July, 22 2018

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3 Steps to Find a Program for Your Troubled Teen

Many parents just like you who are searching for a program to help their troubled teen have wondered, "How do I find a program for my troubled teen anyway?" If you’ve asked yourself this same question, you are not alone. When searching for help, parents often find themselves taking a crash course in Adolescent Treatment Programs 101. The following tips are here to make your journey quicker and more efficient.

There are two key steps to remember in searching for a program for your troubled teen: understanding the types of programs available and researching in depth those which fit your teen’s temperament and situation.

Getting Started

To begin, you’ll need to become familiar with the treatment options and their differences (wilderness programs, boarding schools, residential treatment, boot camps, etc.). Select a treatment option you feel would most benefit your teen. It's important to choose a treatment option that you can commit to. Getting the necessary help for your troubled teen will likely be an emotional, expensive endeavor, one that requires great commitment on your part.

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After you’ve selected the type of treatment option you feel best about, you will need to begin digging!! This step can be quite time consuming. There are a multitude of programs for any given treatment option, and it is no small task to sift through the data to find the right one for your teen. eProgramSearch.com has been designed to help expedite this process by consolidating information about many different programs into ONE place. Our goal is to help you quickly gather the information you need in finding a program for your troubled teen. Our hope is that by using our web directory, you will be able to do better, faster research and find the program most effective in treating your troubled teen.

7 Tips to Remember and 3 Mistakes to Avoid

When you’ve chosen a handful of programs you would like to investigate further, keep the following tips in mind.

  • Look at Program Web Sites - Use the web site of the program you are investigating to get a better feel for their treatment philosophy and the range of services offered.
  • Contact the Program - Call the treatment program earlier than later in your search, and talk to an admissions counselor. Be completely honest with him/her about the situation with your teen. Ask the admissions counselor what it is that differentiates their program from the others (such as individual attention, types of therapy, approach to treatment, etc).
  • Seek References - Ask the admissions counselor for references of parents who’s teen is or has been admitted to their program. Talk to these parents about the positives and negatives of the program as well the basic challenges of having your teen in an adolescent treatment program. These parents have been through the same process you are beginning and are a wealth of information.
  • Involve Family - Make sure your family will be involved in the treatment process. Your teen did not get where he/she is alone and will need lots of support on the road to recovery. The more you and your family are involved, the better the odds of success become. Also with increased involvement this challenge will become a learning, growing experience for your entire family.
  • Tour Facility - Before enrolling your teen in a program, tour the facility and visit with administrators, counselors, and teachers. You will be investing a lot of time and money for the help you receive, so make sure your visit confirms what you believe you have already discovered about the program.
  • Understand Cost - It is not recommended that you select a treatment option based solely on cost. It is important to remember that paying for professional help to guide your teen and your family to psychological health should not be considered bargain shopping. If you’re looking for financial help, we have financial aid resources for your troubled teen, and you may be able to qualify for a scholarship.
  • Make Smart Decisions - Use your own good judgment throughout your search. Take professional advice with a little grain of salt, yet, be willing to work with them to make informed treatment decisions. At the end of the day, it is you, your family, and your teen who will be most affected. Getting help is a big step, and one that will hopefully make a lifetime of difference for your teen and for you.


  • Don’t select a treatment option based solely on length, cost, and/or region. While cost, length, and region are important variables to know about any given adolescent treatment program, they should not be a basis for placement. The most important thing to consider is the fit of the program for your teen and your family. If the option you feel will best help your teen ends up being on the opposite side of the country, that's okay.
  • Don’t automatically place your troubled teen in a boot camp. If you feel that your teen does not understand the relationship between actions and consequences, it is recommended that you select a school/program that will help them mature. Military type schools generally operate on the premise that your teen already understands these concepts.
  • Don’t make your child sound better than he/she is while presenting your situation to an admissions counselor. It is important that they understand the types of issues they will need to address in order to determine if your teen will be a good fit for their program/school.

Improving Yourself

Start now to become emotionally healthy yourself. Doing so will help you better understand your teen and help aid in his/her transition. Read as much literature as you can regarding this kind of healing. The treatment program you select may have some recommendations, or you can read the books in our library for parents of troubled teens.

While we recognize that the tips listed above are not all inclusive, we hope the information provided here will give you the tools you need to find the right program for your troubled teen.

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3 steps to find a program for troubled teens - eProgramSearch.com

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