Interventions for Teenagers With Behavior Problems

By Andrew Fontenot
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Teenagers lead tumultuous lives. The anxieties of peer pressure, school, dating and familial dynamics have an affect on teenagers and the way they behave. When significant problems arise, intervention is necessary. Learning some of the best interventions for helping teenagers with behavioral problems is one of the first steps on the path to change.

Group Counseling and Therapy

Group counseling and therapy is one of the potentially effective ways of helping your teenager work through the foundational roots of his deviant behavior. Rather than meeting one-on-one with a counselor, group meetings allow for multiple teenagers to meet together with a counselor to talk about the feelings, emotions, and problems that often lie at the root of their unacceptable behaviors. Meeting in a group setting often helps the teenager to feel as if others are experiencing similar struggles in life, helping them to feel not so alone. Being able to find commonality with other teenagers facing similar life struggles often helps the teenager to recognize their need for change and provides a healthy environment for working through their problems with others.

Changing Schools

Switching your teenager's school can be a healthy form of intervention, but must be practiced carefully. Often times, the friends that your teenager has chosen at school are negative influences upon your teenager's behavior. Switching schools allows your teenager to make a fresh start with new friends, allowing them to form an identity apart from the deviant labels that they find themselves embodying. Switching schools can be a positive intervention in specific circumstances. However, the change also carries risk of making your teenager feel even more alone than they might already feel, leading to more behavioral problems. It is best to seek council and engage in dialogue with your teenager before beginning this kind of intervention.

Wilderness Therapy

Sending your teenager to a wilderness therapy program can be a healthy intervention when dealing with behavioral issues. These programs can vary in length from anywhere between a week and six months, depending on the program and level of behavioral need. While enrolled in this wilderness therapy, teenagers are forced to take a break from the problems they encounter in the normalcy of everyday life and face themselves, their character and their behaviors. Spending time alone to reflect upon their lives can often bring about revelatory moments that bring about a drastic and positive change in their character and behaviors.

Family Counseling

Family counseling is one of the best methods of interventions when struggling with teenagers and behavioral problems. Familial problems almost always lead to behavioral problems in the teenager; the family unit is the first model to teach teenagers how to behave within society. If a family is struggling in the home, seeking help through family counseling with a professional counselor often leads to a teenager's improved behavior. With family counseling, the teenager does not feel all of the responsibility for her problems. She recognizes where the unhealthy habits formed, enabling her to correct them and heal. Family counseling also helps bring the family together to heal as a unit, fostering the growth of healthy relationship that positively affects the teenagers and their unhealthy behavioral tendencies.

About the Author

Andrew Fontenot has been a journalist since 2003. His first job was covering the tension between rural villages and cities in India. His work on India has been published in a development magazine called "The International Proclaimer." Fontenot has a Bachelor of Arts in education from the University of Tennessee.