Troubled: The Failed Promise of America’s Behavioral Treatment Programs

Brilliance Audio. Jan. 2021. 254p. 5:27 hrs. ISBN 9781799771456. $34.99. PSYCH
Rosen (Bulletproof Vest) investigates the sordid world of unregulated treatment programs for teenagers. These infamous programs target teens suffering from depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, anger, truancy, impulse control, or drug and alcohol addiction. Their treatment options include wilderness courses, residential centers, juvenile delinquent halls, conversion therapy, and “scared straight” programs. Few of the programs are accredited or licensed, have qualified staff, or offer educational credits of any kind. They are notorious for deceptive marketing, biased research, untrained staff, and religious indoctrination—situations that can result in PTSD and other ongoing trauma-related symptoms that sometimes last long into adulthood. Ray Chase’s superb, steady narration of the audiobook keeps listeners’ attention on the heartbreaking reality of this troubled industry. Similar in scope to Alexia Parks’s An American Gulag, Maia Szalavitz’s Help at Any Cost, Alison Weaver’s Gone to the Crazies, and David L. Marcus’s Acceptance.
VERDICT Should be required listening for parents, educators, therapists, school consultants, and staff of adolescent mental health and drug treatment programs.
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