Troubled Teens

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When to Seek Teen Help
Programs for Troubled Teens

Components of Effective Youth Programs

Related Article: Programs for Troubled Teens
What's it like to be a teenager in Humboldt County?

When to Seek Teen Help

Parents are usually the first to detect changes and problems in their teenager. When these changes seem beyond your control, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. You may be battling your own feelings of frustration as well as worry for your child. How do you know when to seek teen help?

The following behaviors, from The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), are signs a professional evaluation would be beneficial. They are offered as a tool to help concerned parents know when to obtain outside help.

Know when to seek help for your teenager

These signs are provided as a tool to help concerned parents make educated decisions regarding their teens. These may be signs of further problems and indicate a professional evaluation would be beneficial.

Related Article: Programs for Troubled Teens

Programs for Troubled Teens

Many programs exist to help teens and families seeking change. Local and low cost opportunities may be found in counseling and mental health centers. Intensive programs for families seeking immediate intervention include specialty boarding schools and treatment centers with programs tailored to meet the needs of your youth.

Types of Teen Treatment Programs

Sending your teen away for treatment may be a hard decision to make, but there are several different options available out there. Some teen treatment programs are short term running anywhere form 2-8 weeks and other teen treatment programs are long term and continue as needed. Of course, the costs associated with these teen treatment programs vary depending upon the length of time and the amount of therapy that is provided or required.

Talk to your teen's doctor or mental health professional and discuss which type of treatment would be best suited for their individual needs.

Wilderness Treatment Programs

These short-term programs for teens involve outdoor activities such as camping and hiking in rugged environments. Nature is considered to be the real teacher in this type of treatment method. Some wilderness programs for teens do involve therapy and are named Therapeutic Wilderness Programs. These programs are a good stepping-stone before sending your teen to a long-term type of treatment.

Boot Camps - Another short term treatment option for troubled teens are boot camps. This type of treatment involves high intensity, military style discipline. Some of these boot camps for teens are state run as a substitute for juvenile jail and other boot camps for teens are privately operated.

Residential Treatment Centers (RTC) can be both a short or long term option depending upon the program. They involve therapy, education and activities in a 24-hour safe environment.

Specialty Boarding Schools are a long-term option for your troubled teen. These types of boarding schools specifically allow teens with behavior, emotional, and educational problems. They provide a behavior modification or character building program along with both education and activities.

Providers of all these various teen treatment programs will differ in their treatment philosophies. Before sending your teen to one, it's best to research the facility thoroughly before committing to the program. If possible, try to find some references that you can check with as well. The more knowledgeable you are about the options out there, the more comfortable you will be.


Related Article: Components of Effective Youth Programs

Components of Effective Youth Programs

Many programs exist to help troubled teens and families seeking change. While some programs seek only to occupy participants time, other treatment programs offer a variety of components that have proven beneficial in helping teens make life long changes and improvements in their lives. Key components of effective treatment programs include:

Behavior Modification- Youth benefit from a program where appropriate behavior is reinforced and rewarded, and inappropriate behavior is confronted and redirected, with consequences given. Expect high standards, tight supervision, and opportunities for motivation and encouragement from an effective program.

Academics- Many youth are able to earn high school credit while they attend an accredited treatment program. Enrolling in a treatment program with an academic component provides educational advancement and encouragement. Often class credits can be transferred to a college, university or local high school.

Activities- Effective programs offer a balance of enriching activities. This may include recreation, exercise, learning, personal development and social opportunities.

Personal/ Emotional Development- Youth should have opportunities to participate in introspective activities that help them make changes in their lives. An effective program will assist them as they evaluate what is and isn't working in their lives and determine how to make necessary changes.

Family Involvement- Effective treatment programs provide opportunities for parental education as well as opportunities for families to rebuild. Some programs offer seminars for parents that coincide with seminars the youth are participating in, as well as family workshops.

Beware of programs with a boot camps structure or military school style. Get a free consultation from Troubled Teen 101 to help find appropriate teen help programs for your situation.

 What's it like to be a teenager in Humboldt County?

Many struggle with drugs and violence and become caught up in the court system. In order to redirect their lives, some are referred to a court of their peers: Teen Court. Next on Thursday Night Talk, we meet some of the people involved in this restorative justice program. And we'd like to hear your thoughts, too. Tune in and call in June 9 beginning at 7. June 9, 2016 7pm

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