So your teenager has been acting out lately, and you’re at your wit’s end. Their grades are slipping, they’re staying out late, and you have a sneaking suspicion that drugs or alcohol may be involved. As a parent, you want to get them help right away before their behavior spirals even further out of control.
The good news is there are programs designed specifically for troubled teens that can help get them back on track. Whether your teen needs intensive residential treatment, specialized counseling, or an outdoor adventure to build character, there are many options to choose from.
Wilderness Therapy Programs for Troubled Teens
Wilderness therapy programs take troubled teens out of their usual environment and place them in nature. These programs vary in length but typically last 8-12 weeks. The goal is to facilitate treatment and personal growth through challenging outdoor activities. These programs focus on:
- Gaining self-confidence and awareness through accomplishing challenging activities in a natural setting.
- Learning better communication and social skills by working with therapists and peers 24 hours a day.
- Developing problem-solving skills to work through emotional and behavioral issues. The wilderness environment provides opportunities for breakthroughs and insights not possible in traditional therapy.
- Learning responsibility and accountability for actions by experiencing natural consequences. For example, not setting up a shelter properly could lead to being cold or wet.
- Building trust and bonding with therapists and peers through shared experiences. This can motivate change in a way that office-based therapy may not.
Wilderness programs are ideal for teens struggling with behavioral problems, substance abuse issues, and poor social skills. They may not suit those with serious mental health conditions or a history of trauma.
Residential Treatment Centers for Troubled Teens
Residential treatment centers provide 24-hour care and supervision for troubled teenagers. The main focus is on clinical therapy and counseling to address psychological and behavioral issues. This option is best suited for teens grappling with severe problems like drug addiction, alcohol abuse, or mental health disorders.
Round-the-clock care in a structured setting away from negative influences allows teens to concentrate on healing and developing new coping strategies. Licensed professionals oversee treatment plans, which typically include individual and group therapy, life skills training, and family counseling.
Therapeutic Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens
Therapeutic boarding schools are residential programs tailored to troubled teens with psychological or behavioral issues. These schools focus on character development and addressing underlying issues through counseling and therapy.
Each student receives an individualized treatment plan to meet their unique needs. Small class sizes, around 6 to 12 students, allow for personalized attention. The program length varies but typically lasts 6 to 18 months. Some key components include:
- Individual, group, and family counseling
- Behavior modification and life skills training
- Recreational activities and outdoor experiential education
- Accredited academic curriculum and college prep
- Nutrition, health, and wellness education
The goal is to provide teens struggling with issues like depression, trauma, substance abuse, or other disorders a supportive environment to learn strategies for success and develop their full potential.
Boot Camps for Troubled Teens
Boot camps provide a highly structured environment for troubled teens. These short-term programs, typically 6 to 8 weeks, involve a rigid daily routine, including physical training and education. The focus is on learning discipline, respect for authority, and self-confidence.
Boot camps may be suitable for teens struggling with criminal behavior or lacking motivation. However, they are not ideal for those dealing with depression, anxiety, substance abuse issues, or self-harm, as little to no therapy is offered.
Days start early, around 5 or 6 am, and involve intense physical activity like running, obstacle courses, and team-building exercises. Strict rules govern all aspects of the teens’ day, including hygiene, chores, and schoolwork.
Outpatient Counseling Programs for Troubled Teens
Outpatient counseling programs provide troubled teens with treatment and care for a portion of the day. Teens return home in the evenings and on weekends.
Outpatient treatment allows teens to practice new skills at home while still receiving professional support. There are a few types of outpatient programs for troubled teens:
- Individual Counseling – Teens meet one-on-one with a licensed therapist. Sessions typically last 45-60 minutes, 1-3 times per week.
- Group Counseling – Teens meet with a therapist and peers struggling with similar issues. Groups discuss challenges, provide support, and help develop new coping strategies.
- Family Counseling – Teens, parents, and siblings meet with a family therapist. The focus is on improving communication, setting healthy boundaries, and rebuilding trust within the family system.
- Day Treatment – Provides 6-8 hours of programming 3-5 days a week. Includes schoolwork, group therapy, life skills training, and recreational activities. Teens return home on evenings and weekends. More comprehensive than once-weekly counseling.
Finding The Right Care For Your Teen Is The First Step To Setting Them Up For Success
When your teen is struggling, finding them proper care and support is critical. At Launch Centers, we understand the challenges families face in this situation and are here to help guide you to the right program for your teen’s needs.
When parents are in the middle of trying to make this difficult decision, it can feel overwhelming. At Launch Centers, our goal is to provide support for teens with mental health and substance abuse problems. We are here to answer your questions, discuss options, and find the care that will set your teen up for success. Call us today at (877) 895-3231.