Residential Treatment and Wilderness2021-08-01T14:21:24-07:00


  • “Point and level systems”: Another way to fail children and youth – On the premise that the pervasive use of point and level systems in group care programs can be counter to therapeutic and developmental goals for children and youth, this article describes the specific nature of these practices, provides an analysis of their effects, and suggests constructive alternatives.
  • Abuse and Neglect in U.S.A. Residential Treatment Centers – This is a preliminary report on the abuse and neglect of persons in residential treatment for “substance abuse” in the U.S.A. There have been violations of human rights, lack of investigation, prosecution, and punishment of the offenders.
  • Adolescent drug abuse treatment works better with family – Including parents in interventions for adolescent substance abusers may be the best way to prevent them from relapsing after treatment, according to research results presented at APA’s 2003 Annual Convention and slated to be published this year in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
  • American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: ODD – Experts agree that therapies given in a one-time or short-lived fashion, such as boot camps, tough-love camps, or scare tactics, are not effective for children and adolescents with ODD. These approaches may do more harm than good. Trying to scare or forcibly coerce children and adolescents into behaving may only reinforce aggressive behavior.
  • Children in residential treatment: A follow-up study – Examined outcomes and service utilization among a total population of children discharged to their families from a residential treatment center (RTC) during a 3-year period. Consistent with the view that RTC treatment is frequently associated with continuing placement and dependency, the risk of replacement was 32%, 53%, and 59% by the end of the first, second, and third post discharge years, respectively.
  • Eliminating Level Systems in Residential Treatment Centers – TNOYS negotiated with a local RTC to interview youth who had recently eliminated the level system on their cottage. TNOYS met with a group of five residents and asked them about the impact of eliminating the level system; how it was better, what was different, and what they would want other programs who were considering doing this to know.
  • Escorting: The Impact of Kidnapping, Shooting and Torture on Children –  Trauma, in general, and coercive trauma specifically, impacts children differently than adults. Children do not have the psychological mechanisms in place to understand and integrate the trauma experience. Being less mature, a child is more likely to be overwhelmed by the experience.
  • Hospital Patient Behavior: Reactance, Helplessness, or Control? – A review of these patterns suggests that some “good patients” may actually be in a state of anxious or depressed helplessness, whereas “bad patients” are exhibiting anger and reactance against the perceived arbitrary removal of freedoms. 
  • Karen VanderVen’s Updated 2016 Pack – A documented analysis of the literature on the destructiveness of “Point and Level Systems” commonly employed in group and residential settings, and schools
  • Milieu Therapy: A Therapeutic Loophole – Milieu therapy has significant deficiencies as a practice theory for inpatient psychiatric nursing. First, it lacks sound conceptual definition. Second, there is no consensus in the scientific community as to the essential dimensions of the construct. Third, none of the interpretations of milieu therapy has been operationally elaborated with protocols, procedures, or outcomes.
  • Protecting Youth Placed in Unregulated Residential “Treatment” Facilities – Depending on the state, failure to provide state oversight of residential programs for minors may occur because these programs (1) do not accept public funds; (2) are affiliated with religious organizations; or (3) describe themselves (inappropriately) as outdoor programs, boarding schools, or other types of nontreatment programs. 
  • Review of the evidence base for treatment of childhood psychopathology – This article reviews controlled research on treatments for childhood externalizing behavior disorders. The review is organized around 2 subsets of such disorders: disruptive behavior disorders (i.e., conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Survey of Youth in Residential Placement: Conditions of Confinement – This report presents findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement about the conditions of confinement for youth in a range of different facilities and programs. Results focus on the structural and operational characteristics of these environments and indicate how youth offenders are distributed across various programs and facilities of different size and complexity.
  • The Risk of Harm to Young Children in Institutional Care Young children are frequently placed in institutional care throughout the world. This occurs despite wide recognition that institutional care is associated with negative consequences for children’s development (Carter, 2005; Johnson, Browne and Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2006).
  • The Troubled Teen Industry: Commodifying Disability and Capitalizing on Fear – The “Troubled Teen” behavior reform industry is comprised of financially interconnected wilderness programs, residential treatment centers, and reform schools that incarcerate thousands of minors each year by marketing a supposed cure to nonnormativity, and monetizing the discrimination and abuse of children.
  • Vulnerable citizens: The oppression of children in care – This paper frames children in out-of-home care as a singularly oppressed group. Children as citizens are considered in terms of their rights, evolving capacities, best interests, and voice. Using recognized criteria determining oppression, the situation of youth in care as an associative group is contrasted with that of children in general, as an aggregate group.
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