What are teen treatment programs and centers?
Teen treatment programs provide structure and support to create long term change. These programs help teens that are so entrenched in their negative social, emotional, or behavioral patterns that outpatient interventions such as therapy or coaching haven’t been effective. Teen treatment programs provide an environment out of the home for teens to receive comprehensive care while addressing their therapeutic needs, including healing from past trauma, resolving family conflict, and developing healthy relationships.
An effective teen treatment program will also attend to the social, emotional, academic, and relational – in additional to therapeutic – needs of the teens while in their care. There are several varieties of teen treatment programs: therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers, and hospitals. All of these provide out of the home placement and treatment. Each varies in terms of length of stay, diagnoses treated, additional services (i.e., academics, extracurriculars), and level of care.
The world of teen treatment programs can be overwhelming, especially during moments of crisis. Some key criteria to consider:
- Is the teen treatment center licensed by the state or another licensing agency?
- Are additional programs (for example, school or academic) accredited? This will ensure that credits are transferable and will count toward graduation.
- Do the therapists and staff undergo background checks and regular training?
- Can the program articulate how their model and approach will benefit your daughter?
An effective and trustworthy teen treatment program will be able to answer all of these questions. There are many options when considering teen treatment programs and while finding one may take a little time, you will be able to find a teen treatment program that feels like an appropriate fit for your teen.
Who do teen treatment centers help?
Teen treatment programs help adolescents and teens that are struggling with a number of issues and ideally help teens with similar issues within the same treatment program. By working with similar diagnostic profiles, teen treatment programs are better able to create interventions that address the specific needs of their clientele. Here are some issues that teens would enroll in a treatment program for:
- Unhealthy relationships
- Adoption or attachment issues
- Substance use
- Low Self Esteem
- Borderline tendencies
- Body Image Issues
- Grief and Loss
- Poor Academic Performance
- Social Skills Issues
- Technology addiction
- Self harm
- Unhealthy boundaries
- Self centered teens
While it is important to have a treatment center that is experienced at working with the specific challenges your teen is facing, not that there can be overlap in terms of treating certain diagnoses or issues. For instance, depression and anxiety can have similar presentations and underlying core beliefs. While the treatment of these two issues is not identical, it would still be appropriate and effective to treat individuals that have these similar presenting issues in the same treatment program. An example of a behaviors that would not be appropriate to have in the same space would be individuals with violent tendencies along with individuals without those externalizing behaviors.
Treatment programs for teens research
At times, the emotional and therapeutic work at a teen treatment program for both the student and the family members can be difficult. The time away from the family system can also be hard to imagine at the outset. But the results are worth the time and emotional investment! Especially when it comes to having parents and other family members involved, as outcomes for teen treatment programs are significantly better when family involvement as a primary intervention is present. Teen and adolescent Residential Treatment Centers have been found to be successful interventions for many clients with improvements across the board in terms of mental health and general well-being. Some of the general positive outcomes that studies and treatment centers report include:
- Improved family relationships
- Reduction of negative symptoms
- Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
- Improved academic performance
- Increased coping skills
- Improved social skills and peer relationships
Diagnosis specific outcomes and individual goals vary, but the general theme is the long-term reduction of detrimental behaviors and patterns. Appropriate next step planning results in a soother transition home and ensures that the positive gains that have been made will continue to be supported in the home environment.
Another key factor in the success of teen treatment programs is having a positive peer culture (or milieu). These relationships and experiences have a long-lasting and profound effects on teens generals and mental health. This approach can create more resilience and add to the protective factors that, along with appropriate therapeutic interventions, can offset the long term ramifications of adverse childhood experiences.
Why choose Solstice West?
Solstice West provides truly relationship-based programming with a focus on whole-person care. By developing a better understanding of herself and those around her, your daughter will be able to have healthy, emotionally safe relationships and be better able to communicate her needs effectively. This is true of the relationships she has with her family and both platonic and romantic relationships. Solstice West is focused on creating a lifetime of success for your daughter.
An integrated approach to care is something we feel passionately about. From doing adventure therapy with members of the clinical team to daily interactions with executive and administrative staff, it is clear from the beginning that all the parts at Solstice West are working together to provide a cohesive, structured, and communicative framework for your daughter to thrive.
Thriving includes your daughter being able to develop her own unique interests and passions while at Solstice West. We encourage all sorts of creative pursuits, and want each of our students to flourish emotionally, socially, and academically. Whenever possible, we support cross-over in these goals. For example, utilizing her artistic skills in the creation of a therapeutic assignment or inspiring others to join specific interest groups (hula hooping or slam poetry) by creating an after school club.
In keeping with that individualized approach on an activity and interest level, we ensure that the same occurs therapeutically. Every student at Solstice West is following a treatment plan that is designed just for her. Our individualized treatment approach makes sure that we are customizing and tailoring the program to meet the specific needs of each student. We focus on treating the whole person, not just the diagnosis or the symptoms. This includes educational milestones and measurable academic goals along with healthy coping skills and daily living tasks.
The Hero’s Journey Phase Program is another approach unique to Solstice West. We have created an intentionally strengths-based and empowering framework for your daughter to use as she moves through the program. This is the culmination of over a decade of work to ensure that we have created an effective and relatable model for to help guide her time at Solstice West and in the year to come.
Therapeutic Programming at Solstice West
Solstice West believes that long lasting change comes from within, and developing healthy relationships is one of the best ways to access this deep level of healing and change. The relationships we are referencing include how your teen relates to herself, her family, and her peers. By understanding what motivates your daughter and what her core beliefs are helps develop a strong connection with and understanding of her. While the symptoms and negative behaviors that brought her to Solstice West are an important consideration, we want to help her become the best version of herself, by better understanding her values, long term goals, and what makes her truly happy.
The caring, compassionate, and clinically-sophisticated approach at Solstice West is an effective and holistic one. We also take a mind-body approach to healing; for us, that means including her social, emotional, physical, spiritual into her overall well-being. Our goal is to reconnect her with these parts of herself.
Foundational in our approach is Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP). This relational and experiential approach allows for students to work on issues related to their diagnosis, as well as communication, self-confidence, and self-regulation skills. This provides as safe space for students observe how they are showing up in real time. Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy has been shown very effective in shifting old patterns, healing trauma, and developing a strong sense of self.
Our whole-person approach to care includes utilizing our eight person Multidisciplinary Treatment Team. This treatment team includes:
- Primary Therapist
- Clinical Director
- Nursing Director
- Family Liaison
- Adventure Therapy Director/Specialist
- Team Teacher
- Residential Team Director
We know that no two students are the same, even if they have the same presenting issues. For this reason, our multidisciplinary treatment team helps create an ongoing, personalized approach to care and treatment.