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End of Summer: Back to School Tips for Parents of Troubled Teens

Summer is the time of year teens spend with their friends. They enjoy time away from school and teachers and strict rules. When school starts again, teens begrudgingly get up early and heads back to class to learn. However, when parents have a troubled teen, the transition back to school can be difficult. There is hope for these teens. Teens who experience behavioral or mental health issues may need to be isolated from normal schools to address their issues along with their academics. Residential treatment centers, therapeutic boarding schools, and wilderness therapy programs are extremely beneficial as they not only address mental health but also provide strong academics.

Residential Treatment Centers

Residential treatment centers are designed for teens who typically engage in behavior that is dangerous for themselves or others. Residential treatment centers are a safe, structured place for teens to live when they can no longer be at home. These centers house teens for long-time periods and focus on healing and rehabilitation. These centers help teens keep up with their academic school work while treating their behavior. Typically, residential treatment centers focus on recreational therapy, such as exploring new hobbies and setting new, positive habits.  Teens spend most of their time working through therapy and building life long skills.

back to school tips
Therapeutic Boarding Schools

Therapeutic boarding schools are like residential treatment centers in that they house teens for long periods of time. Unlike regular boarding schools, therapeutic boarding schools integrate therapy into their teen’s program. They provide housing and academics, but the staff spends more time with students outside of the classroom. They employ licensed therapists, teachers, and doctors to fully treat your teens mental health issues and become a successful student. The academic curriculum is designed to help teens overcome past poor school performance. Therapeutic boarding schools boast small class sizes for students to get more one on one time with teachers.

Wilderness Therapy

Wilderness therapy allows troubled teens a unique opportunity to combine therapy, academics, and nature. If your child experiences the challenge of ADHD, wilderness therapy can provide a setting that helps a student focus and build skills to help them cope with the disorder in the real world. Wilderness therapy can help teens with all issues: behavior, academic, mental health. It can provide the perfect setting to get back to basics in survival skills. Teens also have the unique opportunity to build academic skills as well.

Benefits of Therapeutic Academics and Additional Back to School Tips

The number one back to school tip is to send a teen away from an unproductive environment. Residential treatment centers, therapeutic boarding schools, and wilderness therapy programs allow a teen to be removed from a toxic environment. This may be home, the community or school. Removing a teen disrupts any unhealthy behavior and change thinking. When a teen is removed from a toxic situation, they begin to gain a clearer understanding of the need for change. These programs allow troubled teens to experience different therapeutic interventions and learn to adapt to them. The most important concept is for teens to be able to apply their skills to the outside world once they leave treatment.

The second back to school tip is to ensure teens that residential programs are important for their future. Therapeutic programs tailor each teen’s program to that teen’s needs. Each teen is assessed before they become fully immersed in their program. This gives treatment centers the chance to understand what mental, emotional, and academic needs of the student. If a child is struggling to keep up grades because they have a learning disorder, a program can spend more time building skills to overcoming that disorder. If a teen has a specific mental health problem, such as depression, a therapeutic facility can address this need.

Therapeutic programs can make the back to school process smoother for troubled teens. They can focus on improving skills that are needed to cope in the real world. They also can further their academic careers. Many programs offer high school classes, GED programs, and even college credit. If a student is struggling with the prospect of the future, therapeutic programs can direct them. By combining therapy and academics in a safe, supportive environment, teens do not feel alone and burdened by their lives.

If you would like to learn more about treatment options for your teen, click here.