Should Your Teen Go to a Residential Treatment Center?

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Sending a teenager to a residential treatment facility isn’t generally a decision most parents, therapists, or healthcare providers take lightly. At the same time, this difficult decision can make a huge difference in the outcome of a young person’s life when handled properly. If you’re considering sending your teenager to a residential clinic, hospital, or group home, read on for some things to consider.

Behavioral Challenges

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If your child is having trouble with behavior at home or school, it could be time to consider a residential teen treatment program. Start with getting them an individual therapist, so they can help assess the situation and get to know your child and family system. Residential treatment programs can help with behavior issues. There, a team of social workers, therapists, residential managers, and more will work together a treatment plan for your teen. The treatment team will coordinate your child’s care in the residential treatment center. This care could include group therapy, education, and life skills, as well as individual counseling and access to a psychiatrist.

Some parents wonder how their child will do in a residential setting and allow behavioral issues to continue at school simply out of fear. However, through the use of DBT, CBT, and other behavioral therapy modalities, most teenagers do well in residential care. With their length of stay in a residential program generally determined by outcome, placing a child in a residential setting can mean far fewer behavioral challenges upon the return home.

Danger to Others

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When a child is a danger to themselves or others, it’s time to get serious help. Siblings, peers, and family members should never feel fearful around a teenager. Most health insurance policies in the United States will cover at least a portion of the bill for care in a therapeutic program aimed at helping kids with emotional issues. Medicaid and most private insurances will cover these programs, too.

In residential facilities, treatment teams work with teens to develop healthy relationship skills, including with themselves. Teenagers who engage in self harm will learn other ways to cope with issues derived from trauma, attachment and mood disorders, life circumstances, low self-esteem, and more.

Residential treatment programs are a good option for troubled teens who have attempted suicide, experienced suicidal ideation, or who’ve been violent with peers, parents, or siblings. With trained staff to help keep young people safe, these facilities can help teens with mental health issues that could mean harm to self or others if left untreated.

Substance Abuse

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Many teens struggling with substance abuse or addiction issues can benefit from a residential placement. From support staff for academic programs to trained and licensed counselors, residential homes will teach teenagers resilience and help them through the stages of recovery in a welcoming environment. Therapists use a combination of art therapy, talk therapy, and group sessions to give teenagers a wide range of skills to help them work through substance use disorders in a supportive environment. While a participant in a residential program, teenagers can keep up with their schooling through individualized treatment and educational plans. These inpatient programs are meant to help teenagers build lifelong skills that will set them up for a healthier future.

At the end of the day, the best thing a parent can do for their child is to support them through hard times. If your teen is struggling, it makes you strong to reach out for help. No matter how upset they are with you for making the decision to place them in residential treatment, do what you can to remind yourself that you’re looking out for them. When in doubt, contact your healthcare provider, and consider getting yourself a therapist to work through your own worries in these trying times.