How to Prepare for a Residential Treatment Center for Teens

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Preparing your teen and yourself for placement in a residential center for teens is more about the emotional challenges you’ll face than the packing. In fact, to best prepare your teenager for a stay in a residential treatment center, there are a few things you’ll want to consider to make the transition easier. For ways that you can help your adolescent during these challenging times, read on.

Honest Conversations


One of the best things you can do for your child when considering a residential teen center placement is to earn and maintain their trust. If you think your teen needs to spend some time in a residential treatment center for teens like Polaris Teen’s personalized treatment programs to get the help they deserve, the first thing to do is have an honest conversation. While your child might not agree with you that they need anger management or help with an eating disorder, the truth is that if you stay calm and speak to them with compassion about their fears and anxieties and validate their concerns, you’ll be one step closer to an improvement when it comes to their mental health issues.

When talking to your teen about why you believe they need to spend time in a residential facility, it’s important to understand what the clinical team can offer your child. Able to treat everything from personality disorders to any mental health condition or substance abuse issue out there, these fantastic centers can give your child what they need to live healthier, happier lives. When talking to your teen about your decisions, be sure to explain to them what your hopes and dreams for their future are. Ask them about theirs, too. You might be surprised to learn that you and your teen are closer together in your ideals and goals than you thought.

Ongoing Support From Home


Whether your teen agrees that they need intensive help or not, it’s a good idea to remind them that they’ll always have support from home. Do what you can to set short-term goals and talk about why your family will be in a better place when they come home.

One way to show your support is to lead by example. If you have mental health challenges of your own, now is a good time to get your own individual treatment plan with a therapist so you can work on the complex issues many adults push down.

Family Therapy and Relationships


Most residential treatment centers offer family therapy with a trained MFT who can help struggling teens with communicating their concerns to the family. Do what you can to be open-minded when meeting with this therapist. While your teenager might be the identified patient, the reality is that families are systems, and what impacts your child is impacting you and any other children in the home.

Ask your family therapist about ways you and others in your home can provide unconditional love and support before, during, and after the inpatient program. Consider asking your current doctor, health care provider, therapist, or other professionals like teachers what they think you could do to support your child, too. No one has to do this alone, including your teenager.

At the end of the day, putting your child in adolescent treatment will be stressful for all. However, you can make the transition easier through good communication and serving as constant support. Be sure to get help for yourself if you’re struggling with this big transition and remember that your choices are being made in your teen’s best interest. Better times are ahead! When your teen leaves adolescent treatment, they’ll be better prepared to tackle adulthood in a healthy way.