The end goal of any troubled teen intervention, whether that be therapeutic boarding schools or a boot camp, should be the successful reintegration of the adolescent into society.
The road to recovery does not end as soon as the program does. Supporting troubled teenagers and their families is vital in promoting lasting change.
In this post, we will look at the value of extended care, as well as the benefits associated with it.
Why is Teen Extended Care Important?
It may be true that your teen has done a complete 360 while in a residential treatment center or therapeutic boarding school. However, it’s important to remember that the environments of these institutions are geared towards your child’s healing.
When you remove a teen from that safe environment and thrust them back into the real world, there is a strong chance that they may revert to their former ways.
The same influences that may have contributed to your child’s mental health challenges or behavioral issues could very well still exist in the space where they are returning.
Your teenager has learned valuable skills and coping strategies at a residential treatment center. Still, they would need to make an active and deliberate effort to remain focused on their healing despite these triggers.
According to one study, teenagers who received professional help with their substance abuse were less likely to relapse when they also got some form of aftercare treatment.
Aftercare programs assist with this delicate reintegration phase by creating a smooth transition between the two often contrasting environments.
Key Features of Aftercare Programs
Extended care offerings can look different to each person, depending on the program, the individual, and unique circumstances.
Below are some characteristics of aftercare programs that may benefit your teen.
Continuation of therapy
At a live-in treatment center, your teen would have enjoyed the benefit of an intensive therapy program.
Aftercare treatment aims to extend these advantages by offering individual therapy, family therapy, and relevant support groups.
In addition, this type of treatment plan focuses on reintegration strategies to help your troubled teen adjust to their everyday lives.
Once your teenager has brought up their grades to a satisfactory level, it’s essential to keep the momentum going so they don’t fall behind again.
Extended care can help by enabling a smooth transition to a regular school or college.
As a parent, you will also be better equipped to understand your child’s learning needs, allowing you to advocate for an academic program that considers your child’s challenges.
Assistance for parents
It can be easy to assume that your once troubled teen will slide back into the familial structure without any fuss after they’ve gone through a residential treatment program.
However, this is an unrealistic expectation. Your teen still needs support and understanding from the entire family unit, as the readjustment process can be complicated for some.
A good aftercare program considers this and offers parents ongoing family therapy sessions to help them create a supportive environment at home.
Online resources, such as virtual counseling or support group forums, are an easy way for your teenager to continue their healing journey from home.
These avenues are easily accessible and can be helpful to a teenager who is struggling to face the world again. From help with mental health challenges to career guidance, a wide range of benefits are associated with a virtual support network.
Life skills and coping strategies
A residential program can inadvertently create a bubble of safety for a troubled teen, especially in the case of substance abuse.
Being free from the negative influences that led to their addiction in the first place makes it easier for them to refrain from such activities.
When that safety net is removed, the risk of relapse is increased.
To mitigate this, aftercare programs teach life skills, social skills, and various coping mechanisms to empower teenagers to make the healthiest choices for their physical and mental well-being.
Unlike at a therapeutic boarding school, which is run on a solid routine and structure, home life can be very different for a teen in reintegration.
They must understand that although they are back in the same place where they started on a geographical level, they have changed a lot internally.
Extended care programs can help foster a sense of self-accountability, which will enable your teen to take responsibility for their healing.
The Road to Healing is a Long One
Helping your troubled teen through their mental health challenges or addiction struggles is not a part-time job.
It’s also not something that can be remedied overnight. Reaching the end goal takes continuous internal work and a holistic treatment approach.
This is where aftercare programs fill the gap. Your child can integrate the lessons they learned during the rehabilitation process and continue their treatment in a supportive environment.
If you need assistance finding an appropriate residential treatment center for your troubled teen, contact Help My Teen Now.