If you are a parent hoping to find the best residential treatment center for son or daughter, you might be overwhelmed with the number of choices you have. While every place you encounter may claim to be “the best”, the fact of the matter is that while many centers provide great service, other ones do not.
Whether your teen is suffering from a substance abuse disorder, patterns of self-harm, depression, PTSD, anxiety, or any other serious mental condition, the choice you make in residential care is very important. The optimal residential facility is going to be one that is willing to be completely transparent, work to create a customized solution for your teen, and is willing to answer any questions you may have along the way.
As a parent, you have every right to be skeptical of the kind of treatment your teenager is receiving. Here are some important ways you can find the best teen treatment centers:
Investigate their accreditations.
In the world of teen psychology, accreditations are very important. Accreditations not only show that there is there some source of objective authority claiming the treatment center is legitimate. They also show the staff has received the education and training needed to be effective.
Though the credentials you should be checking for depending on your teen’s specific condition and required treatment, here a few common credentials you should be looking for the staff to possess:
- LADC (licensed alcohol and drug counselor)
- LPC (licensed professional counselor)
- CAC (certified addictions counselor)
- CCDP (certified co-occurring disorders counselor)
In addition to the staff, you also want to be sure that the treatment center itself is formally certified. Examples of institutional accreditation programs include the Joint Commission, the National Committee for Quality Assurance, and numerous others. Most reputable places will mention these accreditations on their websites, but if you can’t find them there, it is important to ask.
Ask to do an in-person visit before making any commitments.
There are several reasons why it is important to personally visit a prospective treatment care facility prior to filling out paperwork. Not only will you be able to get a better understanding of the quality of care they provide there, but—because you know your teen better than anyone working there—you will also be able to determine if you think the place will be a good fit for them.
There is no reason to leave anything to chance. While visiting, it is a good idea to investigate the quality of the care, the personality of the staff and the different types of modalities currently offer.
Be sure to ask a lot of questions.
Honest admissions staff won’t be annoyed with excessive questions. They are trained to effectively communicate with parents, and they are fully aware you just want what is best for them. Some good questions to ask might include:
- Why should we choose this specific treatment center?
- Are you willing to work with our insurance company?
- Are your treatment modalities supported by clinical trials? What is your success rate?
- What is the patient-to-counselor ratio? What is the patient-to-staff ratio?
- What are the different treatment types that you offer?
- What will an average day for my teenager be like here?
- Are the treatments gender specific?
- How are you able to provide individualized care?
- What kind of help is available for families?
- What kinds of follow-up treatment do you offer?
Look for a place that offers a wide variety of treatment options.
Because every individual is unique, they are likely going to require very individualized care. The best treatment centers are the ones that are willing to get to know your teen and find a lasting solution that will work to address their specific needs. When it comes to the psychological well-being of a unique individual, a one size fits all approach simply isn’t going to cut it. Some worthwhile treatment modalities to investigate include:
- Individual counseling, group counseling, family counseling
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Experiential Treatment
- Somatic Experiencing
- 12-Step Programs
- Long-term and dynamic care that is able to utilize multiple of these and others
The best treatment types are adaptive and multi-dimensional. We each exist with a diverse set of physical, psychological, spiritual, social, and mental needs. Any mental health or rehab center that is worthy of your attention will be able to effectively address all of these needs at once. Healing from any debilitating condition is an ongoing and demanding process—the treatment you get in response ought to be, too.