Troubled Teens

“Adolescence is like having only enough light to see the step directly in front of you.”

– Sarah Addison Allen

Adolescence can be a confusing and challenging time for both parents and teenagers to navigate successfully. Healthy and expected changes for your child during this time may include seeking independence, challenging authority, and figuring out where one fits in as he or she launches towards adulthood. However, when a family is coping with the impact of a troubled teenager, finding answers and navigating through this stage of life can be especially challenging.

“It feels like everything I say, he argues and blows up. I try to set rules at home, but he doesn’t care and just does whatever he wants. I give up.”

A troubled teen makes risky and highly concerning choices in their daily lives. Rule breaking behavior, getting involved with bad peer influences, using alcohol or drugs, or failing in school are common signs of a teen who may be struggling with extreme behavioral problems, the effects of trauma, depression, or anxiety. Parents may continue to try to give direction, but are often met with explosive reactions or shutting down the relationship. The emotional turmoil, daily conflict, and overall exhaustion in trying to find answers can cause parents to feel overwhelmed and hopeless.

“My parents don’t get me. I don’t want to tell them anything because they overreact and freak out. They are always telling me what to do, I get mad, and then we fight.”

Teens struggling with emotional and behavioral problems rarely feel understood by others or have confidence in their ability to cope. Confused and overwhelmed, they struggle with how to fit in with friends, get along with family members, be successful in school, or find healthy ways to be independent. Instead, they may act out, rebel, escape (drug use, running away), or experience feelings of depression and anxiety that can feel paralyzing. It becomes almost impossible to find ways to make it better and problems often escalate at home and school.

We’re here to help. One family at a time.

At Equinox Counseling and Wellness Center, we specialize in working with troubled teens and their families. Knowing that many layers of change, growth and healing are needed, we think of our work as a ‘marathon rather than a sprint’ approach to treatment. We understand that seeking out an intensive level of support means significant concerns have occurred and help is needed.

Equinox offers a treatment option that keeps your family intact, keeps your child connected with his or her community, and creates change that lasts long after treatment is over. And more importantly, we have witnessed families experience the joy, relief and pride of watching the youth we serve learn to lead healthy, productive lives with greater independence and self-confidence.

“We were at our wits end and felt like giving up. We were ready to send our son to a residential treatment center out of state. Your intensive team-based services allowed us to stay together as a family and get the help we needed as a family.”

– Parent of a 14-year-old


Troubled Teen Groups

Teen group therapy focused on issues of substance abuse, relapse prevention, behavioral stabilization, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, self-image and failure to launch. Groups utilize an experiential approach with outdoor/ adventure venues and are led with expert facilitation to engage teens in their own change process that promotes communication, accountability, personal responsibility, and important skills for a sustained substance free lifestyle.


Intensive Treatment Program for Troubled Teens

The Equinox Intensive Treatment Program for Troubled Teens provides a comprehensive, individualized program specifically designed for your family. We engage teens through activity-based interventions as we skillfully combine individual and family therapy, community-based therapeutic care services, mentoring, wilderness therapy, and parent/guardian coaching.


Substance Abuse

When a teenager or young adult uses or abuses alcohol, marijuana, and other substances the the impact on family relationships, the teen’s motivation, and his/her success in life can be significant. Equinox provides support services including substance abuse monitoring (urinalysis), tools to assist with post addiction recovery, and relapse prevention programming.


After Care

Youth returning home from residential, hospital, or other out-of-home settings greatly benefit from individualized transitional support. Often, this becomes the essential component necessary to support the complex process of returning home and fully integrating back into the family system. Transitional support helps teens and young adults maintain focus and manage anxiety and frustration, as well as increase empathy towards others.


Wilderness & Adventure Therapy

Wilderness Therapy is a powerful tool for youth experiencing difficulties and challenges in many aspects of their lives. Our Wilderness Therapy program is the only one of its kind in the nation. We use a relational and trauma-informed model of care that allows for intense focus, therapeutic clinical immersion, and purposeful experience that moves beyond behavioral stabilization and into the core of the issues your teen is facing.



We can connect your teen with a healthy adult role model who introduces him or her to new activities and recreational interests, teaches health and wellness skills, and provides a non-pressured, non-authoritative healthy adult relationship.