How to Get Help for Out of Control Teens

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It is not unusual for teenagers to exercise their independence by exhibiting rebellious behavior. Child behavior specialists recommend that parents act like parents throughout the life of children in order to ensure the health, safety and well-being of youngsters by setting guidelines. Parents must also choose their battles carefully. Resist the urge to become over controlling and judgmental. However, when teens exhibit risk-taking behaviors, sometimes parents need outside assistance. Taking the steps to reach out for professional intervention may save a teen from endangering themselves, others or prevent a life of crime.

Consider Therapy

A family therapist may play a vital role in bringing a family together and helping a teen. Scheduled therapy sessions enable a teen the chance to express and work on issues when they are unable or unwilling to discuss problems with a parent. Through therapy, teens also gain the skills needed to identify and change destructive behaviors in addition to establishing more constructive ways to deal with personal problems. Do the research and find a therapist familiar with your family's specific problem.

Treatment for Underlying Issues

Uncovering possible mental health concerns is another good reason for seeking help from a therapist. While in therapy, a practitioner may identify that a teen is suffering from ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder or other emotional or mental health problems that are contributing to risky behavior. With counseling and proper medication intervention, a teen's personality may turn 180 degrees in the opposite direction,

Wilderness Programs

Wilderness programs are therapeutic options for teens attracted to getting into trouble. Various programs last from two to 12 weeks and combine therapy with outdoor wilderness training. Under the supervision of trained camp counselors, each teen must assume responsibility for preparing personal meals, creating a camp site, and learn how to work as a team with other camp members. Free of the distractions of normal life, teens feel vulnerable after being humbled, confront personal issues and build self-confidence.

Long-Term Placement

Teens diagnosed as having alcohol or drug abuse problems may need rehabilitation in a treatment facility. Programs extend anywhere from 28 days to 12 months. While residing in a treatment facility, teens are removed from environmental temptations, continue their education and discover the reasons why they fell victim to substance abuse. Clients also attend personal and group counseling sessions where they learn the skills necessary to overcome the temptations to fall back into alcohol or drug use. Many facilities also encourage family counseling, which equips family members with the knowledge needed to support struggling recovering addicts while strengthening family bonds by addressing problems.

Depending on the teen and the situation, parents might also consider enrolling the youth in a military academy where they live under a structured and supervised environment. During attendance, teens learn responsibility, self-discipline and various skills while required to attend conventional educational classes.


Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "How to Get Help for Out of Control Teens," in, January 26, 2016, (accessed October 4, 2022).