residential treatment for troubled teenagers

Helping Troubled Teens One Child At A Time

Specializing in the treatment of teens with emotional, behavioral and substance abuse problems

Residential Treatment Center for Troubled Teens

Overview of the Elk River Residential Treatment Program

The Elk River Residential Treatment Program was developed in 2005 by a group of caring professionals committed to effective and quality therapeutic treatment of children and teens that are struggling with behavioral or mental health issues and/or substance abuse. We insist that caregivers are in family therapy while their child is in treatment, plus provide on-site workshops and coaching. Elk River Residential Treatment Program has evolved over the years and grown from a single therapeutic program to multiple programs designed to address the needs of each patient independently. Varying levels of care are available and all programs include 24/7 adult supervision, medical/nursing and behavioral health care.

In November 2013, Elk River Residential Treatment Program earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval ® for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission's national standards for health care quality and safety in behavioral health care. The accreditation award recognizes Elk River Residential Treatment Program and other programs of Pinnacle Behavioral Health, Inc. for dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission's state-of-the-art standards. Also provided year-round is an individualized, AdvancED accredited academic program so our residents do not fall behind in school while in treatment.

Situated on 120 acres is:

  • Elk River Residential Teen Treatment Program – A therapeutic Teen Treatment Program that provides diagnostic, assessment, education and treatment services as well as a fully equipped and staffed medical clinic. Elk River accepts medically fragile clients that similar programs turn away due to their medical needs. The length of the program is determined by the needs of the patient.
  • Elk River Transitions –  Transitions is a less restricted therapeutic program for advanced residents that have completed Elk River Treatment Program. Transitions also offers a flexible length of stay and AdvancED accredited education program.
  • Elk River Healthy Lifestyles – Lifestyles is a Teen Weight Management Program focusing on nutrition and positive behaviors while building self-esteem.
  • AdvancED Accredited Academic Program – Year-round AdvancED Accredited Academic Program. Programs are individualized to best serve the needs of each student and are facilitated by highly qualified and state certified teachers in the classroom. Teachers are supported by front line staff. Students are provided with individual work stations.
  • Equine Assisted Learning Program – Led by an EAGALA Certified Instructor with several years of experience with adolescents in a residential setting. Elk River residents learn about themselves and others by participating in evidenced-based activities with these dynamic and powerful living beings. Equine Assisted Learning and Therapy provides metaphoric experiences to promote emotional growth in troubled teens that are sometimes therapy resistant.

The Elk River Residential Treatment Program accepts boys and girls ages 12 through 18.


Upon admission, Elk River provides residents with:

  • A comprehensive evaluation which assesses the teen’s physical, emotional, behavioral, medical and educational needs.
  • An Individualized Treatment Plan that considers the needs of the teen.
  • Individual, group and family therapy led by qualified and experienced clinicians.
  • Psychiatric care and medication management coordinated by a child, adolescent and forensic psychiatrist.
  • Weekly Treatment Team meetings to re-evaluate the child’s progress in the program.
  • Weekly updates and parent coaching facilitated by the child’s primary therapist.
  • On-site parenting workshops and coaching.
  • Physicians and nurses provide necessary medical care and are available every day.
  • Highly qualified and state certified teachers in the classroom.
  • AdvancED/SACS accredited academic program for grades 6 – 12.

Selecting a Residential Treatment Center for Teens

At Elk River, we know the process of researching residential treatment centers for teens is challenging. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry offers the following tips for evaluating residential treatment centers and programs:

  1. Identify and research the programs that are licensed to provide care. States differ in how they license programs, and some programs are accredited by national agencies.
  2. Check online and with the program to hear about families’ and youths’ experiences with the program and if possible speak to a family whose child completed the program. If the program has been reported to state authorities, find out why, and ask about the outcomes of any investigations.
  3. Seek out programs that are close to home to provide appropriate care for your child. If the program is far from home, be sure that there is a plan for intensive family and community involvement. Be wary of programs that withhold family contact.
  4. Be sure that the residential program has a method of maintaining safe behaviors, promoting positive behaviors, and preventing aggression. Make sure that punishment and verbal intimidation is prohibited.
  5. Look for programs experienced in helping youth with similar issues. Also, make sure that their treatments are based on therapies that have proven helpful for you with issues similar to those of your child.
  6. Ask questions of the staff at the program. If the staff is unable to answer your questions, they should refer you to someone at the program who can. In addition, be sure to ask how you can monitor your child’s progress. You should be able to find out about how your child is doing at any time.
  7. Ask the therapist or psychiatrist who works with your child in your community for his or her view on potential programs, and to help you obtain more information.

For more information about residential treatment centers for teens, please call the Elk River Admissions Office at 866-906-TEEN (8336) or send a confidential email with your questions or callback number to info@elkrivertreatment.com.