|Who is helping and who is profiting?|
What is an Educational Consultant? (EC) They are an individual that may or may not have qualifications to help you place your troubled teen into a treatment center. Years ago, EC's were mainly used for parents that needed help in finding the right colleges for their teens, help with their applications etc.
As our world turned, the need for help in the troubled teen industry grew. It became a new outlet for EC's to make money. As the Internet was growing, more and more parents and teens were able to do all their college searches online - and get information at their finger tips.
Well, the Internet has expanded again - with the help of Facebook, Blogs, forums etc more parents are able to do their searches for residential therapy without the help and extra fees of an EC. However, it is difficult to decide what is best for your teenager or what online information is true, false or fabricated.
As a parent of a troubled teen, I went through all these motions. From the EC to the Internet scams - I hit it all. My story is not a happy one, however it is one that thousands of families have learned from.
I ended up with a program that did more harm than good, and with that, followed years of litigation and my strong desire to find out what this "big business of teen help" is all about.
For over a decade I have made it my mission - I have seen and visited many good, bad and ugly programs. But what I have heard over and over again is the EC Shuffle which is just as disturbing as finding a bad program.
Almost every family I spoke with that hired an EC were given the same advice - Wilderness - then we will see - and of course, by the fourth week of Wilderness they are telling the parents - we need to go to step two - a residential boarding school..... So this teen that thought he was leaving to go home within 6-8 weeks now finds out he is going to yet another program.
He/she will have to start all over again with their issues, new program, new staff and more feelings of abandonment all over again.
EC's have told parents that Wilderness will help break their teen down to be better prepared for a therapeutic boarding school - but correct me if I am wrong, isn't our teen already broken? Why are we looking for help?
Either way, it is just very disheartening that when parents are at their weakest moment they believe what they hear from what they assume are experts.
Full Disclosure: I am not against Wilderness programs, many teens have a wonderful experience, but many parents can't afford them - and please don't regret it. There are some good EC's out there - like every business, you need to do your due diligence.
At the end of the day, you need to find what is best for your teen, as a parent you are capable of making these choices. You may just need some sound guidance - visit www.HelpYourTeens.com and you will find lists of questions, hints in searching and much more.
I just believe enough is enough when it comes to this EC Shuffle....