Considering a Residential Treatment Center for your Troubled Teen

The teenage years can be especially tumultuous both to parents and the teenagers themselves. However, the task of raising and disciplining a teenager becomes all the more challenging if you have in your hands what can be considered a troubled teen. When a teen struggles with harmful emotions and behaviors, it may be time to seek help and consider a residential treatment center.

Troubled teen boarding school can help teens who have:
– Drugs or other substance abuse problems
– Eating disorders
– Struggles with depression or anxiety
– Struggles with anger management
– Obsessive Compulsive disorder

Benefits of a residential program

A residential program also offers the following benefits:
– Change in environment. A residential program enables you to remove the teen from harmful influences he may still have access to when he is living in your home. It also removes the teen from what may be an emotionally-charged home environment into an environment where he can learn how to positively deal with the issues he may have. It also gives time for those who are in the home to heal from the damage that may arise out of the troubled relationship with your teen.
– Structured environment. Therapeutic boarding school provides a structure to the teen’s day, as well as his activities. The boarding school setup allows the teen to develop daily habits that are disciplines in themselves. This kind of discipline will help built emotional stability that can help him face and overcome his issues as well as help him integrate into his home, school and social environment.
– Experienced supervision. Staff members are experienced and trained in effectively handling troubled teens and to provide a balance between care and authority. The staff can help you have more insights about your teen’s issues and struggles.
– Outdoor activities. Troubled teens usually need to have a positive outlet for energies and emotions that can turn destructive when left unchecked. This is where healthy outdoor activities can help in challenging them to step up, see his situation objectively and make positive choices.
– Academic training. The teen also does not miss out a lot on his studies since he also does academic work during his stay.

What to look for in a good therapeutic boarding school

– Compatible therapeutic approach. Each boarding school will have their own approach, specialties, as well as policies and procedures on discipline. The rehabilitation program should match what your teen needs and should also be compatible to your personal beliefs and approach. When you are making a short list of possible choices, narrow it down to centers that specialize in your teen’s condition.
– Availability of medical and therapeutic professionals and facilities. The facility should not only have licensed and experienced therapists that deal with your teen’s behavior and issues. It should also provide adequate medical support in case your teen needs immediate medical care.
– Low student to staff ratio. The facility should limit students in order to ensure that each student gets personal and focused care.
– Holistic approach. The boarding school should be able to provide for the development of the teen as a whole – cognitive behavior therapy, occupational therapy, social skills and physical training.
– Communication and support. Ask about the school’s policies on communications and visits, as well as the frequency of the updates regarding the teen’s progress at the boarding school. The troubled teen residential program should ideally work to educate parents as well so that any learning the teen has in the school can be reinforced during home visits.
– Accreditation. Check to see that the center is accredited by a government-recognized accreditation agency and that the personnel are also licensed. An accredited center has been thoroughly checked to see that it passes the standards for safety, capability and training. The accreditation should also cover the school’s accreditation as an educational institution. With this, you ensure that any subjects completed by your teen will be included in his transcript of records. Please note that there are also boarding schools that primarily offer distance education or that make the curriculum available only when the teen has reached a certain level of his treatment program.
– Success rate and reputation. Ask around to see what reputation the center has with regards to how well they are able to see concrete results from past students. You can also look the center up through the Better Business Bureau or state office. Check whether there have been complaints about the boarding school. Be on the lookout for cases covering neglect, abuse, safety and the level of supervision.
– Level of contact. Before you enroll your teen, make sure that you understand their policy about the level of contact you are allowed while your teen is in the program. There are some boarding schools that limit contact such as calls, letters and visits.
– Cost. You will also need to balance the qualities you would like the boarding school to have with your budget. Check to see all the costs related to the enrolment and monthly fees so that you can check if you can realistically afford the fees. You should also ask about the school’s refund policy in the event that the program does not work out for your teen.

A troubled teen residential program can give teens that “extra push” to move forward, equipped with life skills and tools. Parents can do well to carefully research and select the program with the teen’s future growth and success in mind.

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