From school issues to mood swings, all teenagers have problems. Be that as it may, sometimes, a teen’s distress may ascend to a level where it is crucial to look for professional help. However, therapy certainly does not need to be held for life-altering situations or severe mental health issues. Meeting with a therapist can prevent minor problems from turning into major issues. If you think that your teenager could benefit from talking to a psychological health provider, do not hesitate to arrange an appointment with a professional.
Discuss it with your pediatrician or make an appointment directly with a therapist. Some of the time, a couple of short therapy sessions can have a significant effect on your teen’s overall health. Teenagers can benefit from talking to a therapist about a variety of topics, ranging from questions about sexual identity to relationship issues.
Stages of Development: Birth to Teens
Kids experience changes in their behaviors and moods as they grow up. Some of these changes could be predictable. They can be challenging; however, many of them are standard parts of child growth. When a child’s conduct matches their age, “growing pains,” there is no need for any concern.
Numerous theories talk about the stages of child development. Knowing these phases can help parents and guardians understand child needs and behavior. Erik Erikson was a renowned developmental psychologist. His theories outline the steps of psychosocial growth from birth to adulthood. It’s one of the most famous stage-based theories. Erikson talked about eight stages of life. Five of these stages happen in childhood and adolescence:
- Infancy: Trust versus Mistrust. In the primary phase of human development, newborns explore the world. They learn if their environment is predictable and safe. Infants need comfort and attention from their parents. It’s from parents that they develop their first feeling of trust or mistrust.
- Early Childhood: Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt. Children start asserting autonomy. They develop inclinations and start making their choices. Disobedience, stubbornness, and tantrums are normal. Children begin developing interests. They likewise gain a feeling of independence, shame, and doubt.
- Preschool Years: Initiative versus Guilt. Kids discover social roles and emotions. They become curious and active. Imaginary play is critical in this stage. Children keep on showing their willpower as they grow. Parents’ and guardians’ reactions will affect their child’s behavior. They can influence a child’s will to act on their own and also their attitudes about misbehavior.
- School Age: Industry (Competence) versus Mediocrity. Schoolwork and relationships become increasingly important in this stage. Children start to show a broad and complex scope of emotions. Issues with friends or in school may lead to psychological health conditions like anxiety or depression. Social tasks and academic tasks become more demanding. Conditions like Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD) and oppositional behavior may meddle.
- Adolescence: Identity versus Role Confusion. Teens or adolescents become more independent. They might form identities by trying out new roles and behaviors. Adolescence usually happens in this stage. It brings numerous emotional and physical changes. Changes during this stage may strain parent-teenager relationships. New behaviors may go past boundary-pushing and cause issues. Emotional highs and lows may continue. This could prompt depression or anxiety.
When Does Your Teen Need Therapy?
It is hard enough knowing when you, as the parent, need to meet with a therapist and navigate the whole procedure from choosing a professional to benefiting as much as possible from your time once you do. Be that as it may, doing this for your kid could seem outright overwhelming. The time to take your kid to a therapist is when there’s a recognizable change in either their behavior, emotion or both. Especially if these changes are unexpected.
Teenagers who need help will show signs of depression-like frequent crying, sadness, changes in sleeping or eating habits, loss of interest in social activities, lack of motivation or enthusiasm, difficulty concentrating, lack of energy, hostility, irritability, and angry outbursts.
They may likewise withdraw from family and friends, particularly during a tough time, and shut down during discussions, refusing to talk about whatever it is that is bothering them. Another sign that a teenager may need therapy is a decrease in grades or school performances. If they are battling anxiety, depression, or sorrow, for instance, this can often affect their school performance similarly as it can affect an adult’s work performance.
Signs That Your Teen Needs Professional Help Immediately
There are warning signs of troubled teenage behavior that you should be looking out for. These could be signs that your kid might be in impending peril. Waiting to see if these issues go away is a terrible idea because they are probably going to get worse without any professional help. If your teen is showing these symptoms, get professional help immediately:
- Traces of depression
- Running away from home
- Taking part in illegal activities
- Drug abuse
- Failing School: If this is the only issue, starting with tutoring is a good idea; however, you should talk to the guidance office too. If there are other issues, and this is just a sign, get help for your teen.
- Sexual acting out
- Changes in activities or friends: mainly if the friends are into illegal activities.
- Eating Problem: Have you noticed that your teen isn’t eating, overeating, or has shown signs of purging after eating?
- Unseemly Anger: Aiming angry feelings towards you or showing brutal behavior is a cause for serious concern.
- Increasing defiance
- Noteworthy changes in behavior or mood
Bringing Up Therapy to Your Teen
How would you bring up therapy to your teen? Carefully and gently. Avoid approaching your teen with allegations, lectures, and disappointed or angry reactions. This leaves them feeling embarrassed and more unlikely to welcome the idea of therapy. Instead, express your worry about them lovingly and openly. Let your kid know that you want them to be happier, less anxious or sad, more productive and that you’re willing to do anything to help them because you care so much about them.
Be that as it may, what if your child still refuses? Ask your child to attend three therapy sessions, because most teenagers are drawn in the process within that time. Therapists who work with teenagers understand that they often refuse the idea of therapy; in this way, the relationship building is critical at the outset. You may likewise acknowledge that the entire session is extremely anxiety-provoking for your teen. If it’s worth it to you as the parent, you may start encouraging participation with a fair prize that you know it will work for your kid just to get them through the first session.
