Residential Treatment Centers That Help Recovering Teens

What Are Residential Treatment Centers and How Can They Help Teens Recover?


As new research continues to develop over time, the world of teen psychology is something that is constantly changing. In order to assure the best results possible, the best Residential Treatment Centers for teens are the ones that are able to consistently adapt their approach to treatment according to evidence, research, and feedback from their clients.


Every teenager is different and the treatment modalities that make the most sense for one individual may not be the ones that make the most sense for another. Because of this, there has been a significant movement away from the “one size fits all” treatment models of the past and towards the personalized treatment options of the future.


Effectively combatting and overcoming a mental health disorder may take a considerable amount of time. However, in many ways, it seems that our society is more open to talking about these common issues than ever before. As the stigmas surrounding mental health treatment begin to decrease—which will certainly still take a considerable amount of time—then more people will likely be open to getting the help that they deserve.


If you believe that your teenager is in need of outside help, then you should try to take immediate action. The road to recovery can often be long and difficult, but with the right resources, recovery is usually something that is well within reach. As the implementation of mental health treatment continues to improve, the likelihood of successful recovery will also improve as a result.


What is the purpose of a Residential Treatment Center?

Every year, more and more Residential Treatment Centers (RTC) open their doors across the United States. The purpose of an RTC is to offer your teenager the most comprehensive type of treatment available and to assure that recovery can be their top priority.


The typical stay at an residential facility will usually be a few weeks. However, depending on which mental health conditions are at play, these stays may be longer or shorter. From the moment your teen arrives at an RTC, a team of trained professionals will diagnose their current status and try to develop a customized treatment plan that can effectively address their needs.


There are many different reasons that a given individual may need to stay at a Residential Treatment Center. Some of the most common reasons for admission include substance abuse disorders, severe depression or suicidal behaviors, PTSD, various personality disorders, and numerous other problems that require the most intensive treatment options.


The goal of most RTCs is to not simply help your teenager in the present, but to also equip them with the tools needed to avoid conflict in the future. Because of this, there may be a very wide range of treatment modalities that are employed. If your teenager can leave an RTC ready to live their best life, then their admission there will be considered a success.


An Increased Emphasis on Dual Diagnosis

One of the best recent developments in the world of teen psychology has been the increased emphasis on dual diagnosis that can be observed throughout the industry. Dual diagnosis is an approach to mental health treatment that seeks to holistically address the whole person, rather than narrowly focusing on a single mental health condition at a time.


Unsurprisingly, individuals who suffer from one mental health condition are more likely to be suffering from another. Because of the strong emphasis placed on evidence-driven treatment within the teen psychology community, the incorporation of dual diagnosis was seemingly inevitable. For example, there often exists a negative feedback loop between substance abuse and depression. Individuals who are depressed are more likely to abuse substances and vice versa. By focusing on both conditions at the same time, RTCs have found they are more likely to create results that actually last.


Dual diagnosis is not a treatment modality of its own, rather, it is an approach to treatment that makes it easier to create productive outcomes. Individuals who are diagnosed with multiple different mental health disorders may need to be receiving multiple treatment types at once. One of the primary benefits of using a Residential Treatment Center during the recovery process is that they can provide the resources and attention necessary in order to enable a comprehensive recovery.


Personalized Care to Create the Best Results

For a significant amount of time, the teen psychology community would place a strong emphasis on using the same treatment options for each of their clients. Though using evidence-based treatments has always been a strong tradition within the community, many clinics have had a history of only using a certain type of treatment, rather than considering the other options that are available.


Fortunately, there has been a shift away from this mindset and a shift towards offering an increasingly personalized level of care. By taking the time to understand each individual, teen psychiatric clinics will be more likely to create the best results possible. Usually, treatment will begin with an extensive series of questions that can help the clinicians better understand the situation. Even if an individual has a substance abuse disorder identical to the person who is in the room next to them, they may have an entirely different set of needs when it comes to actually receiving treatment.


Implementing Experiential Treatment Options

Another new development in the world of teen psychology has been an increased focus on something known as experiential treatment. Experiential Treatment is an approach that involves striving to create positive outcomes through the external introduction of positive experiences. By taking the time to engage in creative and productive activities such as art, music, poetry, surfing, hiking, yoga, journaling, and others, your teen can begin to establish a superior state of mental health.


Experiential treatment options are rarely used instead of traditional treatment modalities, rather, they are often used in addition to the types of treatment your teenager is likely to receive. One of the best benefits of experiential treatment is that it may introduce your teenager to a hobby or interest they would have otherwise not had exposure to. Once they have left the Residential Treatment Center, they will then have the ability to effectively deal with future sources of conflict as they inevitably arise.


Acknowledging the Unique Needs of Gender and Sexual Minorities

Though the existence of gender and sexual minorities is something that is well-known to have existed throughout human history, research on the unique challenges that these individuals face has typically remained quite limited. However, over the past few years, psychologists across the world have been placing an increased emphasis on creating personalized treatments for them in order to get the best results.


Gender dysphoria is a very real condition that may sometimes require treatment options that are different from others experiencing otherwise similar states of being. Due to developments in the world of teen psychology, addressing the unique needs of gender and sexual minorities can help decrease problems such as above average suicide rates and patterns of self harm. Creating an environment of love, respect, and acceptance is the surest way to help people feel comfortable with who they are.


Increased Presence of Online Resources

In addition to all of the wonderful developments mentioned above, the increased presence of online resources has consequently made access to various psychological services easier than ever before. From the comfort of your own home, you can now access a wealth of relevant psychological information. This makes it significantly easier to know if a stay at a Residential Treatment Center may be in your teenager’s best interest.


Furthermore, having access to online resources can also make it easier for your teen to maintain their recovery once they have left the RTC. The importance of having access to resources post-treatment should not be overlooked. Being able to communicate with relevant individuals, find information, and learn more about the recovery process can all contribute to assuring that positive outcomes are sustained.



The recent developments in the world of teen psychology are far reaching and very exciting. As time goes on, the presence of online resources, the use of dual diagnosis, and the ability of Teen Treatment Centers to address the whole person at once will surely increase. Though having a teen who is suffering from any mental health condition in the status quo can often be challenging, these recent improvements in treatment options give parents plenty of reasons to have hope.