Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Residential Therapy: My teen has been in therapy, why is residential therapy different?

Many parents call us all the time with two scenarios.

1)  My teen refuses to go to a therapist or counselor

or

2)  My teen has been in therapy for years and it hasn't made a difference.  Even has changed therapist several times and nothing changes.

So why will residential treatment make a difference?

Fact is, we don't have a crystal ball but there is definitely a difference.  The one-on-one therapy once a week at home (in a doctor's office) is completely different than being in a therapeutic setting where all your child's activity is geared towards building him up to make better choices and also helping him to reflect on why he was making the negative ones that brought him to where he is now.

Removing your teen from their comfort zone of home and mostly of their peer group can substantially change the way they think and react to situations.  You can finally peel back the layer they have to protect their egos (attitudes) and determine where all this negative behavior was stemming from.

Your teen, right now, is running your household.  Staying out late, defying your rules -- your boundaries -- in many cases, skipping school, maybe smoking pot (okay, maybe it is their friends - not them) -- sneaking out -- BUT - you know they are capable of getting straight A's, they were on a varsity team, they used to be the best dancer, tennis player, LaCrosse player --- what happened?  Oh, it is the friends.... Okay.  We can buy that --- for now.  What happens when there isn't the friends to blame anymore?

Remember parents, your teen is making their own choices, just like it is up to parents to make their choices.

Will residential treatment make a difference?  I don't know - what are your options?  Have you exhausted them?  Do you let your child run the streets?  Drop out of school?  Continue with drugs?  Drinking?

My teen won't go willing?  Well, what teenager will???

Transportation for teens is very normal - and if you read the Internet you may be scared from the horror stories, but if you do your due diligence and locate reputable services that are licensed and insured to transport teens,   you will find there is help out there.  Ask for parent references, talk to students that have been transported by these people - you will soon find that the Internet can be deceptive.

The Internet is a great tool - but remember, it is also a machine and humans can be cruel.  Not everyone wants what is best for everybody. 

If you need help for your family and your teenager, reach out and ask for it.  Trust me, you are not alone.

Learn more, www.helpyourteens.com.