When should I place my teen in a facility to get help?
So often it feels like an extreme measure to remove children from their homes and place them in a facility that might be in a completely different state.
There are no well-established guidelines for placing your teen in residential treatment. Generally speaking, teens enter residential treatment when their needs are too intense to be managed with outpatient counseling.
- “Outpatient counseling isn’t working.”
Parents frequently report that their teen seems to be spiraling out of control and increasing the intensity and/or the frequency of counseling has done nothing to stem the tide of distress and dysfunction. No matter how many opportunities they have given their teen to change, counseling, rewards, punishments have all failed to change the direction of their teen’s life.
- “Our family has had enough.” “He was staying with his uncle, but he has worn out his welcome there too.”
All of the available emotional resources for support from friends and family have become depleted or drained.
- “I don’t understand it… he has a great life… I don’t understand why he is so depressed or angry or apathetic or lazy or failing….”
Parents often experience confusion or ambiguity as to what the teen might be struggling with and are looking for greater insight and clarity.
- “We have to lock our bedroom door because he has stolen from us.” “We are afraid to leave her alone.” “She was grounded, but she just shoved me aside to run out the door.”
There are safety issues, such as escalating levels of substance misuse, self-injurious behaviors, or physical acting out that may be reduced in a controlled treatment milieu.
At Shelterwood Academy we can provide round the clock observation in a controlled environment. This level of stabilization helps clarify behaviors or emotions and allows parents to regain control of their homes. Reducing the impact of the teen in the home often protects siblings and enables parents to re-establish their relationships with one another. This renewed strength empowers parents and many families have reported to us that they felt the time out in a residential setting was critical in their own lives. The stress of worry, self doubt with regards to parenting skills, and the anxiety about their teen’s future were all greatly reduced while their teen was in residential care.