Reasons Therapeutic Boarding Schools Work for Troubled Teens

Reasons Therapeutic Boarding Schools Work for Troubled Teens

With the wide variation of programs for troubled teens with behavioral and emotional issues, it is often hard for parents to distinguish the right type of therapeutic program for their troubled teen. It is important the reasons why therapeutic boarding schools work before making any treatment decision. Below, please review the distinctive reasons why therapeutic boarding schools work for troubled teens before making a choice:

Therapeutic Boarding Schools use a Diverse Approach Education and Treatment

At the heart of the ideal of Therapeutic Schools is diversification of recovery programs. By taking proven techniques from a number of schools of thought, therapeutic, or emotional growth, boarding school programs focus on building self-esteem and academic growth and development.

Intensive Focus on Behavioral Issues

Therapeutic boarding schools use a treatment curriculum based on medical treatment in conjunction with behavior focused therapy. The goal is to provide teenage treatment based on identifying and dealing with potential medical conditions such as depression and creating a regimented program for correcting emotional and anger based issues.

Intensive Focus on Emotional Maturity

First created by Linda Houghton in the early 1980’s, the program focuses on child development and education techniques combined with artistic development and self-esteem growth. The intent of the program is to take a more natural approach to building strong character attributes as well as developing good social skills in a child or teenager.

Therapeutic Communities are Ideal

Coined in 1946 by Thomas Main, the term “Therapeutic Community” focused on developing a community-based sensibility for medical and emotional treatment for patients with behavior issues. The idea uses methods of group therapy to create an environment of support for patients rather than one on one and medication treatment. This process is a fundamental piece of Therapeutic Boarding School development.

Most therapeutic boarding programs use techniques such as 12 step programs to encourage progress, set goals and gauge success for teens. This approach helps develop clear goals for a troubled teen or child and offers an opportunity to build a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem. This approach can be extremely effective in creating a more holistic approach towards behavior improvement and character development for long-term program success.

Sometimes teenagers do not know what they want out of life. Sometimes they think they are ill-prepared to meet the demands of responsibility and would rather put it off and bask in the comfort of their parent's support.

These teens are struggling, and it is the parents’ responsibility to reignite their children’s passion to succeed. Talk to them about what they want to achieve in life and help them to explore possibilities. Help them by giving direction. Talk to them about what kind of jobs they want to do and are capable of doing. Help them make portfolios and resumes and drive them to their job interviews.

Like teaching toddlers how to take the first step, sometimes parents have to initiate the first few steps for their kids’ transition towards independence and adulthood.

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When Teens Abuse Drugs or Alcohol

One of the top reasons why parents turn to therapeutic boarding schools is drug and alcohol abuse. All parents should worry about their teenager using drugs and alcohol. Drug and alcohol use can lead to academic problems, addiction, and legal issues among many other things. It is imperative that parents stay apprised of the current drug trends and be on the lookout for the warning signs that indicate their child is using or abusing drugs. When parents fail to realize there is a problem, or parents are slow to act, their teen can spiral out of control fast - thus the reason they turn to therapeutic boarding schools.

Why Teens Use Drugs?

Teens use drugs for an assortment of different reasons. Many do it to fit in with the “cool crowd.” If they are trying to be accepted by a peer group who uses alcohol and drugs, they are likely to use to continue to fit in. With teenagers being extremely impressionable, they are likely to perceive drugs as being acceptable if all of their friends use too.

Another reason teen use drugs are to cope with teenager pressures. They use drugs as a coping mechanism for real or perceived pain. Many teens have turned to drugs after the loss of a loved one, a parental divorce or a difficult breakup. Some continue to use after experiencing an excruciating injury. Sometimes, they just take it because of the pleasure they feel from getting high. Whatever the reason may be, it is crucial that you stay on top of your teen’s habits and intervene if you think they are using.

What are the Warning Signs?

  • A drop in academic performance, truancy.
  • Peer changes. Hanging out with a new crowd.
  • Secretiveness. Talking in “drug slang” with friends.
  • Burning incense to hide odors.
  • Mood swings, depression.
  • Frequently asking for money.
  • Your booze or prescription meds start disappearing.
  • Empty hairspray or Liquid Paper bottles (used as inhalants).
  • Wearing drug-related clothing.
  • Use of eye drops, mints, or mouthwash to hide signs.
  • Drug paraphernalia.

How Should I Handle my Teen After I Catch Them with Drugs?

First, keep calm. Yelling and jumping to conclusions will not help you solve the issue. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a big deal out of your findings. It just means you should keep a level head and show them how much you care. Your message may be conveyed more effectively if you come across in this tone, rather than in a preachy voice. 

