All Kinds of Therapy, Frequently Asked Questions

Remember in the 90’s all websites had Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)?   What is old is new again.  After two years of blogging detailed insights and suggestions and defining new trends in this dynamic field, there are many hidden gems for families who are in crisis and looking for information.  I end up sending them to families when they write to me as they move through their crisis situation or release.

And so, All Kinds of Therapy introduces our FAQ page for you readers, a directory of wisdom concentrated for your efficient discovery; this page will be updated often & is the place to revisit as you embark on your process of finding treatment options for your family, your struggling teen or young adult.

What is the difference between a Therapeutic Boarding School (TBS) & Residential Treatment Center (RTC)?  

This is one of the most asked FAQ’s. Most parents think they want to enroll in a TBS because it *sounds* less restrictive -- and the answer to that is sometimes.  Click here to learn some of the key differences. TIP: This is going to get confusing before it gets easier.

What types of questions do I ask teen treatment programs when I am calling?

First, be prepared to be overwhelmed, frazzled and exhausted.

Second, you will learn more each program you call & you will have to call the first program you investigated because of what you have learned.

Transport companies sound terrible, I do not want to hire one.  Why would I want to hire a teen transport company?  

There are terrible transporters, there are terrible treatment programs and this is a buyer beware situation. There are several different ways to get your child safely to treatment.   Also, there is more than one way to have a transport/intervention done correctly for your teen.

  1. You can have a sober/safe relative take your troubled teen to treatment.  The potential problem is if you think your troubled teen will run from the family member.   Or that the family member won’t hold a clear boundary at the moments it will be required.

  2. Go as a family, do an assisted transport.  Click here to read about the concept of assisted transport.

  3. Hire a teen transport company and like every other decision guideline on this website, do your homework and ask lots of questions.  

What is an intervention? How is it different than a teen transport?

This is a more nuanced question and delving into the distinctions are difficult, without knowing the specific goals and types of treatment that you are interested in.  

  1. Start by reading this blog, about the history of interventions. It will give you the context of interventions in general.  Many teen transport companies do a type of intervention -- the “surprise party” to the troubled teen or a formal intervention planned in advance.  Others take a slower approach and come in and meet with the family and plan out the process/intervention.

  2. Teen Transporters sometimes call themselves interventionists or their event an “intervention.”  I will not delve into the validity of it and I can say that there are vast differences and no one size fits all.  The Association of Interventionists has a Code of Ethics that guides their members.  Not everyone can become an AIS-certified Interventionist.   

  3. Click here to watch a video on how Teen Transports work and the details of the process. The video was produced by one transport company and explains the general process.

  4. The Association of Mediation and Transport Services (AMATS), like AIS, is a niche association guided by ethics, standards and safety.

  5. Arise Intervention is  type of intervention that many therapists around the country are certified  and using in their practices and is focused on the process and the whole family system.  Click here to read a blog from James Ott, LCSW, CAI, CIP, who trains on the Arise model.

What is a Therapeutic Expert?

Great question, because many different professionals work in tandem to help a family begin treatment, All Kinds of Therapy uses “therapeutic expert” as an umbrella term to describe all referring professionals (this section of the website is where there are listings for referring professionals (aka: education consultants, therapeutic consultants, interventionists, teen transport companies), who visit and place clients in treatment and/or can also assist in the transport to a treatment facility.  

Why would I hire a therapeutic expert? I can find everything on the web.

The answer depends on you, and your family system,  and what your goals and how you will measure success:

  1. Some families find success on their own using the web, clinicians or professionals in their local circle and enroll successfully without using a therapeutic consultant to guide them.  

  2. Many families benefit from another set of eyes & ears to support them, meet with their child, ask questions of a treatment center, utilize the consultants’ /experience with the treatment center and benefit from enjoys being ushered through a complex process.

  3. I have also seen families not hire an educational consultant/interventionist and spent tens of thousands on treatment and not find found success, by their measurement.

There are many complex diagnosis, diseases, and treatment approaches.  No matter what you choose to do as a family, make sure that there are milestones and goals and outcomes that are measurable to ensure that you find remain on track for your family’s success.

How do I know that the therapeutic consultant/expert is any good?

