Residential Treatment Centers or RTCs offer 24/7 behavioral and emotional support for teens suffering from clinically complex emotional, behavioral, or psychological issues. They are considered medical facilities and operate an accredited high school that plays an important role in the teen’s daily treatment. As a result, youth can receive the physical, emotional, behavioral, familial, and social support they require 24/7 without falling behind on their studies.

If you are seeking a suitable treatment for your teen, you may be wondering if a residential treatment center is the right option for you and your child. Read on to learn more about how residential treatment centers function, brought to you by Telos, a leading teen youth center for over 20 years.

What is a Residential Treatment Center for Youth?

Residential treatment centers provide live-in programs for youth with complex emotional and behavioral issues. Teens live temporarily at the youth treatment center to ensure they receive proper monitoring and supervision by trained staff when they haven’t responded to outpatient treatment or require follow-up care after inpatient psychiatric care.

What Types of Treatment are Offered at a Residential Treatment Center for Youth?

Examples of programs and treatments at youth treatment centers include:

  • Emotional, behavioral, medical, educational, and social assessments to determine the best approach to treatment
  • Individualized Treatment and Education Plans that help teens reach certain goals
  • A combination of individual and group therapy
  • Psychiatric care
  • Family support systems, including family therapy and visits
  • Home passes
  • Coping skills to deal with emotional and behavioral issues
  • Ongoing monitoring to ensure each teen receives the best interventions
  • Determinations when teens are ready to move on to a therapeutic boarding school (TBS) or go home

When Should You Consider Placement with a Residential Treatment Center?

There are several scenarios where you might consider placing your teen with a residential treatment center, including:

  • Substance abuse relapse: Teens who struggle to remain sober and experience relapses often see better results in a residential program.
  • You can’t provide adequate support: If you find you are unable to provide adequate support for your teen and are concerned for their well-being, a residential option could be best.
  • Dual diagnosis: A dual diagnosis of mental health issues and substance abuse requires ongoing monitoring, counseling and care using intensive programs available in RTCs.
  • Poor outpatient programs in your area: If the limited outpatient programs in your area are failing your teen, an RTC provides a higher level of mental health care.
  • Fear for your family’s or teen’s safety: When your teen’s behavior presents safety issues, whether related to violence, verbal abuse, concerns of self-harm or exposure to dangerous substances for younger children, escalating risks, call for 24/7 monitoring at a residential treatment center.
  • Professional recommendation: Your teen’s therapist, doctor, counselor, or other professionals might recommend placement if they find their behavior warrants it.

What are the Benefits of Residential Treatment Centers for Youth?

There are several benefits to RTCs for teens, including:

  • Separation from peers: Removing your teen from their current situation reduces exposure to bad influences such as peers and friends so they can find a safe place to heal and pursue recovery.
  • A change of situation: Teens are often relieved to be removed from their current situation so they can overcome emotional challenges related to their circumstances. A change of scenery in a safe environment presents a new point of view and allows them to find new support from experienced professionals who can help them change.
  • Recognize family love and support: Teens often get caught up in their own issues and can’t see the love and support right in front of them. This often results from parents not understanding how to help, leading to arguments, confrontation and emotionally draining situations. A new environment allows everyone time to heal while teaching you and your teen how to communicate. Family therapy helps create empathy so everyone understands each other’s point of view.
  • Not falling behind: In a structured environment, your teen receives the treatment and support they require without missing out on their schoolwork. They can continue to thrive and get back on track to enjoy academic success.

Does My Child Need a Residential Treatment Center or Therapeutic Boarding School?

Residential Treatment Centers (RTCs) focus on clinical and diagnostic services for troubled teens with a team of medical and psychological professionals. Although accredited for education, the level of care at a youth treatment center is focused on more complex situations where a combination of medical treatments, cognitive therapies, and academic support allows your teen to thrive.

Once your child achieves their treatment goals, they can transition to therapeutic boarding schools where a structured approach to education and ongoing treatments are provided in a less clinical environment.

If you are concerned about your child, click here to speak to our caring and knowledgeable admissions staff to discuss the process and determine if Telos is a good fit for their needs. We offer both TBS and RTC options and can assess your teen to determine the best solution.