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Seven Challenges Group

Designed for adolescents with substance use problems, to motivate a decision and commitment to change.

Seven Challenges Group

The Seven Challenges group is appropriate for youth with a wide range of drug problems and co-occurring mental health challenges, as well as for youth with differing levels of motivation for change. Research has demonstrated that Seven Challenges is effective both at reducing adolescent drug use and maintaining treatment engagement.

The Seven Challenges Group is for adolescents with drug and/or alcohol problems. It is designed to engage and educate young clients, equipping them to identify problems and solutions and find motivation for positive change. The group simultaneously aims to help young people address their drug problems as well as their co-occurring life skill deficits, situational problems, and psychological problems. It teaches decision-making through seven prescribed challenges during the treatment process.

The Seven Challenges® are:

  • We decided to open up and talk honestly about ourselves and about alcohol and other drugs.
  • We looked at what we liked about alcohol and other drugs, and why we were using them.
  • We looked at our use of alcohol or other drugs to see if it has caused harm or could cause harm.
  • We looked at our responsibility and the responsibility of others for our problems.
  • We thought about where we seemed to be headed, where we wanted to go, and what we wanted to accomplish.
  • We made thoughtful decisions about our lives and about our use of alcohol and other drugs.
  • We followed through on our decisions about our lives and drug use. If we saw problems, we went back to earlier challenges and mastered them.

Counselors engage clients in actively thinking about their use of drugs and alcohol, and its effect upon their lives. They help them understand what needs they are meeting by using drugs, what harm they are causing, what risks they are taking, and what it entails to make changes. The counselors raise consciousness, inspire hope, and motivate informed, internally driven, sincere decisions to change. Once such decisions are made, they teach the tools and provide the support that ensures success.

To learn more about why Seven Challenges works visit

Read our blog post “Seven Challenges, More Than “Just” Drug Education


The group is facilitated by two YES counselors who are dually licensed in substance use dependency and mental health disorders.

Road to Recovery

YES’ three-phase Road to Recovery Groups embraces the content and philosophy of Seven Challenges therapy. Seven Challenges is an evidence-based approach designed to motivate youth over the age of 13, to evaluate their lives, consider changes they may need to make, and succeed in implementing those changes.

Groups are offered in combination with individual counseling and family participation. Youth start in the phase that is relevant to their needs, which is determined at their initial assessment.

The three group phases are:

  • Phase 1: Aware Group
  • Phase 2: Seven Challenges Group
  • Phase 3: Life in Recovery Group


If you have any questions about the group please contact our main line at 425-747-4937.

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