Updated on November 18, 2020
Parents are often nervous and ashamed to ask for outside help–even for their struggling teens. If you are wondering “What else can I do for my difficult teenager?” or “How can I find a program for troubled teens to help my child?” then this post is for you. Teenagers go through a lot of hormonal changes and stretching their legs, but when a teen turns to abnormal or dysfunctional behavior, you need to look deeper. Sometimes, a past trauma, difficult childhood or chemical reaction in the brain will cause behavior that is harmful, violent, unpredictable or apathetic. Teens that struggle with behavioral issues can participate in programs and facilities that will help.
Does My Teen Need More Help?
You know your teen better than anyone.
When you are feeling uneasy and worried that something bigger is going on, it’s time to look into other options. Sometimes the problem is just bigger than you—and that’s okay to admit. We call in professionals to help us with medical emergencies or mechanical repair, but we drag our feet when it comes to mental or emotional problems.
Your teen may be struggling with something outside of their control too. They don’t know what is happening and they might not be able to get a grip on life. Sometimes, helping your child break away from their behavior pattern is what they need to see the bigger picture and move in a better direction.
This is a scary time. But, it’s important you act now before things get worse and are taken out of your hands.
If your child makes the wrong mistake, the choice made on behavior programs or therapy will be taken from you. Rather than choose what you believe best for your child, you will be dependent on a judge, lawyer or caseworker to decide on. These programs are easier for everyone when the family is making the choice and supporting their teen through a difficult time.
What Programs Could Help a Troubled Teen?
You are already here, so you know you need more help.
The real question is, “what program will work for my troubled teen?” There are many options to fit a wide variety of struggles. Programs for troubled teens include long-term and short-term options. Not all programs are equal. The approach and professionals involved will make a big difference on how effective the program is for the long-term health of your child.
Wilderness Camps and Sessions for Troubled Teens
If you think a walk in nature would do your child good, then a short-term wilderness camp might be the right solution. These work towards long-term change with a focus on learning skills in nature and exploring their surroundings. A good wilderness camp for troubled teens last several months in primitive outdoor conditions with experienced guides.
Therapeutic Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens
Sometimes a change of scenery is necessary for a longer period of time, without being nature-driven or fully residential. Therapeutic boarding schools for teens pull patients out of their normal routines and into an academic experience that pushes them to discover their full potential. These programs help keep your child focused on a bigger picture with the support of therapy. These troubled teen programs often offer a lot of extracurricular activities, like sports, horseback riding, sailing, drama, debate and more.
Christian Therapy Programs for Troubled Teens
We find that some students experience a strong draw to God as they work through their difficulties. Religious programs tend to work a lot like boarding schools or therapeutic residential facilities, but they contain the religious aspect that offers a low-pressure guidance component to the growth process.
Residential Treatment Center for Troubled Teens
When extreme intervention is needed, a therapeutic residential program or treatment center may be the best option. These therapeutic facilities will include lock-down capabilities and take disciplinary action if for difficult struggles with any major behavioral issue. There are therapists on-site to help with internal struggles or monitor changes in your teen’s behavior. Individual, group, and family therapy can help your teen through the months of growing and improving on daily behavior.
Therapy should always be based on long-term health and wellness. We do not believe in boot camp as a good option, since kids need more than just an intense figurehead. With the gentle, but firm, guidance of the other programs, you are more likely to see a true change in a difficult teen.
Who Should be in a Troubled Teen Program?
Licensed professionals should be guiding your child—ones that are passionate for helping, but have actually earned their credentials. It is too important to leave your child’s future up to guesswork just to save a few dollars. We see teens struggling with issues like:
- Mental disorders
- Personality disorders
- Dissociative disorders
- Eating disorders
- Online gaming addiction
- Substance abuse
- Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
- Social issues
- Low self-esteem
- Reactive attachment disorder
- Anger issues
- Truancy/poor grades
- Sexual misconduct
- Disrespect and defiance
- Bipolar disorder
What Could a Program Do to Help My Teenager?
The number of therapeutic program options can be overwhelming. We see parents all the time feeling frustrated and stressed. Our best options will be highly dependent on your child and his or her needs. If you are looking for help to determine the right program for your troubled treen, talk to us about a treatment plan today!