Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Find Help for Your Teen
The decision to get help for your troubled teen is not one to be taken lightly. Finding a treatment program for your child can be an overwhelming and scary task, especially since you have so much love and concern for their well-being. You may feel that there is no single resource that will provide all the parenting help you need for your teen. You may also be struggling to choose the best time for your child to enter treatment by seeking a program for troubled teens that falls outside of the school year.
Unfortunately, youth who are experiencing acute symptoms and displaying problem behaviors cannot wait to receive quality mental health and addiction care. At SUWS of the Carolinas, our programs provide developmentally sensitive help for troubled youth while continuing to foster their academic growth. Students participate in practical skills instruction, stories, and journal assignments, along with education in history, philosophy, and science. These programs not only provide your child with ongoing education, but students can receive some transferrable credits through Cognia, if their school accepts them.
Apart from your child’s academic performance, the symptoms they are experiencing are likely having a negative impact on multiple areas of their life. These outcomes have the potential to worsen over time if your child is not connected with the care they need in a timely manner. Your teen may express concerns or reluctance about being separated from their friends and the environments they are most familiar with. However, there is an increased risk that your child will be unable to return to their daily life if the symptoms they are displaying remain unaddressed. Comprehensive treatment benefits your teen while also providing you with parenting tips on how to help your child manage a mental health condition or addiction in the most effective way.
One of the most important but stressful parts of the treatment process is finding quality programs for troubled adolescents. There are many treatment facilities, programs, and therapies available with varying schedules, availabilities, and rates. As a parent who may still be learning to navigate behavioral healthcare, one of the most vital aspects of programs for teens is ensuring that each person involved feels comfortable with the decision and program features. You and your child must both be comfortable with the services offered, including collaborative family therapy and immersive modalities that address each of your child’s concerns.
The search for treatment programs to assist your troubled child should cover centers within your area and outside of your geographic location. Many programs offer a combination of group and individual therapies. Each of these approaches is useful in identifying your child’s areas of concern and helping them develop skills to cope with the symptoms of a mental health condition and/or addiction. An effective and reliable treatment program should use evidence-based modalities to treat your teen. Evidence-based treatments are scientifically backed methods that have proved effective at treating certain symptoms and diagnoses of mental health conditions or addiction. These approaches are the hallmark of a clinically excellent treatment facility that prioritizes your teen’s safety, needs, and well-being.
Additionally, treatment centers may offer experiential therapies, which refers to any treatment method that involves the use of expressive activities and/or creative tools to guide young people as they explore their emotions and behaviors as they pertain to recovery and wellness. Experiential therapies may use nature, animals, recreation, the arts, and more to engage individuals in learning about themselves during the treatment process.
At SUWS of the Carolinas, we offer wilderness and adventure treatment as a form of experiential therapy to deepen the therapeutic growth and help provided to troubled teens. Research in the Child and Youth Care Forum showed that adolescents who attended wilderness-based programs showed significant improvement upon completion of outdoor behavioral healthcare programs (Russell, 2003).
Additional research in the Journal of Clinical Psychology demonstrated that adolescents who participated in wilderness treatment programs displayed a significant decrease in psychopathology that was maintained for one year after treatment (Kraus, Seligman, and Jordan, 2005). A similar study by the OBHRC showed that adolescents struggling with addiction who participated in outdoor wilderness-based programs displayed significantly fewer symptoms that were maintained for one year after treatment.
If you are considering mental health or addiction help for your troubled teen, it is best to seek treatment as soon as possible to maximize the positive impact it can have on your child. It is important for parents who are seeking help for troubled teens to weigh all the options, speak with the admissions department at several treatment centers, and learn more about behavioral healthcare. This will assist parents in determining the best treatment for their child.
Kraus, D. R.; Seligman, D. A.; and Jordan, J. R. (2005). Validation of a behavioral health treatment outcome and assessment tool designed for naturalistic settings: The Treatment Outcome Package. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61, 285-314.
Russell, K. C. (2003). An assessment of outcomes in outdoor behavioral healthcare treatment. Child and Youth Care Forum, 32, 6, 355-381. DOI: 10.1023/B:CCAR.0000004507.12946.7e