The Pinnacle Schools and Elk River Treatment Reviews and Stories

troubled-teen-girl-okSome Recent Reviews of  The Pinnacle Schools and the Elk River Treatment Program
“Warm Feelings for All of You”

I just graduated high school today with a 3.87 grade point average! This gives me pride in my accomplishment. I would like to thank everyone that helped, because I would not be here without your help. I think about everyone each day. There are so many glad and sad happenings that still move to this day.

I am enjoying my new place I just moved into recently. Three other people share this place with me and we are quite compatible! I was hired by City Year and I looking forward to this new job! I have had a number of exciting things happen, since moving from Elk River. I miss every one of you more than I can say. I will always have warm feelings for all of you. In addition, I promise to send you updates periodically, along with a photo of me minus the braces!


“Some People Who Truly Care”

My life was all about drugs prior to me going to Elk River. I spent all my energy and time feeding my habit. I ignored those things that should be important including my own family. I was too wrapped up in my own little world. I was not able to quit by myself, so I needed help to quit my habit. Elk Rivers help me learn vital skills to give myself a better life. I also developed work ethic, morals, along with other things. I have now been drug-free for about 5 months. I owe this to my participation in the program at Elk River. Looking back, I realize most places do not provide as much help as the staff at Elk River, because this staff truly cares.


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Mobile Phone Guidelines for Teens

cell phone useImproving how we communicate is important to a society. Technological advances in communication including the computer and cell phones have made communicating as easy as it’s ever been. But there are also many disadvantages of communicating digitally. This is especially a huge problem if you are a parent with teenagers.

Teens forget that face time is an important part of socializing. They also forget about everything else in the world whenever they get text messages from their friends. When the phone beeps or vibrates, they start the onslaught of text messages that never end.

Although teens want to keep in touch with their friends by texting them, parents must set some boundaries. Teens should have fun, but they shouldn’t neglect their studies and other things in life. Thus, the following are suggestions for creating mobile phone guidelines for your teens.

Don’t allow your teens to use their phones before school. They are usually late for school when they spend too much time in the morning texting on their phones. Surprisingly, some teens like to see who can send the earliest text messages. So, you might need to take their phones away in the morning so that they can get ready for school in time.

Set a time schedule for using mobile phones on school nights. This can be a problem if your child likes to send text messages until the wee hours of the morning. This interferes with their rest and makes them groggy during school hours. Consider getting mobile postpaid services that have parental controls. Some mobile phone lines assist parents when it comes to controlling the messages that their teens get on their phones. This is especially a good thing for the nighttime hours.

Don’t let your teens use their phones during dinner. Dinnertime should be family time. You want to look at them across the dinner table and talk about the school day. This is the time to determine if all is well with your child. You don’t want to be confrontational during the dinner hour, but you also don’t want your teens to text at the dinner table. There are plenty of other times when they can check their cell phone messages.

Most teens will follow your guidelines if they are disciplined. This is usually because they think that you will take their phones away from them if they don’t obey your rules. So, they will normally do what you propose. Make it a point to lay down the law about cell phone usage before buying the phone. It will give them some time to let the rules sink in and understand that you really mean business.


Proper Parenting for Teens

If you ask any parent which is easier, raising toddlers or raising teens, you will probably hear a unanimous chorus of raising toddlers is easier. It’s true, toddlers are easier. Even though they are curious and into everything, you still have control. What happens is we have these babies, we care for them for all of their needs as babies, and then we begin to train them to someday leave the nest when they turn into full grown adults. The last phase of childhood is the teen years and these are the most trying years a parent may face.

Teens offer a special challenge because while you trained them to reach this point, they want to flex their independent muscles more. The teen years are about a slow letting go. You have to prepare them for adulthood. You cannot shelter them and keep them from all harm and send them out in the world without allowing them to go ahead and flex those independent muscles. It is a scary thing too. When you first teach your teen how to drive, you may feel as if you are going to pass out when relinquish control of the vehicle to your child. But if you never teach them, they will never learn, or they will learn from someone else.

You will start the teen years giving them a little more responsibility. This will help to build their self-esteem, especially if they know you trust them. You may start small but soon you must increase the responsibility and independence, even if you don’t want to. By not doing this, you are doing them a great disservice. While you teach them, independence increases their responsibilities. Teach them how to do all the household duties, even boys need to know how to do laundry and wash dishes. Teach them how to cook and clean.

