How To Find The Right Program For Your Troubled Teen

How To Find The Right Program For Your Troubled Teen

There are many reasons a teen may need help coping with daily life, whether the problems they encounter are social, emotional, psychological or related to drug or alcohol use. For many parents, choosing the right program for their teen and the entire family can feel like an impossible task especially when dealing with a troubled teen and the various problems that can create in the family. This is why Visions was created: as an alternative to existing programs for troubled kids which are geared toward helping not only teens, but their families as well.

Founder Chris Shumow established Visions as a dynamic and innovative treatment facility whose mission is to address the needs of the teen and the teen’s family. In doing so, he recognized that treatment cannot solely focus on one facet of the teen’s life, but must incorporate and consider the teen as an individual and as part of a family unit. Because of this, Visions incorporates top-level clinical and counseling staff to assist teens and their families in healing and becoming more united.

About Visions

Every teenager is different and struggling with a different complex of issues based on their age and other factors. These problems can be broadly broken into three categories: mental health, substance abuse, and eating disorders. Every Visions client is dealing with at least type of problem, and many have multiple behavioral disorders which affect their health, socialization, and their sense of self-worth and value. Many programs for troubled kids are not equipped to deal with multiple problems at one time, adopting a “one size fits all” treatment model that does not always get optimum results.

The staff of Visions recognize that what works for one age group may not work for another, and also needs to be adjusted to each individual’s needs. This is why Visions has created a clinically-based, welcoming environment in which treatment options can be tailored to the child’s needs. Each client is given a unique plan of action that encourages success not only within the Visions program but beyond it by making family, educators, and clinicians active and ongoing parts of the child’s treatment.  Using a holistic and caring approach, Visions clinicians seek out the root causes of the child’s behavior and works to overcome them through the teaching of positive, healthy coping mechanisms rather than reinforcing negative behaviors.   By adjusting their approach for the child’s age and specific needs, Visions staff are better able to help the teen adopt healthy coping strategies.


Visions has a wide variety of programs for troubled kids from 13-18 years old. Choosing the right program is generally determined based on a thorough examination of the child’s family, medical, social and psychological and/or psychiatric history. Based on this evaluation, the root causes of the child’s behavior can be evaluated and treated effectively. Additionally it is possible to screen for latent behaviors which may not have come to the surface yet, allowing the child, family and Visions staff to take proactive steps to prevent these behaviors before they become a further problem.

Roughly half of all Visions clients are Southern California residents, with the other half coming from large cities such as New York and Detroit. Visions also helps international clients. In addition to licensed clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors, Visions offers equine and art therapy, medical staff, and a registered dietitian to assist with helping teens find healthy ways to express their feelings and needs. A licensed therapist and counselor are assigned to every client, and clients work with both these “core” figures and with other therapists throughout the duration of their stay. In addition to Visions’ base objectives for every client, the teens themselves are also asked to help establish goals and outcomes they wish to achieve during their time at Visions.

Visions caters to both male and female clients on an inpatient or outpatient basis, offering gender-segregated and age-appropriate rooming arrangements under ongoing staff supervision. Visions requires involvement from the child’s family or a legal guardian to ensure maximum results and allow the family to be an active and vital part of the teen’s recovery. The average stay at Visions is between 45 and 90 days, depending upon the child’s needs and the results of their physical and psychological health screenings. Severe cases, such as those demonstrating suicidal thoughts or actions or teens who require additional help or support, may need to stay longer.

Family Support and Payment

Visions offers unique programs for troubled kids based on the idea that when one member of the family suffers, the entire family is weakened. Because of this philosophy, Visions’ treatment protocols are designed not only to assist the client in overcoming their issues, but also to give the client’s family the tools and resources they need to help become positive influences and assist the child both in recovery and beyond it. This is why Visions requires a family member, parent or legal guardian have an active role in the client’s treatment protocol and ongoing recovery.

Visions Residential is a private-pay program, which means the teen’s family is required to pay in full for the teen’s time at Visions. Visions offers insurance benefit verification and utilization review to see if the family’s insurance program will cover some or all of the client’s care. Visions Outpatient works with out-of-network insurance plans to assist clients and their families with benefit verification, pretreatment authorization, utilization review and billing and collections. Depending upon the type of care a client needs, outpatient or inpatient treatment programs may be offered.

Treatment and Beyond

Visions’ programs for troubled kids  look beyond simply making the child healthy, encouraging the teen and the family to establish goals to maintain positive behaviors and lifestyle choices beyond the program itself. By employing age-appropriate activities that educate clients not only on their problems but offer tools for overcoming those problems, Visions helps give clients the skills they need to make healthy decisions both in the home and outside it. These skills may include counseling on positive body image, understanding how and why drugs affect their behavior, and gaining appropriate coping mechanisms that allow for smarter and more constructive decision-making. Visions also helps clients whose behaviors may or have resulted in causing them legal trouble, in an effort to help them make restitution without paying a harsh price for an error in judgment.

Because Visions incorporates a global view of the client and encourages clients to consider how their actions and behavior affect not only themselves but their families, friends and society as a whole, its lessons last well beyond the patient’s stay. Unlike many programs for troubled kids, Visions is uniquely designed to bring all the resources a troubled child may need together in one place to facilitate healing and encourage a healthier life for everyone whose life the client touches.

If you have struggled to find programs for troubled kids without success, or if you have tried other programs that have not worked, please contact Visions today. Growing up is hard. Visions can help make it easier for you and your child. Please click below to schedule your consultation or call us at 866-889-3665.

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