I love my job here at Sunrise as Admissions Director.  I have always enjoyed working with teenage girls, but now as a mother of 4 I enjoy more so assisting families in getting them on the path of help, healing, and happiness.

During the process of exploring residential treatment options parents often ask,

  • “Is my daughter truly at the point of needing this?” 
  • “Is she ‘that bad’?”  or
  • “How do I know if we’re at that point?”   

These are all very valid questions as residential treatment is usually the last resort choice.    

It looks different for every girl, but a few red flags to look for indicating Residential Treatment is a good option:

  • When your daughter’s choices and behavior begin affecting other family members and the home’s environment.  To the point where:
    • lives are being interrupted
    • you are walking on eggshells 24/7
    • you feel hostage in your own home
    • the other children in your home are beginning to react negatively due to the influence of your adolescent
    • you are having to miss work or other activities due to this child’s needs.
  • • You are unable to keep your child safe beyond a reasonable parents’ supervision. 
  • School is falling apart, multiple absences, failing grades, behavioral issues, etc..
  • • You have exhausted all outpatient resources in your community.

With this choice often comes guilt.  Parents will often say they feel guilty for “sending their child away”.  Let me rephrase it, you are “getting your daughter help”.   Through Sunrise’s family therapy sessions, family weekends, visits on campus and home visits, you will be more emotionally connected to your daughter while she is in treatment then having her physically at home while struggling.   

One way to get past the guilt is to put it in your daughter’s hands.  Let your child know that if X Y or Z occur, (her patterns or behaviors that are unacceptable emotionally, academically, physically, etc..) then you will need to get her help outside of your home and community.   Usually at this point, the adolescent cannot keep it together for more than a week without crashing.   

If/when this happens, allow yourself to shift in perspective that your child made this choice.  You allowed her  to make choices up to this point, now the consequence falls into place which is that you step in and make a better choice for her  before she self-destructs.    

You are all great parents, doing the very best that you can.  Residential Treatment is a courageous  and life-saving choice that any struggling teen would be blessed to experience.    


By Nicole Andra, Admissions Director at Sunrise Residential Treatment Center

Signs your daughter needs residential treatment.