Another big area of parenting teens is to allow them to make decisions for themselves and allow them to suffer the consequences if they make a bad decision. This helps them to grow and learn how to do this better. We all make mistakes, we all make bad and good decisions and the only way to learn is to have a chance to make the decisions and deal with the aftermath (or rewards) of such decisions. If they learn this early on, perhaps they will learn how to make better decisions as adults.


Animal Therapy For Troubled Teen

Equine TherapyWhen people talk about troubled teens, they can be talking about any number of different behavioral, emotional or psychological issues. They may be talking about a child with emotional or behavioral problems ranging from mild to severe, a child whose experimentation with drugs or alcohol is having a negative effect on their academics, social or family life or has led to addiction or all manner of other problems. While every teen is unique and has their own unique set of challenges to overcome, there are some techniques which have proven to be very effective in helping teens almost across the board.

One method which has shown to be especially promising is animal therapy (often called animal assisted therapy), which involves having troubled teens spend time with trained animals as a part of their therapy and counseling, especially in a residential treatment setting. The treatment is effective for a wide range of childhood and adolescent behavioral and emotional problems due to the well known psychological and physiological effects of being around domesticated animals.

You’re probably familiar with the many studies showing that having a pet can reduce social anxiety and reduce stress. In older adults, pet ownership and/or spending time with animals has also been correlated with a longer lifespan – and studies have also shown that animals have much the same effect on younger people. Spending as little as 15 minutes with a friendly animal, whether a dog, horse or other animal causes a drop in levels of the stress hormone cortisol and a rise in endorphin levels. One common characteristic of at risk teens is a high level of cortisol (corresponding to a frequent, even almost constant state of stress); animal therapy can help these teens relax, laying the groundwork for more successful communication and talk therapy.

Another advantage of animal therapy is that most domesticated animals are more responsive to gentle, quiet voices and body language than to loud or aggressive behavior, which makes animal therapy a teaching tool. All of these interactions are carefully monitored and designed to achieve specific goals – many counselors who work with troubled teens have reported that working with therapy horses or dogs have led to emotional breakthroughs in their patients.

Whether it’s the unconditional kindness of dogs or the intelligence and often stubborn nature of horses, working with therapy animals teaches troubled teens valuable communication skills. It can also instill a sense of responsibility, help them learn about themselves, come to terms with the problems they face and learn to work with their peers and adults in a healthy, mature way.

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Teens Not Gettting Help for Mental Health Issues

This is a guest post from

Ten percent of all teens in the United States suffer from some kind of mental health issue. What’s even more shocking, is that over 50% of the teens who suffer problems aren’t receiving treatment. Mental health problems are a leading cause of behavioral and developmental problems in teens. Parents who want to provide the right environment and assistance for their teenagers can enroll them in a residential therapy program.

Parents who are thinking about a program for at risk teens should take a few things in to consideration when enrolling their teenager.

  • The family should first be comfortable about enrolling their teenager. This includes the parents, the child, and any other close family members within the immediate support network.
  • Research should be undertaken to identify the best school or program to enrol their child in. Parents need to be aware of how programs are run, and what type of approaches the school uses.
  • The program should be clearly defined and planned, and available to parents before enrolling.
  • There should be adequate staff and equipment to support the program.
  • Parents should take the initiative to check the credentials of a school, as well as the staff involved in the program. Both schools and staff should hold all relevant qualifications and licenses.
  • There needs to be an effective method of reporting on and tracking the progress of teens enrolled in a program. Parents should find out how the school does this, and what kind of access the parents will have throughout the program.

One of the best ways to get an idea of the effectiveness and legitimacy of a school or program is to ask for testimonials from parents and students who have previously participated.

A troubled teen residential program can be the most effective method of guiding teens through a difficult developmental phase in their lives. Parents and teens should understand that these type of programs are not punishments or forms of abandonment. The best results will be achieved when the whole family is on board with the idea and committed to making it work.

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Pinnacle Schools

For the family whose lives have been turned upside down by the turmoil that comes from watching the devastating effects of a mental illness, an overwhelming and discouraging learning disability, or substance abuse, their circumstances can seem hopeless. Younger siblings looking on may be influenced in a negative manner, or may experience neglect due to the extra attention focused on the neediest child. Relationships between parents and children, the connections between siblings, and the bonds between couples often suffer.

