Confused teenagers and young adults are first and foremost perplexed about their basic identity. To approach the future and tackle challenges, everyone needs a basic reality-based optimism about their own capabilities.
As young children, none of us are cognitively or emotionally capable of engaging in self-reflection.The physical and emotional maturation of adolescence allows each of us to begin to develop mindfulness. Mindfulness means the capacity to be aware of our thoughts and feelings.
For many teens, observing and exploring feelings can be frightening and confusing. When this confusion becomes overwhelming, the teen becomes at risk. The at risk teem may simply stop looking inward and begin acting out, almost in a frantic attempt to avoid dealing with who he may be. Dropping out of school, alcohol or drug use, and acting out are some of the ways that a perplexed young man tries to solve the problem of coming to terms with who he is.
The first component of our program is based on reintroducing the teen or young adult to his own self. Our treatment approach is called Neurobehavioral Cognitive Dynamics (NBCD). Our staff are trained to create a safe space that allows the teen to begin the difficult task of honest self-appraisal. In this safe environment, the teen begins to explore his identity and discover his personal narrative. This narrative is an internal script that the teen has unconsciously written about himself and his world. Often, it is filled with pessimism and negativity.
At UCanachieve, we help the teen convert pessimism and hopelessness into reality-based optimism. Realistic goals replace an unrealistic sense of desperation. Gradually, a new script begins to appear in which the teen sees himself in a more positive light.
To read about the other two building block of our approach, follow these links: