Identifying the Problems Faced by Youth

The teenage/adolescent years is a period of time where individuals are in search of their self-identity. This means that they're easily influenced by external factors such as socio-political environments, family and peers. Youths are constantly seeking validation in a world that they're still trying to understand while they emerge from the protection of childhood.

As such, some individuals might find the growing up process overwhelming and find themselves unable to cope with the shift in their lifestyles. Due to this, youth may turn to defense mechanisms or outlets to release some of the tension embroiled within them. They may turn to self-inflicting behavior, violence, smoking, drug abuse, alcoholism and other practices that require rehabilitation and intervention.

Parents may not spend enough time with their children to identify the early signs of irregular behavior. In such cases, youth may be addicted to faulty behaviors that require the intervention of professional counselors and therapists. Unfortunately, there is never a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes down to treatment programs. Thus, it is important for parents to realize that every child is unique and require proper assessment by professionals to determine the most suitable program and what to expect during treatment.

Different Forms of Therapy

Schools and therapeutic institutions offer a wide range of therapies to help rehabilitate a variety of challenges. The availability of options provide varying approaches toward a child's behavior. Some youths require environments that promote inner peace and calmness while others require forms of treatment that provide an alternate outlet for their pent up tensions. Popular types of treatment include:

Music Therapy

The use of sound waves or musical outlets to relieve tension centers in the brain. This also promotes positive thinking while dispelling bouts of depression and anxiety. The therapy focuses on harmonizing thinking processes that are otherwise chaotic or distracted.

Wilderness Therapy

A compassionate approach of therapy that involves a clinical psychology take on treating negative thinking. Youth are accompanied by therapists to the outdoors, where they're encouraged to engage in reflective exercises and activities that involve team work. This helps to engage the mind in new patterns that stimulate positive behavior and stabilize aggressive episodes. The guided treatment may last anywhere between 30 - 90 days, depending on the assessment of the therapist.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

This is an approach commonly applied for youth at-risk. Through CBT, therapists involve youth in a form of talk therapy where they are encouraged to discuss their inner emotions and conflicts. This will help establish the underlying issues such as anxiety or depression, which are responsible for errant behavior. . Progression is carefully tracked to ensure that the youth is on the path of recovery and often involve "homework", which are essentially practices that require repetition to override faulty thought patterns.

Youth in Iceland Model

This is based on the pretext of channeling the energies and brain chemistry of youth on activities that will keep them occupied and diverted from addiction and substance abuse. Through this model, parents are ultimately involved in the rehabilitation of their children, through managing after school activities and keeping them occupied in meaningful engagements.

Programs usually employ a combination of therapies to achieve the most effective results. It is also highly encouraged for parents and their youth to attend initial meetings with counselors and education consultants. This will foster a sense of transparency and understanding among all parties involved and pave way for a more smooth-sailing process.

A timely intervention is what an at-risk youth need. If you don’t act now, the problems your teenager is having could get worse, and it will have a profound effect on his or her future life.​

Please fill out our online form and one of our counselors will contact you and decide the best intervention for your child.

Understanding the Costs of Therapy Programs

Therapy program fees may vary vastly. This might lead parents to wonder why an establishment might charge much more than another, while offering a similar range of facilities and programs. To understand this, parents must first break down the course fees and understand how the money is being used. Additionally, it is important to check for validations and governmental or state endorsements that prove the legitimacy of the program.

In most cases, the cost of therapy involves:

Professional Fees

This covers the services offered by counselors, therapists and everyone directly involved in the program.

Facility Charges

Covers the use of the treatment facility and its amenities.

Program Materials

Includes tests, drugs, and other materials dispensed during the program.

Insurance

Often a mandatory coverage that protects the well-being of your child during his/her stay within the facility.

Miscellaneous Charges

Administrative fees and other charges that don't fall under the other categories.

Additional factors may include:

Location of Facility

Some cities have a higher standard of living, which affects program fees.

Standard of Amenities

From bed quality to the size of rooms, every component within the facility could affect overall pricing.

At-Risk Youth Programs Costs

The cost of programs varies depending on location, program specialty, room and board, therapy options and more. To understand the cost or even compare you need to consider all of the options, no two program are exactly alike. To better understand costs, options available and locations, please speak to an At-Risk Youth Program Counselor or Program Admission Counselors or an Ed consultants. The cost of programs ranges from $250 - $700 a day while a typical program lasts for a minimum of six month and typically around a year. Short-term treatments are not advisable as they might lead to relapsed behaviors. As such, we only promote treatments that offer long-term solutions and offer proven therapies.

