“I don’t want to go! You honestly think that I’m crazy, and I’m not!” Your teen tells you right before she hangs up the phone.
As an organization that helps families find the right residential treatment centers for their troubled teens, we recognize that convincing your upset teen to enroll in a center might be very difficult.
In this article, we’ll go over 10 reasons why your troubled teen should be attending a residential treatment center. Remember, you can take a proactive approach to help your troubled teen by focusing on prevention and management, or you can be reactive by enrolling your teen in a center after things have gotten too difficult and challenging. You get to choose.
10 Reason Why Troubled Teens Attend Residential Treatment Centers
While there are many reasons why troubled teens might attend residential treatment centers, here are 10 primary reasons.
#1. You or Your Teen Are Interested in Building Self-Awareness
If you’ve ever gone to therapy or even read a self-help book, then you know the importance of being self-aware. When a teen is aware of their triggers, moods, and daily habits, they’re better able to help themselves and others.
In a residential treatment center, your teen will learn how to become more self-aware through daily healthy habits and one-on-one coaching with mental health practitioners. The goal in building self-awareness through things like cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and family therapy is to help your teen unlearn unhealthy thought-patterns and behaviors while rewiring their brains and behaviors to achieve successful outcomes.
#2. Your Teen Struggles With Managing Stress
If you’ve heard your teen complaining about being so stressed out or frustrated that it impacts their daily life, then a residential treatment center may be helpful. At these centers, your teen will learn that stress is not necessarily a bad thing. Through therapy and daily habits, your teen will learn that stress can help them stay motivated and give them a sense of purpose. They’ll also identify good stressors like education and fitness and unhealthy stressors like substance abuse and toxic friendships.
In addition to having their views on stress expanded and challenged, your teen will also build coping mechanisms for dealing with stress.
#3. You or Your Teen Are Interested in Addressing Family-Related Issues
Most families have minor and major family-related issues that they’re trying to manage. For example, having a sibling with a mental illness or learning disability may affect your teen in ways you might be unaware of.
Additionally, your teen would benefit from enrolling in a residential treatment center if there are significant issues such as an ongoing divorce, family-related legal issues, and the loss of a family member.
#4. Your Teen Struggles With Social and Identity-Related Issues
As your teen matures, they’ll be exploring social and identity-related areas of their lives. For example, some teens may be confused about their sexual orientation or their gender identity. Other teens might be interested in finding out how to manage their religious and spiritual upbringing (or even lack of religion) with their current beliefs and views of the world.
In a residential treatment center, your child would acquire tools on how to navigate complexity and expectations while prioritizing things like safety and authenticity. These centers would honor you, your families, and your teen’s privacy and views.
#5. Your Teen Struggles With Academics
Many teens struggle to balance socialization and academics, and a residential treatment center would help your teen learn about time management and healthy habits. At these centers, a team of fully-licensed and caring mental health practitioners, educators, and staff would help your teen identify the barriers to being happy and successful in every area of their lives, including education.
#6. Your Teen Has a Learning Disability
In addition to focusing on academics and personal growth, these centers recognize that some students have learning disabilities. Students would be tested for things like autism, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities at these centers.
Since these centers recognize that customized learning is essential, your child would have educational practices and methodologies tailored to their needs.
#7. Your Teen Has Behavioral Issues
If you have a child that’s acting up at home or in school, a residential treatment center would be an excellent place to explore the reasons why your teen is having behavioral issues. Rather than simply punishing your child, these centers would use various therapies to help your child learn how to manage their thoughts and emotions. It would also teach them healthier ways of expressing themselves.
At these centers, the team that will be helping your teen will also rule out mental illnesses or learning disabilities that might be a source of behavioral issues.
#8. Your Teen Has Legal Issues
If your teen has had run-ins with the law, a residential treatment center might offer you and them hope. At these centers, your teen would learn not to identify with their past mistakes. They would also have a team of experts that would help them move forward in their lives.
Additionally, as a parent, you are offering your child an environment that keeps them out of trouble. As many researchers have found, individuals who commit a crime often live in toxic environments that support or enable these types of behaviors. So, offering your teen a safe and nurturing environment that helps bring out the best version of themselves.
#9. Your Teen Struggles With Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is often a sign of underlying issues. Troubled teens often use substances as a way of coping with these issues. For example, rather than acknowledging the hurt associated with parents going through a divorce, a teen might resort to alcohol or drugs to numb the pain.
Other times, substance abuse might be a sign of self-medicating. In research done on substance-abuse and teens, mental illness is often a hidden cause. So, rather than getting help through therapy and traditional medications, your teen might choose an illicit and dangerous route to treating their mental illness.
#10. Your Teen Might Have a Mental Illness
As was mentioned, mental illness might be one reason why your teen enrolls in a residential treatment center.
At these centers, they are be able to treat:
- Mood-Related Disorders. This includes things like bipolar disorder and depression.
- Psychosis. This includes things like schizophrenia.
- Personality disorders like narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.
- Attachment-related disorders, such as reactive attachment disorder.
In addition to treating these disorders through things like medications and therapy, your teen would also be given tools to manage their illness.
A simple but not exhaustive list
Keep in mind that if we haven’t listed the reason or cause for your teen’s enrollment in a residential treatment center that you might be aware of, you can always check in with Help Your Teen to find a center that fits your needs.