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No one wants to see their teen move forward toward a successful, fulfilling life more than his or her own family. Parents and siblings may have watched the teen grow from a child, full of promise and enthusiasm for life, into an adolescent where something has gone wrong. This may be due to social struggles, academic stress, family discord or divorce, hormonal imbalances, genetics, or substance abuse, among other factors.

At some point in time, parents may feel they have exhausted every option, being unsuccessful in changing the self-destructive course their teen is on. Outpatient psychological interventions may have been tried without success as well, unable to make a significant change in the teen’s maladaptive behaviors.

Psychiatric residential treatment teens-focused programs provide a much more intensive and targeted approach to helping the adolescent in distress. The residential environment allows teens to get comfortable over a period of time, feeling safe and supported away from the stressors that contribute to the emotional problems or substance use.

These programs are tailored specifically for teens, their preferences, their unique developmental traits, and their emotional needs. The most effective teen residential mental health programs also offer complimentary therapies that appeal to the age group. This can include various outdoor activities, such as surf therapy, equine therapy, and recreational therapies.

When Outpatient Treatment Is Not Enough

Most teens struggling with serious mental health difficulties do not go from having zero treatment straight to a residential program. In the majority of cases, a teen that is exhibiting signs and symptoms of emotional distress and/or a substance use disorder has been treated in an outpatient setting. This might be through the family physician or through a psychotherapist, or has been under the care of a psychiatrist. Even with these measures taken, some adolescents continue to progress deeper in their mental health disorder.

When this is the case, the teen will suffer mounting consequences. This can be seen in a decline in academic performance, multiple truancies, high-risk behaviors that result in legal problems or health issues, and interpersonal problems with friends and family members. This causes parents to become alarmed enough to seek out a more intensive treatment program for their teen. That next step up is residential, or inpatient, mental health treatment.

What To Expect at a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Teens

A residential treatment program designed for teens can treat a wide array of mental and behavioral disorders in a warm, supportive setting. Some of the mental health or mood disorders treated include:

  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Anxiety disorders, including phobia, social anxiety, panic disorder, and OCD
  • Trauma
  • Substance use disorder

Careful and methodical attention is paid during the intake interview and psychological evaluation process, which involves specific assessments and a thorough review of the teen’s mental and physical health history. From the information acquired a diagnosis and treatment plan are determined.

A very tailored and comprehensive treatment protocol will likely include the following elements:

  • Acute stabilization, if applicable
  • One on one talk therapy with a psychiatrist
  • Small group therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Medical detox, in the case of a substance addiction
  • Experiential therapies
  • Medication management as indicated

Many residential teen programs also have tutors and academic liaisons to coordinate academic activities with school officials so the teen does not get behind academically.

Importance of a Customized Treatment Plan

Each teen in a residential mental health treatment program will have their own specific and unique treatment needs. Creating a tailored plan for each teen is essential for a long-term successful outcome. The therapists will assemble the right mix of treatment strategies that will be most effective for the particular personality and the diagnosis, involving medications if necessary, coping skills, interpersonal relating skills, anger management techniques, stress reduction exercises, conflict resolution skills, and motivational enhancement strategies.

Teens who feel a connection with the purpose of the tools introduced in treatment will have the best treatment outcomes, as these tools will feel relevant and useful to them. When a teen senses they are intrinsically involved with their therapeutic activities they will become willing stakeholders in the efforts towards mental wellness.

Activities that Augment Psychotherapy

The mental health challenges that affect adolescents are complex. While psychotherapy is a proven primary treatment protocol for treating mental health disorders, teens will get more out of it if they also participate in complimentary activities that enhance psychotherapy. Teens benefit from active participation in therapies that allow them to express themselves, reflect introspectively, and where they can engage in a meaningful way. Some of these experiential activities utilized in residential treatment include:

  • Equine therapy. The teen has access to a stable where they engage in grooming, feeding, and exercising a horse
  • Surf therapy. Treatment programs with coastal access may offer surf therapy, also called ocean therapy, which can have treatment benefits for a variety of issues, such as trauma, depression, and addiction
  • Art, music, and drama therapy. Expressive therapies evoke passion and emotion, which can help a teen reach a deeper level in self-examination of past traumas or other sources of emotional pain or distress
  • Yoga. The slow, purposeful positions and postures involved in yoga can have positive effects on mental wellness as well as physical wellness. Yoga has the effect of modulating the stress response systems and reduces cortisol production, working as a powerful stress reducer
  • Mindfulness training. Mindfulness practices that teach teens to purposefully focus on their present feelings and physical experience, versus fretting about the past or future events, can reduce stress and promote relaxation
  • Recreational activities such as hiking, exercise, team sports, and individual sports helps promote the production of endorphins, resulting in improved mood. Physical activity also improves sleep quality, concentration and focus, and overall fitness

BNI Treatment Centers Provides Psychiatric Residential Treatment Teens

BNI Treatment Centers is a psychiatrist owned and operated residential mental health program for teens in Los Angeles, California. BNI Treatment Centers emphasizes the importance of a customized treatment plan that incorporates not only evidence-based psychotherapies, but also a variety of experiential treatment elements, such as surf therapy, equine therapy, and art therapy to name just a few. For more information about the psychiatric residential treatment teens, please contact BNI Treatment Centers today at (888) 522-1504.

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