Right now, there are dozens of programs for at-risk youth available both in the public and private sector. When looking for the best program, parents ask questions and work with your admissions counselor to understand what each specific program entails, what are the program strengths and its weaknesses.

To help parents decide, here are brief overviews of the most common programs:

Residential Treatment Center

Community based programs are among the most popular solutions for providing help to at-risk youth, and among these are the residential treatment centers or live-in health care facilities where patients stay for a period of time in order to be treated.

Residential treatment centers in the teen intervention setting are “unlocked”, which means residents are generally allowed to move about the facility with relative freedom except outside of the premises as opposed to locked residential treatment facilities wherein patients’ freedom is severely restricted, usually confined to a single hall or room. Residential treatment centers are generally more clinically focused, providing treatment based on the medical history of the patient. These institutions also primarily provide behavior therapy and treatment for patients suffering from serious mental, emotional or behavioral issues.

Residential treatment centers are usually considered as the “last ditch” option to helping a child. In an effort to distance themselves from the stigma of committing oneself to a rehab, many residential treatment centers have begun distancing themselves from the name by becoming instead multi faceted treatment facilities that offer additional programs, usually educational in nature and offer to teaches life skills that may be useful in later life. For instance, Ironwood, a Maine based teen residential treatment is also a culinary class where the teenagers learn preparation of world renown dishes, such as Pasta alla Carbonara or Paella Valenciana.

Example: Ironwood, Morrill, Maine

Therapeutic Boarding School

Some community based programs are adopted from the therapeutic community model such that they feature a long term, participative, group based treatment approach. Primary examples of these are therapeutic boarding schools.

Therapeutic boarding schools, also known as emotional growth schools, are boarding schools that have a significant therapeutic component and offers education and treatment in a highly structured and supervised environment. In contrast to residential treatment centers, the focus of therapeutic boarding schools is toward mental, emotional, and academic recovery. Its students usually are children and teenagers with mild to severe mental, emotional and behavioral problems, substance abuse problems, or learning difficulties due to other issues, such as ADHD.

To offer a level of education on par to better than that of other schools, therapeutic boarding schools generally follow the content of courses and regulations of the nation, state or region. Some schools are fully accredited and are licensed to award a high school diploma.

In the U.S., Britain and Australia, therapeutic boarding schools are widely credited for their role in providing intervention and treatment to troubled teenagers and at-risk youth. In the U.S., researchers have noted that participants of therapeutic boarding schools have much lower recidivism rates due to the long term residential treatment and the benefit of the educational program that ensures teens are easily reinserted into their society.

Military Boarding School for Troubled Teens

There are two types of military school programs in the United States: those whose purpose is to prepare cadets for service in the armed forces, and those that are designed to provide tough love intervention to troubled teenagers.

Military schools that are intended to prepare cadets for national service generally do not accept teenagers with behavioral, mental or physical problems.

Military boarding schools for troubled teens and at-risk youth are offshoots of the highly popular intervention solution for troubled boys in the 1980s. Among its main criticism was the length of the program, usually 2 to 3 months, which is deemed highly inadequate. By offering subsequently longer program duration plus an educational component, military boarding schools now offer a significantly better outlook in regards to providing intervention and treatment.

Still, there are many criticisms of programs that use a military based approach. According to many experts, the confrontational model used by these programs is not the most appropriate model for kids suffering from various issues such as emotional or mental problems. Plus, it is a model most susceptible to abuse. Research has shown that military based intervention also does not reduce recidivism rates of its participants. While the above standard physical fitness and a highly disciplined, highly structured environment can provide huge benefits to teens, rehabilitation programs that are not designed to scare, deter or control troubled youth are still better alternatives.

Example: Southeastern Military Academy, Port St. Lucie, Florida

Christian Boarding School

Christian boarding schools are private residential schools managed by religious organizations. Since most of them are privately funded or are financed by charging tuition, Christian boarding schools are generally exempt from local or national educational regulations, although they generally follow regulations in order to provide a national level quality of education.

Christian boarding schools tend to follow a respective mission; among these is helping troubled teenagers and at-risk youth. Some tailored to providing intervention to specific category of struggling children, such as providing treatment and care to abused kids or kids struggling from drugs.

One main drawback of Christian schools is inequality, as Christian schools tend to follow their respective denomination. They are allowed to refuse some students based on qualifications, such as race or religion. Another disadvantage is the possibility of institutional or systemic bias, especially over topics on religion, which prohibits schools from accepting new ideas.

Example: Heartlight Christian Boarding School, Hallsville, Texas

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