Mental Health: Where Do Parents Go For Help With The "Terrible Teens"?
Teenagers are like toddlers. Trying to catch up to themselves. Testy and testing. But the worst that can happen with the "Terrible Twos" is a tantrum.
What if your teenager is in trouble? A 20-year-old mass murderer has parents asking serious questions about mental health. Where do you get help for a kid who is practically - or even legally - an adult?
Richard B. Cohen has a white beard and twinkly eyes, and he's pretty jolly considering he specializes in the "Terrible Teens." He carries a sack full of credentials in marriage, family and cognitive behavior therapy, anger management, addiction counseling, domestic violence and crisis intervention.
His program "Of One Mind" has evolved from 37 years of experience. He bases his methods on proven research.
He treats depression, anxiety, ODD, OCD, eating disorders, ADD, drug and alcohol dependency, transitional disturbance and more.
What makes kids mentally unhealthy? "A common fear kids have is doubt about their future." They feel helpless. "When helplessness turns into hopelessness that's when there is real danger to themselves and other people."
Where do you start with kids who feel helpless – and parents who feel helpless to help them?
Come to a free seminar at a local school! Every week, Richard addresses a wide range of topics: "Teens & Young Adults that Rule the Roost"; "Recognizing a Problem – At Risk Behaviors in Teens & Young Adults"; "Westside Syndrome"; even "The Secret Lives of Middle Schoolers!" Look for the help you need on the "Of One Mind" calendar. Join the Parent Network. Yes, it's free.
It's hard to take the first step. But overwhelmed parents are overwhelmingly glad once they show up.
Richard walks through the process of how you set basic "expectations and requirements " at home – and consequences if they are not met. "I see kids who don't even put a dish in the sink."
And how to set a reasonable allowance. "Kids have to make an effort to get a reward" to instill "the concept of ownership rather than entitlement." This is the start of self-worth.
"A ‘warm and firm' parenting style is proven to get the best results." Richard addresses the distinction between the "business and personal aspects of parenting." You need both to help your kid learn how to behave.
Business? Limit screen time. "I'm not against the Internet, " Richard says, "But there are kids being raised on it." They get harder to be around. "They miss social nuance." Personal? Demand family time. "Make a meaningful connection."
The seminars are like wellness visits to a pediatrician. Richard offers healthy preventive "family education" - and "family therapy" for unhealthy behaviors. Start with "Recognizing A Problem."
Parents whose kids are better served by being in a comprehensive program like "Of One Mind" have often tried doctors, shrinks, hospitals, schools, self-help, special camps, medication, dedication, tough love and kid gloves.
"Parents are scared when they don't know what to do. A fearful parent creates fearful kids." Both parent and kid feel out of control. "Kids worried about parents can't concentrate on school."
Richard's approach is to "bind the kid to the family" and to give the parents "lots of family support." "I ask, ‘What would a better you look like?' I want to get kids to be a high-functioning revised version of themselves."
"Of One Mind" treats kids from all walks of life with "highly individualized" intensive treatment plans. "We are always available 24/7 for our Clients."
Intensive Outpatient Therapy is for Teens age 13-18 and Young Adults age 18-26 who live at home and come to the "Of One Mind" facilities 3-5 days a week on a Treatment Plan that is "individually determined."
Supervised Housing Therapy is a "Launch Program" for Young Adults age 18-26 who aren't ready to be on their own live or can't live at home."
The goal for all Clients is to "launch them into a balanced life" in school or at work.
"We teach Self-Structure": starting with Life Skills: how to get up early, shop, cook, laundry, budget. We do whatever it takes, from random drug testing to tutoring."
Clients see their own counselor one on one. They see Richard in a peer group - and with their family. "We also do multi-family support." There are 12-15 groups per week. There is also Ongoing Support for clients who have completed the program.
Richard is now seeing generations in the program as well as his own practice. Kids he treated in the 80s are returning with their own kids. Living proof. There is help to get your kid – and you –through the "Terrible Teens."