Loving parents, with the heart and drive to find help for their child, will find the answers they are looking for. They will check for resources in their community, and surrounding areas, seek medical advice from physicians, ask questions of experts in the fields that affect their child, search on line, and speak to other parents who are experiencing the same confusion and heartache.

At risk teens need the support of their parents and family. They also need guidance, instruction, and continued education providing them with schooling, coping skills, support, and stimulation. They need to know they can be themselves, and fit into a world who recognizes that they have something to offer of themselves that makes a difference.

Within the Public high school system there are some wonderful teachers who are passionate about teaching. For the academic teacher, the focus must be on the entire class. In a classroom full of students, the teacher cannot focus on all of the personal issues that each student may be dealing with, nor is the teacher able to provide the guidance, instruction, and training to address the behavioral issues that a troubled teen experiences.

A boarding school for trouble teens may provide the control and structured environment offering the relief parents need to face the overwhelming task of dealing with an at risk child, but they are not staffed to offer medical assistance, psychological care or one on one personal attention.

Therapeutics programs and schooling can provide an at-risk teen with the staff, tools, care, and treatment that will help them to succeed. These facilities offer support for parents and family members. Medically equipped to meet the troubled teen’s physical, mental and emotional needs, the staff, made up of physicians, psychiatrists, drug counselors, and dieticians, can be there for every aspect of his or her life. They offer answers, and can help to turn toppled lives up right again.

Anger Manager Solutions for Troubled Teens

Rage in a teenager isn’t a normal emotion. If ignored, it can continue to worsen and could have dire consequences associated with it in later years. When your peaceful home has turned into a war zone that pits the family against the teenager, a wilderness program could be the best solution for you. These programs are designed to help troubled teens to turn their lives around as they learn better coping skills.

The wilderness program is designed as a therapeutic alternative for troubled teens. Young people attending will learn how to deal with their rage and better understand that their actions hurt those who are closest to them. New alternatives to the outburst and rage is explored in the group as part of the therapeutic intervention in an effort to help to combat emotional immaturity and the guidance helps the troubled teens explore healthier alternatives.

For most parents and teenagers, the wilderness program is a smarter choice when compared to therapeutic facilities. Between the relaxing outdoors and a safe environment, your teenager will have a chance to speak with a trained counselor as they progress through the program. They will then go through activities together as a group that helps them find solutions to punching, threatening and being overly destructive. This retraining then can be carried over into any of the other behavioral problems the teenager faces.

With the wilderness program, modern therapy meets a therapeutic outdoor environment that is conducive for healing. It also removes teenagers from the influences in their life that can be sparking their angst. This includes friends, social media, video games, movies and the internet. With fewer distractions and negative influences, therapy in the wilderness programs can be more effective and most troubled teens find this is the second chance they have been looking for.

Parents who believe their troubled teens would benefit from this program should take action and contact Pinnacle Schools today. With expertly trained staff, the school has the ability to give your child the guidance they need to take control of their lives and better process their destructive behavior.


Questions Parents Should Ask About Troubled Teen Programs

questions-okAs the parent of a troubled teen you’re bound to have questions that you want to ask. You’re feeling such a mixture of emotions, sometimes running the gamut from concern to worry to guilt and even recriminations. First of all, you need to understand that the issues that your children are facing may not necessarily reflect on your care in any way. The best thing that you can do for them is what you are doing right now.

Consideration of a troubled teen program may be difficult for parents, but in some cases it is an absolute necessity in order to ensure that your troubled teen gets what they need to live a full and happy life.

Private residential programs for teens can offer a wide range of services to the parents and the teen. Some will deal building confidence, some with counseling, others with addictive behavior and still others will be helping them to cope with behavioral or emotional issues that must be worked through.

There are bound to be questions that you’ve got about the treatment places that you’re considering. The treatment area where your son or daughter may be placed can vary widely. The names under which these are placed include Teen boot camp, behavior modification, wilderness therapy.

While most are excellent facilities, there is some concern among parents because most are also not regulated federally. There are no standard definitions for the programs out there and some are not subject to state licensing or to federal government.

The FTC recommends that you ask multiple questions about the facility prior to placing your child in the program. Among the questions that you should be asking are these:

Are you licensed by your state. Find out what areas that the license covers and if it includes educational, healthcare and residential areas.

