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Troubled Teens Self Development Programs and Residential Camps

May 12, 2015

Self-development and leadership programs for troubled teens

Programs for troubled teens focus on developing self-confidence, self-esteem, self-motivation and leadership in teenagers who may be in crisis or who are struggling.

The programs may offer a variety of activities including team building activities, sports activities, dance lessons, learning new skills and educational or academic based activities. Some programs also offer teens the opportunity to participate in community services.

Residential ‘tough love’ programs and boot camps

Some types of self development programs offer a ‘tough love’ approach to dealing with troubled teens. They are similar to ‘boot camps’ used by the army to train soldiers. Boot camps have been shown to be an effective means of treating misbehavior in some troubled teens. However, publicity surrounding the adverse nature of handling teens in these camps has generated concerns over the efficacy and safety of teens in the camps. There have also been cases of physical and emotional abuse leading to deaths of teens in some camps.

Are self-development programs or residential camps suitable for your troubled teen?

Your decision making process should involve the following:

  • your reasons for wanting your teen to attend the program or the camp
  • whether a program or camp is necessary to change your teen’s behavior
  • whether your teen is willing to attend the program or camp.

Self development and leadership programs that teach teenagers about self-confidence, self-love and self-motivation in a caring and emphatic manner are generally very beneficial to teens. Many research and studies on the treatment of behavior or mental health disorders have shown that helping teens set boundaries for themselves and becoming role models to other teens or younger children are effective to reduce the risk of misbehavior in teenagers.

On the other hand, in most cases, ‘tough love’ boot camps are not necessary. Family therapy or cognitive behavior therapy will be sufficient for the teen. Individualized therapy will more often be appropriate as such therapy focuses on the teen and the issues faced by the teen, rather than having a ‘one size fits all’ approach used in boot camps.