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Should You Consider A Youth Boot Camp For Behavior Modification?

One of the many programs for troubled teens that you may be considering for your child is a youth boot camp.

There is a certain appeal to boot camps since they promise to provide military-like discipline and these programs are much shorter in duration than other troubled teen programs. However, there are serious questions as to whether youth boot camps actually achieve the promised behavior modification that parents are looking for in their teens.

What Youth Boot Camps Achieve

Since troubled teen boot camps often only last from 4 weeks to 3 months, it is hard to believe that any kind of permanent change can occur over such a short period of time. Instead, the changes youth boot camps create are temporary conformations.

Consider how boot camp works for the military. For the U.S. Army, boot camp lasts for 10 weeks, instilling basic discipline and instructions, helping individuals learn to act like a unit. However, unlike youth boot camps, military boot camp is just the start of reinforced discipline. So, part of why youth boot camps are not successful at achieving behavior modification is due to the lack of follow-up discipline.

The other main reason youth boot camps create only temporary changes instead of real behavior modification is that there is no therapeutic aspect for most of the program. While exercise can be therapeutic, teenagers who are struggling with mental health issues, substance abuse, deviant behavior, and other issues need therapy to overcome these hurdles.

Other Programs To Consider For Lasting Behavior Modification

When you compare boot camps to other behavior modification programs, it is clear that you can find a better place for your troubled teen. Two programs you may want to consider to help your teen make permanent changes are:

  1. Therapeutic boarding school – Teens attending therapeutic boarding schools receive therapy as part of their education. These private schools tend to emphasize therapy at the root of all their activities and can be effective healing environments.

  2. Residential treatment center – For teens struggling with serious issues such as eating disorders, mental illnesses, and anger management, residential treatment centers are a great option for behavior modification. These programs offer highly immersive therapy so that teens receive daily therapy, participate in an accredited education program, and more.

Sundance Canyon Academy is a residential treatment center located in Utah. We have helped countless teenage boys overcome life’s difficulties and helped them make the lasting changes they needed to succeed. Contact us to learn more about our program and how we can help your son.

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