Seeking treatment for a troubled teen is undoubtedly a challenging task. It’s a reality many parents never anticipate facing. Now, however, you’re confronted with the responsibility of choosing the right therapeutic approach for your teenager. In the past, the lack of choices left many parents and teens without alternatives that could have been more beneficial for their situation. The diverse range of treatment options and other therapeutic boarding schools available today shows progress in the field of adolescent therapy and behavioral health. As we recognize the complexities of teen behavioral issues, mental health professionals and researchers have been working hard to develop more effective and empathetic treatment strategies.
Be Mindful of Professional Bias: Be aware that each treatment facility may specialize in a particular approach, whether it’s talk therapy, group activities, or adventure-based methods. Treat choosing a treatment program like shopping for a service—directly visiting the facility, interacting with staff, and seeking opinions from professionals with diverse expertise. Custom-tailor a program specific to your teenager’s needs.
Ask Tough Questions: Don’t shy away from asking counselors and therapists the tough questions. Inquire about their experience, success rates, and how they define success. Understand the common challenges and how frequently clients face them. You have the right to expect a standard of care that satisfies your concerns.
Prioritize Communication: Request references from the program, respecting privacy regulations. Successful practices often have families willing to share their experiences. If the program hesitates to provide references, consider it a potential red flag.
Network and Seek Support: Explore nationwide support groups for families with troubled teens, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Attend local support group meetings to learn about different treatment programs and hear firsthand accounts from other parents.
Conduct Research: Utilize the internet or visit the library for information. Critically assess information, considering potential misconceptions and inaccuracies. Trust an experienced program that can demonstrate its effectiveness with tangible results.
Before deciding on treatment for your teenager, carefully evaluate each option’s potential for success and its impact on your teen’s well-being. Consider your teen’s specific needs, overall health, and the nature of their issues. Strive to find a balance between treatment efficacy and its potential long-term effects. Regardless of the chosen program, maintaining a positive outlook and staying informed at each step is crucial to navigating this challenge.