Like everything on the website, this is a highly personal conclusion, but All Kinds of Therapy will offer perspectives to help you decide for yourself. It is up to you to make the decision.  

  1. Click here to read questions to ask an educational consultant or interventionist.

  2. How do you measure success?

What is the difference between an “Education Consultant” or is it an “Educational Consultant” or is it a “Therapeutic Consultant”?

  1. “Education Consultant” or “Educational Consultant” does not explain what these professionals do.  Here is a mini history lesson about these professionals.  The occupation began with connected professionals recommending independant/private day and boarding schools to wealthy families in the major cities (NYC, SF, LA, Boston, DC, Philly, etc).  Over decades and as the middle class grew, so did the available specialization and now includes therapeutic consulting. Educational Consultants generally have advanced degrees in school counseling or varying types of education degrees and came out of the “school” world; often educational consultants have worked in one or many of these schools.

    During the 80’s and 90’s, the breadth of treatment options got wider - consultants began to visit wilderness therapy programs, a new residential treatment model  called “Emotional Growth Boarding Schools” that were focused on the whole adolescent and few young adult treatment programs.

  2. “Therapeutic Consultant” title is more exact and can encompass an “Interventionist” or “Education Consultant” with similar training/speciality and experience. They might specialize in a particular piece of the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare Interventions (FCBHI) like wilderness therapy programs, residential treatment, or young adult treatment or in the Addiction/Recovery treatment programs.

    1. Here are questions to ask when interviewing an interventionist or therapeutic consultant.

    2. 10 Characteristics of a Good Consultant.

  3. The key to whatever title the professional is carrying is that they are placing troubled teens or young adults into a treatment program or out of a treatment program.  Only a minority of these professionals assist a family through a 504 or IEP process in the public schools (another speciality that has crept into this industry).  These professionals, regardless of title, should not take money directly from treatment programs for placement recommendations, they are paid by the families.

How are “Education Consultants”, “Educational Consultants” or “Therapeutic Consultants” paid?

They should be paid only by you for their placement. If there are dual relationships, they are spelled out for the client.  

Some dual relationships might look like:

  1. share travel costs with treatment programs

  2. create professional development workshops at treatment providers

  3. have ownership in a treatment program

  4. put on a conference with treatment providers as sponsors.

Any professional you hire should be able to tell you, clearly or have it spelled out in their contract how they are paid and how their recommendations are constructed.  If you find they are not being transparent, do not hire them.  This is an unregulated industry and you must do your due diligence.

All of these treatment programs are for profit, why?  

Most of the options on this website and in the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare market are for profit, but not all.  And just because a treatment center is for profit does not mean they are greedy. There are plenty of nonprofits in this country who do horrible things.  Many of these treatment programs for profit provide scholarships for their clients in varying forms.

How do I pay for teen treatment centers?

There are many different ways to do this.

  1. If there are accessible funds that were put aside for college, it is a good idea to think about accessing them.  It is often the case that college cannot be a possibility in the future if the present conflicts are not mitigated.

  2. Many programs or non profits offer educated advice for your family’s type of issues.  Some have access to funding channels. See if you qualify.

  3. If your child is in public school, there is a possibility that the local school district will pay for / contribute to the cost of  treatment. Click here to read 8 questions to ask.

What is Parent Coaching or Family Coaching?

Coaches can help:  

  1. Before an out of home treatment placement is made

  2. During an out of home treatment option is occurring

  3. Support a family or teen/young adult after treatment has concluded happened (Either: in person through a mentor, therapist in or out of the home, on the phone or via Skype/Facetime)

  4. Online courses that may or may not require homework or appointment viewing.

“Coaching” allows a family to access informed personnel who have worked in treatment programs and can offer empathy and very useful, effective intervention concepts for all dynamic forces in a family system.  In other words, coaches often help a child become more effective at getting her needs met, may help dad communicate his concerns clearly and respectfully, or may help a  assure a family that out-of-home treatment is the best option for the future.

Resources about Coaching

  1. Click here to read a four part series of blogs about the different approaches to Parent Coaching.  

  2. If you click on Transitional Living for Young Adults and Transitional Living section in Teens there are a couple of advertising partners you might want to investigate.