Does Summit Achievement work with Troubled Teens by Using a “Scared Straight” Model of Intervention?

Summit Achievement has achieved being one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious accredited programs for struggling teens by providing our students and their families with high-quality treatment, challenging academics, and outdoor experiences. At times we are asked if we “scare straight troubled teens.”  We use the term “struggling teens“ versus “troubled teens” as we see our students struggling with issues that cause them to, at times, get into trouble at home, school or work. We find these struggles that lead to troubling behavior by young people are often driven by undiagnosed learning difficulties and/or undiagnosed mental health issues.  We work on identifying and addressing these issue so students can go on to have independent, healthy and successful lives.

Our relational model encourages an allied-based approach where we work alongside students versus a punitive approach which is commonly seen in adjudicated programs where students are mandated to attend. Our sophisticated clinical approach provides the highest quality treatment provided by licensed clinicians and a caring staff who work diligently to connect with our students. Our approach comes from a place of care and not control.

While there are programs in the country that are about being “tough” on young people such as a “scared straight” programs or military-influenced “boot camps” that is not what Summit Achievement is or has ever been about.  There have been several research articles that reveal the confrontational tactics do not work well with struggling teens.   That type of approach to working with teens often causes young people to get into more trouble after discharging from a program.

Summit Achievement is about making connections with young people in order to help young people and their families’ change.  Our outcome studies show that we are extremely effective in treating mental health disorders including anxiety and depression.  Our approach comes from a place of care and not control.  Please come visit us to see what we have to offer.Who We ServeAdventure-Based Wilderness TherapyEnrolling at SummitCampus LifeThe Summit DifferenceFinancing OptionsAcademic Excellence