Choosing the Best Troubled Teen Program

Deciding on a troubled teen program, firstly, requires you to have a somewhat complete understanding of your teen’s problem(s). And so it’s important to not only observe, but to also talk to your teen.

After having done that, you then need to turn your attention to the service which is required…

Questions that you need to ask before choosing a program are the following:

  • How much does the program cost?
  • Is it single sex or coed?
  • How small are the classes of this troubled teen program?
  • Will my teenager get private counselling or will it just be group counselling?
  • How far is it away from home?


stressed boy leaning against a wall


It’s very important that the program have private counselling. The teenager should be assessed. His emotional wellbeing, psychological state and academic abilities should be assessed. This stage of the program can take up to six months. The program should offer this. If it doesn’t then you should think twice about choosing it.

Through private counselling, your teenager will be taught coping skills and communication skills. He will also be taught social skills. Some programs also serve as drug rehab centers.


Group counselling is usually done outside the classroom. Most troubled teen boarding schools offer therapeutic group counselling. The students do team activities outside the classroom. This type of counselling is not military style like boot camps. It’s more about building relationships and learning communication skills.

troubled boy sitting wearing a black hat

Some parents choose to send their teens to boot camps. These are military style. Their aim is to teach respect for authority. The disadvantage of boot camps is that most do not offer private counselling.

It’s important to know your teen’s stress handling when choosing a suitable program. You don’t want to send him to a boot camp where he’ll be crying all time.

Distance from Home

Some troubled teen programs involve parents in the counselling. This family counselling is to ensure that the success achieved at the program, will also show at home. So if family counselling is included as part of the program, then you may want to choose a troubled teen program that’s not too far from home.

"Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently." -- William A. Ward

Class Size

You don’t want your teen to miss out on a year of schooling. Maybe she can catch up if she misses a month but more than that is too much. So you must check it the program offers schooling. Boarding school programs offer schooling. Do thorough research on the school. Check if the school is registered with the board that it claims it is.


Deciding on a single sex or a coed program depends on how well you know your teen. If you think he/she will be distracted by the opposite sex then choose single sex. If you think that social interaction with the opposite sex will be good for your teen then go for coed.

face of a depressed girl smoking

Take your time when deciding on the best troubled teen program for your child. You don’t have to go for the most expensive one. Visit the place to get a feel of the environment.

Some programs are expensive because they offer five star accommodations. This is not necessary.

Consider the points which I have outlined above. As long as your teen will be safe and helped, then that is the right one. Make sure that the environment is at least of the same standard as home. However, don’t necessarily go for five star.

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