Programs For Troubled Teens
For families and typically the teen, there are years of struggles trying to find a healthier, happier path. It is common for families to comment about the challenges of fear, anger, confusion, and feeling helplessly alone in the struggle. School counselors, therapists, and outpatient programs often precede placement in residential programs for troubled teens. Asheville Academy for Girls, a therapeutic boarding school for young girls ages 10-14, may be able to help your struggling daughter.
Asheville Academy provides struggling young girls and their families with:
- Diverse clinical offerings – individual, group, and family therapy offered in a variety of ways including but not limited to animal and equine therapy,
- Age and gender-appropriate care – programming for pre-teen and teens can very significantly; typically the diagnoses and conditions are quite different for these age groups therefore programming should reflect this. Similarly, single gender programs can be beneficial and allow struggling teens to focus on their care.
- Strong academics – education plays a critical role in the long-term prospects of any teen. It is common for troubled teens to be struggling with school refusal, under-performance, lack of motivation, different learning styles, or learning difficulties. Therefore, a program with an academic component can be helpful to long-term success.
- Campuses designated for this therapeutic purposes – one would not likely go to a grocery store that was once a gas station. In a similar vein, programs that have appropriate residences, dining, clinical, academic, and recreational facilities are better suited to helping struggling teens.
What are Programs for Troubled Teens?
There exists a spectrum of treatment offering a variety of programs for troubled teens. This spectrum ranges based on a troubled teens’ diagnoses, conditions, age, and gender.
For instance, there are a litany of options for a 16 year old teenage boy struggling with oppositional defiance. Which specific programs are most appropriate will typically depend on where the family lives, financial resources, as well as comorbid conditions such as: drug use, suicidal ideation, or sexual experimentation, for example. Some programs for troubled teens will be softer and more appropriate for the teen who is simply angry and has a broken relationship with a parent, while there are other programs better suited for the oppositionally defiant child who is exhibiting violence or suicidal tendencies.
How does a Family Decide on the Appropriate Programs for Their Teen?
The search for programs for troubled teens can feel exhausting and overwhelming. Families should consider sources that recommend viable and realistic programs for troubled teen programs such as residential treatment centers, therapeutic boarding schools, or wilderness programs. The critical consideration is whether the programs have accreditation, membership in reputable organizations, and licenses as this is not necessarily the case with all programs.
What is a Troubled Teen
“Troubled teen” can have negative connotations. Families may perceive this term as relating to at risk youth or juvenile delinquents. This term is commonly used by clinicians and experts who create programs to serve this clientele.
The reason therapists and researchers use this term is it encapsulates the emotional, behavioral, and sometimes psychological challenges teens may have and suggests a spectrum of need that terms like struggling teen may not imply. Troubled teens may refer to boys and girls who are refusing school, exhibiting anger outbursts or tantrums, showing resistance or defiance, and experimenting with risky behaviors. The term can also refer to more specific diagnoses such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Clinical Depression, or Autism Spectrum.
Contemporary & Well-Known Examples of Troubled Teens
Over the past couple years, famous singer and host Demi Lovato has shared her struggles with bulimia and cutting. At one point she sought treatment in a residential program in hopes of helping her heal and find healthier coping mechanisms. Since her initial treatment Demi has promoted scholarships and talked openly in order to help remove the stigma of seeking help.
Perhaps one of the saddest examples of teens who would have benefited from programs for troubled teens are Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the perpetrators of the Columbine school shootings. After the incident experts convened to assess and diagnose the teens based on accounts and journals left behind. Experts felt Harris was a psychopath who did not express remorse, regret, or empathy.
A renowned book, Girl, Interrupted, was later turned into an Oscar-winning movie. The story chronicles the story of Susanna Kaysen who came from a wealthy and prominent family. Toward the end of her teen years she found herself in a psychiatric hospital, which is a program on the far end of treatment and is typically less common of the programs for troubled teens. Kaysen later came to understand she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
Lena Dunham, best known as creator and star of the HBO series “Girls”, grew up with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She sought treatment early in childhood and while she has long continued her effort maintain a healthy balance, she has discussed her challenges of not falling into depression, battling over-medication, and slipping back into old habits.
Research on Programs for Troubled Teens
In-depth research and analysis of a specific type of program for struggling teens– wilderness programs, often considered one of the more powerful assessment and treatment program types. This book explores the historical development of wilderness programs, their research-based foundations, and evaluates current program offerings. Wilderness Therapy: Foundations, Theory and Research. Davis-Berman, Jennifer; Berman, Dene S.
Michael Ungar uses real-world examples from his years of practice to detail the struggles and resilience troubled teens. Ungar’s book reflects the path these teens took in their struggles and to fight their challenges. Ungar uses examples to suggest the value in looking at struggling teen home and school lives, relationships, receptiveness and timing of treatment, and other factors that play a role in recovery. Playing at Being Bad: The Hidden Resilience of Troubled Teens. Michael Ungar
This research explores the broader category of youth development programs that can be influential early intervention options for children struggling with anxiety, social challenges, sadness, and the like which are often precursors to more significant challenges in the teen years. This article explains the various organizations that offer non-therapeutic to more intensive programs for teens. Where Need Meets Opportunity: Youth Development Programs for Early Teens. Jane Quinn