As questions about the academics and find out about the teachers who are in the program. As for teaching certificates and/or licenses for the teachers in the program. As about seeing a copy of the academic curriculum.

Request information on their accreditation. While there may not be state or federal standards or accreditations for the program, there are other agencies that provide accreditation and seeking it out is the mark of a responsible program.

Request the certifications and the credentials of the clinical and educational directors of the program. Further request the experience and the accreditations and credentials of the state who will be working with your child.

As if they conduct full background checks on their employees and how extensive that background check may be.

While you may seem to be asking a lot of questions and may indeed come across as a little pushy, the fact is that this is your child. Learning all that you can about the placement venue is imperative and knowing what you need to know to feel comfortable putting your child’s future in their hands is important.

Giving your child the best chance of a bright future means having them treated at a facility that has the capacity and the experience to be able to accomplish that. Find out all that you can about the school or facility to which your child will go.

Number of Young Adults on ADHD Drugs Soars

The sheer numbers of young people on ADHD drugs today has risen dramatically to the point that scientists and physicians are taking a second look at it. According to the latest reports, the number of young people who are now on ADHD drugs. According to those in the know, specifically the CDC and physician reports, the increase can be largely attributed to females. The vast majority of those females are not in– as you might expect–the youth population, but rather the adult population.

Express Scripts’ David Muzina does not find this particularly surprising. “The rapid increase in adult use of these medications is striking, especially since there is very little research on how these treatments affect an older population,” Muzina commented in an NBC News interview “It signals a need to look more closely at how and why physicians prescribe these medications for adults, particularly women, who may turn to these medications, or experience symptoms of attention disorders, as a result of keeping up with the multiple demands on their time.”

It appears to be, at least according to some, that the medications are being prescribed for symptoms that may indicate ADHD but may also indicate a lifestyle that is simply too busy with women who are trying to accomplish a great deal more than they should be.

Is this a signal that our lives have become to complicated, that we’re attempting to juggle too much, and might this also be the case for some of those juveniles who are also displaying symptoms that lead to their being medicated?

In many cases, the rise in medication for adult onset ADHD has and can be attributed to adults who were not diagnosed as children with the disorder and who may have fallen through the cracks of a system that was not looking for this kind of disorder. Yet many physicians say that it may also be attributable to people who are– when leading busy lives–unable to focus or to concentrate on just one thing due to so many other things interrupting that concentration.

How far might that explanation go toward better understanding some of our own issues and those of our children? Today, when push comes to shove, many of us don’t take the time that we need to unwind, to distress and to relax for the many different things that we do. Is being unable to concentrate and unable to focus well in and of itself something that we should be medicating and offering the diagnosis of the month? Are all of the diagnoses and medications that are being given today really correct? Has the incidence of ADHD really risen so dramatically and if so, why?

Differences between Normal and Troubled Teens

Teens can be moody, no doubt about it. For some, the moodiness seems to hit the second they enter their teen years. For others, it creeps up slowly. Either way, it can take an unsuspecting parent by surprise.Teenage moodiness is pretty normal in most cases. The ups and downs are all part of the physiological changes going on in a teenager’s body as they mature and grow. Moodiness hits in varying degrees, and some teens might seem to have a whole lot more downs than ups. At some point, parents might start to worry that teenage “moodiness” might be something a bit more serious.Don’t Ignore Your Feelings

As a parent, you’re right to be concerned. You should expect some mood swings, but you should also be aware that some teenagers do experience very real depression. It’s important not to ignore possible warning signs. Some parents brush off concerns, preferring (on some level) not to know. They simply chalk odd behavior up to “moodiness” and nothing more. While this may indeed be the case, warning signs should not be ignored or brushed aside.

If you have seen consistently strange or extreme behavior, it might be time to take a closer look at what’s going on with your teen. There are some tell-tale signs that a teenager is troubled on a deeper level, and if you start to see these signs, it may be time to take action.

Recognizing the Signs

You know your child better than just about anyone. If you can take an honest look at your teen’s behavior and you notice something amiss, you should trust your instincts. Following are some common signs that a teen has gone beyond normal moodiness to something a bit deeper:

Extreme need for privacy – A desire for independence and freedom is normal, but a steadily increasing degree of secrecy, and demands for extreme privacy are definite warning signs.

