Skip to main content

Are the Holidays a good time for a family intervention?

By Stephen C. Schultz


As we enter this Holiday Season, I hope the Holidays bring meaningful time spent with family and the joy associated with renewed relationships.

It is sad, but true…every year RedCliff Ascent has an increase in inquiries around the Holidays. Teens that tend to be struggling anyway seem to escalate their behavior around the Holidays for some reason. If you are a parent and find yourself in this situation, please know that you are not alone.



Adolescents who are struggling with depression, anxiety, peer relationships or trauma typically tend to view the world in a very narrow and rigid manner. This really is not a judgment as much as it is simply stating a fact. It is difficult for them to move beyond the very ego-centric orientation that they have adopted around their environment and their relationships. Some would say this is “normal” adolescence complicated with emotional concerns.

Some adolescents, those struggling in school or those who tend to act out with anger, maintain a very guarded view of their relationship with their parents.  It is not uncommon for an out-of-control teen to view his or her parents more as contemporaries rather than acknowledge the parents have achieved a higher level of experience and wisdom throughout their lives.  Some adolescents blatantly demand that they be the ones in control of the family dynamic and not their parents.  They conceitedly see themselves as peers to their parents.


We have found that adolescents tend to be much more receptive to information, instruction and feedback from adults when they are in a neutral environment and there is no immediate concern about dominating the interaction with their parents. They will however, try to maintain control of their situation, often through immature and impulsive means.



You can read more about how teens will try to exert influence over their surroundings when they really have limited life perception here.

An Open Letter to Parents Researching RedCliff Ascent


It is interesting to see how they use the same techniques and manipulative skills that got them in trouble in the first place.

The term “out-of-control” conjures up visions of disrespectful, substance abusing, belligerent, angry adolescents. However, it is equally applicable to depressed, anxiety ridden teens that may be suffering from ADHD, NLD or Autism Spectrum Disorder. When teenagers struggle with these clinically complicated issues, their life does feel out of control in a very real sense.

There is hope for treatment resistant teens!




The above link is a personal experience I had with RedCliff Ascent a few years ago. I hope you find it helpful. This article discusses the clinical efforts used to reinsert the adolescent into the appropriate developmental stage with the family. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fishing...It's really about relationships!

By Stephen C. Schultz Spring is in the air and that well known feeling of wanting to get out of the house and go fishing is surging through my body. I found myself in a sporting goods store the other day perusing the fishing lure isle. I was in the yard after mowing the lawn and realized I was walking around my small 12 foot fishing boat that is still covered from winter. I have had people ask me over the years, "What's so fun about fishing?". They usually follow that question up with, "It's so boring!". From my perspective, they couldn't be further from the truth. Fishing represents so much more than being entertained. It's time in the wilderness with fresh air and solitude. It's time to think and ponder on life's problems.  It time to express gratitude and count your blessings. There is also the satisfaction of reading the water, observing a hatch and placing a lure or fly in the perfect spot. It's the excitement of the fish

An Open Letter to Parents Researching RedCliff Ascent

By Stephen C. Schultz "We will be known forever by the tracks we leave." Having been raised in Oregon, I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage year’s steelhead fishing the coastal waters, climbing the Middle Sister in the Cascade Mountain Range, drifting the McKenzie River and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  I have mentioned to friends, family and colleagues on many occasions;   “From a therapeutic standpoint, there is no better place to have a student’s issues manifested quickly than in a wilderness setting.” The question then becomes, “Why do therapeutic issues rise to the surface in an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare program like RedCliff Ascent ?” Throughout the years of teenage development, most teens spend a lot of time with friends. These friends think the same, dress the same, act the same, listen to the same music and sometimes get into the same types of trouble. Some teens also develop patterns of communication and ma

"Sugar and Spice" - A Child's Kindness

By Stephen C. Schultz I recall a childhood rhyme that went something like this; “…sugar and spice and everything nice…that’s what little girls are made of!” As the father of three daughters and one son, there is no doubt about the truthfulness of that saying. I was in San Diego a couple of weeks ago with my family. We were down at Seaport Village right on the bay having lunch. It was a beautiful day, sun shining, light breeze and we were eating on an outside deck. We were engaged in a conversation about what we wanted to do later that day when I noticed my youngest daughter, a fifth grader, was focused on something else. So, I turned to see what she was gazing at. She was following the movements of a transient man who had walked up onto the deck and was systematically searching the garbage cans for food. He was looking in each receptacle and reaching in to move the contents around. At one can, his hand came out with a partially eaten sandwich of some kind. He reached back