Where Can I Send My Out of Control Teenager? Programs for Troubled Teens
This Article Provides Insight into the Following:
- Different therapeutic programs for troubled teens and how to differentiate between them
- Factors to consider when choosing where to send a troubled teen
- How to locate programs for troubled teens
- Financing options and insurance coverage for troubled teen programs
- Teen programs’ admission and evaluation process
- How to support a teenager during and after the program
Are you wondering what to do with your out-of-control teenager? Don’t give up on them just yet. There are specialized troubled teen treatment programs that address the underlying causes of adolescents’ negative behavior, helping them return to the right path. In this article, Key Healthcare intends to help parents know different teen intervention programs, guide you on locating, choosing, evaluating, and financing them, and provide information on supporting your teen during and after the program. Let’s get started!
Recognizing the Signs of a Troubled Teenager
When we say a teen is “out of control,” it typically means that the teenager’s behavior is erratic, unpredictable, and challenging for the parents to manage. This phrase suggests that the teen is engaging in actions or displaying attitudes that are perceived as excessive, rebellious, or beyond the norms of acceptable behavior.
It’s important to understand that when teenagers are already in their adolescence phase, they experience many changes in their behavior and bodies. As parents, it’s crucial to recognize the difference between normal teenage behavior and behavior that is truly out of control. The reasons behind out-of-control behavior can be complicated, like hormones, the influence of friends, mental health problems, or unresolved issues within the family.
The following behavioral, physical, and emotional signs indicate a troubled teen:
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities,
- Withdrawal from friends and family,
- A significant decline in academic performance,
- Frequent mood swings,
- Persistent sadness,
- Excessive crying,
- Increased irritability,
- Appetite changes,
- Changes in sleep patterns,
- Engagement in risky behaviors,
- Sudden weight loss/ gain,
- Substance abuse,
- Social isolation,
- Increased secrecy, defiance/ disobedience,
- Preoccupation with death and persistent feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness.
Understanding the Benefits of Addressing Troubled Behavior Early On
Early intervention benefits troubled teens by:
- Preventing their behavioral, mental health, or substance abuse issues from escalating and causing more pronounced harm or damage
- Allowing them to promptly access the right resources, increasing the likelihood of successful treatment and recovery
- Promoting healthier coping mechanisms and improving their overall well-being.
- Helping them avoid the potential long-term consequences of untreated/ unmanaged behavioral issues such as academic difficulties, mental health disorders, and strained relationships.
Programs for Troubled Teens
A good percentage of troubled teens benefit from residential treatment centers, wilderness therapy programs, therapeutic boarding schools, outpatient counseling services, and alternative therapeutic approaches. However, let’s first look at the duration and costs involved in these programs.
Duration of Troubled Teen Programs
The duration of troubled teen programs differs from one program to the other. It also depends on the severity of the teenager’s condition and their response to treatment. For example, residential treatment takes 45-60 days; wilderness therapy programs 4-12 or more weeks; therapeutic boarding schools 9-12 or more months; outpatient treatment programs such as the intensive outpatient program take 4-12 weeks. You should obtain the expected treatment duration before settling on a troubled teen program.
Costs Associated with Troubled Teen Programs
Troubled teen programs have different costs owing to the intricacies involved. However, common costs include program fees, tuition, medication, therapy sessions, assessments and evaluations, academic support, transportation expenses, and additional interventions and services outlined by the treatment plan. You should inquire about all the potential costs upfront and liaise with the program officials and your insurance provider to understand your financial obligations.
Types of Troubled Teen Programs
Residential Treatment Centers
Residential treatment centers offer intensive therapeutic support for teenagers with substance abuse issues, and behavioral and teen mental health disorders. Key Healthcare teen residential treatment program provides a safe and structured environment with round-the-clock support and supervision to help adolescents aged 13-17 overcome challenges, reach their full potential and live healthy, productive lives.
Adolescents who attend teen residential treatment centers are protected from outside influences and triggers, allowing them to focus fully on their recovery and acquire the necessary skills for healthier and balanced lives. During the program, clinical treatment professionals administer a range of therapeutic approaches and activities, such as teen individual therapy, teen group therapy, holistic therapies, recreational therapies, exercise, and nutrition, as well as family-centered treatment and academic support for better treatment outcomes.
