Saturday, December 29, 2012

Residential Treatment Programs: The Internet Confusion

Is your teen smoking pot?
You have about reached your wit's end, your teenager is driving you nuts over this holiday school break.

The school grades have come in only to find out that your once honor roll student is now failing.  They have announced they are no longer interested in the sport they used to love or the instrument they used to play.

Their group of friends are changing, their personality has gone from happy to withdrawn and secretive, not to mention the defiance.

Typical teen?  Maybe, but what happens when it escalates to an extreme that parents feel like they are being held hostage in their own home? What happens when a parent discovers their teen is using drugs?  Just marijuana?  Just a few beers?

Don't be a parent in denial.  Be proactive.

There will come a time when the one hour once a week of therapy just isn't working.  Your teenager is manipulating the therapist - in some cases the therapist will just continue the game, after all, it is their paycheck.  You need to, as a parent, recognize when you have come to a point when it is time to seek outside help.

In some cases once your teen is in another environment will they start opening up and revealing what is going on.  Why they are acting out in such negative ways.

Hopefully you have a therapist that will recognize that your teen needs help and can help you find residential therapy that fits your child's needs.

Remember, the Internet, as much as it is an educational tool, can also be deceiving.  Be careful of all these websites that make promises that seem too good to be true.  In most cases - they are.

Wilderness programs that will cost you an arm and a leg - plus your first born - will seem like you will have your child back in 6-9 weeks, but what they neglect to tell you is in most cases your teen has to go on to a therapeutic boarding school, which is another 12 months.  And another large chunk of money.

Not to mention your teen will have to again, share their story with another therapist, start another schedule again - and finally get back to academics since Wilderness usually lacks in education (another reason I don't care for Wilderness programs).

Need to find out more about residential therapy?  Learn from the mistakes I made.  I made a lot - but I have also learned a lot.  I am not perfect - and believe every child is different and every  family is different.  Most importantly - go with your gut.  Don't get duped like we did.

Remember, always look for the ACE factor:

A = Accredited Academics
C = Clinical (good qualified therapists)
E = Enrichment programs (these help stimulate your teen in a positive direction)

Visit  for more information on residential therapy. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Teen Help: Finding Help for My Teen

With the tragedy of Newtown, CT we are faced with so many unanswered questions.

The grief of the loss of life is unimaginable - when you look at the age of the children and their protectors that died doing what they were trained to do, it is simply unconscionable that anyone could do such a heinous act.

We are hearing issues of gun control combined with mental health.  At the end of the day, like teenagers using illegal drugs (and adults for that matter) if someone is determined to find a gun and shoot people, they will.

The fact is we need to get people the help they need before they get to the point of wanting to seek out guns for killing - or drugs for getting high.

Though that is an extreme example, many parents are seeking help for their struggling teen.  They are at their wit's end.  They feel like they are hostage in their own home.  After exhausting all their local resources they realize that residential treatment is their last resort - but how can they send their child away?

The real question is, how can you not?  How can you not get your teen the help they need?  In many cases your teen does need to be removed from their environment to be able to start recovery.  Being around their negative peer group and sometimes ever around their family (and this is not a personal reflection on you) but the state of mind your child is in, can bring contention that they are not able to move forward.

So what can you do?  You get online and the confusion is overwhelming with websites promising all sorts of things - marketing people scaring you into the urgency of placing asap or else..... Sticker shock of the price of getting help! Don't get scammed - it did happen to me - I created my organization so it wouldn't happen to other parents.

There is help for everyone.  If you don't have insurance for mental help, and even with insurance, there are programs that can help.  You will have to dig harder to find them.

Obviously if you are able to go into a program you can finance there are more options, but in a time in our economy when things are not financially great, not everyone falls into this category.  This doesn't mean you can't find help.

I encourage you to visit my website - for more information on residential therapy.  Never give up - be proactive.  Now, more than ever, is a reality that parents need to get their troubled teens the help they need.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Youth Foundation Success Academy: Teen Help or Not?

Parents call our organization on a daily basis.  I created my Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc since I was duped and my daughter was abused in a residential therapy program over 10 years ago.