Sudden angry outbursts – A bit of teenage angst is normal. Sudden outbursts of extreme, unreasonable anger are not.

Extreme mood swings – Expect some cranky days, but if your teens swings wildly from depression to elation, that’s not healthy – especially if these mood swings are accompanied by a lot more sleep than usual.

Dropping grades –Troubled teens will often lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. Grades may drop suddenly and unexplainably.

Dishonesty and sneakiness – A troubled teen may start to lie about their whereabouts. They may start to miss curfews, and they might not show up when and where they’re expected.

Petty theft – Some troubled teens may take to stealing money from your wallet. Others may turn to petty shoplifting.

Changes in friends –It’s natural for a teen to develop new friendships over time; but it’s unusual for a teen to suddenly change peer groups entirely. This is especially concerning if the new group of friends has resulted in a negative change in attitude or appearance.

While one or two of these signs may not be a cause for concern, you should certainly keep an eye on how things progress. Some teens return to an even keel after a brief period of difficulty. Others grow progressively worse, and intervention may be required.

Understanding the Symptoms

It’s also important to understand that teenage depression is a very real condition. It goes deeper than simple moodiness, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. If your family has a history of depression, it’s all the more important to watch for signs in your teenager.

There are a few major symptoms of depression to watch for:

– Ongoing physical symptoms including persistent headaches, stomach aches, nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and shortness of breath.

– Persistent mood swings that are disproportionate to the situation. A deep sadness or persistent irritability, accompanied by unusual bouts of crying, fatigue, anger, or acting out.

– A negative self-concept that manifests in talk of hopelessness or self-hate. Some teens will say things like “It would be better if I just weren’t around.” This may be accompanied by persistent anxiety and/or deep introspection.

– Rarely, depression can cause visual or auditory hallucinations and delusional thinking. At this point, depression has progressed to a more serious psychosis.

Know When to Seek Help

It’s hard to admit it when we can’t be all that our children need – especially when we see them in pain. If you suspect that your teen is depressed or troubled, don’t feel like you need to handle it alone. In fact, it’s almost always best to seek professional help and advice.

If your child is willing to talk, listen carefully and take his feelings seriously. Don’t minimize or belittle his feelings and problems. Instead, realize that your child needs you now more than ever, and do all that you can to provide the support, help, and understanding that he needs.

Signs Of ADD/ADHD In Your Teen

There are times when you might hear, “that kid sure is a brat.” In reality, according to The Pinnacle Schools, the behavior of the kid may not be from parenting but from a condition called Attention Deficit Disorder or sometimes called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This is a condition where a child has trouble with behavior. It can range from the inability to pay attention and focus to acting out without thinking. This condition typically manifests at an early age and without treatment can cause problems at home, at school, and with relationships.

What is the cause of ADHD? The cause is actually not known, but it does tend to run in families. ADHD is usually diagnosed when the child is between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. There is no cure for this condition, but treatment may help with the control of the symptoms. When younger, the symptoms are often more hard to identify because of the fact that young children tend to have some types of these behaviors.

These are typically distinguished from normal childhood behavior by the consistency of the symptoms and the severity of the symptoms. Some of the things which may distinguish themselves are poor organization and study skills, low grades, problems with socialization, feeling rejected by their peers, and dislike of school.

By the time the child reaches the teen years, they may be in better control of the disruptive behavior that is related to the hyperactivity. If the child is not treated in the younger years, the symptoms may become worse as a teenager.

Some of the symptoms may include:

  •     Hyperactivity-This is excessive or inappropriate activity.
  •     Inattention-Being easily distracted and having a short attention span.
  •     Impulsive-Doing unwise or dangerous things without thinking about the consequences.

With a teen, if they have trouble staying focused and are disorganized, there is the possibility that it is caused by a lack of sleep. The other symptoms you might want to look at, to determine if you think the teen has a problem, is do they forget easily or do they appear not to listen when someone is talking to them. There is a big misconception that all teens with ADD/ADHD are loud. This is not true, yours could be a daydreamer. Blurting out answers instead of waiting for the appropriate time, having angry outbursts or having trouble waiting their turn, can also be signs of a problem.

Each child is unique and may project different symptoms. A couple of the common symptoms you may experience are difficulty paying attention during tasks and the inability to follow simple instructions. Does your child have ADHD? Learn about the causes and symptoms and if you feel your child or teen has a problem, consult with your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment.