Insight Teen Treatment Program On How Teens Can Establish A New Identity To Overcome Mental Health Issues
According to Dr. Small, teens may establish identities around destructive behaviors such as substance abuse, self-harm, and more. Dr. Small noted that he often sees teens that lose their old identities, such as being an athlete, musician, or artist. “Our identity becomes ‘how do I not feel’ versus ‘how do I fix the problems that are in my world,’” Dr. Small said. Guerino told a story about a teen at the Insight teen treatment program who used to be a baseball player. Guerino said that this teen would say that, because he had found drugs, he stopped playing baseball. Guerino continued by saying that if you talked to this particular client further it was really about a loss of social connections related to baseball after he got hurt. This loss of connection motivated this teen to use drugs and develop a substance abuse disorder according to Guerino. The officials from Insight believe that it is this loss of identity that can cause some teens to fall into unhealthy behaviors and establish more destructive identities. One method to address this loss of identity at the Insight teen treatment program is to build community, officials said. According to Insight, their focus on building a community for teens suffering from mental health disorders and substance abuse issues helps to improve outcomes. “So often a loss of community leads to an increase, as we know, of mental health symptoms and addiction,” Dr. Small said. Insight’s teen treatment program uses its community and social structures to help teens build and establish new, healthy identities.