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Teenagers in crisis – your family is NOT without hope

What is a therapeutic educational consultant?

I never knew you existed! This is what I often hear from my parents and families. I also hear this from local therapists, school counselors and substance abuse specialists.

Does the following sound familiar?

“I am out of ideas and running out of patience. I don’t know what to do.” “I don’t know who can help me or my family.” “My other kids are suffering, my marriage is suffering and I am suffering. “ “This has been going on for too long.”

Teenagers are naturally going through stages of independent growth and exploration. But, what about the ones who start making poor peer choices, using substances that interfere with school or relationships or even create dangerous situations or legal trouble?

What do we do to help teenagers who find their only relationships on a computer? How do we help a teenager who feels so depressed they discuss suicide or self-harm? Today’s teens feel acute anxiety. Do you know a young person suffering from anorexia, school refusal or the inability to leave the house? Today’s teens feel acute anxiety which can stifle what might otherwise be a brilliant young life.

The first step is almost always individual outpatient counseling. Family system’s therapy can also be successful and there are certainly local short-term rehabilitation and substance abuse programs. However, by the time a family faces an acute situation like my examples above, it is doubtful a local home-based program will solve the emotional and behavioral crisis.

That is where I come in. A therapeutic educational consultant is a specialist in outplacement programs for residential care and treatment. My focus in on kids 12-22. It is my job to know therapeutic programs, schools, wilderness and other types all over the country and the world which have specific methods and milieu for the presentation of the student and the family. After careful evaluation of the student including review of previous care, academics, neuropsychological or educational evaluations, I can help hit the reset button and unwind the tangled and disoriented family dynamic.

There are basically three types of outplacement: wilderness (outdoor behavioral health), acute adolescent psychiatric facilities, and therapeutic/residential treatment centers/schools. Substance abuse has overlap with all of these with their own subset of programs. Those over 18 have their own special treatment options as well.

There is no one course of treatment, no formula and no recipe. One size does NOT fit all.

I spend about 12 weeks a year visiting each program, learning about the therapeutic modalities, the academic program, the living situation, the nutrition, the physical education and recreation. By doing such, I have first-hand knowledge of what the program offers and how it will benefit each young person as an individual. Working with me is a partnership – I bring my expertise and you bring your family and loved one.

I know how scary and tough it can be for a parent to “send their kid away.” Trust me. I am one of you and I have had to make that decision. While I cannot know what it is like for you, my empathy is the foundation of my practice. Should you want to learn more about therapeutic educational consulting, please contact me directly at 415-887-8998.