You just want so desperately to see your child happy, content, and safe and to watch them reach their full potential and succeed in obtaining everything they desire in life. This is in the heart of every parent ever. But what you want is not always possible to achieve. So, if right now, you feel so defeated that you wonder if success will ever be possible for your child, take some time to inform yourself fully. You may feel in your heart that if they continue on the self-destructive path they are on right now, they’ll miss out on every chance they’re given to succeed.
I guess I was vaguely aware of something known as the Troubled Teen Industry. Programs like Outward Bound which began in 1962. In the case of that organization I read – the fatalities—cardiac arrests, mountaineering falls, drowning, hypothermia—have not been widely publicized, and the company has never been held liable for a death by a judge and jury. I found this article at LINK>The Adventure Blog titled Controversy At Outward Bound! from as recently as 2021 by Kraig Becker that may be worth the time, if you are considering such a program.
Actually today’s blog started at LINK>An Open Letter to Families Considering the Troubled Teen Industry by Blythe Baird. Certainly, the teen years can be challenging. I am grateful that it has not been the case with my sons (now 18 and 22) but I do remember some challenging moments with my daughter, who was being raised by her dad and a step-mother. Not to worry anyone – she turned out to be an amazing adult and a wonderful mother to her two children (always an inspiration for me, when I was around to see it).
Googling the term – Troubled Teen Industry – I found another site – LINK>unsilenced.org. They note that – Every year, thousands of children are sent against their will – often ripped out of their beds in the middle of the night by strangers – to private facilities to be treated for various mental illnesses, addiction issues, and perceived behavioral problems. Due to inconsistencies in the definition of what a therapeutic program is and a lack of regulatory oversight, the exact number of these centers and children in them is not known but it is estimated that there is over 120,000+ children kept in over 5,000+ centers around the United States and abroad. This is collectively known as the “Troubled Teen Industry.” Also noted is that the industry represents a multi-billion-dollar industry in the United States. The programs market themselves to parents, therapists, state and judicial agencies, and insurance companies as providers of therapeutic treatment for almost every problem. The cost of these programs ranges from $5,000-30,000 a month with an indefinite internment timeframe.
Adoptees and youth who have spent time in foster care arrive into any home they are placed in with trauma and that can certainly lead to behaviors that the “parents” are unequipped to deal with. Trauma Informed Therapists are crucial in these situations and must be carefully vetted that they don’t do more damage than good. You may wish to read more – LINK>What Is Trauma-Informed Therapy? Do this for the child you care about before you send them off to hell.