If you are finding that your child is using drugs, then it is time to intervene immediately. Keep in mind, the quicker you attack the problem, the better off your teen will be. It's time to seek professional help. This is especially true if your child has been stealing or engaging in other destructive behavior in order to support get their drugs.

If they don’t get the help they need, they could end up in legal trouble or continue down the vicious cycle of addiction. You may want to contact a drug counselor, a residential treatment facility, or a therapeutic boarding school to find out how they can help set the foundation needed to get your teen off drugs.

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When Teens Need Help for Depression

The second reason parents turn to therapeutic boarding school is for the treatment of teenage depression.

Depression is a chronic mental disorder characterized by feelings of intense sadness, which last from a few days to several weeks. Feeling helpless or having no control over what is going on in life is a staple of depression, a treatable medical condition. Being depressed can lead to a litany of physical and mental issues that require long-term treatment.

Depression has several symptoms that could appear during the course of the illness, including a depressed mood, loss of energy, feeling guilty, insomnia, thoughts of death and reduced interest in pleasurable activities.

Depression in teens can be started by numerous catalysts, many of them school related. Teens deal with several depression triggers while at school, including bullying, troubles with the workload from classes and issues stemming from friends or romantic relationships. Anxiety, anger, and avoidance of social interaction are also common amongst depressed teens. Finding out the underlying cause of why a teenager is depressed is very important in aiding in recovery.

Should your teen exhibit any of the numerous aforementioned symptoms of depression for at least a two-week period, an examination by a professional is highly recommended. It is tough to determine if your teenager is exhibiting signs of depression or typical mood swings, but a two-week period to gauge your child. While nearly every teen will experience some type of depression, four percent of teens are diagnosed with serious depression every year, proving that it is a serious issue. Noticing the many symptoms of depression early can prevent a teen from committing harm to themselves.

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When Teens Crumble Under the Pressure to Succeed

Stress, anxiety, peer pressure and fear of failure are among the challenges that today’s teens face every day they get up for school. Recognizing the signs and potential dangers these problems carry can be a very important as a parent. With the ever-growing need of education for job placement as well as the increase in cyber-bullying and social media use among teens the pressures of education on modern teens and youth continue to mount.

The Dangers of Educational Pressure on Teens

Excessive pressure in any form can have severe negative effects on teenagers both physically as well as psychologically. Poor school performance can cause a number of adverse symptoms in the developing teen mind.

  • High Stress: Raised stress levels as a result of fear of failure can cause health issues among teens. Digestive issues, higher blood pressure at an early age and anxiety issues can all result from pressure to perform academically.
  • Peer Pressure: Peers can be very harsh in a person’s teenage years. Stress and pressure from peers can range from bullying to failure in both academics and athletics. High levels of peer to peer competition can result in adverse behavior among teenagers.
  • Addiction: The development of addictive behavior in teenagers can be a direct result of high-pressure environments. Teenagers under excessive duress are more prone to addiction including drug use, sexual behavior and psychological disabilities such as eating and nervous disorders.

Recognizing these physical and emotional symptoms in your teenage son or daughter can be the first step in supporting them throughout their educational years. It is important to realize as a parent the wide range of outside stress that can put on a teen through schooling years. Being a supportive parent as well as seeking professional assistant to a teen suffering from excessive educational pressure can ensure a teen’s proper growth and success in society.

When Teens Lack Motivation

While most teenagers are naturally enthusiastic about their lives, there are some kids who exhibit significant disinterest with theirs; as a result, these teens are often left lagging behind their peers both academically and socially. Lack of motivation and teenage mood swings could lead to more serious behavioral issues. While it’s normal for your teen to experience some moodiness, it’s important that action is taken to stop the behavior from escalating.

Today, there are too many teenagers who are unmotivated to work for their future. Among the many causes—videogames, cable television, internet, all these are factors that can contribute to a teen’s lack of motivation and urgency to work hard. In a report, Forbes shows that 59% of the parents in the U.S. are still providing continuous financial support to their children even though they have stopped schooling.

As a parent, it’s important to understand what is considered normal behavior for your teen. Your teen’s lack of motivation and mood swings could be caused by anxiety and stress. For years, many scientists have been looking into whether teen moodiness has a biological basis. A study published in Nature Neuroscience revealed that these teenage mood swings are caused by the biological changes happening in the adolescent brain.

While all of these things are happening inside a teenager’s brain, there are other sociological factors that can really trigger anxiety and stress among teens. There’s tremendous pressure on teens not just in their social life but also in their academics. The schoolwork, the expectations to do better, the prospect of going to college; all these are common stressors for teens. Add to that the pressures that build up at home. Parents expect the teen to “act their age” when they don’t know exactly what that means. Teens have a lot on their plates, and parents often don’t know how to deal with it when their teen’s emotions go haywire once in a while.

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