Welcoming home your teen following the completion of a residential treatment program such as Elevations RTC can feel overwhelming, emotional, and even scary. It is important that families and caregivers have a plan in place to ensure the best transition home possible following residential treatment care. Taking the time to develop and implement such a plan carefully can improve your child’s likelihood of success once they are home.
Here are a few tips to help you or your loved one transition home successfully following residential treatment care:
Establish rules and expectations
You and your teen should work closely together to develop rules and expectations to guide their behavior when they return home. This may be accomplished through the creation of a written conduct contract which will clearly identify rules and responsibilities and the associated consequences for breaking them. Establishing rules reduces the possibility of confusion and helps keep all members of the family on the same page.
Create an open environment
Encourage your teen to talk with you as much as possible and refer them to others as well as needed. Create a safe and supportive space for your teen, surrounding them with as many loving and encouraging people as possible. Make connections for your teen with local support groups, youth organizations, and other resources. Most importantly, Elevations RTC reminds parents to ensure your teen continues to attend therapy as required, including following the recommendations of your residential treatment center.
Find new activities
If your teen is struggling to reconnect with activities they once enjoyed — or if they could be the cause of a relapse — help them discover new passions and interests. Consider volunteering together, joining a sports team together, or find a local book club. Allow your teen the freedom to choose a new activity for themselves. Be supportive and positive as they develop critical connections with other people and builds their self-worth.
Following the structure of residential treatment, teens are often left feeling shocked by the sudden return to “reality” when they arrive back home. It is critical that parents and families provide the necessary stability for their teens, while also respecting their boundaries and autonomy.
Know that setbacks can happen
Despite the best preparation following the completion of residential treatment, setbacks can happen as teens transition back to their day to day routines. Parents must be prepared for this and be willing to help their teens adjust to their new realities while providing support and understanding. Setbacks are not an indication of ineffective treatment — they are a normal part of the process as participants learn to manage their lives and regain their independence.
The return of your child following treatment is a wonderful occasion, filled with challenges that you must be willing to face as a family. It is important to take the time to map out a plan to make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone.
Elevations RTC is one of the leading co-ed Residential Treatment Centers in the U.S. They focus on helping adolescents aged 13 to 18 overcome challenges which stem from mental health issues, learning disorders, emotional disorders, substance use and much more.