At Paradigm Malibu, our approach and practice of teen treatment is largely based upon the understanding that every teen is an individual, and therefore, needs an individualized treatment plan. Though this may sound elementary, we are constantly surprised to hear about treatment centers that insist upon a one-plan-fits-all treatment approach, making a majority of therapeutic decisions based solely upon symptoms and diagnoses. While we understand that certain symptoms and experiences may be common to numerous adolescents, we also know from practice that teens can respond very differently to the same treatment approaches. This is why at Paradigm Malibu, every treatment plan is designed specifically for an individual teen, taking into careful consideration all of his or her unique needs, attributes, personality traits, and goals.
One of the attributes we look for in designing treatment is whether teens are introverted. Scientifically speaking, an introvert is someone who rests and regains energy from being alone, rather than with people. In the context of a teen being in a treatment facility with other teens, this is an important tendency to notice because it can largely influence the teen’s willingness and ability to engage in treatment sessions. As a result, our therapists at Paradigm Malibu pay special attention toward providing introverted teens with the support they need, in order to have a positive and successful treatment experience.
First and foremost, one of the ways we support introverted teens is to appreciate and enjoy their introverted qualities, and never make them feel pressured into being more extroverted than they’re comfortable with. This might mean things such as allowing them to observe without participating in the beginning group sessions, balancing group time with a comparable amount of one-on-one and private time, and being careful not to interrupt or talk over them. While all teens will participate in group activities and therapeutic sessions while at Paradigm Malibu, what we’ve found is that if introverted teens feel accepted and un-pressured, they can have a positive, successful experience, during these group times. Some of the other ways that our therapists support introverted teens are by doing things such as providing teens with a structured, reliable schedule, and making efforts to connect with teens regularly in smaller settings.
It’s important to note that the underlying advantage we have at Paradigm Malibu that allows us to provide such individualized care and sensitivity to teens’ unique differences, is our commitment to a high staff-to-teen ratio. Things that might easily go overlooked or unnoticed at a larger treatment facility can be carefully considered at Paradigm, because we have so many therapists and other team members working with teens, at any given time. Beyond this, introverted teens can have the peace of mind of knowing that they will have an individual treatment session every day while at Paradigm, which guarantees that they will have an opportunity to speak, to be heard, and to engage, in a setting that works for them.