, and feelings directly translate into behaviors. For instance in some cases, therapists want to help teens make connections as to what process takes place which leads to a particular undesired behavior (such as abusing a substance or maybe some act of self-harm.) By helping teens to evaluate this cause-and-effect process, teens can gain insight as to how to eliminate these behaviors. In other instances, therapists might work with teens to take insights gained and then figure out positive actions to take, to produce a different effect in a given situation. Therefore, during CBT sessions, therapists might work to both incorporate positive actions as well as discontinue negative ones.


Another aspect of Teen Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to help teens to deconstruct negative thought patterns and form new, healthier ones. For example, many teens that abuse alcohol are suffering from some Mood Disorder symptoms, such as Anxiety or Depression. Therefore, therapists might work with the teens to identify what thought patterns and beliefs are in place, which cause the teens’ anxiety and depression to escalate, which then results in them using alcohol. By evaluating their own behaviors in this thorough way, teens can gain insight into what they need to change and/or what underlying emotional support they might need, in order to gain relief other than from alcohol. This process can be extremely powerful not only in helping teens to get sober but in helping to maintain a long-term recovery, as well.


CBT has been proven to be a very helpful, successful therapeutic approach with teens, which is why we often incorporate it at Paradigm New York, as part of our treatment programs. At Paradigm New York, we design each treatment plan individually, and therefore assess on a case-by-case basis whether CBT might be appropriate, for the given teen. We often find that when implemented together with our other therapeutic sessions, such as talk therapy and exploratory forms of therapy, teens are able to make substantial and meaningful changes, during their time with us at Paradigm New York.


Paradigm New York is located in Westchester, New York, not far from New York City and is one of the leading teen treatment facilities in the United States.