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How Long Should a Treatment Program Last

All young people going through treatment will go through at varied rates. Any teenager in treatment will have most likely been placed in treatment at the recommendation of a mental health or medical professional.

A mental health professional is aware of the fact that each specific treatment program utilizes varied healing practices and will take into account the specific needs of the teenager to accommodate them within the scope of their program. Though there is no exact duration of treatment recommended for all situations, research has found that successful outcomes directly relate to participating in treatment for an adequate length of time. Treatment programs are typically arranged with a general time period for attendance, ranging from short-term treatment to long-term treatment, and are structured as either inpatient or outpatient programs.

Short-term Treatment for Teens

Short-term inpatient treatment typically lasts anywhere from three weeks to sixty days long. Living in a treatment facility can help to remove triggers and temptations that may be present at home. At Pacific Teen Treatment our custom treatment program last thirty to sixty days long, which is considered to be a short-term treatment program. Our inpatient treatment program allows its participants to reside at our treatment facility for the duration of our program. Inpatient treatment also allows teens the opportunity to be fully immersed in their recovery process. At Pacific Teen Treatment, we create tailored treatment plans for each of our residents, as we understand that every teen has unique needs. Some of the therapeutic methods we incorporate into our treatment plans include: dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), expressive arts therapy, and talk therapy. We also feel it is imperative to help our residents establish healthy and sustainable daily routines. We also encourage other healthy pastimes, such as regular exercise and relaxation methods (i.e. yoga, meditation…etc.). Other short-term treatment programs include outpatient programs. A short-term outpatient program will allow the teen to live at home while attending a program for certain number of hours, daily. This option will last between fourteen days to sixty days long.

Long-term Treatment for Teens

There are both residential and outpatient treatment programs that are long-term treatment options. Most long-term treatment programs will last between three months to six months, and in some cases longer. Some young people will require a longer program than the typical short-term option. Long-term options are excellent for individuals with severe issues that require extensive treatment. Some individuals will start their treatment process in a short-term inpatient treatment program and follow it up with a long-term outpatient program.

Treatment for teenagers can be very effective. Every person is different and will respond to treatment differently, and in different timeframes. There is no length of time that a treatment program should last, but it is essential to give your teenager ample time in a treatment program to allow for the best recovery outcome. It is also important to note that treatment does not subside at the end of a treatment program. It is essential to continue practicing the lessons learned and utilize the tools that were taught during one’s treatment program after it is completed. Following an aftercare plan to help with maintained success will benefit a teenager, as it is a direct plan to help the teen continue to integrate healthy habits into their outside lives. Additionally, a clear and tailored aftercare plan will help a teen be held accountable for their actions and making healthy choices.

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact an individual for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at

Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. 

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