Children and adolescents who experience extreme difficulty in controlling their emotions and behaviors may be suffering from an impulse control disorder. There are a number of different disorders that fall under the classification of impulse control disorders, some of which include kleptomania, pyromania, compulsive sexual behavior, and intermittent explosive disorder. Children who suffer from impulse control disorders will experience severe disturbances in personal, social, familial, and academic aspects of their lives. These children will consistently take part in destructive and damaging behaviors despite the negative consequences that result. While the presence of these disorders can be incredibly devastating to a child’s life, as well as the lives of those around him or her, there is help available.
Resource Treatment Center is a residential placement for children and adolescents between the ages of 11 and 21 who are in need of a safe, secure, and structured setting while addressing behavioral and emotional impairments and deficits. All of our programs are designed to provide intensive mental health treatment for psychiatric, behavioral, and/or chemical dependency concerns in a comfortable and nonthreatening environment that is conducive to healing and recovery. At Resource, we recognize that having a child who is struggling with an impulse control disorder can be angering, discouraging, and leave you feeling helpless, but we are here to help both you and your child. Our compassionate staff has years of experience helping children learn to gain control of their symptoms and develop the coping skills needed to successfully move forward towards a bright and happy future.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Having a child who is acting out in ways that you do not understand can be extremely frustrating, as well as frightening. You may be watching your child participate in behaviors that you know are cause for concern, but are unsure as to whether or not they are indicative of the presence of an actual mental health disorder. Examples of symptoms that may present in children and adolescents who have an impulse control disorder may include:
- Intense angry outbursts or temper tantrums that occur without provocation
- Acting out aggressively towards oneself, others, property, or animals
- Playing with fire
- Chronic compulsive lying
- Chronic compulsive stealing
- Engaging in risky sexual behaviors / Hypersexuality
- Excessive agitation and irritability
- Demonstrating periods of emotional detachment
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your child’s behaviors, it would be extremely beneficial to consult with a mental health professional. However, if your child is acting out in any of the ways listed, it is imperative that an intervention is made and treatment is sought as soon as possible.
Why Consider Treatment at Resource
When children have an impulse control disorder and do not receive appropriate treatment, the long-term ramifications can be devastating. The behaviors that they partake in are likely to only continue to worsen in intensity and severity as they get older. These children may find that they are unable to perform appropriately in academic settings, are unable to develop and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships, and are having repeated interactions with law enforcement. Without intervention, these children may face a grim future.
Residential treatment programs are known to be an extremely beneficial way for children and adolescents who are struggling with an impulse control disorder to get the help that they need. First and foremost, when children take part in this type of program, they are entering a safe and secure environment where they are monitored 24/7. This prevents them from having the opportunity to act on their impulses, while also providing them with a support system that is there to guide them as they work through their overwhelming compulsions to act on those impulses. Additionally, by spending time in this type of setting, children will be surrounded by peers who are facing similar challenges, enhancing their self-esteem by showing them that they are not alone in their struggles.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
Resource Treatment Center is dedicated to providing structured and therapeutically intensive treatment that offers comprehensive, efficient, and effective programming that is designed to meet the needs of the youth and the families that we serve. At Resource, we focus on providing a safe and comfortable environment while the children and adolescents in our care receive individualized services tailored to meet their specific needs. We strive to deliver programming that allows youth to experience a sense of normalcy while taking part in the treatment process, while also benefiting from a vast array of services that are centered on an evidence-based therapeutic foundation. Maintaining the goal of stabilizing emotional, behavioral, and psychological symptoms, the staff at Resource guides patients through treatment so that they can be successfully reintegrated back into the community.
Types of Treatment Offered at Resource
At Resource Treatment Center, we utilize a number of sound, evidence-based practices that are designed to produce successful treatment outcomes. Upon arrival at Resource, each youth is evaluated using multiple assessment tools, allowing us to appropriately match therapeutic treatment techniques with each patient’s unique needs, risks, and strengths. We offer two separate, distinct residential treatment programs that include our psychiatric residential treatment (PRTF) and our general residential program (RTC). The intake assessment that our patients take part in prior to admission will determine which program is better suited to fully meet the needs of each child. We implement a phase system approach to treatment in which each patient is required to go through four specific phases in order to successfully complete programming. These phases include identification, connection, demonstration, and contribution. Both the PRTF program and the RTC program include the following treatment methods:
Medication management: In some situations, psychotropic medications need to be implemented in order to assist in alleviating the symptoms that accompany impulse control disorders. Every patient who takes part in one of the programs here at Resource will meet with a psychiatrist regularly in order to monitor any medication needs. Youth in the PRTF program will see a psychiatrist on a weekly basis while those in the RTC program see a psychiatrist on a monthly basis.
Individual therapy: Individual therapy sessions are held on a weekly basis and are meant to be a time for each patient to meet one-on-one with a therapist in order to focus on the application and generalization of new skills. These skills can then be implemented in the child’s home and community life. We also offer individual skills-building sessions that focus on six specific proficiencies including: social, emotional, educational, health and wellness, self-care, and daily living skills.
Group therapy: Group therapy sessions are held at a minimum of once per day, but children may participate in more groups depending on their specific needs. We have a number of different types of groups that cover a variety of different topics, including mood regulation, anger management, social skills, independent living skills, and healthy coping skills. The main purpose of group therapy is to provide a structured, skills-based program that allows for learning skills to be developed while also promoting specific critical skills in a structured and encouraging setting.
Family therapy: Family therapy sessions are held at least every two weeks, but may occur more often if family members are local or request more sessions. During this time, therapists will move the family unit as a whole through the treatment process in order to enhance motivation and establish a collaborative approach. Additionally, every Tuesday night we hold a family night in order to help educate family members about their child’s disorder and treatment process.
School programming: At Resource Treatment Center, all patients attend a fully accredited on-site school for three hours each day. Classes are held in a traditional classroom setting and are led by fully qualified special education teachers. Additional school services are offered, including credit recovery and GED preparation.
In addition to our regular treatment techniques, we also offer a number of experiential programming options, including:
- Daily recreational group therapy
- Student council
- Computer lab
- Girl Scouts (Boy Scouts program will be starting in the near future)
- Spiritual youth group ministry
- Teen outreach program
- Community volunteering opportunities
- Community outings
- Pro-social activities
- Holiday activities
- Special ceremonies in which awards are given to celebrate successes
- NA meetings for youth who are struggling with substance abuse concerns
Other services that are offered as part of our comprehensive programming include:
- Crisis intervention
- 24-hour medical and nursing coverage
- Dental and vision care
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
All discharge planning begins once a child has been admitted to our program. Here at Resource, we place a high priority on effective discharge planning in order to ensure that all continuing care needs are in place before the child leaves our treatment center. We have a criteria put in place to warrant a successful discharge. The criteria that a child must meet in order to be considered safe to successfully discharge include the following:
- Youth has reached a level of stability at which this level of placement is no longer needed
- Youth displays significantly improved conditions by exhibiting little or no maladaptive behaviors
- Youth is able to articulate plans to manage his or her emotional and/or behavioral responses in regards to various psychosocial stressors
- Youth is better able to manage potential family conflict
- The family of the youth has demonstrated a commitment towards successful reunification based on their level of participation in their child’s treatment
- There are reasonable expectations that the youth will be compliant with family rules and expectations, as well as remain free from legal involvement
- Youth has articulated plans to manage independent living skills, such as employment, school, etc.
- Youth has taken an active part in his or her discharge planning and can reasonably be expected to follow through on all aspects of that discharge plan
- Youth demonstrates the ability to maintain a lower risk of participating in unsafe behaviors that present them as a risk to the community