A teen experiencing serious emotional or behavioral problems may not be able to get the level of help they need while living at home. When a teen exhibits dangerous or destructive behavior or isn't making progress in outpatient therapy a residential treatment program may be the solution parents are looking for.
Residential Treatment Programs for Teens Explained
Residential treatment programs are therapeutic settings where your teen lives while receiving professional help to include intensive therapy, education, support and structured activities. A variety of therapies are provided by licensed mental health professionals and trained counselors constantly interact with the residents to monitor their safety, provide immediate feedback and teach important social and communication skills.
In a residential setting the specific problems a teen is having are identified in an individual treatment plan, help in dealing with these problems is provided and progress is monitored on a regular basis. Teens work through the treatment program by participating in a structured phase system to address the problems they are having and make positive changes.
Goals of Residential Treatment Programs
Residential treatment programs are designed to improve all aspects of a troubled teens' life by focusing on the root causes of their emotional or behavioral problems. Goals of residential treatment include:
- increasing self-image
- improving problem solving skills
- understanding personal issues
- improving communication with family and peers
- dealing with anger appropriately
- stopping self-destructive behavior
- increasing compliance with rules
- making positive choices
- accepting feedback
Levels of Teen Residential Treatment Programs
There are a range of programs that provide residential treatment to teens depending on how much structure and support is needed. Temporary shelters are the lowest level of care, meaning they are the least structured and restrictive. Psychiatric hospitals provide the highest level of care. For example: shelters aren't locked while hospitals are. Shelters have a low resident to staff ratio while hospitals can provide one to one supervision if needed.
The highest levels of care are the best equipped to handle teens with the most serious acting out behaviors or emotional problems. The goal is always to treat at the lowest level of care possible, transferring to a higher level only if needed.
Putting your troubled teen into a structured therapeutic environment where they can get the help needed to work on their problems can lead to positive, lasting changes. Learn about all the residential treatment program options available to troubled teens.