I have become a voice and some have called me a crusader. I honestly don't care what people call me, what I care about is what parents can learn from the mistakes I have made and gain from the knowledge I have acquired over the past decade.

Carolina Springs Academy harmed my daughter - they also lied to me.  Duped me - and today they are closed, however they still have other programs operating.  Years ago - they had a long list of programs, thankfully today that list is only a fraction long.

Today I just heard from a parent that it is believed they just opened another program - or possibly just re-named one of their Utah ones.

Youth Foundation located in LaVerkin, Utah is believed to be owned and operated by the same parent organization that I sent my daughter to years ago.

Learn more about them at my story -

Or you can read my book - - or download it to your Kindle or Nook.

Their sales rep will tell you that I am a disgruntled parent.  Yes, someone hurts your child and dupes you, you do become disgruntled.  I have defeated them in a jury trial.  They will say the jury made a mistake - but what would you expect them to say?  Also check out the recent large lawsuit against them. Click here.

Fact is  - no one condones child abuse.

There are many excellent programs in our country.  Do your due diligence.  Find one that fits your families needs and your child's needs.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Therapy, Mental Health: Getting Help for Your Teen

Finding the right therapist.
In light of the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT - some are screaming for more gun control.  I am certainly not an advocate for gun, however I don't believe that is the big issue here.

Fact is, most drugs are illegal too - yet we see our kids and adults abusing them.  If someone is determined to find a gun and shoot someone - just like if someone is determined to shoot heroin, they will find a way to do it.

We need to address the fact that mental illness is a major concern for people and parents.  I know I have parents call and need help with their teens.  Whether you have health insurance or not, you should be able to get mental health assistance. 

In some cases, local Universities will have departments that offer free counseling and many parents are not aware that their local United Way may also have resources available at low cost or no cost.  There are options, you cannot let a child or teen continue if they are struggling.  Whether it is depression, withdrawing from friends and family, raging, drug use, etc.... getting your child help is a priority.

I also know that in some cases your teen will be defiant to the point where they will refuse to get help.  There is also assistance for this.  As a parent, you know your child needs help.  Each state has different laws to help you get them that help. 

In Florida, if your teen or someone you know is abusing drugs and refuses help, you can look at invoking the Marchman ActSome states also have what is call a PINS Petition.  (Person in Need of Supervision).

At Parents' Universal Resource Experts, we speak with parents on a daily basis.  These families have usually reached their wit's end and understand that residential therapy is going to save their teen's life.  In many cases, removing the teen from their environment is what can help them get back on the right track again.  Removing them from the negative peer group and helping reflect back to more positive times in their life. 

We always advise parents to start with local resources and therapy first, but as I stated above, many time teens will refuse to attend.  This is why residential therapy has been so successful.  Parents need to do their due diligence researching for the best fit for their child

Please contact us if you feel you are in need of further assistance.

Many prayers and thoughts to all the families in Newtown, CT.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why Teens Self Injure and What to Do if Your Teen is Cutting

Though many parents don't want to believe their teen would self injure themselves, many more are realizing it is their teenager that is actually cutting.  Why?

  • Peer pressure?
  • Depression?
  • Drug use?
  • Anxiety?
  • Stress?
According to experts, one of the most common reasons teens self injure is because the injury is in some way a “release” from emotional anxiety. The pain of the injury provides a distraction from the emotional pain the teen is feeling, and acts almost as a drug to them. It can also help the injured feel ‘human’ again, by putting them in touch with a common human experience: pain. 

If you discover that your teen is cutting, there are several important keys to remember. First and foremost, approach your teen with a level head. Address your teen calmly and supportively. Do not react angrily or upset your teen in any way.

Experts warn that overreacting or reacting loudly or angrily can often push your teen further away and increase the cutting or self injuring behaviors. Your teen needs to know you are open to hearing what she has to say and getting her the help she needs. You should also tell your teen that you are not upset with her, love her, and know she is in a lot of pain.

Counseling for a teen that cuts is crucial. It can often take many years of therapy before your teen is willing or able to uncover the reasons she/he cuts herself.

If you feel your teen is in need of residential therapy please visit