How Your Teen Learns From Rewards And Punishment At A Residential Treatment Center

Does your teen suffer from anxiety and depression? Are those conditions causing other outbursts and behavioral issues? Could they be being worsened by certain other diagnoses, such as ADHD, mood disorders or personality disorders?

Troubled teens are commonly plagued with the above list of problems. It can make life for them (and for you) extremely challenging, as just getting through day to day tasks are a struggle. One of the most effective treatment options out there for those conditions is behavioral modification.

What Is Behavioral Modification?

At its core, behavioral modification therapy is the act of acknowledging the source of a behavior and actively attempting to change your response. This is done by isolating emotions associated with certain actions and then learning coping strategies that are healthier. Over time these behavioral modifications become second nature, leading to a better response the next time those overwhelming feelings occur.

There are many ways that these strategies are taught. In the beginning of a stay at a residential treatment center it is likely that a simple method will be used: rewards and punishments.

Rewards and Punishments In a Therapeutic Setting

You have probably used this system yourself with little success when dealing with your troubled teen. In a therapeutic setting it is usually a little different. There is not a single person offering the reward or punishment for behavior, but an entire staff. There are other patients who are getting one or the other, acting as an example to your teen. There are more consistent punishments and rewards, in a stable environment free of as many distractions as they would find at home.

All of these factors help to make this system an effective starting point for learning behavioral modifications. As treatment continues, it will go into more advanced forms of modification. Those include isolating emotions and triggers and dealing with them in a healthy way. Rewards and consequences can play into that treatment as well, showing teens the benefits of cooperation and continued use of the taught coping strategies.

Does a Reward and Punishment System Have To Be Done In Treatment?

No, you do not have to put your child in a residential treatment center to use this method of behavioral modification. However, residential treatment centers have trained staff and a more steady environment that make it more effective than if done at home.

Find out more about this and other treatment options available to your child at Liahona Academy.

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