Now that the school year has ended, many teenagers are spending time with their friends and working at a summer job or internship. For some teenagers, however, summer is a long stretch of unstructured, unsupervised time when they may end up making choices that negatively impact them and their families.
These teenagers may be struggling with various learning differences, health issues or psychological challenges and therefore may have trouble keeping a job or attending traditional summer camp. For these teens, Pacific Quest offers an outdoor therapeutic program during the summer that can help troubled teens learn positive, productive ways to handle the challenges they face.
What is a Troubled Teen?
If you had the opportunity to relive your teen years, would you? Even someone who was the captain of the football team would probably not want to go back and have to live through the angst, awkwardness and uncertainty that are the hallmarks of the teen years, especially with the constant presence of social media.
For some teenagers, dealing with all the pressures they face is more than they can handle, and they react in destructive ways. When teenagers are troubled, they will change in noticeable ways that are different from some typical teenage behavior.
The biggest indicator of a troubled teen is drastic changes that seem inconsistent with your child’s character. There is a difference between standard adolescent challenges and potentially harmful troubles. Here are some signs to look for:
- They abandon their old friends for a radically different group of friends. As teens mature and develop different interests, they often grow apart from some of their old friends; however, when teens completely abandon their friends in favor of peers who are radically different from their old friend group, that may be cause for concern.
- Their grades drop. If your teen has always been a strong student and he or she stops doing homework, performing well in school or even skipping classes altogether, then something is wrong. While some change in grades may be due to a new school, a new teacher or just a rough patch in your teen’s life, drastic changes in school performance is cause for concern.
- They experience drastic mood swings or changes in behavior. While it is typical for teens to experience a huge range of emotions, all within a day or even an hour, frequent mood swings or radical changes in behavior is cause for concern.
- They start lying. If teens are lying about their whereabouts, who they are spending time with or why they are late for curfew, for example, then there is most likely an underlying issue. Consider that, if your teen had nothing to hide, then your teen has no reason to lie.
No matter why your teen is acting out, getting him or her professional help now will have a profound impact in the longterm. When one family member is suffering, the whole family is affected; in the same way, when one person gets help, it can have positive ripple effects throughout an entire family.
The Pacific Quest Difference with Summer Camps for Troubled Teens
On Hawaii’s Big Island, Pacific Quest has been helping adolescents and their families for nearly 20 years. Their wilderness therapy approach uses an experiential outdoor classroom to teach students sustainable life skills and empower them to make healthy choices.
In conjunction with behavioral therapy, students will develop various skills including time management, goal setting, planning, organization, community living, exercise, cooking and self-care. Another key element of Pacific Quest’s approach is horticultural therapy, which combines the art and science of growing flowers, trees, fruits and vegetables with current theories in human behavior, neuroscience and counseling psychology.
Through these modalities and by teaching students these skills, Pacific Quest takes a holistic approach and empowers students to play an active, tangible role in their own therapy. This level of involvement gives teens a sense of purpose and control, things they may feel they were lacking before attending Pacific Quest’s summer camp for troubled teens.
While wilderness therapy programs and boot camps for troubled teens are increasingly popular, Pacific Quest stands out from the rest for so many reasons, including the following:
- A specialized treatment plan facilitated by the student’s primary therapist, which includes two individual therapy sessions a week and multiple group therapy sessions.
- The clinical director is a board-certified pediatric neuropsychologist and leads a team of licensed, doctoral-level and master’s-level clinicians.
- Pacific Quest is the only outdoor therapeutic program with a registered nurse, two full-time naturopathic doctors, an on-staff psychiatrist, a consulting psychiatrist, three medical coordinators and a consulting MD.
- Pacific Quest offers an additional track of service for parents who need more therapeutic support.
- Pacific Quest is the only outdoor therapy program to offer a primarily organic, anti-inflammatory, whole foods diet and to have a full-time, awake night staff, 365 days per year.
While Hawaii’s climate is amazing year-round, summer is the perfect time for your teen to learn productive life skills and to make positive changes that can last a lifetime. Pacific Quest is here to help your teen and your whole family with our caring, in-depth summer camp for troubled teen.