Wilderness Therapy Programs
Wilderness therapy programs combine nature and therapy to promote personal growth and healing in teenagers with mental health, teen substance abuse, or behavioral challenges. They use structured outdoor activities to provide a wilderness experience, fostering a deeper connection with nature and encouraging the development of interpersonal skills, self-awareness, and resilience. At the same time, the teen group therapy sessions promote understanding and resolution of underlying issues. Common outdoor activities used in these programs include hiking, camping, and wilderness skills development. Many wilderness programs have shut down in 2023, due to ongoing issues, which has pushed more parents towards residential treatment centers for teens, instead of wilderness therapy.
Therapeutic Boarding Schools
Therapeutic boarding schools offer academic and therapeutic support year-round during the school year by providing a structured and therapeutic environment for teenagers to address their emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges. They combine therapeutic interventions and traditional academic curricula to address the needs of troubled teenagers.
Teens reside within the schools and receive tailored therapies, counseling sessions, and behavior management programs in a structured and supervised environment to address underlying issues, foster emotional growth, enhance self-esteem, improve social interactions, and promote coping skills development.
Outpatient Counseling Services
Outpatient teen counseling services, known as teen intensive outpatient programs, or Teen IOP, offer flexible therapy options for troubled teens. At Key Healthcare, we have a teen intensive outpatient program that runs for 4-12 weeks, nine hours a week. It offers a safe and supportive environment for teens with behavioral issues and mental issues to build a strong recovery foundation and learn how to manage their emotions, solve problems, cope with stress, and build healthy relationships. Teenagers receive individual therapy, academic support, group therapy, and aftercare planning during the program. Families can also participate in their teen’s treatment through family counseling sessions and family education programs.
We also offer an adolescent partial hospitalization program, which is more rigorous than the intensive outpatient program. You are required to make living arrangements for your teenager for roughly 3-4 weeks as they attend the program. The structured treatment environment advances practical coping skills, promotes healing, and incites lasting and meaningful change. Services offered include group therapy, family participation, individual therapy, and education assistance.
Alternative Therapeutic Approaches
Non-traditional therapeutic approaches, such as teen music therapy, acupuncture, teen art therapy, equine-assisted therapy, and mindfulness-based therapy, complement or alternate with conventional therapies. They provide innovative ways for self-discovery, self-expression, and healthy coping skills development to address behavioral, emotional, and psychological challenges. They also help teens explore their emotions, improve their self-confidence, develop interpersonal skills, and identify new ways of communicating and processing their experiences for overall growth and well-being.
Steps Involved in Program Admission and Evaluations
Admissions Process and Requirements for Troubled Teens
You are required to contact a teen rehab facility or program for troubled teens, provide relevant information about your teen’s background and challenges, and schedule a comprehensive assessment of their physical, emotional, and behavioral needs.
Our Key Healthcare residential treatment facilities only admit teens aged 13-17. We verify insurance coverage (which you can do online, confidentially for free) and allow parents to visit our locations to see what we are all about before admission. Parents and teens must also be willing to actively participate in the treatment process before we make an admission.
Initial Assessments and Evaluations for Troubled Teens
An initial assessment is conducted through questionnaires, interviews, or standardized assessments to learn more about the teenager’s drug use, behavioral challenges, mental health history, social relationships, family dynamics, previous treatment experiences, and academic performance. Treatment centers also conduct biopsychological evaluations to assess the teenager’s emotional functioning, cognitive functioning, and underlying mental health conditions to formulate an individualized treatment plan.
Customized Treatment Plans and Individualized Care
Customized treatment plans- developed in collaboration with teenagers and their family members- address teenagers’ unique needs, goals, and challenges. They outline specific therapeutic goals, interventions, and strategies for addressing emotional, psychological, or behavioral needs and are regularly adjusted and evaluated to stay relevant and effective. These plans follow the individualized treatment approach, premised on the belief that every patient is unique; tailoring treatment to their specific conditions and circumstances enhances chances of long-term growth and successful outcomes.
Ongoing Progress Evaluations and Family Involvement in the Program
Ongoing progress evaluation helps monitor teenagers’ development and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan. This is normally done by multidisciplinary team members trained to assess teens’ emotional, behavioral, and academic progress. Families can also participate in their teen’s treatment through therapy sessions, education programs, workshops, and regular communication with the treatment team.
How To Evaluate Troubled Teen’s Program Effectiveness
You should check the key indicators of success, evaluate long-term outcomes, and consider the provided relapse prevention strategies when evaluating the best program for your troubled teen.
