Treatment For Grieving Teens

Treatment Center for Teens Struggling with Grief and Loss

Most teens aren’t prepared to cope with the grief and loss, let alone everyday stressors, until they experience these events, which often blindside them. As a result, they struggle to cope with grief and loss in a healthy way. In adolescence, negative experiences often feel permanent and teens have a hard time grasping that negative emotions are usually temporary. This often creates a cycle of hopelessness. Teens who are struggling with grief and loss may benefit from a trauma-informed residential treatment center, where they can learn and practice healthier coping skills and reclaim their life narrative. The aftermath of grief and loss is a critical period for growth and healing.

This guide is meant to be comprehensive, but as such, not every section will be applicable to everyone. Instead, we invite you to click on the links in the table of contents to jump to the sections that most interest you.

Table of Contents

How Do Grief and Loss Affect Teens?

Grief is a natural and human response to loss. There’s nothing wrong with feeling grief after the loss of opportunities, friendships, relationships, and loved ones. There is something wrong with letting that emotion completely run wild and disrupt your life completely, though. When someone–particularly a teen–isn’t equipped to properly cope with loss, grief can morph from something normal to something traumatic.

It has the power to get in the way of daily life and toss an individual into a deep depression–which is why it’s important to help your teen understand the healthy ways to work through their grief.

One thing to remember is that loss doesn’t necessarily refer to death. Loss can be something that seems small to you–the parent–but huge to your teen. For example, a best friend stabbing your teen in the back by telling her secrets to others at school. This may seem like not that big of a deal to you, but to them, it could feel earth-shattering.

Unhealthy Ways of Coping with Grief and Loss

No one grieves the same way, even if they have experienced the same exact event. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Your teen needs to understand this. Some people use humor to overcome their grief. Others wallow in their sadness and become detached from everyday life. There are constructive and destructive ways of dealing with grief. Constructive ways of dealing with grief include facing grief in its scary face by talking to friends or utilizing art as a medium for their emotions. Destructive ways of dealing with grief include bottling emotions up inside, substance use, and high risk, impulsive behaviors.

How Does Elevations RTC Help Teens Struggling with Grief and Loss?

As a residential treatment center for teens, Elevations believes addressing destructive ways of dealing with grief is just as important as processing experiences of loss. This is why we focus on the bigger picture, not just specific events, in therapy. Between individual, family, and group therapy and accredited academics, we help teens develop foundational skills to more effectively cope with stressful situations without getting in the way of their daily functioning. As a all gender program that offers accredited academic, Elevations tries to provide a normalized environment for healing.

What aspects of the therapeutic community at Elevations RTC can help students who are struggling with grief and loss?

Healing that occurs in a community setting helps teens challenge their negative belief systems about relationships and develop a more positive outlook on interactions with others. Many teenagers who have experienced loss in relationships develop belief systems to protect themselves from re-experiencing loss. This might look like pushing others away, isolating from others, or hypersensitivity to red flags in relationships. It is common for teens to develop attachment issues or depression when grieving.

As a relationship-based program, Elevations RTC helps teens establish a strong support system of staff and peers to guide their grieving process. Students participate in a variety of activities in the therapeutic milieu, such as group therapy and recreation activities, to help them strengthen these relationships and rediscover positive opportunities in their lives.

We can help your child heal. Get in touch today.

Why Choose a Trauma Treatment Center for Teens?

Many individuals struggling with grief and loss often go undiagnosed and do not receive treatment. For many teens, they try to bury their reaction and move on, with symptoms appearing weeks or months later, which makes it harder for them to understand the connection between the traumatic event and their way of coping with it. Early intervention after a traumatic event, such as loss, can help teenagers begin the healing process and learn healthier coping mechanisms.

At Elevations RTC, we create an environment that promotes the healing process. The main goal of our program is to help teens develop an understanding that there are solutions to the struggles that complicate their lives. Our program is based around a peer culture model that encourages our students to support each other throughout the program. Informing them about PTSD and other mental health struggles related to grief and loss helps create this supportive environment.

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