Parenting a troubled teen can take all of your energy and resources. When your child has failed to respond to any of your efforts, including outpatient programs, it may be time to consider a program that offers full time therapy and monitoring. Residential treatment programs are designed to provide intensive help for youth with emotional and behavioral problems. These facilities accommodate teens away from home, so they can be immersed in a consistent therapeutic environment run by qualified therapists and counselors. Knowing specifically what residential treatment centers provide can help you determine whether such a program is the best destination for your teen.
Residential treatment facilities generally begin with a thorough evaluation when a resident arrives. This allows the staff to create a plan of care based on his specific behavioral, medical, emotional, social and leisure needs. Each treatment plan includes a combination of individual and group therapy as well as academics and opportunities to improve communication skills. Most programs also implement leisure time and coordinated activities in order to practice healthy interaction and balance the work load. Residential treatment facilities are not the same as military style boot camps or therapeutic boarding schools. Although there is a curriculum that involves strict rules and structure, manipulation, physical punishment and intimidation are not parts of the overall agenda. The primary goal of residential treatment programs is to help struggling teens identify their underlying issues and learn healthier ways to cope.
As you determine whether or not a residential treatment program is best for your son, consider that one of the many benefits is the respite it gives to parents and caregivers. You are entitled to take some time to emotionally regroup in order to support your son when he returns. While you are doing that, your teen will be living in a safe, supportive environment surrounded by experts dedicated to helping him modify his behavior. Both parents and teens have the valuable opportunity to take some healthy and monitored time apart in order to gain the tools they each need to build a more effective relationship.
The idea of sending your teen to full time care can be intimidating, but it may also be the most effective way to help him get his life back on track. Residential treatment programs are intended for parents of teens who have nowhere else to turn. Your best intentions in the home environment may not be enough if your son needs the full time care and coaching that a treatment program can offer. If you are at this point in the relationship with your teen, it is worth taking the time to research facilities throughout the country in order to find the one whose experience and regulations give you peace of mind and will be most effective for your son.
Liahona Academy, located in southern Utah, is a residential treatment facility that helps troubled teen boys from all over the country turn their lives around and gain the skills for lasting change. If you have questions, we would like to talk to you. For a free consultation, please call us at 1-800-675-8101.