Key Indicators of Program Success
A program for troubled teens is more likely to succeed if the following are present:
- A well-structured and comprehensive treatment approach tailored to the conditions and specific needs of teenagers
- Research-supported interventions and evidence-based practices
- Qualified, experienced staff trained in relevant therapeutic approaches
- A solid teen aftercare plan
- Positive feedback/ testimonials from former participants or their families
- An emphasis on family involvement and support
- Relevant accreditations and licenses
You should also settle on a program that guarantees ongoing assessment and progress monitoring, commitment to safe and ethical practices, and transparent/ collaborative communication with parents and guardians.
Evaluating Long-term Outcomes for Troubled Teens
Your teen treatment program should guarantee the following outcomes:
✔️Sustained positive behavioral changes
✔️Improved mental and emotional well-being
✔️Healthier interpersonal relationships
✔️Enhanced coping skills
✔️Decreased involvement in risky behaviors
✔️Academic/ vocational success
✔️A sense of purpose and direction
✔️And the reduced likelihood of recurrence of problematic issues.
Therefore, Key Healthcare frequently assesses the program’s follow-up and aftercare support, and looks for evidence of sustained positive changes from participants and their family members (e.g., long-term success stories and testimonials). The program’s accreditations, reputation, and adherence to evidence-based practices can also help you gauge whether your teen will enjoy the above outcomes.
Considering Relapse Prevention Strategies in Program Design
Your program of choice should incorporate relapse prevention strategies to enhance long-term success. It should teach effective communication and problem-solving skills, provide comprehensive education and resources for identifying triggers and developing coping mechanisms, foster emotional regulation techniques and self-awareness, offer family therapy/ involvement to address underlying issues within the family dynamics, encourage participation in aftercare programs, and promote ongoing self-care and self-monitoring.
How To Locate Programs for Troubled Teens in
You can locate programs for troubled teens in the US by:
- Using online resources and locators
- Approaching local support organizations and mental health professionals
- Obtaining recommendations from friends, family members, and educational institutions. Make sure you find out more about the recommended programs and, if possible, obtain professional advice.
- Obtaining personalized recommendations from psychiatrists, licensed therapists, and psychologists.
Financing Options and Insurance Coverage for Teen Behavioral Problems Treatment
Private Insurance Coverage for Troubled Teens
Teen mental health issues treatment programs allow parents to pay their children’s treatment bills using private insurance coverage. Strive to find out the following information from your insurance provider beforehand:
- The extent of coverage, including co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses
- The limitations/ restrictions, e.g., duration of coverage and the number of therapy sessions covered
- The in-network facilities/ mental health providers covered by your insurance
Key Healthcare has partnered with several insurance providers, such as Humana One and Cigna, to give parents an easy time paying for their teenager’s treatment. You can learn more about your coverage by verifying your insurance here.
Medicaid and State-Funded Programs for Troubled Teens
Key Healthcare does not accept Medicaid.
Medicaid is a government-sponsored insurance program that allows low-income individuals and families to access healthcare services, including mental health treatment. On the other hand, state-funded programs vary from state to state and often include tailored mental health programs such as counseling, substance abuse treatment, therapy, and psychiatric care.
Scholarships, Grants, and Financial Aid Options for Troubled Teens
Grants, scholarships, and financial aid options aim to relieve the financial burden for families seeking mental health treatment for teens. While scholarships are merit-based, specific organizations and foundations offer grants based on financial need or program alignment. Financial aid often includes different forms of assistance that enhance treatment affordability, such as subsidies, sliding scale fees, and reduced-cost programs.
Payment Plans and Financing Options for Troubled Teen Programs
Some mental health institutions allow parents to spread payment over a given period or secure loans to cover treatment-related expenses. If you are not in a position to pay for your teen’s treatment all at once, collaborate with the treatment center to develop a payment plan and divide the total program cost into manageable installments. You can also settle for a financing option, securing a loan or line of credit to fund your teenager’s treatment and paying it back in affordable monthly installments.
Supporting Your Teen During The Teen Treatment Programs
Maintaining Open Communication with Your Troubled Teenager
To maintain open communication with troubled teenagers as the program progresses, create a safe and non-judgmental space, actively listen to their thoughts and feelings, validate their experiences, foster dialogue through regular check-ins, and refrain from trivializing their concerns.
Participating in Family Therapy and Support Sessions
Teen family therapy and support sessions offer a safe and supportive platform for family members to engage in honest and open conversations to address family dynamics, enhance understanding and improve relationships. They also provide more information about teenagers’ condition and equip family members with the right skills and strategies to support their emotional well-being.
