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10 questions parents of troubled teens needto ask

When considering a program for your troubled teenager, it's important to ask relevant questions to ensure that it is the right fit for their needs. Here are some questions you can consider asking:

What is the program's philosophy and approach? Gain an understanding of the program's therapeutic approach. It is important to understand how the program will meet your troubled teenager's needs. If you arent sure try reading some suggested articles:

Therapeutic programs in Utah

Staying Connected with my Troubled Teen

Misconceptions about Programs for Troubled teenagers

What qualifications and experience do the staff members have? Inquire about the program's state licensure, any professional affiliation or credentials, staff training, and experience of the program's staff members, including therapists, counselors, and support staff. Ensure that they have the expertise to handle the specific challenges your teenager is facing.

How is the program structured day to day? Ask about the daily schedule, routines, and activities involved in the program. Understand how they balance therapy, academics (if applicable), recreation, discipline vs. consequences, average length of stay, and other components to provide a comprehensive and balanced approach to your teenager's development.

What types of therapy or interventions are provided? Inquire about the therapeutic modalities or interventions used in the program. Examples could include individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), art therapy, or experiential therapy.

How are academic needs addressed? Ask about the program's academic component. Inquire about their educational approach, curriculum, accreditation, and how they support academic progress while addressing behavioral and emotional challenges. In our experience, academics will fall into place once the therapeutic process starts to gain traction. Make sure to ask how they would handle fulfilling specific learning needs your student may bring (i.e. IEP, Learning disabilities)

How is family involvement incorporated? Understand the program's approach to family therapy. Some programs do not require family therapy so it is important to Inquire about the frequency of family therapy sessions, parent education, communication protocols, and opportunities for family visits or involvement during the program.

What is the length of the program? Ask about the typical duration of the program and the rationale behind it. Inquire about any options for extending or shortening the stay based on progress or specific circumstances.