What is Residential Treatment?
Residential treatment programs are highly structured mental health facilities that assist troubled youth with psychological problems such as bi-polar disorder, drug and alcohol abuse and depression. Nationwide residential treatment for teens facilities vary widely in scope. However, it is the purpose of all facilities to address and correct each youth’s individual problems under stringent, 24-hour supervision. Therefore, these centers provide one-on-one and group behavioral reconditioning strategies, a home-like setting, and an on- or off-site fully accredited traditional school curriculum or vocational rehabilitation program.
Benefits of Residential Treatment
The most life-altering benefit of residential treatment for teens is the distance that the facilities put between the troubled youth and his or her family. This deportation from the tense, disharmonious situation that the teen experiences at home serves as the springboard to change destructive, life-threatening habits into healthy, forward-thinking life practices. Additional benefits of residential treatment include a round-the-clock support staff, a consistent discipline and reward system, positive peer relationships and regularly scheduled family therapy sessions.
Residential Treatment Versus Outpatient Treatment
Residential treatment for teens provides controlled environments that strictly enforce zero-tolerance regression policies. On the other hand, outpatient treatment centers see troubled teens during regularly scheduled counseling appointments. Therefore, these types of treatments rely almost entirely on the teen’s ability to discipline himself or herself enough to the behaviors necessary to facilitate permanent, positive life changes. Outpatient treatment centers also work best when the child has a dedicated family support system and a good rapport with his or her therapist. For these reasons, residential treatment centers are a better fit for teens that suffer from severe psychiatric distress and need to develop inter-personal relationship skills in a caring, non-judgmental atmosphere. Once the teen graduates from a residential facility, ongoing outpatient care can supply the support the child needs to remain on the right path.
Why Choose Residential Treatment for Teens
A stay at a residential treatment center for teens can precipitate feelings of self-worth and a renewed ability to abstain from self-abusing behavior. Additionally, the support received from these facilities can help a troubled receive an education he or she would otherwise not attain. A 2002 study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) analyzed progression data from 23 community-based residential treatment programs for teens. At the end of the study, the researchers concluded that stays over 90 days in these facilities can improve psychological welfare and school performance while decreasing criminal activity and alcohol and drug use among troubled youth.