The Transition Period: Preparing for Your Teenager’s Return Home
As your teenager’s treatment nears its end, you should collaborate with treatment professionals and other family members to ensure a successful teen transition after rehabilitation. Ensure that you:
- Collaborate with the treatment team to establish a comprehensive aftercare plan for ongoing support and follow-up services
- Create a structured and supportive home environment by establishing clear routines, expectations, and boundaries
- Make the home environment safe by eliminating triggers and negative influences
- Educate yourself on the possible challenges your teen may encounter upon return and prepare to address them effectively.
- Involve your teenager in the transition planning process to make them feel heard and promote a sense of ownership.
Long-Term Aftercare and Support
Aftercare Programs and Services for Troubled Teens
Aftercare programs and services guarantee ongoing support and assistance after the completion of teen intervention programs. They ensure a smooth transition to everyday life and promote relapse prevention, sustained recovery, and overall teen well-being. Common components of teen extended care include teen behavioral therapy, individual therapy, counseling sessions, group therapy, academic/ vocational support, and life skills training.
Continued Therapy and Counseling Options Post-Program
At Key Healthcare, we offer teen therapies and counseling options after teen treatment for sustained progress and well-being:
- Individual therapy- We allow teenagers to regularly participate in one-on-one discussions with therapists to explore and address underlying issues, develop healthy coping skills and obtain support and guidance.
- Group Therapy- This evidence-based practice allows teenagers to connect with peers sharing a similar experience, making them feel less alone. It also fosters a sense of belonging and understanding.
- Family Therapy- Family therapy allows teens and their family members to identify and address underlying issues within the family dynamics post-treatment. It promotes a supportive and nurturing home environment by helping family members learn new communication strategies and build better relationships.
Support Groups for Troubled Teens and Their Families
Support groups provide emotional support, a sense of community, and practical assistance for troubled teens and their families. They foster a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation by offering teenagers a safe and supportive environment to connect with peers, share experiences, and obtain validation and support. Family support groups offer parents and caregivers a chance to share their concerns, experiences, and strategies, as well as learn from each other. You should help your teenager identify and join a good support group.
Developing Coping Mechanisms and Life Skills
Healthy coping mechanisms and life skills promote better management of stress, trigger, and craving and reduce the likelihood of setbacks or relapse. Important life skills, such as communication, time management, and decision-making, empower teens to make positive choices. You should, therefore:
- Help your teenager develop excellent communication skills by encouraging open communication and by actively listening to their concerns and emotions without criticism or judgment.
- Teach your teenager healthy coping mechanisms such as journaling, meditation, and relaxation techniques.
- Act as a role model by practicing healthy coping mechanisms when stressed.
- Offer guidance on or teach them practical life skills such as decision-making, time management, and problem-solving.
- Offer space and opportunities for teenagers to practice the skills learned during treatment.
- Offer constructive feedback to build your teen’s confidence
- Research and recommend excellent resources on coping mechanisms and life skills development.
Out-of-control teenagers need support and guidance, as negative teen behavior mostly results from underlying issues that can be addressed. You should therefore work with your teenager to locate, choose and evaluate treatment programs that can benefit them. At Key Healthcare, we offer a range of programs for troubled teens that can be tailored to meet their needs and conditions. Feel free to contact us to find out more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Qualifications Should I Look for in Staff Members of Troubled Teen Programs?
You should settle for a troubled teen program whose staff members have relevant academic qualifications, certifications, and licenses. They should also be trained and experienced in working with troubled teenagers and be knowledgeable in evidence-based therapeutic approaches and crisis intervention strategies.
What is the Role of Education in Troubled Teen Programs?
Troubled teen programs include education to:
- Establish structure and routine, creating a sense of normalcy and stability in troubled teenagers’ lives
- Promote cognitive and intellectual growth, fostering the acquisition of important skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking.
- Allow troubled teens to build excellent relationships and develop social skills through peer connection and social interaction
- Promote holistic treatment
Are Troubled Teen Programs Only For Extreme Cases, or Can They Help with Milder Behavioral Issues?
Even though they provide intensive care and support, troubled teen programs do not exclusively treat extreme cases. Options such as intensive outpatient treatment and partial hospitalization treat mild to moderate behavioral, substance use, or mental health disorders by providing a structured and supportive environment for teenagers to develop healthy coping skills, build-self esteem, overcome maladaptive behavioral patterns and acquire important life skills.
Are There Specialized Programs for Troubled Teens with Specific Conditions Like Depression and Anxiety?
Yes. Programs such as residential treatment, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient care offer tailored support and intervention to address the specific needs of teenagers with depression or anxiety. They generally use a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together psychiatrists, licensed therapists, and various mental health professionals who administer individual and group therapy, teach coping skills and ensure proper medication management in case of medication-assisted therapy.
