Maia Szalavitz On The Epidemic Abuses Of The Teen-Help Industry
The research is very clear: In the vast majority of cases, keeping children within the family and community is far more effective than sending them away. The exception would be a teen with a genuine acute addiction or psychiatric problem — which is not the same as a “behavior problem.” For psychiatric disorders and true addictions, there are professional, licensed treatment centers. Are they accessible to everybody? No. They are expensive, and insurance often won’t cover them. But the same is true of tough-love programs, and if you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on treatment for your child, I recommend you spend it on a program that has demonstrable evidence of its effectiveness, as opposed to one that probably won’t help and may harm.