Long-Term Residential Treatment
People with deep-rooted emotional, behavioral, or psychiatric issues that need help may benefit from long-term residential treatment. Long-term residential treatment is considered to be treatment that lasts six months or longer. Although programs may vary, generally most long-term residential treatment programs offer highly-structured programs that provide therapeutic support for each teen in the program.
The benefits of long-term residential treatment include:
- A collaborative environment where trained therapists, psychiatrists, nurses, residential staff and others meet regularly to discuss the individual needs of each student. This allows students to receive specialized care tailored to his/her unique situation and needs.
- A supportive structure that helps teens manage daily life tasks such as academics, taking medication, practicing good self-care, etc.
- Individual, family, and group therapy sessions that foster growth and understanding and promote healing.
- Students are able to learn personal responsibility as they see how their actions impact others around them.
- Students learn to support one another and form healing relationships.
- Students are encouraged to adopt positive values that give them a framework for healthy living and overall quality of life.
As residential treatment programs are intensive and structured, students can achieve long-lasting healing that may not be possible for them in traditional outpatient therapeutic settings. Although outcomes may vary from program to program, some studies suggest that long-term residential treatment leads to lasting change more often than outpatient therapeutic settings. This is likely due to the structured nature of these programs; for example, taking medication regularly or attending weekly therapy sessions is much easier when it’s a required part of a daily routine.
Many long-term residential treatment programs also provide resources and help for the transition back home as this can be overwhelming. Transition resources may include in-home visits, outpatient therapy, or coaching to help with school/vocational goals, but transition support will vary from program to program.
When looking for a long-term residential treatment program, tour the facility and meet with the treatment staff to get a sense of the program’s goals, structure, staff, and therapeutic style. You’ll want to look for a program that best matches your teen’s needs, interests and values. Some long-term residential treatment programs may have specialized services to meet individual needs such as a girls-only program or a program that focuses on treating substance abuse issues. Research programs thoroughly to find the best fit for your teen.
Long-term residential treatment can be a haven of personal growth, healing and lasting change for residents who are committed to learning healthy coping and management skills for their challenges.