Troubled Teen Counseling at our Therapeutic Christian Boarding School
Help With Your Troubled Teens
Most students at our therapeutic boarding school have had years of counseling, but have little to no improvement to show for it. This lack of results is often what has led parents to research more intensive programming such as teen military boot camps. Troubled Teen Counseling at Caribbean Mountain Academy takes a completely different approach.
When a teen first enters our program, they have usually built emotional walls that make progress in a traditional counseling setting nearly impossible. However, at Caribbean Mountain Academy, troubled teens are exposed to people, places, and concepts through their service to the Dominican people that they never knew existed before they arrived. Through these experiences, their perspective on life, values, and relationships begins to change and slowly, the walls come down.
As this happens and a teen makes a personal decision to live their life differently, counseling truly becomes effective! At this point, students look at their counselor as a partner in helping to achieve their goals, rather than someone trying to convince them to be someone they do not want to be. Our therapists are then able to walk with our students through this process, addressing issues that arise and giving them tools to sustain the lessons they’ve learned throughout the rest of their life.
Each resident meets once a week with a licensed master’s level counselor. In addition, residents are involved in group therapy meetings twice weekly.
Below are some examples of the type of specific issues our counseling sessions may address:
- Developing improved relationship skills
- Learning to support and encourage one another
- Beginning to honestly evaluate oneself
- Dealing with attachment disorders, such as Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
- Anger-management skills
- Appropriate responses to authority
Our goal is not to force a child to conform or comply with certain behaviors, like a troubled teen boot camp environment might, but rather to help them see the value of making good choices. When a child consistently makes good choices, our team will not only praise them, but also move them up to the next “level” of our system. The higher the level, the greater the privileges earned.
Level reviews occur each month. If a student goes two months without making the next level, their counselor will develop a written plan specific to that student as a guideline to help them move forward to the next level.
Overall, our counseling and behavior programs encourage and promote positive behaviors by offering privileges for positive progress. Students are never harshly punished for misbehaving, but rather will lose or gain privileges based on their behavior.
Whereas the actual counseling program utilizes masters level counselors, much more counseling “simply happens” with our in-house residential staff members, who take advantage of opportunities to deepen relationships with the residents and work with them through day to day moments to resolve conflict, problem solve, grow, and change. To put it differently, our therapeutic Christian boarding school setting, coupled with intentional counseling sessions, fosters an integrated approach that is not limited to just the classroom or designated counseling sessions. Essentially, every interaction is a learning opportunity for your child to acquire more interpersonal skills that will not only aid in resolution for the family, but also will equip them for life.