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Change is Hard: Why Struggling Teens Need It Just Like the Rest of Us

Change is Hard: Why Struggling Teens Need It Just Like the Rest of Us



Humans are creatures of habit and most find any kind of significant change to be at least mildly distressing or uncomfortable.

For troubled teens and troubled young adults, however, changes can be particularly traumatic and may make any kind of issues they have even worse. But why is change so hard, anyway? Why is it so hard to get your struggling teen to change? The truth is, there are several valid reasons why. When troubled individuals really need help, it’s often hard to get them the therapy they need when they aren’t so willing.

Why is Change So Hard?

Change is hard because it isn’t like a switch that you can just turn on or off. Therefore, getting trouble teens to change their destructive behaviors is not necessarily going to be an easy process—and that’s because change is an actual process.
According to Psychology Today, there are six principles of change. They include:

(1) Believing that you actually can change
(2) That the type of treatment implemented is less important that the person’s commitment to make change
(3) That treatments don’t have arduous and lengthy to be to be effective
(4) That learning life skills are the key to kicking addiction
(5) That repetition is key in changing behavior and habits
(6) That all improvements count, regardless of any setbacks.

In reviewing the principles of change, it’s important to note that there is one thing that change must have in order to work: the willingness to do it. When teens and young adults are struggling, often the reason they have immersed themselves in their destructive behaviors is because that is where they feel safe. Taking them out of their safety zone requires encouraging them to look at change as a positive event rather than a negative one.

How Can I Get My Teenager to Change?

During the 21st National Symposium on Doctoral Research in Social Work, Christine Lynn Norton, PhD, LCSW of Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois, stated in her work that wilderness therapy is “recognized as a powerful intervention that promotes cognitive, affective and behavioral change.”

Given that nature itself is ever-evolving and constantly changing, it is evident that wilderness therapy can have a significant positive impact on struggling young individuals, particularly since they can see the positive effects of change first-hand. What this means is, if you’ve already tried to get your teen to change and it just isn’t working, perhaps it’s time they got some professional assistance—help from a residential treatment facility that’s centered around wilderness therapy.

Wingate Wilderness Therapy is a premier facility that provides a nurturing, challenging environment that is designed to specifically address teens and young adults. Through their philosophy of cooperation rather than confrontation, their impact on teen’s lives in incomparable, and their success rate is even more impressive. Struggling teens are not the only ones who benefit from change—the entire family does. We all strengthen ourselves through change, and this is why your teen so desperately needs it.


Wingate Wilderness Therapy is designed to help teens and young adults rediscover themselves and the world around them. Our highly-sought after program reconnects your son or daughter back to nature and the love and commitment of their family. To find out more, call us today at (800) 560-1599.

About Author
Craig Rogers has been a leader in the behavioral health industry for 20 plus years.  Craig Rogers is an enthusiastic author and blogger, writting and publishing 2,000 articles related to the "therapeutic intervention of troubled teens." As a parent coach, mentor, and advocate,...

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Call 1-800-560-1599 or email us now to confidentially discuss
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to see if Wingate is right for your family.

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