Adolescence is a challenging period for many people. The rapid growth, hormone changes, and constant mood swings affect how teenagers behave. This transition to adulthood gives teenagers a sense of independence; some assert it over their parents, making you butt heads with your teenager more often. Your child may pull away from family, push their curfew, test your rules, or experiment with different inappropriate fashions. This may lead to destructive behavior.
Dealing with bad teenage behavior requires investigation before looking for the right interventions. For interventions, it’s best to stick to treatment options like behavioral programs and psychotherapy at home before seeking drastic measures. When nothing seems to work at home, you can consider outside programs. So, where can you send your out-of-control teenager? Read on to learn the various places you can send your out-of-control teenager.
Where Can I Send My Out Of Control Teenager?
Professional therapy with a licensed provider gives your teen the support and space they need to explore their feelings and thoughts, work out their problems, and establish any destructive behavior. After establishing where the problem is, the therapist will help your teen figure out techniques and treatments that will help them understand themselves and cope with their feelings better.
Moreover, therapy will come in handy in identifying any underlying issues that may make your teenager act out. Traumatic events like illness, death, divorce, and substance abuse may aggravate adolescent behavioral problems. Therapy can also identify mental health issues like depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, which may be confused as acting out.
Family therapy will let you and your teenager sort your differences under professional guidance. And in case of communication difficulties with your child, the therapist will help you foster effective communication.
Also called live-in programs, residential therapy offer broad therapy to teens with mental and behavioral issues, eating disorders, and substance abuse. This program provides respite from triggers and stressors, giving your child the space they need to heal.
Live-in programs can be short-term (30 days) or long-term (up to one year). The live-in program is followed by outpatient therapy with a professional once the stay period lapses. Different types of treatments are offered in residential therapy. They include:
Individual therapy – involves one-on-one sessions in a confidential and comfortable environment where your teen explores their emotions and expresses issues they’re facing. This therapy can also help out-of-control teens find stability and structure in their daily routine.
Group therapy – this therapy form involves a small group of teenagers having a session with a therapist. Group therapy lets your child know that they’re not alone and other teens have similar experiences. It also acts as an opportunity for benefiting from constructive criticism and perspective.
Family therapy – here, you’re allowed to participate in finding solutions to problems your child faces. Family therapy also guides you on how you can help your teenager maintain their progress once the program ends.
Experiential therapy – is a body and mind therapy type commonly used with talk therapy. Experiential therapy may include outdoor activities like camping, sports, hiking, working with animals, and creative activities like craftsmanship and writing, depending on the facility.
Note that some residential therapy programs include academic instruction. However, this depends on the structure of the therapy program and the duration of your child’s stay.
Wilderness therapy programs incorporate professionals going outdoors with small groups of teenagers. The unfamiliar outdoor environment provides an excellent environment to form one-on-one therapy, group therapy, and experiential therapy. It also offers a suitable environment for teaching teens self-sustaining skills like cooking.
Additionally, wilderness therapy promotes communication and socialization, as participants combine efforts to build fires, cook food, and pitch tents. The absence of triggers and distractions in the outdoors encourages teenagers, with the help of a therapist, to confront their thoughts and emotions. This helps them establish healthy coping mechanisms and a more positive outlook.
Therapeutic schools provide alternative academic programs to assist out-of-control teens with emotional, behavioral, or intellectual issues. Besides academic training, students in these schools receive counseling and psychological support. Therapeutic schools are usually gender-specific and enforce strict routines to help provide teenagers with structure.
Therapeutic schools can be day or boarding. For the day, students stay at home outside school hours. Whereas for boarding, students are protected from outside stressors and influences. This provides them with intensive rehabilitation, helping students who pose a risk to their family members or those struggling with substance use.
These schools also cater to children who have challenges keeping up in traditional school settings or fall behind. The academic programs in therapeutic schools are designed to suit an individual or a particular group’s needs. For this reason, these schools are usually long-term programs that can take a whole school year.
Boot camps mimic the military in terms of their structure, model, rules, and discipline. These schools can be ideal for teens who require a rigid frame and academic training. However, they are unsuitable for teenagers struggling with emotional and behavioral issues. Boot camps also require students to participate in high levels of physical activities.
These schools have gained a controversial reputation for using fear, intimidation tactics, and corporal punishment to instill discipline in teens, which is not scientifically proven to be the most effective. When intimidation tactics, fear, and corporal punishments are removed, boot camps become unsuccessful at modifying children’s behavior.
So, if you are considering this option for your teen, take time and do your research well. Look for a boot camp with a reputable program that utilizes positive consequences and discipline to instil good behavior, not corporal punishment.
When nothing seems to work on your out-of-control teenager at home, it may be time to send them elsewhere.
Residential therapy provides boarding programs that involve individual, group, family, and experiential therapy. They help remove outside stress and influence, letting your child focus more on improving.
Wilderness programs teach teenagers rehabilitation, therapy, and self-sustaining skills. They also promote socialization and healthy communication among peers in outdoor activities.
Therapeutic schools, day or boarding, help teens with emotional or behavioral issues. They also help teens who fall behind in traditional schooling with academic training.
Boot camps are military-like and help teenagers who need tougher discipline and rigid routines. These are great for anyone desiring strict academic and physical training. However, they may not suit teens struggling with emotional or substance use.