Teen Residential Treatment
Studies find that residential programs are a viable way to deal with the treatment of depression in teens. Moreover, residential treatment effectively addresses teenage substance abuse, anxiety, eating disorders. Furthermore, professionals recommend 90 days of a residential program for effective results.
Residential treatment programs can be traced back to the mid-1900s. Anna Freud, Sigmund Freud’s daughter, and her associates at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society wanted to improve their care techniques for kids in crisis. Consequently, they started the first residential teen treatment facilities for teenagers with behavioral and emotional disorders.
Teen Residential Treatment Programs
Consequently, residential treatment services, otherwise known as rehabs, are live-in healthcare facilities. They provide an organized environment and 24-hour supervision. While in residential treatment, patients live in a convenient, home-like setting. They’re monitor by well-trained staff. Staff members include therapists, psychiatrists, nurses, recovery counselors, experiential therapy practitioners, and dietitians.
Also, residential treatment incorporates academics. For instance, some teen residential treatments include a minimum of 30 hours of experiential and clinical therapy every week. In addition, teenagers spend 20 hours in tutoring and in academics. The first phase in a residential treatment service is an extensive assessment.
Such an assessment focuses on a teen’s behavioral, emotional, medical, social, and educational needs. Along these lines, treatment teams create individualized treatment plans. These plans offer interventions intended to achieve positive results. Also, residential treatment is most times helpful for teens who haven’t shown signs of improvement in outpatient treatment.
Advantages of Residential Treatment
Parents looking for a safe, comfortable place for their child to heal and grow as an individual shouldn’t look past programs like residential treatment facilities for adolescents. What makes programs like residential treatment centers the right option for parents of teenagers battling with behavioral and emotional issues? Here are some of the reasons why programs like residential treatment facilities for teenagers may be the right choice for your child:
- Clearly Designed Campus: Most residential treatment facilities for teenagers are situated on a campus that was deliberately created for therapeutic purposes. Along these lines, your kid will be in an environment that was created with one objective: to help teenagers go through their struggles and attain their fullest potential.
- Clinically Intensive Programming: Most residential treatment facilities have therapists on staff, alongside psychiatrists who specialize in the aspects of psychological health fields aimed towards the particular needs of students. These specialties may range from anxiety and trauma to depression and substance use.
- Age-focused: Residential treatment facilities for teens use programming designed to help certain age groups. For instance, a residential treatment facility for young girls that are still in middle school won’t have the same milieu and therapeutic offerings as a residential treatment facility for teenagers who are 16 and 18. This helps in personalizing the experience for every individual child.
- Involvement of Family: All through the entire process of residential treatment facilities for teenagers, the whole family is involved in helping their teens get better. Also, family therapy sessions can play a vital role in bringing the family together. Some other family involvement exercises at private treatment facilities may incorporate parent workshops, individual-parent sessions, and at-home visits later after treatment.
- An Enjoyable Experience: Numerous experiential adventures both on and off campus create a fun environment at residential treatment facilities for teenagers. Some residential treatment facilities for teenagers provide equine-assisted therapy, art classes, and sports to help improve confidence in teenagers while having a touch of fun.
What to Look for When Seeking Residential Treatment
- Accreditation or Licensure: each state has its licensure prerequisites for psychological health treatment facilities. Despite the fact that the qualifications to get authorized may differ slightly, each residential treatment facility is required to be authorized. In addition to Licensure, numerous RTCs look for additional accreditation, which means they have experienced a series of assessments to arrive at specific standards.
While not required, picking an RTC that’s accredited in addition to being authorized only guarantees the quality of care. Access to Emergency Care Services: A decent residential treatment center will have active relationships with urgent care facilities or local facilities. Regardless of whether a patient engages in self-harm, has an accident, or is in crisis (and in this way need extra support), the treatment center must have these resources accessible to them.
- Aftercare Planning: Arrangements for discharge happens typically not long after admission (there are a few exceptional cases to this based on the individual patient). This is where the treatment team and patient talk about the patient’s care once they’re discharged from the residential treatment facility.
- Credentialed Staff: In addition to the fact that an RTC needs to have appropriately trained and credentialed staff, but likewise, a sufficient number of staff available. The census (number of patients) can differ from day to day, as on any random day there might be some patients being admitted while others being discharged. Hence, there should be sufficient staff to support any number of patients available properly.
It can be a tough decision to send your child to a residential program, however, with the kind of service we offer at our residential treatment facility, it is crucial to remember it will, in the end, profit your teen and promote their general wellbeing. Many parents may feel like sending their teens to a residential facility is a punishment, when indeed it’s an opportunity.
In a residential setting, your teen will be tasked to face their main issues behind the indecent behaviors, all within a supportive and safe environment. Identifying the main problems can help your teen understand their behavior and responses and start making positive changes. These kinds of treatments can likewise teach your child how to deal with difficult situations and emotions.
If you are questioning treatment for your child, decide on the side of caution, and contact a therapist. If your teen is not interested in therapy, don’t worry.
Many teenagers are reluctant to talk to someone about their problems. Urge your child to try therapy for a couple of sessions, and afterward, you may allow him to decide whether he would like to carry on. If your child outright turns down counseling, you can be the one to discuss it with a therapist. You might be able to gain new skills and ideas for helping your child cope better.
Here at Hillcrest, we understand how teens dealing with mental health issues like depression can suffer in their day to day lives. Because of our experience working with teenagers that are dealing with these mental health issues, we believe that we are a fantastic place to send your teenager for help with developing coping mechanisms across the course of therapy.
Not sure how we can help your child? Why not contact us to learn how we may support or to set up a tour?