For many troubled adolescents and teens, transitional living represents a chance to hit ‘Restart’ and reinvent their lives. This relatively new approach aims to improve residents’ mental health and get them ready for the challenges of society.
Many of the people who join transitional living programs have a long history of trauma, substance abuse, incarceration, parental neglect, antisocial behaviors, and other related issues.
Without proper care, these vulnerable groups could easily end up incarcerated or become victims of homelessness.
By creating a safe and emotionally-nurturing environment, transitional living gives troubled teens and adults the opportunity to overcome their emotional and behavioral problems. Furthermore, these programs help them acquire the skill set they need to be healthy and active members of society.
But how effective is this approach in rehabilitating individuals who are generally rejected by society?
What are transitional living programs?
For those who struggle with drug abuse, trauma, homelessness, or mental illness, the word ‘normal’ might have a different meaning.
Because they find it difficult to adapt to society’s rules, they often face rejection and criticism from the community. As a result, the slip back into their old habits, subjecting themselves to life-threatening situations.
In broad lines, transitional living programs help people develop the personal and professional skills to become functional members of society.
With a mix of individual therapy, group therapy, personal growth programs, and academic support, this approach shows promising results.
In fact, studies indicate transitional living can improve multiple outcomes for young adults with histories of foster care or juvenile justice custody.
Furthermore, researchers also suggest that such programs can reduce homelessness, increase earnings, and lower health risks.
But how exactly does transitional living lead to such positive outcomes?
Getting people ready for the outside world
1. Promoting healthy coping strategies
People who join transitional living programs often struggle with emotional and behavioral problems. Instead of locking them up or putting them through military-style programs, transitional living centers focus on healing and recovery.
By learning healthy coping mechanisms, residents can handle life’s hassles healthily and functionally. That, in turn, prevents them from resorting to their old problematic habits.
2. Fostering strong social bonds
Being a healthy and functional member of society involves a wide array of prosocial behaviors. From having an active role in the growth of your community to mitigating conflicts in a nonaggressive manner, these skills take time and practice to master.
By placing a strong emphasis on group therapy and team activities, transitional living equips individuals with valuable social skills.
In fact, many residents keep in touch and offer each other support even after they successfully transition back into society.
3. Building a sense of community
In the end, transitional living is about creating a sense of community and belonging. It’s about giving residents a chance to experience what it’s like to live a harmonious, healthy, and responsible life.
Once they gain the skills to survive and thrive in today’s society, residents can enjoy the benefits of having a functional role in the community.
Rehabilitation is not about harsh discipline and punishment, but understanding, emotional support, and skill building.
To learn more about transitional living, click here.