Sometimes emerging adult or young adult children significantly struggle with becoming more independent. When this happens, oftentimes, parents will think about putting their child in a residential treatment center. However, that is not the only treatment choice. For those living on the Westside of Los Angeles, in-home therapy may be a more appropriate treatment option.

Benefits of Residential Treatment

In a residential placement, your child receives the highest level of care under the guidance of a treatment team. The treatment team usually consists of multiple disciplines. Your child receives round the clock supervision, including overnight staffing. Residents typically attend numerous groups throughout the day. They usually obtain at least one hour of individual therapy per week.

This sounds wonderful, but this service is not without its costs — literally and figuratively. Many residential placements in Los Angeles cost more than $6-10,000 a month. And a U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) study found residential care to be a “restrictive form of care.” In particular, there are concerns about removing a young person from their family and community. Additionally, there are concerns that treatment gains are not sustainable upon the young adult returning home.

Does My Child Need Residential Treatment Instead of In-Home Therapy?

In-home therapy can be ideal in the right situations. However, to be sure it is the safest option, consider the following factors:

  • Are you concerned about the physical safety of any family member?
  • Does your child struggle with psychosis?
  • Is substance abuse a connected issue?
  • Does your child need 24/7 supervision?
  • Are you the type of parent who is not comfortable with setting and following-through with limits and consequences?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, a residential treatment center is usually a better option than in-home therapy. However, if you’re unsure, sessions with a trained professional can help. They’ll assist you in determining the pros and cons of different treatment options.

If you answered “no” to all of the above questions, in-home therapy may be the right treatment option. To help flesh out this option, let’s explore what it has to offer.

Benefits of In-Home Therapy Versus Residential Placement

Individualized Treatment

In a residential setting, treatment is more likely to be a one-size-fits-all. The majority of treatment is via group therapy. Groups can certainly be very beneficial. However, if you’re looking for more individualized treatment, in-home therapy is a better choice. By definition, in-home therapy provides individualized and customized care. All treatment is based on the client’s unique presentation and treatment needs.

Cost Effectiveness

In-home therapy is more cost-effective. Because your child does not need 24/7 supervision, you only need to pay for the therapeutic services provided by your licensed in-home psychologist. Additionally, you don’t need to pay for additional housing.

Clinical Gains

  1. At home, your young adult child can heal within a real-life setting. The skills they learn and practice are grounded in their world. Treatment takes into account their real-life circumstances and obstacles.
  2. In-home therapy facilitates better internalization of the skills being taught. This is because they are not acquired in a controlled, sterile environment. Meaning, your child will actually continue to use the skills learned, even after treatment ends.
  3. Residential placement can negatively impact a youth’s relationship with their friends and family. Many young adults report feeling resentment and anger towards their parents. Additionally, their friendships become strained and weakened once cut-off from their peers. With in-home treatment, these are not concerns.
  4. Transitioning from a residential back into the home is usually incredibly stressful for all involved. And, without careful transition planning, the young adult child usually reverts back to their old ways. Conversely, in-home therapy eliminates this issue as transition planning is no longer a factor. The child has been home for their entire treatment.

The factors above lead to the emerging adult being better prepared to function in the “real world”, as they remain in the “real world” throughout the process. Research shows up to 90% of emerging adults or young adult children treated via in-home therapy did not require later placement outside their home. In-home therapy effectively treated their functional challenges. Subsequently, the cost of services decreased.

Bringing in an Expert

When choosing between in-home therapy and residential placement, there are, of course, countless variables involved. Each young person should be judged on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes speaking with an expert in these matters brings clarity. If you’re curious if in-home therapy might be the right treatment modality for your adult child struggling to launch, reach out and schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation with me today.

Please read more about parenting an emerging adult here.