When a teen’s behavior spirals out of control, it may be time for a professional behavior modification program. No amount of parental negotiation, pleading or punishment can replace quality therapy sessions. You need professionals that understand the difficulty that you are facing as you consider behavioral therapy for your child, and that can guide you in making decisions that best help your son or daughter through this trying time.
There are both good and bad behavior modification programs out there.
You’ve probably heard horror stories about abusive behavior modification programs and about equally amazing programs that promise miraculous changes. A quality behavior modification program relies on experts who apply proven therapy methods for long-term success. When seeking a behavioral therapy route, you must separate the great programs from the poor ones so you can get your teens the help they need. Knowing the different styles and how they operate is the first step in selecting the right course for your child.
Different Types of Programs Available
Therapeutic Boarding Schools – These are long term treatment facilities that have an emphasis on academics and helping your child catch up on and improve their school performance. Your teen will attend classes and tutoring sessions alongside daily individual and group therapy. Extra curricular activities will also be used to help your teen find their passion, and learn different skills. These could include art, music, science, sports, and many other avenues depending on their interests.
Residential Treatment Centers – This is a more treatment intensive facility that focuses heavily on finding the route cause of your child’s problems, and addressing them on a therapeutic level. Often associated with hospital neuropsychiatric wards, it is an especially helpful route to take if your child is suffering from mental illness or substance abuse, as they have the 24 hour care and monitoring required for severe cases. In some cases these centers will offer outpatient programs to families.
Wilderness Therapy Programs – Wilderness programs are becoming less common over time, but there are still a few available within the United States. They work by putting troubled teens through intensive physical labor and wilderness survival training, in order to teach them responsibility, teamwork, and life skills. They usually last between 3 – 6 weeks in length.
Military Boot Camps Programs – A military boot camp program is rarely offered for troubled teens. It is a heavily discipline heavy program made for those who intend to go into the military following graduation. However, there are some that provide boot camp for teens who have faced trouble in the past, and are interested in improving their record.
The teen health and wellness industry is massive, and simply starting the process of looking for an appropriate behavior modification program is overwhelming. Looking online won’t tell you much about a program and there’s no guarantee that what you read is reliable. When you are locating, evaluating and choosing reputable programs, you need to know what to look for from the resources that you come across.
As you’re looking at different programs, it is recommended that you pay particular attention to the following:
- School Licensing
- State Regulations and Laws
- Therapies Available
- Class Sizes
- Academic Program
- Extracurricular Activities
- Parent Involvement
School licensing is important to consider for two reasons: state laws regulate what each of the programs and schools can be licensed for. This affects the type of treatment and therapy modalities they can offer your teen. Some states and some programs within that state might be a better option because they’re licensed to treat behavioral issues or mental health issues that your teen is struggling with.
As well as receiving the best treatment for your teen, every parent has to consider the cost of the program. Most certainly, licensing has an affect on the programs cost. It doesn’t necessarily mean the program will cost more because of their licensing, but if a school is licensed to perform more treatment, then there is a good chance, they are able to bill more portions of the cost of the program to your insurance, lowering your out of pocket costs.
Regulations and laws for therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment programs, and wilderness therapy programs differ from state to state. Often, parents first look locally for help. This can be a good option depending on the state you live in. But you should be aware that there are states which require the teens approval upon entering one of these programs. This doesn’t work for some parents whose teens are out of control. Though the distance of an out of state school may seem too challenging, this could be your best option for a number of reasons.
Therapies available will vary from school to school and state to state. With licensing differing between states, and specialties varying between schools, this can be a nightmare to figure out. Whether it’s depression, sexual deviance, ADHD, anxiety, effects from emotional or physical trauma, you must keep those issues in mind when selecting a program.
Class sizes are another important factor to consider. Your son or daughter could greatly benefit from, or be negatively affected by a large class size. It can be beneficial to determine your teen’s social mood at the time of selecting a school. How do they get along with their peers? Have they struggled with aggression when left alone? Once you determine the best setting for them socially, you can hand pick programs that will best fit their needs based on their social environments.
Academic programs vary between states and schools as well. In many cases, students in these types of programs can repair damaged grades, and help your teen to begin learning and catching up to their classmates. These programs may also help them find academic and skill passions that will lead to careers later on. Academic intervention can be the most important thing you do for your child moving forward.
Extracurricular activities can be found within most programs, and it is an important part of their eventual rehabilitation. Different programs offer various electives, such as equestrian training, sports, math and science leagues, art, music, and many others that your teen may enjoy. Location can often play a big role in what is available to your teen.
Parental involvement has been found to greatly benefit teens and entire families when youth are enrolled in behavior modification programs. Of course, if you choose a program out of state it may interfere with your ability to see your teen face to face. When that is the case, look at what they have to offer for communication. How often are calls allowed? Do they allow Skype? Are there visiting days and times?
Look at each program’s referrals and references.
Don’t just take a program staff’s word for it on whether a particular behavior modification system works or not—learn from other parents and teens that have actually been through the process. Getting unbiased, accurate references and referrals is an important step in making sure the program fits your child’s needs.
Places you can look for referrals and recommendations:
- Program Social Media Pages
- Program Websites
- Review Sites
- Help Your Teen Now
Keep in mind that not all reviews are going to be an accurate reflection of a program. When dealing with this kind of therapy, you are going to encounter parents who found it did not help their child. This is not necessarily due to the efficacy of the program itself, but rather that it wasn’t right for that particular teen. Keep an open mind when considering reviews.
Direction From Experts At Help Your Teen Now
- Teens with serious behavior problems need professional help.When a teen’s behavior spirals out of control, it may be time for a professional behavior modification program. No amount of parental negotiation, pleading or punishment can replace quality therapy sessions. Help Your Teen Now understands the difficulty that you are facing as you consider behavioral therapy for your child, and we can help you find the right program.
- There are both good and bad behavior modification programs out there.You’ve probably heard horror stories about abusive behavior modification programs and about equally amazing programs that promise miraculous changes. A quality behavior modification program relies on experts who apply proven therapy methods for long-term success. At Help Your Teen Now, we pride ourselves on helping parents separate the great programs from the poor ones and get their teens the help they need.
- It’s difficult to find a good behavior modification program.The teen health and wellness industry is massive, and simply starting the process of looking for an appropriate behavior modification program is overwhelming. Looking online won’t tell you much about a program and there’s no guarantee that what you read is reliable. Help Your Teen Now is designed to assist you in locating, evaluating and choosing reputable programs with real resources and proven methods of success so you make the right choice for your family.
- Look at each program’s referrals and references.Don’t just take our word for it on whether a particular behavior modification program works or not—learn from other parents and teens that have actually been through the process. Getting non-biased, accurate references and referrals is an important step in making sure the program fits your child’s needs. At Help Your Teen Now, we’ll put you in touch with others who have experienced the behavior modification programs you are interested in.
- Let Help Your Teen Now help your family.Why should you trust Help Your Teen Now with the important task of finding the best behavioral modification program for your teen? Because we’re a parent advocate group with experience in a range of teen health issues and we want to pass on what we’ve learned on to you. It wasn’t that long ago that we were in your exact position—worried and scared for our child’s future. Help Your Teen Now seeks to give parents everywhere the tools and information they need to make a real difference in their troubled teen’s lives.