being a mom

Troubled Teen Industry: Where Helping Kids Includes Rape, Abuse & Starvation

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shutterstock_36423124Some teenagers have emotional problems. Eating disorders, depression, psychological problems, drug problems. More frequently, when a parent of a troubled teen has tried numerous ways in order to get their kids help, either through therapy or family counselors or medication, and none of these tactics are providing helpful for their teen or the behavior, parents can then have them kidnapped in the middle of the night and sent off to a “rehabilitation” facility, a “tough-love” camp where their teen will be “scared straight” into changing their behavior. At the very least, these programs have been shown not to be very effective when it comes to changing a kid’s behavior. At the very worst, time spent in these facilities results in post-traumatic stress disorder, a lifetime of anxiety attacks, more severe drug use, and sometimes death.

There is a television show aired on Lifetime entitled “Teen Trouble” where host, Josh Shipp, who has no credentials in psychology or addiction treatment works with a team of unnamed “experts” on showing teens the ramifications continuing embarking on whatever behavior is seen as detrimental  to their particular situation. The teens are not treated for their drug use, chemical dependency or depression, Teen Trouble instead relies on scare  inducing fear through confrontation,and showing the teens the consequences of their actions, whether these be homelessness, disfigurement or death. From


In one episode, for example, a girl is forced to lie down in a coffin and touch dead bodies; in another, a boy is put in casts and a wheelchair.  A third episode includes a “make over” where a teen girl’s face appears covered with scabs and sores; another sees a young woman spend a winter night on the streets with the homeless. Afterward, many of the teens are sent to tough wilderness or “emotional growth” boarding schools.

There are over one thousand of these “boarding schools” in the US alone.  They are easily recognizable by their code names: therapeutic boarding school, wilderness program, juvenile boot camp, behavior modification program, or residential treatment center. They range in type from large prison-like facilities to secluded cabins in the woods. Parents pay around $50,000 a year in order for their kids to be “rehabilitated” by hard labor, isolation, military-style drills and worse. From

The Workouts usually took three hours, though any defiance or lagging by one person would earn punishment for the whole group. I was told of one workout that lasted for over 7 hours.

During the rest of the week, we went on hikes or did forced labor on the ranch. If someone was still being defiant they had to shovel piles of horse manure (wearing their own shoes of course) or made to dig 2’x 6′ x 6′ hole in the ground or fill another hole up.


And another account:

That continued until a couple of weeks later, when I went to one of my counseling sessions. On the first night, I had been ordered to strip down, but it seemed really odd to me when my counselor told me to strip down to the waist. I didn’t fight it though for fear of being sent back in the program and/or corporally punished. My counselor then started fondling my breasts as I sat and watched in horror, but I was too afraid to complain.

This continued into a cycle of sexual molestation and/or powertripping by this particular counselor. I tried eventually to complain, but was only told that ‘I didn’t have Jesus in my heart’ and then paddled.


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