Families never think that they are going to have a problem with a troubled youth. They may read about troubled youth in the newspaper or hear about it on the news, but surely they never envision themselves as having to deal with these kinds of issues. Good families with good values who are working hard to raise their son or daughter appropriately are finding themselves at a loss when they realize that their kids are not on track. They are frightened and bewildered and don’t know where to turn for help.
One of the most obvious sources of information on troubled youth is of course the internet. Yet that can sometimes lead families down the wrong path. If you are overwhelmed with fear and in a state of panic, facilities on the internet that promise quick and painless treatment for troubled youth can often feel like the answer. Looking at splashy photos of gorgeous treatment centers can sometimes lead families in a direction that could actually eat up their finances and do little else. When I take on a client I am especially aware of how expensive these programs can be. I don’t want to simply take a dart and throw it at a board. I want and need to have first hand knowledge of the program, and so should a family making a decision to place their child. That means working with someone who can give you an inside look at just what is going on in these programs, including who might be the best therapist to be working with your child, is it safe, worth the money and effective?
In order to know all of this, I spend about a third of my time travelling around the country to alternative programs for troubled youth. I am happy to report that I am encouraged by several of the programs that I see. The preconceived notion of what a residential facility for the troubled youth population is sometimes the complete opposite of what is actually available. I love working with the troubled youth population and look forward to working with families who need to feel that they are not alone and need a helping hand from an experienced professional.