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Treatment Programs and Centers For Teens Struggling With Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder Treatment Centers For Teens 

How Does Trails Carolina Help Teens with Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Trails Carolina is a groundbreaking holistic treatment program for teenagers with oppositional defiant disorder. Oppositional defiant disorder is a family-centered disorder, and it places teenagers at extreme odds with parents. We know that, individuals with oppositional defiant disorder display behaviors such as stubbornness, verbal and physical aggression, insubordination and temper tantrums. Oppositional defiant disorder typically comes from a place of anxiety, depression, extreme stress, and ADHD. Our program is designed to treat the underlying problems of ODD, as well as the aggressive behaviors. 

Because anger is aimed at parents, Trails Carolina has developed therapeutic treatments in a family-minded approach. Our treatments include: wilderness therapy, clinical theories, psychotherapies, academics, and life-skills. The entire family will work together in a healthy and safe environment to build trust and healthy relationships. Family members will also learn the appropriate tools to successfully transition back to a real-life setting

What are the Causes of Teenage Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Professionals believe there is a combination of biological, psychological, and social risk factors in the development of ODD.

Risk factors of oppositional defiant disorder include: 

  • Parent with a history of ODD or ADHD
  • Parent with a mood disorder
  • Parent who has a problem with substance abuse, brain impairment, chemical imbalance in the brain
  • A mother who smoked during pregnancy
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Poor nutrition
  • Poor relationship with one or more parent
  • Neglectful or absent parent
  • Inability to form social relationships
  • Unable to process social cues
  • Growing up in poverty
  • Chaotic environment
  • Abuse, lack of supervision, inconsistent discipline, and family instability.

Professionals also believe ODD develops as a coping mechanism in order to deal with other mental health problems. Adolescents with ADHD, anxiety, depression, and mood disorders don’t typically have an outlet for their extreme stress. They are often a response to uncertainty and an unstable home and school environment. Essentially, ODD can occur as an outlet for teenagers struggling to manage their feelings and mental disorders. Because mental disorders are commonly misdiagnosed, as €œhe will grow out of it, a teen’s condition can worsen to the point of extreme violence and aggression if left untreated.

Family Programming at Trails

Trails Carolina Wilderness Therapy provides an evidence-based therapeutic approach to young people ages 10-17. Located in Western North Carolina, Trails Carolina is surrounded by the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. 

One aspect of our programming that we believe to be one of the most important is our family programming.

At Trails, we believe that lasting change can only occur if the entire family is on board throughout the therapeutic process. Our family programming includes:

  • Weekly calls with the entire family: Every week, a student and their family will meet over the phone, mediated by the student’s Primary Therapist. During these calls, the family will address specific challenges and discuss areas for continued growth and progress.
  • Trails Family Calls: Every week, we offer parents the opportunity to speak with other Trails Carolina families who are in similar stages within the program. Through these sessions, families can feel less isolated and alone during the process.
  • Parent Workshop: After your child has attended the program for several weeks, we invite parents to a parent workshop where they are able to experience wilderness therapy and gain skills to build a stronger, closer family system. After the workshop is completed, parents speak with a new set of Trails parents on the weekly Family Calls. This offers a new level of support.
  • Common Ground: Common Ground is an optional 5-day extended program which takes place at the end of a student’s time in our program. This program offers the same skills and training taught throughout wilderness therapy to the entire family. Every member of the family attends equine relational programming sessions, as well as other aspects of the program.

Learn more about family programming at Trails Carolina here.
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What are some treatment options for Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)?

Treatment options for teens with oppositional defiant disorder are family, social, and behavior-based. The first step is to create a healthy and safe environment. Once trust has been developed, the professional therapy team at Trails Carolina can properly assess your teenager. 

Our therapeutic methods include wilderness therapy: where your teenager will experience a completely different environment. Wilderness therapy will teach your teenager pivotal and essential life skills for the real world.

We also include family therapy and family skills. This form of treatment involves the entire family building skills and learning coping mechanisms together. We aim to build solid and healthy familial relationships that can successfully grow together.

Trails Carolina also uses education, skill building, and training therapies. These approaches teach teenagers how to respond to stressful situations in a real-world setting. They are taught skills to manage their emotions and will be able to employ those skills upon reentering the world.

How do I know if my child is struggling with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)?

Symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder in young people and teens include:

  • Rebellious behavior
  • Stubbornness
  • Arguing with adults
  • Refuse to obey authority figures
  • Angry outbursts
  • Cannot control their temper
  • Hostility
  • Defiance
  • Spitefulness
  • Negativity
  • Verbal aggression
  • Physical aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD

Learn how we can help your child succeed

Mindfulness Programming Helps Students Gain Sense Of Self

At Trails, we have incorporated evidence-based mindfulness and yoga practices throughout the daily routine and clinical work of all students.

Students at Trails Carolina partake in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) curriculum to expand their capacity to manage stress in a nourishing and non-judgmental way.  Core components of the MBSR groups at Trails include grounding techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing, mindful movement, and thought-stopping techniques to help students develop a deeper sense of their body and regain control of their actions and internal processes. 

Throughout their time at Trails, students are regularly encouraged to tune into their senses, pause, and strengthen their mental capacity to be still and content without constant distractions.  Mindfulness techniques are also shared with all parents of Trails Carolina students as a valuable resource that can be incorporated into parenting and can also be applied as a coping strategy.  By educating both parents and students in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Trails Carolina provides families with a common experience that contributes to positive parent-child relationships and improves treatment outcomes.

Along with MBSR, students participate in yoga sessions which helps them learn how to reconnect with their bodies and teaches breath control. For a lot of our students, especially those who struggle with trauma, their own bodies can feel very foreign to them. Yoga can serve as the bridge between the body and the mind.

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The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP): AACAP is a non profit organization comprised of psychiatrists and other therapeutic professionals who actively research and advocate for individuals struggling with mental health challenges. This organization promotes awareness and acceptance of mental health challenges, providing public information about research and facts about a variety of diagnoses, including oppositional defiant disorder. 

Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology(SCCAP): The SCCAP’s website provides informational resources for parents seeking therapeutic help for their child. They have an extensive library of videos and content designed to provide information for families interested in treatment for their child. The information on their website can help parents with teens struggling with oppositional defiant disorder better understand how to address that issue and discover the next best steps. 



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