Can My Teenager Continue Their Education While in the Program?
Yes. Troubled teen programs offer educational support to help teenagers stay on top of their schoolwork. At Key Healthcare, we have partnered with Mission Academy School for curriculum and credit recovery for our teen residential treatment program. We also have highly trained and qualified staff to support teen studies. Our intensive outpatient program also offers academic coaching and tutoring to help teens focus on their schoolwork and succeed in their studies.
What Happens if My Teenager Refuses to Participate in the Program?
Teen treatment professionals encourage teen participation by building trust, fostering a supportive environment, and sometimes offering incentives. However, in cases where teens remain adamant, they collaborate with them to find and address the underlying reasons for their resistance. They may also explore alternative interventions such as family therapy, individual counseling, and alternative programs or therapeutic approaches that align with the teenager’s needs and interests.
Are There Alternative Options to Residential Programs for Troubled Teens?
Yes. Residential treatment is not the only option for troubled teens. Alternative programs include intensive outpatient programs for teenagers who want to stay at home while receiving a higher level of care; partial hospitalization programs, which offer structured therapy and support during the day and allow teens to return home in the evening; wilderness therapy which combines nature and therapy; and therapeutic boarding schools where teenagers receive education while undergoing therapy. You should collaborate with your teenager and treatment professionals to settle on one that can address your teenager’s condition best.
What Happens If My Teenager Requires Medication During Their Time in the Program?
Teen treatment programs respect patient autonomy and cannot force adolescents to take medications if they refuse. Instead, program professionals work with teens and their caregivers to explore the reasons behind their refusal, address any fears and concerns, and find a treatment approach that best meets their needs and preferences while promoting their overall mental wellness and stability.
How Are Emergency Situations Handled in Troubled Teen Programs?
Emergency handling protocols and procedures often vary from one program to the other. For medical emergencies, staff members often offer first aid or CPR while awaiting emergency medical services. Most residential programs also have an on-site doctor who can respond to emergencies. For mental health emergencies, staff members assess the situation and initiate the right crisis intervention, such as providing immediate support and intervention, implementing safety protocols, or contacting mental health professionals such as a psychiatrist.
Are There Programs Specifically Designed for Troubled Teens with Behavioral Disorders Such as ADD or Conduct Disorder?
Yes. Teen treatment centers offer programs that recognize the unique needs of teenagers facing behavioral challenges, such as ADD, and offer specialized support and intervention. Our Key Healthcare treatment programs can be tailored to address unique teen conditions and needs, including ADD. We have a team of professionals who administer medication, therapy, life skills training, and other necessary interventions to help teenagers overcome behavioral challenges.
What Types of Therapy Are Commonly Used in Troubled Teen Programs?
Most troubled teen programs administer cognitive behavioral therapy to help teenagers identify and modify negative thought patterns and maladaptive behaviors; teen dialectical behavioral therapy to enhance emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness; family therapy to address underlying issues within family dynamics for improved teen support; and alternative therapies such as teen art therapy and teen music therapy to foster expression and self-discovery.
How Can I Ensure My Teenager’s Safety During Their Time in a Program?
It would be best to go for a reputable program that has the required licenses, certifications, and a proven track record of offering safe and effective care. Ensure you maintain regular contact, ask questions, and voice concerns regarding your teen’s safety. Additionally, attend family therapy sessions, participate in parent-education programs, follow program guidelines, and stay vigilant about your teen’s well-being.
Can Troubled Teen Programs Address the Issues of Self-Esteem and Confidence?
Yes. Troubled teen programs incorporate several therapeutic approaches and interventions that can build teenagers’ self-esteem and boost their confidence. For example, individual counseling and therapy sessions allow teens to explore and challenge negative self-perceptions, learn effective coping strategies and develop a positive self-image; group therapy creates a supportive environment for teens to share experiences and obtain validation from peers; and skill-building activities offer opportunities for personal growth, goal achievement and overcoming challenges, subsequently improving self-esteem.
What are the Key Differences Between Residential Treatment Centers and Therapeutic Boarding Schools?
Teen Residential treatment centers aim to address and stabilize teenagers’ mental health needs, and provide full around the clock support, while therapeutic boarding schools strive to promote teenagers’ personal growth, academic progress, and character development through comprehensive, well-rounded programs. Therapeutic boarding schools also have a longer stay duration than residential treatment centers, because it’s the teenagers’ actual school that has therapy tied into it.