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Experimenting with drugs and alcohol usually starts as a result of peer pressure. Teens, who are in treatment, often indulge in risk-taking behaviors like unprotected sex, sharing needles, driving under the influence, reckless driving, and other dangerous trends because they worry about acceptance by their peers. 

Peer group therapy helps a teen in changing their peer group by moving away from the negative peer pressures associated with them to a more positive group whom encourages the individual to seek and maintain sobriety along with better life decisions. The peer group therapy sessions can help the teen break their negative thought pattern, instill confidence about their choices, and providencouragement and support through their treatment. 

The main function of peer group therapy session is to provide teenagers with a chance to speak about their problems and issues related to their addiction and/or mental healthThis treatment option provides teens support and comfort when they’re in a setting with others who are fighting similar problems. Not only do these sessions offer support, it also provides a non-judgmental platform where teens can share their feelings, hopes, and challenges without guilt or shame. Acceptingtalking about their problems, and creating an environment where teens can form lasting relationships with others facing identical problems is the first step towards recovery and true healing.

Effects of peer pressure on teens

According to experts, peer pressure influences a teenage brain more than an adult brain. Teens are more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol and then indulge in self-destructive behavior if their friends are involved than adults. Friends and peers can influence drug and alcohol abuse in the following ways: 

  • Introducing drugs and alcohol 
  • Providing access to drugs and alcohol 
  • Encouraging drug and alcohol abuse 
  • Covering up for friend’s addiction 

During the peer group therapy sessions, teens discuss with one another about their addiction and/or mental healthRevealing such information encourages other teens in the group to be a positive role modelInstead of teaching each other new forms of abusing drugs, the teen members teach each other their coping mechanisms and encourage each other to practice sobriety. 

Scope of group therapy

Group therapy usually begins at the time of detox and continues throughout the treatment program. Self-help groups and support groups help in the aftercare process. Peer group therapy sessions are conducted by skilled professionals, who help structure and facilitate the therapy programs. 

A therapist’s role during such discussion is to act as a neutral mediator which includes: 

  • Avoiding confrontations 
  • Acting as a positive role model 
  • Offering relevant topics for discussion 
  • Encouraging an honest and open discussion 
  • Discouraging criticism and aggressive behavior 
  • Creating an atmosphere of respect and equality 
  • Administering group rules and providing structure 
  • Educating the members on a wide variety of subjects 
  • Endorsing and acknowledging group members’ experiences 

Studies have shown that peer group therapy sessions have been the most influential treatment options for teens; therefore peer group therapy have been a part of teen treatment plans since the 1990s. Experts feel that the most important purpose of these sessions is to instill teens with the required confidence to believe in the choices they make and to provide them with a secure and safe setting in which they feel loved and valued. 

Role of gender-specific treatment models

Teens are more likely to freely speak about their substance abuse problems in an uninhibited environment, however in a genderspecific environment they can also discuss other problems such as dealing with members of the opposite sex, mental disorders, and social pressures while handling issues like dating.  

Genderspecific therapy models help recognize specific challenges faced by boys and girls. For example, teenage boys who have been molested by men might not feel comfortable discussing such issues in front of girls but might be able to share and find empathy amongst other boys who have dealt with the same issue. The same stands true for girls 

For majority of the patients, recovery is not just about freedom from addiction and/or mental health but also from the damaging and insecure ordeals of their childhood. Therefore, it is essential to provide emotional support to such patients. Some of the coping skills which such patients are taught are: 

  • Identifying the triggers for substance abuse 
  • Developing healthy relationships with family and friends 
  • Reshaping negative thoughts and emotions into positive ones 
  • Making a sober and successful transition from adolescence to adulthood 

Treatment at Adeona Healthcare

Adeona Healthcare, the leading mental health and addiction treatment provider for teens aged 12-17, understands that each teen is special and unique in their own way. That is why, we offer a comprehensive treatment policy that includes not only peer group therapy but also amalgamates individual therapy, one-on-one therapy, family therapy, and other alternative therapies like yoga, exercise, and art therapy. Different combinations of therapies can help teen gain control over their impulses, vent their feelings, and share their emotions and thoughts, thus allowing them to let go and accept themselves gradually.  

Our highly experienced therapists and medical professionals ensure that each teen patient is administered with the most suitable individualized treatment intervention based on their treatment goals and medical history. In addition, Adeona Healthcare can increase the chances of long-term recovery by offering therapies like solution-focused therapy (SFT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).  

To learn more about our safe, structured, and holistic treatment programs for teens, call our 24/7 helpline 888-379-9360 and speak to an admission team member. You can also chat online with a representative for further assistance. 

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