Treatment Options for Troubled Teens

Parenting a troubled teen will most likely bring you at the end of your rope. You do not just need to deal with his behavioral problems and its consequences. You also need to find the kind of help that your child needs – and often, this is more help that you are able to give.

You can seriously consider enrolling your teen in a troubled teen program. There are a variety of options that are designed for teens who have behavioral, emotional and mental issues. There are therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness training and military-style boot camp. Each type of program has its own list of treatment modalities.

It can be helpful to know the therapeutic services that a program offers to glean valuable insights on whether a particular program will be the best choice for your teen. It can also be helpful to understand that your teen’s treatment may need to be provided by phase. The treatment phases may depend on the depth of the problem, the goals and objectives you want with the program and what you think will best work with your child, based on your knowledge of him.

Here are some treatment methods that you can look into:

–          Nature therapy. This is mainly offered by teen summer camps and wilderness programs. The view is that nature not only removes the teen from a problematic environment to provide him with the space he needs to heal. Exposing the child to the wildness and beauty of nature can be therapeutic. The fresh air and isolation from modern comforts and amenities can open the eyes of your teen to a new appreciation of the privileges he enjoys, as well as a realization that he needs to work with others in order to achieve something. What’s more, nature is uncontrollable – a teen cannot manipulate it into following his bidding. Completing physically challenging activities with nature as a backdrop can also work towards building the teen’s self-esteem and self-confidence.

–          Medication. There are residential programs that have their own therapists that can prescribe medications along with therapies they offer. There will be cases when such intervention will be necessary. The view is that, over time, as the teen responds to treatment and improves, the medications will no longer be necessary.

–          Individual therapy. As part of the treatment, some programs offer individual therapy which aims to provide the teen with the tools to help him effectively deal with his behavioral issues. The one-on-one therapy (which may use cognitive behavioral therapy) can help a teen know himself better, realize the things that may cause him behavioral problems and to help him discover better responses to these stressors.

–          Family therapy. It is not only the teen that needs to heal. Most often than not, other members of the family also need to go through the process of healing and also learn how to provide a conducive family environment for the teen once his treatment is completed.

–          Animal-assisted therapy. There are some camps and therapeutic schools that provide teens with the opportunity to work with animals. They will be given times to interact with and care for animals as part of their therapy. Caring for and bonding with an animal can create trust, improve self-esteem and build a sense of responsibility in the teen.

–          Group therapy. This allows teens to see that he is not alone in his issues and that they can, as a group, explore problem-solving and behavioral control techniques.

–          Recreational/Experiential therapy. Most programs will provide challenges, hobbies and recreational activities that teens will enjoy. These can be physical activities that get the adrenaline rushing and channel negative energies and anger into more positive outlets. This includes physical tasks (i.e. completing an obstacle relay course), adventures program and sports. These can also be relaxing activities such as arts and crafts, music and drama.

–          Life skills. A great program will also offer teens life skills to prepare them to successfully integrate once they complete the programs. These will mostly involve teaching the teens skills that they may need for everyday living.

 

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