Christian Counseling Centers for Troubled Teenage Girls
A Christian counseling center is defined as a Christ-centered counseling service that can consist of one counselor in their own practice or a varying number of counselors working side by side in the same practice. Like traditional counseling services, it is the main objective of a Christian counseling center to assist members of a congregation, community, or demographic (in the case of Christian counseling centers for troubled teens) by offering their psychoanalytic acumen for the betterment of those in need of mental health care.
Also, like conventional counseling services - which are mainly made up of mental health professionals with a similar background and philosophical like-mindedness - Christian counseling services are made up of counselors who firmly believe in their beliefs in how to approach treating their patients. The one difference between religous-based and secular-based being, of course, is that the counselor's beliefs are cemented and shared in their faith in Christ.
What are Christian Counseling Centers for Troubled Girls?
As one might surmise after learning the definition of Christian counseling centers, Christian counseling centers for troubled girls are ostensibly a subtype of Christ-centered counseling services that specialize in treating troubled teenage girls. While technically true, the actual definition is a bit more dynamic and specific.
In today's America, Christian counseling centers for troubled girls are typically Christ-centered psychotherapeutic residential treatment centers. More specifically, due to being staffed by multiple accredited counselors, a significant few of America's top-tier Christian residential treatment centers (RTC's), and even Christian therapeutic boarding schools would fall under the classification of a counseling center for troubled girls.
That said, not all faith-based RTC's and therapeutic boarding schools qualify as being a counseling center, per se. Rather, only institutions that are staffed by one or more certified Christian psychotherapeutic counselors (psychotherapists, psychiatrists, etc.) with a unified approach that integrates a fundamental faith in Jesus and contemporary psychotherapeutic practices.
Christian Counseling, Counselors, and The Different Types of Christian Therapy for Troubled Teen Girls Explained
It is a precarious, and even dangerous, time to be a teenage girl in today’s America. Drug epidemics, mental health crises, and suicide reaching an all-time high are just some of the dire circumstances that today’s young women find themselves in. Suffice it to say, our nation’s teenage girls are under societal and spiritual attack. As a result, our nation’s daughters require psychological and spiritual rehabilitation like never before. Fortunately for Christian parents of mentally ill teenage daughters, God has an answer: Christian counseling.
Below we will extensively cover Christian counseling, the various kinds of Christian therapy and therapists, and why it is the most viable option in fighting our nation’s teenage girls’ mental health crises.
Why America’s Teenage Girls Are in Need of Christian Counseling
As it stands, one-in-three teenage girls live with depression or anxiety. Yet, roughly 6-out-of-ten of them fail to receive any type of treatment whatsoever. This lopsided statistic becomes all the more problematic when you consider that suicide is the third-leading cause of death amongst teenage girls - the highest of any demographic from any time in our nation’s history.
Mentally ill teenage girls are overly anxious, depressed, and most importantly, undertreated; they need mental health treatment, yes, but traditional psychotherapy and psychiatric care are not enough. Therefore, Christian parents of a mentally ill teenage girl need to look beyond the conventional, worldly views of psychotherapy and into the spiritual healing features of Christian counseling.
Christian Counseling Centers are A Blend of a Faith in Christ and Contemporary Therapy
One prevalent misconception among believers is that Christianity and psychotherapy are mutually and intrinsically exclusive. While distinctive from conventional therapy in that they operate under a faith-based curriculum, with certified counselors on staff, Christian counseling centers are also certified to provide teens with individual and group counseling.
Even though they are faith-based facilities, Christian counseling centers are licensed and expert in providing troubled teenage girls with therapeutic and, in some cases, psychiatric care who struggle from a myriad of mental and behavioral issues, including:
• Eating disorders
• Marital/premarital counseling
• Relationship counseling
• Affair prevention
• Divorce Recovery/Grief Recovery
• Sex addiction/Co-sex addiction
• Childhood sexual abuse/trauma
Different Types of Christian Counseling Centers for Troubled Teenage Girls
Christian counseling centers are a broad term that is often used to define several types of therapeutic treatment programs that employ certified Christian therapists, psychologists, and sometimes even addiction specialists. Among the spectrum of facilities, the most popular and widely known are Christian therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment centers. And, while both of these facilities both employ staff of at least one or more Christian counselors and, by extension, are both considered Christian counseling centers, they have distinct and subtle differences that put them in separate categories.
As to what type of Christian counseling center is the most optimal choice for a troubled teenage girl, it entirely depends on the child's issues, background, and psychological disorders. Unfortunately, the two different terms, residential treatment centers, and therapeutic boarding schools are frequently used interchangeably, which can easily confuse parents and inadvertently cause them to send their child to a Christian counseling center that doesn't cater to their individual needs -- academically, therapeutically, and behaviorally speaking. Therefore, to inform parents on which type of Christian counseling center might best suit the needs of their troubled teenage daughter, we will briefly discuss, define, and list the differences of each Christian counseling service so that parents can make an educated choice based on each facilities distinctive qualities.
Residential Treatment Centers (RTC's)
Residential treatment centers are types of programs that can fall under the designation of a Christian counseling center. RTC's that meet the qualifications of a Christian counseling center are intensive inpatient facilities that employ staff (one or more) made up of licensed, Christian counselors. Like traditional treatment centers, RTC's emphasize and focus on providing what are known as extensive therapies. Extensive therapies are a broad term that includes intensive inpatient treatment that treats severe behavioral and mental health-related issues. Two examples of comprehensive therapies are programs that provide addiction rehabilitative treatment or specialized intensive treatment involving extreme behaviors -- such as eating disorders, etc.
