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Multidimensional Family Program During Inpatient Teen Drug Rehab

At Ember Recovery, we understand that teens with substance use or mental health struggles aren’t just being rebellious – they’re facing challenges that make it difficult to overcome addiction and move forward on a healthy path.

Our teen drug rehab focuses exclusively on teens between 12 and 14 years old. We approach treatment with individualized care and attention to address teens’ unique struggles, including peer pressure and academic pressure.

The family program in teen drug rehab is a holistic approach to helping teens learn to manage relationships with their parents, siblings, friends, peers, and other adults. The program aims to help adolescents create strong relationships to succeed outside their close social circle.

With dedicated programs and Strengthening Family Weekends, Ember Recovery provides a safe and confidential space for you and your teen to attend training, enjoy quality time together, and find a new path forward.

2 female staff members sitting at a table together

With Teen Drug Rehab, We’re in This Together

Parents and family play a crucial role in their children’s lives. As they grow into adolescents, parents may face new challenges with teens that use drugs or alcohol.

Substance use in teens can have a devastating impact on their health and future. Teens may use prescription drugs, marijuana, or alcohol alone or as part of a group. If it continues, teens may have poor growth and development, engage in risky behaviors, and develop chronic health problems that will follow them into adulthood.

Teen substance use can also negatively impact relationships with family members, peers, teachers, and friends. Multidimensional family therapy is a solution focused on rebuilding these relationships with family members to strengthen relationships with friends and other members of their social support networks.

What Is Multidimensional Family Therapy?

Multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) is a family-centered treatment and substance use prevention program for teens with substance use disorders and mental health conditions.[1] The program takes a multidimensional approach to address the contributing factors to using drugs and alcohol or exhibiting unhealthy behaviors.

The MDFT Approach

MDFT focuses on four life domains: youth, parents, family, and community. These domains relate to the teen’s relationships within and outside of the family system to develop healthier and more appropriate relationships with family members and peers.


This domain focuses on improving emotion regulation and coping skills to communicate more effectively with parents and other adults. Teens may also learn skills to enhance social competence and alternatives to substance use.


The parent domain focuses on increasing parents’ behavioral and emotional involvement and attachment with their teen to reduce conflict and enhance teamwork. Parents are also taught ways to influence their teen effectively.


The family domain works to decrease conflict, deepen emotional bonds, and improve communication and problem-solving.

Community in and after inpatient teen drug rehab

The community domain focuses on the teen and family’s competency with social systems like school and recreation to help them advocate for themselves within these systems.

Youth Recovery House for Boys

Phases of MDFT

This therapy has three phases:

  • The first phase focuses on building motivation for change and establishing therapeutic relationships.
  • The second phase, which is the most intense, confronts changes in relationships, problem-solving, and other areas that should be addressed in treatment. Teens may need to take on tasks to learn better decision-making, communication, and problem-solving, while parents may focus on improving parenting styles and patterns.
  • The third phase focuses on maintaining these changes and relationships outside of the therapy environment, especially as the challenges of day-to-day life create risks to sobriety.

Strengthening Family Weekends

At Ember Recovery, we understand the importance of family on the journey to recovery. Family is integral to our treatment programs through visits, family therapy, and virtual parent information sessions.

Throughout the year, Ember Recovery hosts Strengthening Family Weekends to allow current resident teens and family members to come together for training, meals, and games. During these therapeutic and recreational activities, parents are taught to support their teens through bonding, boundary setting, and monitoring healthily and appropriately.

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