Military Schools And Boot Camps For Teens

When teens don’t know how to address their emotions, it can (and usually does) manifest as aggression and/or anger. This can be a complicated, confusing issue for parents to handle and it might leave you feeling helpless. When you’ve tried everything and can’t seem to get through to your teen, it is common to turn to a boot camp-structured program as a last resort. You may be wondering: “Is there a better option for my child?” We’re here to tell you that there is.

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Boot Camp And Military-Style Programs: Short-Term Solutions?

Boot camps and military-style programs put teens through intensive regimens designed to give them little-to-no option to resist. These are short-term programs that usually produce a change in surface-level behavior with a short turnaround time. Teens are pushed to their physical limits and extremes and are forced to respect authority or be punished. This method may work for teens that want to be there or only have a problem with discipline rather than mental health problems. But, for teens who are genuinely struggling, the boot camp environment often causes them to suppress and hide their anger and other behaviors rather than fully change them.


There Is A Better Option: Wilderness Therapy Program

Wilderness therapy programs such as RedCliff Ascent are more effective than boot camp programs. While military schools and boot camps seem to produce immediate behavioral changes, they do not support the long-lasting effects and mental shifts that wilderness therapy does. Wilderness therapy programs utilize a clinical model and have highly trained mental health professionals trained to help teens in crisis. Wilderness therapy also involves the entire family in the treatment plan rather than isolating the teen in a battle of willpower. Boot camps also do not include coping skills in their treatment, which means that when the teen returns home, they are more likely to regress and be unable to manage their deeper-rooted problems. Enrolling your teen in a wilderness program that will target the root cause of their behavior rather than just the behavior itself will provide a healthier, long-lasting healing process that will be effective in their personal life as well as the family dynamic.

RedCliff Ascent therapy out in the field 2

When Your Teen Needs Help. Choose The Right Program.

Getting help for your teen should be a top priority, but it is important to choose the right program. There are several options when it comes to choosing where to send your teen, one of which is wilderness programs such as RedCliff Ascent. Wilderness therapy uses treatment plans that are created for the specific set of challenges each teen faces on an individual level. Placing your teen in a harsh, overly-disciplined setting like a boot camp will not bring the long-term results and growth you’re hoping for. The effectiveness of such programs are debatable long-term.

RedCliff Ascent Grad hug