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Why are Therapeutic Programs for Teens so Effective?


If you’ve come to the end of your rope with your teenager’s behavior, you might be asking, “Would a therapeutic program for my teen really work?” After struggling for so long, you may have doubts that even the professionals would be able to really change your teen’s mode of behavior and way of thinking. You’ve done everything you know how to do and it seems like things are getting worse, not better. But, therapeutic programs, like residential homes or trouble teen schools, can make a huge difference.

Teen Behaviors Parents Need Help Managing

You might be asking “Should I really send my teen away to a therapeutic program?” It’s a big move and you wonder if your teen really needs that intensive level of professional help. But, these troubled teenager programs are also life-altering. Here are some very common reasons teens enter the programs:

  • ADD / ADHD

  • Addiction/Chemical Dependency

  • Autism

  • At-Risk Youth/Risky Behaviors

  • Body Image Issues

  • Cutting & Self-Harm

  • Divorce Conflict

  • Depression

  • Substance Abuse

  • Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD)

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

  • Personality disorders

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Suicide Ideation

  • Dual Diagnosis

  • Eating Disorders (that don’t require medical intervention)

  • Female Identity Empowerment

  • Failing College

  • Lack of Motivation

  • Learning Disabilities

  • Mood Disorders

  • Relational Issues

  • Risky/Harmful Sexual Behaviors

  • School Avoidance or Failure

  • Self-Esteem Issues

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

  • Troubled Youth

  • Gender Identity Struggles

  • Behavior Issues

  • Adoption issues

  • Anger Issues

  • Anxiety

What Makes Therapeutic Programs Work?

There are several reasons therapeutic programs help teens change their thinking and behavior. Here are some of the top reasons.

Removed from the Situation

Sometimes your child gets into a behavior rut. Maybe they are having a personal conflict with you and are struggling to alter their responses. Maybe your teen is surrounded by friends and peers that are egging the behavior on. Whatever it is, removing them entirely from their norm often results in a kind of fresh start.

Your teen will be able to almost look at his or her life with an outside perspective. Once they start to recognize the serious and harmful behaviors, they settle in and are able to truly examine their life choices before coming to the program.

Expert Help and Guidance

They aren’t just surrounded by parents, teachers and mentors, but mental professionals. Of course, the adults in your teen’s life care deeply for them right now, but they probably aren’t trained to handle the problematic thinking or manipulation that can occur with troubled teens. Our professionals have pretty much seen it all.

With expert help and guidance, they will be able to learn how to control their problematic behaviors. Whether they are hurting others or hurting themselves right now, they will be able to see their destructive behaviors for what they are and make the changes needed to live a healthy life.

Expert help guidance from therapeutic programs

Focused Work

At home, there are so many distractions. Even if you do already have your teen in therapy, seeing a professional once or twice a week just isn’t cutting it at this point. You need continual care and support for your teen until they are able to start doing the work on their own. The daily, focused work is going to give them the intensive shift they need to alter their current path.

Your teen didn’t get into this place overnight. It is going to take time and focused learning to change how they are approaching life. The teams at behavioral health facilities all work together to provide your teen with an ongoing treatment program that covers all its bases. This is simply impossible to achieve in normal life and requires a major overhaul.

Security Systems

If your child is a danger to themselves or others with their behavior, it’s crucial they have monitoring until that behavior stops. With a residential program, teens are often monitored according to their need and behavior severity. Some kids end up on 24-7 lockdown until they are no longer a serious suicide threat to themselves. Other kids have almost complete autonomy and privacy as they work through the upper levels of the behavioral programs.

From cameras all over the facility to guards to enforce violations, many programs are highly equipped to stop a teen. They are equipped to make your kid follow the rules and work through the program. They are trained to stop runaways, fights or teens trying to self-harm. At home, you simply can’t monitor 24-7 to ensure the safety of your teen.

Surrounded by Similar Kids

You might be concerned that being surrounded by other troubled teens could make it harder for your teen to change. However, it’s quite the opposite. Your teen may feel isolated by peers who “have it all together,” pushing him or her toward the outliers and troubled kids. When your teen is in a therapeutic program, the teens they are surrounded with are all at different points of recognizing their troubled behavior and working through it.

Your teen will be able to make connections with teens that are in similar places of getting help. This means your teen will be able to see the step-by-step changes it takes to get to a healthier and more responsible place in life. It is often very helpful for kids to be in this place and realize they aren’t the only ones struggling.

How to Support Your Child Through Their Treatment

You will be a big part of ensuring the therapeutic program is a success. Support your child through treatment:

  • Show Up

  • Commit to the Program

  • Stick with the Program Duration

  • Look for Opportunities to Join Sessions

  • Stay Consistent

  • Follow Professional Recommendations

  • Listen to Your Teen

What to Look for in Therapeutic Residential Programs?

Always consider the treatment and ask the professionals what they would advise for your teen. The length of time, cost, level of support and intensity of the program are all going to affect your choice and what would be best for your teen. There are a lot of different options for therapeutic programs out there to fit different needs. Here at Zion Educational Systems, we can help you make a decision if you want to talk to one of our experts.

If you would like to know more about therapeutic boarding school and other residential programs for troubled teens, please contact a family counselor at Zion Educational Systems for guidance.  To get started click the button below!

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