This blog was co-written by our Director of Family Services, Kari Bouldin, MA, LMFT.
One of the main reasons many families delay sending their teen to treatment is the location of the facility. Oftentimes, parents find that the treatment center that would work best for their child and family is not around the corner; it is a few hours or even a plane ride away. Although this can be scary for parents of a teen who is already struggling, there are more benefits than not when teens attend a treatment facility that isn’t local. Our Director of Family Services urges families to think of it this way:
“If your child was diagnosed with a medical disorder and the best treatment was a distance away, wouldn’t you do whatever you could to get them there? Would you settle for less than the best just so they were close by? No, so why is this any different?”
As discussed in, “Don’t Delay Sending Your Teen to Treatment: Part 1,” choosing to keep teens in the same area also keeps them surrounded by the people, places and things they have built this lifestyle around. Taking teens out of their environment removes them from the access to drugs and/or alcohol as well as the triggers causing them to behave this way. Another major fear is that teens will be inclined to attempt to leave the facility if they know their home is close by. Likewise, parents may feel too tempted to “rescue” their teen if they are having a bad day, which disrupts any progress a teen has made.
Although it may be difficult, if sending a teen to a facility that isn’t local means they will receive the best care and treatment available, it will always be worth it.
Taking the Distance Out of Residential Treatment
Many parents share concerns about not being able to have as much contact with their teen if they aren’t at a local facility. At Teen Treatment Center, we want parents to be part of the treatment process, and that wouldn’t be possible without knowing what is happening and how their child is doing.
When teens arrive at our facility, they have a 24 hour window to make call to their parents to let them know they are safe in our care. After this, parents have the opportunity to touch base with their son or daughter at least twice per week. As time goes on, the length of the calls will be extended. The main reason for this is that while in treatment, we want teens to stay focused on the healing process rather than what is going on at home. Parents will also hear from a variety of our staff members including their family therapist, primary therapist and sometimes even our nurses and teachers, if appropriate.
During the first few days of treatment, our family therapists lay the groundwork with all parents to provide support, understanding, care and a listening ear throughout their teen’s stay. Our family therapists are available for phone and video conferences to talk through anything parents are feeling.
“You are not going to go through this emotional journey without frequent care and support. You have someone you can pick up the phone and call.” –Director of Family Services, Kari Bouldin
Our focus is to not only restore your teen, but to restore your family as well. By having parents involved in the treatment process, it not only eliminates the distance factor, but also gives teens a higher chance of staying on the right path once they return home.
If location is the main reason you are delaying sending your teen to treatment, we urge you to reach out to our team of caring professionals to discuss your concerns. Not only will we make sure your teen arrives safely at our facility, we will provide you with a support system to get through this difficult time. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays to answer any questions you may have: (877) 960-1422.
- Don't Delay Sending Your Teen to Treatment: Unwillingness
- Am I Enabling my Teen?
- The Admission Process at Teen Treatment Center