• Sundance Canyon Academy

Where Can I Send My Out of Control Teenager?

There comes the point when outrageous behavior becomes too much to manage. When teenage behavior gets out of hand, parents are stuck figuring out what to do. You love your kid and want the best for them, but what can you do when they refuse to follow the rules? You need to know where you can send your teen.

There are a lot of options for teens with behavioral issues. If their behavior is minor, you can try at-home interventions like therapy or positive teen organizations. If their behavior becomes dangerous or they start getting into trouble, your teen may see better success from a therapeutic boarding school or other residential programs for troubled youth.

When you first start looking into treatment options for your teen, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many choices it can be challenging to know where to start. Different programs and schools are designed to meet diverse student needs. This article will give a brief overview of several treatment options to help you find the proper treatment for your teen.

Types of programs for troubled youth

When you look at programs for your troubled teen, focus on places that emphasize therapy as a primary component of their program. Teens who have extreme behavioral issues often have underlying mental health struggles that need to be addressed along with their behavior. There are numerous types of therapeutic schools that promote personal responsibility and positive mental health.

Therapeutic boarding schools Most therapeutic boarding schools include actual classwork, life skills training, and various forms of therapy. Students still receive high school credits to help them earn their diploma or catch up on schoolwork they may have been missing at home.

While at school, students also learn how to set and maintain a daily routine to help them stay on track when they return home. They are held to high standards and learn to take personal responsibility for their behavior.

Students also work with trained therapists to develop individualized treatment plans that address their situations. Since no two students are alike, each treatment plan is specific to the individual student’s needs.

Residential treatment centers Unlike adult residential treatment centers, most residential treatment centers for teens also incorporate schoolwork like a therapeutic boarding school. If the residents are still school-aged, they still have to complete some classwork to not withdraw from school.

Residential treatment centers can offer a variety of programs for troubled youth. Whether looking into a treatment center or other therapeutic school, ensure that they provide a variety of therapy styles.

  1. Individual therapy: Students meet with a licensed therapist for one-on-one therapy sessions to address their needs. This allows students to notice and focus on underlying issues and make specific plans to change their behavior.

  2. Group therapy: Students meet as a group with a licensed therapist to work on issues together. Students are typically placed in a group based on the problems they are working to overcome. For example, groups could focus on addiction, overcoming past trauma, addressing anger issues, etc.

  3. Family therapy: Students and their families meet with a licensed therapist to talk through family problems and make plans for the student’s return home. Teens are part of a family, and they need to learn how to function within their family. Since students will not be at school forever, both the teens and their families need to understand how to address issues at home.

Wilderness therapy programs Some teens benefit from being cut off from electronics and the comforts of everyday life, giving them a new perspective on life. Some programs for troubled youth consist entirely of wilderness therapy. Others include some wilderness therapy components and some in-school components.

Programs that consist entirely of wilderness therapy range in duration from weeks to months. They are designed to be tough and teach students the importance of self-reliance, build self-confidence, and help them learn to work as a group. Many wilderness therapy programs also have licensed therapists working with the students, but some do not.

Many therapeutic schools often include an aspect of wilderness therapy in their treatment plan. Students go on an extended camping trip that may last a few days or a few weeks. The wilderness trips tend to be shorter, but the students discuss the trip and everything that they learned in their therapy sessions back at school. Like the wilderness therapy programs, students learn about self-reliance and working as a group, building self-confidence through the experience.

Boot camps Many parents who are at their wit’s end with their out-of-control teenager choose to send their teen to a military school or boot camp. These programs are designed to teach teens to follow directions and toughen up.

Though they reinforce routine, compliance, and respect, boot camps do not incorporate therapy into their programs. When teens come out of boot camps, they tend to behave better for a while. However, they often return to their old ways since the unlying issues were never addressed.

Final thoughts

The most important aspect of selecting a program for troubled youth is therapy. Find a school whose values and therapeutic styles match your teen’s needs. Many therapeutic schools also offer extracurricular activities or life skills training that might appeal to your teen and help them grow as a person.

Your teen must learn to change their behavior and address the root cause of their behavior. Without addressing the real issues, they are bound to have trouble again in the future.

To learn more about Sundance Canyon Academy and find out how we can help your family, call us at 866-224-2733.

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