SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ  -- The impact of a child's school-related issues, behavioral problems, drug and alcohol abuse, and mental health issues can be devastating for a family.

Renowned educational and therapeutic consultant Lucy Pritzker, a Scotch Plains resident, has written a new book, Crisis Interrupted: A Parent's Guide to Residential Treatment for Children, Teens & Young Adults, that provides parents with expert details about the process of placing a child in residential treatment. It's a book for parents who have tried everything to help a struggling child but nothing seems to work.

"We are in an epidemic when it comes to our children's mental health. It's imperative that parents have accurate information to empower them to help their children. The options are overwhelming; add in the isolation parents feel and making decisions becomes impossible," Pritzker told TAPintoSPF.

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Pritzker says that she has traveled across the country visiting all types of residential options -- therapeutic wilderness programs, therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers, hospitals -- and has valuable information to provide hope and solutions to struggling families.

I've lived the trauma of hospitalizing a young child to keep him and the rest of the family safe. I watched as the psychiatrist threw medication after medication at my son -- like darts flung at a dartboard -- in the vain hope that something would stick... I know the utter panic of begging, pleading, bribing, threatening and ultimately dragging a child into school each day... My life was a painful, heartbreaking nightmare, and no one knew how to help me.  -- Lucy Pritzker, author of Crisis Interrupted

Pritzker compassionately guides readers through treatment options and what to expect. In this book, parents will discover:

  • How to navigate the complex world of residential treatment.
  • How to know if your child needs to be in a psychiatric hospital.
  • How to identify when you need help from an educational consultant.
  • How to get your resistant child to a program.
  • Why residential treatment works and what to expect while your child is in a residential program.
  • Why some kids don't need therapeutic placement.

"When a child or teen has serious mental health issues, it often feels like a revolving door of treatment, from outpatient therapy to a psychiatric hospital back to outpatient and then back to the hospital," Prtizker says. "Families are in a chronic state of crisis, and nothing will change until the crisis is interrupted. I know from my many years helping families that residential treatment is often how the cycle is stopped and everyone moves toward healing and health."

"Help is out there, but only if you know where to find it. If you are the parent of a child or young adult who is out of control and haven't found the right help, this book is for you," says Pritzker, the founder of Elm Street Placements in Westfield, who has decades of experience in advising parents about academic and therapeutic placements for their children. 

It took the author four years to write and rewrite the book. 

"Every time I worked with a new family I thought of something else that should be in the book. Six months ago I realized I wasn't helping anyone by continuing to add to the content," said Pritzker. "I decided to address the most often encountered concerns we see in the office every day."

Crisis Interrupted: A Parent's Guide to Residential Treatment for Children,Teens & Young Adults is available on Amazon is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. Sign up for our free daily eNewsletter and “Like” us on Facebook and Twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.