Understandably, discussing issues of sex and sexuality with your daughter can create discomfort. The truth is that the conversation will inevitably arise. When it does, you should discuss sexuality with empathy and open-mindedness. At that same time, you should make sure you are not imparting any shame. However, while we usually prefer that this conversation arises healthily and organically, this is not always the case. You may discover that your daughter is acting out sexually. When this happens it may be helpful to investigate treatment options in tandem with having the uncomfortable conversation.
Do we think your child needs treatment just because they may have experimented sexually? While this of course deserves attention, this is not what we are discussing here. What we want to focus on is inappropriate sexual behavior that can endanger your child’s well-being and future. We are referring to sexual behavior that may stem from deeper underlying emotional issues.
One of the ways teenagers express their mental health issues is to act out sexually. While many people may feel that this is “normal” teenage behavior, we believe it can be a red flag indicating more serious issues. If this is the case for you, then it may be time to seek treatment to address these deeper issues.
Mental Health and High-Risk Behaviors
According to StatPearls, “High-risk behaviors are defined as acts that increase the risk of disease or injury, which can subsequently lead to disability, death, or social problems. The most common high-risk behaviors include violence, drinking, tobacco use disorder, risky sexual behaviors, and eating disorders.” When these high-risk behaviors arise, it is important not to minimize them but instead to address them right away.
We feel that the old cliche that “kids will be kids” is no longer permissible in today’s climate. The world our children navigate today is significantly different than the one many of us encountered at their age. Let’s look at that assertion through the lens of a few of these high-risk behaviors.
Regarding recreational drug use, it can no longer be seen as “kids being kids” when there is an evidence-based opioid epidemic going on in this country. When it comes to dangerous eating behaviors, we must be extra vigilant now that social media platforms are engaging in misinformation and body-shaming whenever our child picks up their phone. Then, when it comes to high-risk sexual behavior, we must now also combat the prevalence of “porn culture” and normalized sexually explicit public personas.
Understanding Problematic Sexual Behaviors and the Need for Treatment
When addressing sexual behavior, it is important to understand that the behavior is most likely not the primary issue that needs to be addressed. More than likely, there are deeper-rooted issues that are causing these high-risk sexual behaviors. Because of this fact, it may be worthwhile to investigate treatment options.
Treatment is important when it comes to behavioral problems. Addressing behavior on the surface level may either be a temporary “fix” or not have any effect at all. This is especially true with adolescents for two reasons. One, their brains are not fully developed. Two, they can be evasive when it comes to having honest and healthy communication.
Intervening, Informing, and Individually Treating Risky Behaviors
There are three steps we can take when it comes to treating a student who is exhibiting high-risk sexual behavior. One is pretty straightforward. It is intervening in the dangerous behavior and removing them from it. Basically, that is taken care of once your daughter becomes a student here at Clearview Girls Academy.
After you’ve taken that step, we do a comprehensive and individualized assessment of your daughter’s behavior and mental health state. This helps us better determine what is going on and enables us to come up with a comprehensive treatment plan that best fits her needs.
The next step is also pretty straightforward: We implement that treatment plan.
Clearview Girls Academy Treatment Options
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we are able to offer our students the latest psychological and neuropsychological treatments available. From cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to neurofeedback and craniosacral therapy treatments, we have the highly specialized means to best help your daughter understand her high-risk behavior.
However, we do not just focus on the psychological. We also utilize our beautiful backdrop of the mountains and rivers of Montana to help our students connect to themselves through nature. We want to replace their acting-out behaviors with healthy alternatives like yoga, group exercise, or perhaps participation in our equine therapy.
Remember, if you are feeling uncomfortable about addressing your daughter’s high-risk sexual behaviors, it’s understandable. At the same time, it’s important that you don’t let that discomfort get in the way of your daughter’s future. We can help.
Issues of mental health and drinking and/or substance misuse can both give rise to risky behavior. Sometimes this risky behavior includes acting out sexually. For adolescents, it can be difficult to navigate the new terrain of sexuality and sexual experience. This is why at times poor choices are made. Some of these are due to natural curiosity. However, some of this behavior may be due to other underlying issues that require immediate attention. Risky sexual behavior should not be minimized. It can lead to dangerous and compromising situations. It can also lead to long-term negative effects. However, risky behaviors can be mitigated and managed with the right care. For more information, please contact Clearview Girls Academy at (888) 796-5484.