We assist parents in finding the best resources for their teen
We have been educating parents in Mississippi since 2001 on the teen-help industry.
“A parent in denial is only prolonging getting their teen the help they need. There is no shame in admitting you need help to get your family back on a healthy track. Your teen will eventually thank you.”
Have you been searching the internet and confused by all the labels for teen help? Maybe you’re not sure if you teen is ready for residential therapy.
You have options. Be an educated parent.
Parent Choices for Teen Help
Local therapy is a good place to start for children who are struggling at home and in school. To locate a local therapist, it is beneficial to contact your insurance company for a list of adolescent therapists in your area. If you don’t have insurance when calling therapists, ask them if they accept sliding scales according to your income. Ask your pediatrician or family doctor for a referral. Find a Therapist through Psychologist Today offers good guidance on how to find a therapist that will meet your teen’s and family’s needs.
In many states, when families don’t have insurance or resources, United Way will have programs set-up for families with at-risk teens. Call your local office for more information.
Therapeutic Boarding Schools (TBS):
Therapeutic Boarding Schools offer therapy and academics to students. Usually the student has not done well in a traditional school and is making bad choices that could have an effect on their future. Although many of the students are exceptionally smart, they are not working to their ability. Sometimes peer pressure can lead your child down a destructive path. Removing them from their environment can be beneficial to them to focus on themselves both emotionally and academically.
Residential Treatment Center (RTC):
Residential Treatment Centers, similar to a TBS, offer therapy and academics. However Residential Treatment Centers are for children that require more clinical support. Their issues are more specific with substance abuse, eating disorders, self-mutilators, and other behavioral issues.
What’s the difference between a TBS and RTC?
Christian Boarding Schools:
Christian Boarding Schools and Programs for struggling teens offer counseling and academics. They have a spiritual foundation that can assist a child to better understand Christianity as well as bring them closer to a Higher Power. Many offer Youth Groups and activities that can create life skills for a better future.
Christian Therapeutic Boarding Schools:
Christian Therapeutic Boarding Schools are the same as therapeutic boarding schools with the addition of a spiritual component. They will have credentialed staff, accredited academics and enrichment programs as well as spirituality in their program. There are also Christian Residential Treatment Centers, which are the same as RTC’s with a spiritual component.
This is not to be confused with religious schools or programs that usually have mental Christian counselors (which are not covered by insurance), questionable academics and limited (if any) enrichment programs. These programs are typically are less in tuition, however your child will be there (sometimes) twice as long. They also fall under a different umbrella so they don’t have to meet the same standards or regulations as therapeutic boarding schools or residential treatment centers.
Summer programs are a great place to start if your child is beginning to make bad choices or losing their motivation. Finding a good summer program that can build self-confidence can be beneficial to student’s prior starting a new school year.
Please note, summer programs are not designed to change behavior that has been going on for a long length of time.
Wilderness Programs are commonly referred to as an outdoor therapeutic and educational experience. There are reputable Wilderness Programs throughout the United States that offer short term assistance to parents that are in crisis with their teens. These programs can be very costly with most starting at $350.00 per day and up. The immediate impact Wilderness Programs have on many teens can be a positive change, however rarely long lasting according to families that we have spoken with. In most cases a longer term Therapeutic Boarding School is necessary for students after attending a Wilderness Program. The ABC show Brat Camp had generated a lot of interest in Wilderness Programs. For more information please contact us directly.
Military Schools and Academies:
Military Schools have been around for over a hundred years. Many parents are under the misconception that Military Schools are for at risk children. Military Schools are a privilege and honor to attend and be accepted into. Your child must have some desire to attend a Military School. Many children believe Military Schools are for bad kids, however if they visit a campus they may realize it is an opportunity for them. Many parents start with a Military Summer program to determine if their child is a candidate for Military School.
Military Schools usually do not offer therapy, unless contracted on the outside of the school. They offer structure, positive discipline, self-confidence, small class sizes and excellent academics. Military Schools can build a student’s self-esteem; motivate them to benefit their future both socially and academically.
Traditional Boarding Schools:
Traditional Boarding Schools are like Military Schools, in which your child will have to want to attend and be accepted into the school. There are many excellent Boarding Schools that offer both academics and special needs for students. Many specialize in specific areas such as fine arts, music, and competitive sports. In most cases, therapy is not offered unless contracted on the outside.
Scared Straight Programs
Established in the 1970’s, Scared Straight programs are used throughout the United States as a means of deterring juvenile crime. They usually entail visits by at-risk youth to adult prisons, where youth hear about the harsh reality of prison life from inmates. If you are searching for a Scared Straight program, please contact your local sheriff’s department. We don’t have the resources to assist you.
Parent Support Groups
Support groups can be a great place to speak with other parents that are going through the same frustrations and stress you are going through with your teenager. Learn more.
Please visit our P.U.R.E. Library for parenting and teen books that we recommend, as well as other parents have suggested that they have found helpful in raising their teenagers.
As many adults are hiring life coaches, some parents have found it beneficial to find a mentor or teen life coach in their community for their teenager. This would be a person that can help your teen navigate peer pressure, social media, friendships and other issues that sometimes they have a hard time expressing with a traditional therapist. If should never eliminate parent involvement in your child’s life.
What is a teen coach? Here are two parent and teen coaches that have been referred by other parents you may want to contact to ask for suggestions:
Contact us for a free consultation for more information on residential therapy.