Therapeutic Crisis Intervention

Guiding Your Child Towards a Brighter Future

Crisis Intervention For At-Risk Teens

Our students oftentimes exhibit a number of self-destructive behaviors prior to coming to our at-risk youth programs for trauma-informed crisis prevention and intervention.

Sometimes families have difficulty recognizing the challenges or seeing the path their child is on until it becomes even more difficult to make changes. If you are unsure of if your child could benefit from an at-risk youth program for managing and preventing crises, ask yourself if you have seen any of these behaviors in your child:

  • Deception, not just lying
  • Secrecy about activities, friends, or the like
  • School refusal or poor school performance
  • Broken relationships with family and friends
  • Surrounding themselves with poor influences
  • Experimentation with alcohol, drugs, or other troubling behaviors
  • Belief systems perpetuating bad behaviors
  • Defiance and anger issues

If you answered yes to any of the above, Trails Carolina's trauma-informed crisis prevention and intervention program might be a good option for your child and family. Keep reading to learn more about therapeutic crisis intervention and how we handle crisis at Trails Carolina.


93% of students reported significant improvement in rule-breaking behaviors 12 months after graduation

What Is Therapeutic Crisis Intervention For At-Risk Youth?

Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) is an approach to crisis prevention and intervention that is designed to help at-risk teens who are experiencing crisis situations, such as suicide ideation, potential and actual injury, or running away from home, or exhibiting troubling behaviors, such as persistent school refusal, substance abuse, deception, or defiance.

The Therapeutic Crisis Intervention system is based on the principles of respect for the individual, non-violent crisis intervention, physical intervention only when necessary, emotional regulation, and continuous learning and improvement.

therapeutic crisis intervention - Trails staff sits with student

TCI is a holistic approach that focuses on addressing the root causes of an at-risk teen's challenging behaviors, building positive relationships, and promoting emotional regulation and self-control. Typically, TCI implementation includes a set of crisis prevention, crisis management, and crisis intervention techniques that can be used by parents, caregivers, educators, and mental health professionals to help de-escalate potential crisis situations involving youth.

How Can TCI Help Children Manage A Crisis Situation?

Therapeutic Crisis Intervention can be an effective approach to helping students manage their emotions and behaviors in a healthy and constructive way. Some of the ways that the crisis intervention model can help at-risk teens include focusing on:

  1. De-escalation techniques: TCI provides students with a range of de-escalation techniques to help them manage their emotions and behaviors. Not only do the staff with TCI training model these techniques to help with de-escalating potential crises, but they help students develop them for their own use. These techniques include active listening, empathy, problem-solving, and coping skills. By using these coping strategies, at-risk teens can learn to manage their emotions and behaviors in a constructive way and prevent crises from escalating.
  2. Emotional regulation: TCI emphasizes the importance of emotional regulation and self-soothing in managing challenging behaviors. This approach provides at-risk teens with tools and strategies to help them manage their emotions and cope with stressful situations, such as deep breathing, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques. By learning to regulate their emotions in healthy ways, at-risk teens can reduce the risk of engaging in troubling behaviors.
  3. Positive relationships: TCI emphasizes the importance of building positive relationships between family members, mental health clinicians, mentors, educators, and at-risk teens. By building trust and rapport with safe adults in their lives, young people are more likely to feel supported and understood, which can lead them to make better choices in life.
  4. Trauma-informed care: TCI recognizes that many at-risk teens may have experienced trauma in their lives. Therapeutic crisis management emphasizes a trauma-informed approach to care, which involves understanding the impact of trauma on an individual's behavior and providing a trauma-sensitive environment, therapeutic support, and individualized treatment that is sensitive to their needs.

Everything we do at Trails Carolina is meant to prepare at-risk teens to transition their wilderness experience skills into the real world and create a bright future.

What Makes Wilderness Therapy A Good Therapeutic Crisis Prevention & Intervention Option?

One of the many benefits of wilderness therapy programs like Trails Carolina is the natural consequences that nature brings. These consequences provide an incredible tool to help us teach new behaviors and help students see the effects of their choices in a very tangible way. This environment paired with our instruction and proven approach to change helps us make a profound impact on our students.

This is the type of crisis intervention that shows better days are ahead. Our at-risk youth program uses teen intervention services to help students understand the root of their destructive thought patterns that guide their behaviors and decision-making and learn new, positive paradigms to operate from. This type of therapeutic crisis intervention is what promotes growth and helps children improve their lives.

By helping our students build on experiences of success and understanding how they interact with the world around them, they begin to see constructive ways to make positive changes. In making those positive changes they also begin to see positive results in their interactions, feelings, and belief in what they can achieve.

We Use A Team Approach For More Comprehensive Treatment


Your child will benefit from working with a variety of team members in our crisis intervention program, including your child’s primary therapist, a family therapist, field instructors, a certified teacher, and an equine specialist.

This Trails Team crisis intervention program approach provides your child with a diverse, integrated experience with professionals who have in-depth expertise in their respective fields. Unlike other wilderness and outdoor adventure programs, we provide a diverse, professional staff of experts, rather than a small team of 2 or 3 staff.

At Trails Carolina, our students get exposure to different teaching styles, personalities, expertise, and resources, all working together to help them make lasting changes. Our staff process tough emotions with each student and develop creative, individualized intervention methods that lead to real change.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022