Many residential treatment centers, like therapeutic boarding schools, also offer academic services. However, whether or not an RTC offers educational services dramatically depends on the duration of the inpatient program. Whereas a boarding school may require their students to stay for a period of a school year or more extended, many stays at an RTC are much shorter in duration (a few weeks to months) and, therefore, do not need to provide an academic curriculum for their high school-aged patients.
Therapeutic Boarding Schools
A Christian counseling center can also fall under the designation of being a therapeutic boarding school. Therapeutic boarding school/Christian counseling centers are highly specialized schools that provide top-tier educational services and offer their students licensed counseling and Christ-centered ideologies.
While similar to RTC's in some ways, therapeutic boarding schools greatly contrast in the function and services they provide their students. While these types of Christian counseling centers offer licensed counseling for mentally or behaviorally struggling teens, they put a much larger emphasis on school and minor focus on intensive therapies for severe issues than residential treatment centers.
Therapeutic boarding schools, like traditional boarding schools, are also comparatively long in their program's duration -- typically an entire school year or longer. By requiring students to live-in campus for upwards of 9 months to over a year, Christian therapeutic boarding schools provide ample academic opportunities. What's more, many top-tier therapeutic boarding schools implement an academic curriculum that allows students to go at their own pace, which greatly encourages and supports more inclined students to excel in their schooling in advantageous ways that they otherwise would not have been able to.
Other, Lesser-Known Facilities that Can Qualify as Christian Counseling Centers
While Christian therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment centers are the majority of programs that qualify as Christian counseling centers, other, less prominent types of facilities also meet the qualifications for that designation.
While not as widespread as RTC's or therapeutic boarding schools. Programs such as wilderness therapy programs and group homes for troubled teens can also fall under the designation of Christian counseling centers for troubled teens.
Wilderness Therapy Programs
Some types of Christian wilderness therapy programs operate under the designation of Christian counseling centers. Like that of residential treatment facilities and therapeutic boarding schools, these types of wilderness therapy programs employ a staff of certified Christian counselors and the fundamental treatments of Christ-centered ideologies.
These niche wilderness therapy programs are often located in the remote wild areas of largely uninhabited regions of the US -- such as Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. Unlike other types of Christian counseling centers, wilderness therapy is generally a short-term facility. The program only lasts for several weeks to a few months at a time. Also, due to their short treatment periods, most wilderness Christian counseling centers do not provide troubled teenage campers with any academic curriculum.
What Types of Services and Therapies Must A Program Provide To Qualify as a Christian Counseling Center?
In order for a program to be officially qualified to call itself, a Christian counseling center the program must employ a staff (one or more) of Christian counselors who, in addition to being spiritually qualified, also have to have the same qualifications as a traditional therapist. What's more, the aforementioned program must also instill certain types of therapy. Below, are three therapies that every Christian counseling center must utilize.
Like traditional counseling, Christian counseling must employ what is known as individualized treatment. This type of therapy consists of one-on-one counseling between Christian counselors and teen patients. What's more, individualized therapy must also be uniquely suited to treat each individual patient and their distinct therapeutic needs. Individualized therapy is the very foundation of any Christian counseling center -- in order to qualify as an official Christian counseling center for troubled teens, the program must employ an individualized therapeutic strategy plan for each student.
Group therapy is another important, yet distinctly different type of therapeutic strategy. Whereas individualized treatment falls under the purview of licensed Christian counselors, group therapy largely depends on peer-to-peer support -- albeit, under the supervision of a licensed Christian counselor.
In order to qualify as a Christian counseling center, residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools must foster a peer-driven, supportive atmosphere where, under the guidance of a counselor, teenage girls with similar issues can learn and grow from and with each other's support.
Family therapy is an often overlooked, yet crucial element of any legitimate residential treatment center or therapeutic boarding school that classifies itself as a Christian counseling center. As its designation suggests, family therapy is a therapeutic resource that involves family members of troubled teen patients of the facility. That said, family involvement can cover a wide array of therapies and different functionalities. For instance, family therapy can occur while teens are enrolled in a Christian counseling center -- such as family visits, phone conferences with parents, and a counselor. However, family therapy can also include aftercare treatment wherein the families of troubled teens engage in counselor-ran therapy sessions over the phone shortly after their child graduates from a program.
Do Christian Counseling Centers Offer Insurance?
Like any type of residential treatment for troubled teens, whether or not a Christian counseling center accepts health insurance largely depends on the program and whether or not they are licensed to do so. That said, there are many types of Christian counseling centers, whether they are residential treatment centers or therapeutic boarding schools, that do accept some health insurance. While not every Christian counseling center works with certain health insurance companies, many also offer financial assistance through third-party financing options -- such as loans or state government low-cost treatment opportunities.
Do Christian Counseling Centers Provide Outpatient Services?
Similar to conventional counseling centers, Christian counseling programs can also operate as outpatient treatment for troubled teens. These types of facilities are more intensive than traditional one-on-one therapy sessions but less intensive than 24-hour residential treatment. These types of counseling centers are geared towards helping teens whose psychological, behavioral, and spiritual issues are not to the extent of being considered, "troubled teens."
While certainly effective in their own right, Christian outpatient facilities are not recommended for teens whose behavioral and mental issues have caused them to act out in out-of-control ways or have caused serious psychological issues -- such as drug and alcohol experimentation, suicidal ideation, and the development of severe mental illness (just to name a few).