The ability to assess and intervene while teens are still in their home environment.
The convenience of having regular access to parents, friends, and extended family in the lives of the student.
The teen can practice their therapeutic assignments where they struggle most.
Disadvantages of Outpatient Treatment
The teen knows that in one hour or less they will leave.
Teens struggle to trust and see the therapist as an extension of parental authority.
There is no disruption of unhealthy patterns of behavior.
Often, teens enter therapy under duress from parents. When this happens, teens often won’t be motivation to work through assignments or engage in the treatment process.
Advantages of Residential Treatment
The teen is away from an often toxic environment. This disrupts unhealthy patterns and allows for a change in thinking. Back home, it is hard to change when a teen feels that they are struggling for emotional safety on a day-to-day basis.
The teen starts to contemplate the need for change and over time starts to engage in the therapeutic process.
The therapist is around the teen in a number of different settings, which helps the therapist gain better insight into the problems that the teen faces.
The teen comes to rely on the therapist for things that don’t exist in an outpatient setting. This allows a strong therapeutic relationship to develop at a faster pace.
The therapy is more intensive, which helps teens accomplish more in their therapeutic progress in a shorter amount of time.
The teen is exposed to a number of different therapeutic interventions on a week-to-week basis, which helps therapists individualize and customize the therapeutic process.
The teen is in an environment where they are safe from their previous unhealthy and destructive behaviors.
Disadvantages of Residential Treatment
Separation from family is difficult.
Residential is more costly than outpatient therapy.
The residential therapeutic environment is somewhat sheltered, which means that specific efforts have to be made to prepare for a healthy transition back home.