Troubled Girl’s Journey in Treatment
Treatment for troubled teen girls is a life-changing journey for emotionally disturbed teenagers. All troubled teen girls have similar patterns of behavior. With these patterns in mind, Trinity Teen Solutions has designed experiential learning activities that will minimize the behaviors that are destroying your daughter’s life. At the same time, these experiential learning activities will increase her adolescent self esteem, enhance her unique personality and her hidden gifts. We have found that “talk” therapy alone is ineffective. Parents agree, they have talked till they are blue in the face, and have tried an array of counseling and therapy techniques to help their daughter. To approach emotionally disturbed teenagers, we use a variety of approaches that will ensure her compliance with minimal resistance.
Your daughter will want to be compliant with the program provided by Trinity just to increase her comfort level and meet her needs. Living in rustic cabins, working with and riding horses, performing ranch work and daily chores, and taking care of animals is a foreign way of life for most girls. Your daughter will need to depend on the staff to learn; if she resists, then her discomfort increases. This process immediately brings her closer to the staff and more receptive to learn new templates of behavior. This process builds adolescent self-esteem, encourages trust and a loving relationship within the “community” which is made up of staff and clients.
The typical girl’s journey at our program is one that will enrich her mind, body and soul. Each girl needs to go through these stages in order to internalize the changes that she needs to make. The length of time that each girl remains in each of the stages varies according to her unique situation and background. The average girl takes about 18 months to move through these stages effectively.
There are Four Stages of Emotional Growth During the Journey of our Treatment Program
First, emotionally disturbed teenagers are in shock and disbelief that their parents did something about her behavior. This shock is the best consequence for her out-of-control behavior. You are sending a clear signal that this kind of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
When she first arrives at Trinity her emotions and behavior will vary from anger, loneliness, sadness, remorse, manipulation, lying, and depression. During this time, she is the most vulnerable and will reach for something to make her comfortable again. It is amazing how even the hardest heart softens when it is distraught. As a means to provide help for troubled teens we encourage her to turn to God during this time to ease her discomfort. This is an important stage in preparing troubled teen girls to internalize the changes that she needs to make. She will want to make changes in her behavior because of her relationship with God, motivates her.
The next step is anger. Troubled girls will blame their parents, family, school, friends and everyone around them for their actions. The length of time that troubled teens spend in anger varies from one week up to months, depending on her history. Our mission is to get her to move from anger and blame to accountability. In order for her to begin to change her behavior, she needs to take accountability for it.
The next stage is remorse. This occurs when the troubled teen feels sadness and remorse for her behavior. At this time, she takes accountability for her actions and sees the impact she has had on her loved ones and herself. When a girl feels remorse and processes the magnitude of her behavior she will not want to repeat them. This is when she is seeking help for her troubled teen behaviors, is open to change and wants to learn the tools to accomplish it. We feel that this is an important stage to turn the dial up on her conscience so that she is less apt to repeat the emotionally disturbed teenager behaviors you have been dealing with.
When a girl is going through this stage it is imperative to allow healthy outlets for remorse by crying, talking with staff, writing letters, physical work and being with animals that she has bonded with. We also focus on experiential learning activities that she enjoys to build a healthy adolescent self-esteem and hope for the future.
After remorse the girl now moves into action. Developing new habits of behavior on the old destructive behavioral templates takes time when providing help for troubled teen girls. This stage is lengthy and will give her the tools and values that she will need for her discharge. Most girls during this stage have successes and failures. It is important for them to fail so that they can learn how to pick themselves back up again. During this stage she will become over-confident and think that she has nothing more to learn. Usually this is when she fails and repeats some of the troubled teen girls’ behaviors that got her here, particularly lying or manipulating. We think that this failure is important for her development to strengthen some of the basic values that she needs. For example: she would repeatedly work on self-discipline, by controlling her emotions and using her intellect to make decisions, rather than doing “what feels good”. The longer that we can work with a girl in this stage the better she will be equipped to handle the pressures of society on discharge.