“Absolutely, Hands-down, the best advice and counsel…to help us as parents with our son! Thank you, thank you for all your help.” – Dr. Wayne Rothchild, CA


“You saved the life of our daughter and our family.” – Michael Roberts, TX


“Your counsel was thoughtful and based on experience.  You saved us time and money and most importantly understood how emotional the process would be…our deepest appreciation.” – Elizabeth Purnel, MD

Treatment Programs & Schools
Not all schools and programs are alike. Even among State Licensed Programs there is an extensive variety of treatment and educational approaches. The following is information that you should consider when qualifing the most “appropriate” program or school of choice. We are happy to assit you and answer any additional questions that you may have.Common mistakes parents often make when selecting a Program:
The Quick Fix

A common mistake is to place the teen in a summer or short term program such as a ‘Wilderness Program’ or ‘Boot Camp’. These programs have their place and can be effective, however research shows that teens often return to their prior behavior patterns within 6 months of completing a Short Term Program. This is because the teen is not in the Short Term Program long enough to gain the skills and strengths necessary to make lasting changes.

Close to Home

A second common mistake that parents make is to select a program because it is “close to home”. To be effective treatment needs to be consistently applied in a setting where the teen is isolated from the influences and environment that they were in prior to arriving in the program. This allows the teen to focus on working the program.

Low Cost

The single biggest mistake that parents make in placing their troubled teen in a program is to select a program based solely on its “low cost”. This usually results in the teen receiving inadequate treatment which more often than not translates into failed results and a waste of time and money.

Types of Troubled Teen Treatment Programs and Specialty Schools

There are many different types of Specialized Schools and Residential Treatment Programs for Troubled Teens depending on the needs of the teens. They are typically categorized as follows:

Out-of-Home Programs for Troubled Teens

Boot Camps Boot camps for Troubled Teens typically offer a number of rehabilitation-type programs such as education, counseling, vocational training or special programs to address the needs of drug offenders. More and more and with the same behavioral modification methods, boot camps also offer programs as “quick-fix solutions” for kids of parents who hope to regain lost control of their teens or who desire behavior modification. (Prices range from $5,000 to $10,000 per month)
Wilderness Programs Wilderness therapy is a form of adventure therapy that relies on the natural aspects of a primitive outdoor sojourn or wilderness expedition. Wilderness therapy is often used as the first step in a multi-step process in treating teens. Many wilderness therapy programs avoid what they view as manipulations, contrived activities, psychological games, and contrived consequences. As in any type of treatment program, rare abusive situations have been reported in some of these programs. Compared with similar outdoor adventure activities, injury or death is extremely rare. (Prices range from $300-$495/day).
Residential Treatment Centers / Therapeutic Boarding Schools A Troubled Teen Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is a live-in therapy/behavior modification/educational facility for adolescents who present a variety of conditions, ranging from drug abuse to violence to sexual behavioral problems as well as mental illnesses. Different RTCs work with different grades of problems, and so the structure and methods of RTCs varies. Some RTCs are lock-down facilities; that is, the residents are locked inside the premises; however, other RTCs don’t lock the residents in. (Prices range from $4,000-12,000/month)
Christian Boarding Schools Christian Schools are similar to Therapeutic Boarding Schools but employ Christian-based teachings and programs to help troubled teens. (Prices range from $4,000-12,000/month)
Working Ranches Working Ranches are similar to Residential Treatment Centers with an experiential component similar to wilderness therapy programs. Teens live in facilities and are given therapeutic opportunities as they work with animals and agriculture in a ranch-setting. (Prices range from $4,000-12,000/month)
Military Prep Schools Traditional military schools are educational institutions which prepare candidates for college and possibly service in the officer corps of the military. These schools are appropriate for children without significant behavioral or emotional issues. They often follow a typical school schedule including a Summer break. (Prices range from $3,000 to $5,000 per month plus additional equipment costs)
College Prep Boarding Schools These boarding schools focus on preparing children for college. These programs are not for children with significant emotional or behavioral issues. Children may be sent to boarding schools to give more opportunities than their family can provide. However, that involves spending significant parts of one’s early life in what may be seen as an institution and possibly experiencing social detachment from his/her family. (Prices range from $2,000 to $6,000 per month)

Some summaries from
Beware of Programs…

  • -That have very large enrollments. These programs have a tendency to “Warehouse” teens. Generally teens respond better to treatment when their peer group is limited to less than 40. Programs that have been formulated around small groups are able to provide more personalized attention which translates into more effective treatment. In addition the staff are able to get to know and understand the teens better and are then able to more quickly respond to and correct inappropriate behavior.
  • That have hidden charges for Professional Therapy. Therapy by a licensed professional is essential in helping the teen recover. Many Programs incorporate Professional Therapy as only an added option with an added fee.
  • That do not adequately detail the treatment program that the teen will be undergoing. There are many different types of treatment programs. Most teens require programs centered on a “Behavior Mod” or “Strength Based” approach. The better programs will be able to provide parents with clear details on how the program is run and how the teen will interact in the program.
  • That are Co-Ed. Co-Ed programs only serve to provide an added and sometimes prohibitive distraction to the teen. Experience has shown that in a Co-Ed program teens are constantly distracted by the presence of peers of the opposite sex. As a result teens waste a great deal of time and energy “concentrating on” and “performing for” the opposite sex. Advise here is to avoid Co-Ed programs.

All Troubled Teen Schools and Programs are alike.
To find out which specialized school or program is most appropriate for your teen please Call Parent and Teen Resources at 435-862-9298 or visit our contact page.

Representatives from Parent and Teen Resources are fully skilled and knowledgeable in all aspects of placing your troubled teen in a program and can guide you (the parent) in this endeavor.

After a short 10-15 minute phone consultation your Representative can start to isolate the type of program that would be best for the teen. Within a few days, a specific program can be selected and a financing plan implemented.

To get started call (24 hours, 7 days a week) at 435-862-9298 or complete the online form on our Request Information page.

Troubled Teen Treatment

Treatment will vary depending on the type and the severity of the disorder. Professionals should be consulted in developing an appropriate treatment program. Treatments include:

When appropriate medications can be prescribed by a medical professional. If you believe your child is taking illegal drugs or they may refuse to take the medication this treatment alternative may be ineffective and inappropriate. To be affective medications must be taken on a regular basis.

Out patient therapy, lowest level of care. This is a very good choice if the adolescent is not resistant to therapy and will be truthful with the therapist or this kind of therapy will not work.

Partial day treatment (Day Treatment) is a good alternative if the adolescent is willing to get help and is not placing themselves in dangerous situations when away from the treatment facility.

Residential Treatment Center is a very good alternative if the adolescent is not willing to get help. It is a very structured, controlled environment and therefore the staff can make sure the medication is taken on a regular basis. Most residential treatment centers are therapeutic, having group therapy and individual therapy, which makes it easier for the therapist to get to the root of the problem.

Hospital, acute care (suicide attempt) this is the highest level of care and most insurance companies will pay for this type of care for a short term stay.

**Many of the above listed treatment alternatives require the assistance of medical professional

Disorders presented in this section are taken from “The DSM-IV” (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition). Information provided here is intended to be used in conjunction with consultation with accredited and licensed professionals.