Programs for Troubled Teens Defined

Welcome to blueFire! We are a premier wilderness therapy program for teens and young adults struggling with emotional, social and behavioral challenges. Our youth program works with clients aged 11-17 from all over the country, and are located not far from Boise, Idaho. Our comprehensive outdoor therapy adventure experience is aimed at helping the entire family, and combines clinical expertise, adventure experiences, academic assessments and a family systems approach in a private-pay model.

We're passionate about fostering positive change in the lives of our clients, and we're committed to supporting them every step of the way. Thank you for considering blueFire as a partner on the journey towards a brighter future.

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What are programs for troubled teens? Programs for troubled teens are services designed to help teens struggling with a variety of mental health difficulties. Their purposes exist along a spectrum of services which are based upon the specific age, condition, and gender of your teen. 

If your teen is struggling with a specific mental health issue and is of a certain age, there are a large amount of options for them to get help. The program parents choose are usually based on the location of the program (close to home? near an airport?) or how much the program costs. They may also be based on other conditions associated with mental health struggles including substance use, sexual experimentation, or suicidal ideation. Programs for troubled teens range from more clinically intensive mental health hospital-like facilities for teens struggling with mental illnesses like bipolar disorder or paranoia to less intense therapeutic boarding school environments which cater to teens who are struggling with less extreme emotional issues.

Choosing the Right Programs For Troubled Teens

Finding the best program for your child may seem like a difficult, arduous process. After all, this is the future of your child you're dealing with! Overall, most reliable sources recommend reputable therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers, and wilderness therapy programs. When searching through programs for troubled teens, it's important to look at whether programs are licensed and have achieved accreditation. These are the programs you should be considering the most highly.

Positive Aspects of Programs for Troubled Teens

Once parents are at the point of searching for programs for troubled teens, they have probably already had years of difficulties helping their child work towards a successful, happy future. Many parents can feel completely alone in this difficult time, feeling completely hopeless at times.

Getting professional help is an important step in finding the best therapeutic option for your child.

Once you have found the best programming options for your child, it's time to discern what makes each program stand out from each other. Programs that offer the most benefits for struggling teens include those that have:

  • Clinically advanced offerings- Programs that have staff on board with decades of experience, as well as a variety of therapeutic options are extremely beneficial to your child. These programs might offer a combination of group, individual and family therapy. They may also include equine therapy and other experiential therapeutic options.
  • 24/7 care- Most parents want to be assured that their child is being well looked after and taken care of. For some programs for troubled teens, their staff are on board and monitoring children at all hours of the day.
  • Family involvement- Parents with troubled teens should be involved in their child's road towards healing. It's important for families to work with their child on underlying issues within the family unit that may be contributing to their struggles.
  • Having fun! Teens are still very much children. Children should have fun from time to time. Programs for troubled teens that offer experiential therapy and learning experiences such as backpacking, hiking, and mountain climbing help teens grow and heal while enjoying themselves. After all, a program for troubled teens shouldn't feel like a punishment.

Is your child a "troubled teen"?

What is a troubled teen exactly? Well, the phrasing doesn't have the best reputation. Most people connote the term with kids straight out of juvenile detention facilities. Many clinician have created programming specifically geared towards that kind of clientele.

However, many programs for troubled teens offer therapeutic services to teens who are merely struggling with emotional, behavior, or psychological difficulties also use this term as a way of describing those challenges. The term "troubled teens" may be referring to young people who are struggling with oppositional defiant disorder, emotional outbursts, school refusal, or risky behaviors.

Troubled Teens in the Media

The most famous example of troubled teens in the media who would have definitely benefitted from programs for troubled teens are Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the teens responsible for the Columbine shootings. Both teens struggled with mental illness, which could have been addressed through intensive therapy.

Another example of a troubled teen is pop star Demi Lovato. She has struggled for many years with eating disorders and self harm. She eventually was treated in a residential facility where she was treated for her mental health struggles. There, she learned how to better cope with her mental health issues and work towards becoming healthier and happier. After getting treatment, Lovato has worked towards fighting the stigma of mental illness and encouraged many teens to get help for their struggles.

Another famous teen -turned- acclaimed actress who struggled with mental health issues is Drew Barrymore. Although way past her teen years, Barrymore struggled with drug abuse from a very young age - she went to a residential program at the age of 13. After her treatment, she eventually got back into acting and has since gone on to a successful career as actress and entrepreneur.

Research on Programs for Troubled Teens

Research evaluating the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy amongst a group of struggling teens. This research found that, with specific modifications to the therapeutic practicum, teens improved drastically in terms of motivation, attention span, impulse control, and their ability to learn. This therapy helped girls struggling with substance abuse and other mental health issue work through the underlying issues that were causing some of the other behavioral issues to begin with. Group Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program with Troubled Adolescents: A Learning Experience

Youth development programs are gaining prominence as a way to help adolescents become competent, engaged, and responsible adults. Many teens come to youth development programs struggling with depression, trauma, or substance use. Youth development programs provide teens with the opportunity to gain knowledge and insight into how to cope with the challenges they face in their daily lives. These programs are typically community based and can help struggling teens find success. Promoting Healthy Adolescents: Synthesis of Youth Development Program Evaluations

Programs for Troubled Teens Defined By

BlueFire Wilderness Therapy Helps Teens From:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, HawaiiIowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,Michigan, Minnesota, MississippiMissouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina,North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont,Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

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