Researching Your Options

When it comes to helping your troubled teen, it is vital that you research all the available options. Depending on a combination of factors, teens will respond better to some types of treatment than others. You may need to try a few different options before you find the right one for your teen. But to do that, you need to know what treatment options are available to help your troubled teen.

Options To Help Your Troubled Teen At Home

While your location may affect your ability to access these resources, there are several options you can explore locally so you can help your troubled teen at home.

  • Parenting classes - It can be difficult to know where to begin when you have a teenager expressing defiance and none of your usual correctional tactics are working. Local community resources like the YMCA, community centers, and colleges often host parenting classes on how to deal with children who are acting out.
  • Therapy - A combination of individual therapy and family therapy can help heal communication barriers between parents and their troubled teens. Some therapists have sliding scale fees to make this option more accessible.
  • School intervention - School is often an area where most troubled teens struggle. Ask to meet with your teen's teachers and guidance counselor so you can create a plan together on how your teen's educational needs will be managed.
  • Revise home rules - Many families find they need to revise their homes' rules to help deal with their troubled teenager's behaviors. Set whatever boundaries you feel will help your teen and consequences for breaking those boundaries.

Troubled Teen Away-From-Home Treatment Options

You will find as you research options to help your troubled teen, many resources will recommend away-from-home treatment options. These options are popular as many parents have had positive results from utilizing these options. It allows their troubled teen to learn new habits in a positive environment, work through their problems mentally and emotionally, and gives teen time for a behavioral reset. Some of the common options you will find during your research are:

  • Residential treatment centers - An intensive treatment option that combines therapy sessions with academics, life skills learning, group work, and more. Troubled teens live in residential settings when at a residential treatment center and also learn how to implement their positive new skills back home.
  • Boot camps - High physical exertion is the main focus of this type of troubled teen treatment. Most do not have a therapeutic aspect and while the exercise creates a release for high emotions, many boot camps have no learning aspect that helps troubled teens learn to correct negative behavior patterns.
  • Therapeutic boarding schools - Similar to residential treatment centers as a therapeutic boarding school mixes therapy and academics, this treatment option also emphasizes learning applicable life skills. However, the transition back to the family home is not always a focus, so it may be hard for teens to return home and remain stable.
  • Wilderness programs - Like boot camps, teens are guided through the wilderness with the aim of having nature and exertion help change negative behaviors. Most of these programs do not have a dedicated therapeutic aspect as they rely on only experiential therapy.
  • Therapeutic ranch - Most therapeutic ranches combine ranch work with academics and therapy to treat troubled teens. The depth of any of the three aspects will vary depending on the program.

As you can see, there are many options to help your troubled teen, both at home and abroad. The quality of all of these options is highly variable, so even once you choose a treatment path, be sure you research all your options within that treatment path. If you need outside help to deal with all these options, a placement advisor can help you sort through your options and give you some recommendations based on your teen's particular issues.

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