Troubled teens unsuccessful in traditional counseling environments are finding success in long-term treatment programs that provide parents with powerful alternative to boot camps for girls and boot camps for boys.
A study conducted by the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs found teens with serious emotional and behavioural issues including ADHD, depression, and oppositional defiant disorder, improved during treatment at a residential program and maintained their healthier outlook and functioning long after leaving the program.
“In our initial findings announced last year, teens with clinically impaired emotional and behavioural functioning were rated as ‘normal’ after a period of treatment at a private residential facility,” said Dr. Ellen Behrens, lead researcher at Canyon Research and Consulting.
“The analyses suggested that adolescent problems improve significantly during private residential treatment and that, with only a few exceptions, discharge functioning and in-treatment change are relatively similar, regardless of adolescent background, history, problems, and treatment factors.”
The results come as no surprise to Gordon Hay, Executive Director of Venture Academy for Troubled Teens, a residential treatment program that prides itself on offering parents an alternative to boot camps.
“This study confirms what families bringing their teens to Venture Academy know, which is that it takes a team of professionals working with youth over an extended period of time to create lasting change,” Hay says.
“Our program works because teens are provided with individualized help in professionally staffed home environments and on campus where they learn coping skills they can use in the real world.”
Venture Academy for troubled teens has schools in Ontario and BC and serves families from throughout the US and Canada including those from Alberta, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Both of the schools for troubled teens provide a tightly supervised setting where struggling teens and their families receive support from a team that includes counsellors, family therapists, psychologists, and physicians.