Dealing with a troubled teen means you need to use all your creativity when it comes to finding a method of healing that resonates with him. While some options, like talk therapy and recreational therapy, have long been considered successful, there are new players on the field that are highly beneficial for struggling teens as well. One of these lesser known options is culinary therapy. While cooking is a fun hobby for some and just another chore for others, the process of it has many therapeutic advantages. For instance:
Cooking is a sensory task – Cooking, baking and learning to use kitchen and culinary equipment are all used to create a meaningful outcome. Teens are encouraged to be hands on with the ingredients, whether that means cutting cookies, kneading dough or decorating a cake. Feeling, smelling, tasting and experimenting with a range of food items is calming in its own way and encourages individuals to try new things and nourish the confidence that comes with developing a new skill.
Cooking encourages communication – The process of baking and cooking helps open teens up in terms of communication. While their hands are busy, they reach a level of bonding and openness with their assisting therapist that they might not achieve in traditional talk therapy sessions. An experienced therapist can use the opportunity to discuss issues and matters that require a level of relaxation to get into.
Cooking is a task oriented skill – Activities like cooking and baking are a good way for teens to practice the process of following pre-determined steps in order to result in a positive outcome. Following a recipe involves gathering the ingredients, preparing them, measuring them and the following the rules related to them. Following a strategy from point A to point B is an important skill for teens to master when their impatience leads them to want to make shortcuts. An added bonus is the positive result of a finished product that not only can they be proud of, but also can consider a new skill they can gain confidence from.
Sundance Canyon Academy is a residential treatment center in northern Utah. We specialize in helping troubled teen boys overcome their behavioral issues through unique and successful therapy modalities, including culinary therapy. Our relationship based program encourages teens to seek out the root of their issues and heal them from the inside out rather than simply seek to control the symptoms as so many behavior modification therapy programs do. For questions about our program or a consultation, please contact us today at 1-866-678-2425