What Residential Treatment Center Is Best For My Teen Boy?

When parenting a severely troubled teenager, you may hit a point where you feel as though none of your efforts to help him have made any difference. It is emotionally and physically exhausting and the feared stigma of having a “bad kid” can also be isolating. If your teen has been struggling with a behavioral issue such as anger, defiance, substance abuse, anxiety or depression and has failed to respond to any outpatient efforts, it may be time to consider outside intervention, such as a residential treatment center, to help him get back on track.

Teen residential programs provide full time therapy and care as a last resort for teens who are not improving in their home environment. While the idea of sending your child away from home might feel intimidating, remember that some teens need to be fully removed from their usual environment in order to focus on the changes they need to make in their life. This daily therapeutic immersion, guided by qualified counselors and therapists, can help him identify the root issue that led him toward his bad choices in the first place. This approach to healing from the inside out is more effective for severely troubled teens than any other kind of help program.

While most facilities offer similar styles of treatment for a variety of mental and behavioral issues, there are factors you should consider as you research options:

  • Safety – safety should be one of your main concerns. Each state has different rules and regulations regarding the accreditation and health requirements of their teen help programs. Familiarize yourself with the laws for each state you are considering, so you know what to look for and what may be falling short of the quality you want. Measures such as background checks or professional licenses are not always required in every state. Although a location close to home might seem ideal, it is less important than making sure a facility is safe and a good fit for your teen’s needs.
  • Individualized Treatment – The most effective treatment programs will see your son as an individual with unique needs in order to move in a positive direction. The facility you choose should offer ample one-on-one time between the counselors, therapists and residents. Consistent personal attention also allows the staff to effectively update your teen’s plan of care as he works through the program.
  • Therapy Modalities – Each facility will have a different curriculum for their program. Most include a combination of family, group and individual therapy and some include additional options like life skills, academics, recreational and music therapies. Make your decision based on how well you feel a specific program will address your son’s needs. It is important to note that while rules and structure are an important part of an effective program, no program should include physical punishment, intimidation or manipulation in order to control the residents.
  • Parental Involvement – Your input as a parent is extremely important. While each facility may implement some initial distance in order to let your teen adjust and get settled, you should be comfortable with how a facility works with you and allows you to participate. You know your child best and should be considered a valuable partner in his treatment process. You should also be guided during the transition time when your teen returns home in order to help him maintain his hard work.

Sundance Canyon Academy is a residential treatment center located in northern Utah. Unlike other facilities that implement behavior modification techniques, we provide relationship based therapy in order to help troubled teen boys identify and learn to cope with their challenges. For questions about our program, please contact us today at 866-678-2425.