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Teaching Basic Life Skills for a Better Future

August 30, 2016


Adolescence is a pivotal stage in life, full of changes and new experiences. The lessons we learn during our teenage years often stick with us for our entire lives. Because young brains are usually able to absorb new information easily, adolescence is the time to learn basic life skills that will be necessary throughout adulthood. 

For teenagers who are struggling with substance abuse, many of these basic life lessons take a backseat. At Teen Treatment Center, we focus not only on healing teenagers, but also on preparing them with the real life skills needed to be successful in their future endeavors. Along with helping patients get back on track with their academics, our programs provide teens with fundamental knowledge and skills that they will utilize for a lifetime.

While in our care, teenagers learn basic life skills on a daily basis. Whether it be overarching skills such as responsibility and positive decision-making, or specific skills such as how to do laundry and write a check, teens leave our care prepared for their next step in life. 

Money Management 

Managing finances can prove to be quite difficult for anyone, but it is an essential part of being a responsible adult. During their stay, teens are taught a variety of money management skills with our token economy system. Each teen is granted points to use throughout their stay that may be spent on items such as books, apparel and accessories. While rationing their tokens responsibly to make them last until the end of their treatment, teens learn how to budget their finances and make responsible purchases. Patients are also instructed on writing checks and balancing personal checkbooks, and are taught how not to overspend.  

Career Competence

At Teen Treatment Center, patients get a head start by learning the basic skills they will need in their professional lives. The teenagers in our care are either at the age where they can apply for a job once they return home, or it is right around the corner. In some of our group therapy sessions, teens are given tips and guidelines on resume-building, interview etiquette, what to wear to an interview, and they even get to practice in mock job interviews. Since job searching can be intimidating, this not only provides teens with the confidence they need to apply for a job and go on interviews, but also provides them with the skills needed to do so successfully. 

We also educate teenagers on the consequences substance abuse can have on their professional lives and how it can greatly affect their future employment opportunities. Teens learn how difficult it is to gain employment once convicted of a felony, as well as how quickly a career can fall apart due to drug and alcohol abuse. Since a major part of the healing process for teenagers is rediscovering what they are passionate about it’s also important for them to understand their drug or alcohol abuse should not be taken lightly, and they are capable of creating a better future for themselves. 

Home Life

Many teenagers enter treatment feeling a variety of emotions: anger, confusion, distress. Sometimes, they think the solution to their problems is to live on their own as soon as they can. They often express unrealistic expectations and believe they are prepared to be fully independent. During treatment, teens not only learn what it takes to live in the real world and take care of themselves, but also how to take on more responsibility in their day to day lives. 

Through group and individual sessions, teens are taught about major living expenses such as:

  • Rent and utilities
  • Car insurance
  • Food and toiletries

When learning about food and toiletries, teens are taught about proper hygiene and nutrition, and even build a grocery list with the help of a grocery store ad. Towards the second half of their stay, they are also taught how to sort, wash and fold their own laundry. Our resident dog, Eddie the Basador, helps teach teens what it means to take on the responsibility of something else. They are able to help take him on walks, clean up after him and ensure he has fresh water and food. 

Learning these skills not only provides teenagers with a “reality check,” but it also prepares them to take on responsibility once they return home. Learning how to complete these tasks on their own also helps teenagers to feel accomplished, which boosts their confidence and self-esteem. 

By providing teens with basic life skills such as budgeting, resume building and proper grocery shopping, Teen Treatment Center wholly prepares teenagers for life after treatment. The instruction of basic life skills is just one facet of our comprehensive treatment approach, which also includes academics, spiritual care, family therapy and more. If you'd like to learn more about our program call our counselors today! (844)319-5239

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the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval.