Are you considering hiring an educational consultant (EC) to find the right therapeutic boarding school for your troubled teen? Did you just realize they cost about $6000-8000.00 for their service?
As much as you are trying to ignore or just say it is typical teen behavior, you notice your teen is withdrawing from the family, failing in school, possibly vaping, smoking pot, addicted to their screens and overall have become a child you no longer recognize with a personality that is defiant and totally disrespectful the the family boundaries – what do you do?
Most parents try local therapy – which is a great first step, but when happens when therapy doesn’t work or they refuse to attend? A parent in a denial can only prolong the evitable and possible cause more harm including legal issues. Don’t be held hostage in your home by your teen’s behavior.
Making the decision to choose residential therapy is not one that any parents takes lightly. It’s a major financial and emotional choice. It comes following exhausting your local resources, which can include therapy refusal, outpatient treatment has failed, school setting is not working and a short-term hospital stay was unsuccessful.
Usually a teen’s behavior has been slowly escalating and a parent knows that deep down things are not getting better. As much as you hope and pray that things will change, this is only typical teen behavior, sometimes it just isn’t.
With drug use and substance abuse rising – more dangerous and deadly ingredients being used, such as fentanyl, opioids, parents have reason to be concerned. It isn’t your marijuana of generations prior – it is so much worse and in many cases – addictive and deadly. The increase of screen addiction has been the culprit to the spike of many mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, anger, rage, self-harming and more.
If you have reached your wit’s end and now surfing the internet for help, remember, anyone can build a website. Anyone can put up nice pictures and create great content.
Years ago I struggled with my own teenager. I was at my wit’s end. I didn’t realize what a big business this “teen help industry” was. Yes, my child needed help, but what we received was anything but that. My story is a cautionary tale – not one to scare you into not placing your child, on the contrary, you have to get your child help, but you have to do your research in getting them the right help.
I had hired an Educational Consultant. This was when they were an hourly rate, so I was able to dismiss them after an hour. The fact is you are your child’s best advocate, you don’t need a middle person — you may not know this big business of teen help, however with these research tips, you can educate yourself and determine what is best for your family. We also offer informational questions for you to ask schools and programs, and a free consultation with parents that have been down this road before you.
When interviewing many parents that had hired Educational Consultants, like myself, EC’s immediately suggested they send their child to wilderness program before even discussing a therapeutic boarding school or residential treatment center. The truth is, most teens don’t need that expensive step of wilderness — since the residential therapy are designed to treat the defiant teen. It seems they have the same cook-cutter approach, which brings the parent back for a second free to ask for their next step into a long-term program. As we share with parents — isn’t it smarter to start with one qualified school or program?
Here are some quick tips for find the right schools for troubled teens:
1. Your child is not for sale, try to avoid those marketing arms selling you a list of programs that are not in the best interest of your child’s individual needs.
2. Always speak with an owner or director – Someone that has a vested in your teen’s recovery. Their reputation is on the line.
3. Wilderness and other short term programs are usually nothing more than a band-aid that will fall off as quickly as the program lasted. They are expensive camping trips and in most cases the wilderness program will tell you at about 4 weeks that your teen will need to continue on to a longer term program. Yes, now you go back to the research board and worse than that, your teen will be deflated when he finds out he/she isn’t coming home in 6-9 weeks as they were lead to believe – and they will be starting all over again with a new therapist – new schedule – and new setting. Don’t get caught up in this “shuffle.” Start and finish with the same school/program.
4. The average stay should be about 6-9-12 months, depending on your teen. Anything less is likely non-effective. Anything more, you may be creating abandonment issues in our opinion. Consider this, it didn’t take 4-9 weeks to get to where you are today, it’s not going to take this short of time to turn it around.
5. Do you really need an Educational Consultant? Probably not. You are the parent and no one knows your teen better than you do – with a few solid and intelligent resources, you will be able to make some sound choices. We have helped parents that have hired EC’s — only to hear that we have given them more valuable information in 15 minutes than their EC gave them at all. We assisted parents where their teen were placed in programs by EC’s that failed, and we were better able to understand their needs — why? Because we have walked this journey — literally.
For more research tips, please contact us for a free consultation. We help you find the right therapeutic schools and residential treatment center for your teen and family.