When To Consider Residential Treatment for Your Teen – A Guide For Parents

If you are a parent of a teenager who is struggling with a personal, mental, or psychological condition, it can be difficult to know exactly where to turn. You may have tried talking to them, but they refuse to listen. You may have reached out to school counselors, but have been unable to find the effective help you need. You sincerely want to guide them to some sort of lasting and workable solution, but you feel lost, confused, and at times, hopeless.

When To Consider Residential Treatment for Your Teen – A Guide For Parents

Many teenagers who are suffering from some of the more pervasive and detrimental psychological conditions may require residential treatment. Though the path towards recovery and mental well-being can be challenging, success is in fact possible. Across the country, thousands of teenagers succeed each year, and with the right sort of help, your teen can become a part one of these success stories.

What is a residential treatment center?

A residential treatment center (RTC) is a type of live-in healthcare facility that is specifically designed for those who are seeking intensive recovery treatment. Sometimes, weekly visits with a counselor simply aren’t enough. Sometimes, recovery must become the foremost priority in an individual’s life in order to achieve the lasting results they need.

There is no shame in wanting to utilize a residential treatment facility to safely recover. In fact, actively choosing to get help is one of the bravest things an individual can do. When other treatment options do not work, residential options should be weighed. At these facilities, teens can focus solely on recovery instead of outside pressures & distractions. In many cases, this approach produces some of the most effective and lasting results possible.

Unfortunately, media and widespread cultural stereotypes have often stigmatized the use of treatment centers and given them an unwarrantedly bad reputation. But, contrary to popular belief, the purpose of these facilities isn’t to control the individual who resides there—it is to give them an opportunity and clear path for healing, and to help them become the best version of themselves they can possibly be.

How do they work?

RTC’s utilize a dynamic variety of psychological treatment modalities to obtain the most effective results. The experience and knowledge necessary to be a primary caretaker at these facilities is among the highest in clinical psychology. Because of this, these programs are often able to achieve lasting and authentic outcomes.

Individuals attending these treatment centers can benefit from the highly intensive and personalized care they will receive. Every individual’s story and every individual’s path to recovery may be different; by combining different treatment modalities, the outcomes can be molded to fit their specific needs. Whether your teen requires one-on-one treatment, group work, experiential treatment, prescription medication, or any combination of the above, residential care is a holistic solution.

These facilities are effective because they can help teens who need the most constant sort of attention, who want to make recovery their priority above and beyond all else, and who are ready to begin down the long—but promising—path ahead of them towards recovery.

Why were RTC’s first established?

Residential treatment centers have been operating in some form or another since at least the 1600s, and have been constantly improving ever since. A tremendous amount of time and effort has gone into learning what kinds of therapies are most effective and which ones produce the most lasting results.

The improvements that have been made to residential treatment—particularly over the last 50 years—have been a consequence of rigorous trials and intensive research. These centers were established out of the realization that other forms of therapy and treatment do not necessarily work for everyone; some people need the benefit of constantly living at the place in which they hope to make a full recovery.

RTC’s were founded in response to the overwhelming evidence demonstrating their necessity. Many individuals need a place that can isolate them from the things that will trigger their condition or cause them to relapse into bad behaviors of the past. Without residential treatment centers, some individuals are simply unable to recover.

What Can They Treat?

Because there exists such a wide variety of clinically diagnosable conditions, and because many individuals are suffering from multiple conditions at once, residential treatment centers are purposely designed to be very dynamic and wide reaching.

Some of the most common conditions that can be actively treated at a residential treatment center include:

  • Depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and actions
  • Substance abuse disorder
  • Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, etc.)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Numerous other personal, psychological, and mental conditions

Many individuals who might try to receive less intensive treatment feel as if they experience a weekly cycle in which they are constantly taking ten steps forward and then nine steps back. The results of any type of treatment is only as good as their ability to actually last; by focusing on treatment above and beyond all else, numerous individuals have been able to escape this seemingly never-ending back and forth “shuffle” and be able to actually make sustainable progress without regressing.

How much do they cost? Do they tax deductible?

The cost of care will really depend on a number of different conditions. What specific kind of treatments will your teenager be receiving? Do they require standard or highly specialized care? How long will they be staying? What is your current insurance situation?

Though answering all of these questions at once can be a bit overwhelming, there still is hope out there for all who need help. Most rehab centers are willing to work with you and your insurance company to find a workable payment schedule that can allow your teen to begin recovering while allowing you to pay later. Furthermore, many aspects of treatment are tax deductible, which will allow you to save in the long run.

If your family is looking for holistic care for your adolescent, Residential treatment centers offer some of the most dynamic, effective, and clinically tested treatments in all of modern psychology. Though these centers may not have necessarily been your first choice, they may very well be your best option depending on the severity of your child’s condition. For more information, visit SAMHSA.gov and find the best provider near you.



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