Therapy Redefined: The Difference Between Residential Treatment Centers and Boot Camps for Teens

Therapeutic programs for teens sometimes have a bad reputation. This, in large part, is thanks to unprofessional, unlicensed programs of the past that were closer to boot camps for teens than any sort of therapy. The residential treatment centers of today, however, are a far cry from those of even twenty years ago. Although the name remains, that is the only similarity. Boot camps for teens have no positive effect on teen behavior; modern residential treatment centers provide a beacon of hope for parents of struggling teens. As a story from the New York Times mentions, “during the 10-month [residential treatment] program, however, [the struggling teen’s] behavior began to improve. He is to graduate from the University of Chicago next year with degrees in math and physics. He hopes to attend graduate school in physics.”

Ways Residential Treatment Can Help (And Ways Boot Camps for Teens Can’t)

Boot camps for teens do not simply lack oversight (which often leads to tragic results); they lack a motivation to help struggling children. Although some boot camps for teens use the guise of “behavior adjustment” to justify their existence, they are rarely more than glorified prisons. Unfortunately, locking a struggling teen in a program and forcing them to breaking point isn’t therapy: it’s a brainwashing at best. boot camps for teens

A residential treatment center offers very real therapy. Often utilizing a holistic approach (one that simultaneously targets the body, mind, and spirit of a teen), a residential treatment center focuses on healing the environment that caused the troubles in the first place. Boot camps for teens thrive on locking a child away from the family – it is containment for undesirables. A residential treatment center works in conjunction with the family to repair strained or broken bonds.

Every child is different and no two struggles they encounter are the same. Residential treatment centers have a number of different therapeutic activities to ensure the best fit for any problem. Residential treatment is not limited by being tethered to wilderness therapy: CBT, DBT, EMDR, and numerous other approaches are available. A psychiatric staff is present to assist with any medications; caring professionals are on-call 24 hours a day to ensure your child’s well-being.

Unlike boot camps, a residential treatment center’s primary concern is your child’s safety. Therapy isn’t about changing who your child is – it is about helping them back on a healthy path. Your child’s uniqueness is special; treatment should not involve changing who they are. By gently guiding struggling teens through difficult times, a residential treatment center ensures that the child will be ready for a positive future.

If your teen’s struggles have gotten out of hand, it may be time to consider professional help. Elevations, a residential treatment center for teens struggling with depression and other emotional or behavioral issues, can help your struggling teen find success.

For more information about Elevations RTC, please call  today!