Educational Consulting Blog

The Beatles Were Wrong | More than Love for Struggling Teens

Posted by Joshua C. Doyle, M.Ed. on Mon, Feb 28, 2011

Love is not all you need for a struggling teenOne of the biggest disappointments I have experienced as an adult, and upon which I will ever be able to look back and laugh, is learning the hard and sad truth... that The Beatles were wrong. "Love is NOT all you need." The romantic in me wants to imagine that love can surpass and triumph over all.  However, the sad reality is that love can blind us when it comes to effectively helping those in need.  Love can make us enable.  Love can make us rescue.  Love... when used for our own needs can hurt those we care about the most.

Don't get me wrong - teens who are in need of intervention due to emotional/behavioral struggles, substance abuse and risky behavior need love and support.  But, that alone falls drastically short of providing what they often need immediately:  professional treatment administered by qualified professionals with compassion.  As much as we want to believe that love can “treat” a teen, it can be used as vehicle to get that teen to treatment but it alone cannot heal. I am not suggesting for a moment that you "Hide Your Love Away.” Teens in treatment need to know that someone loves them but they also need a level of assistance that even the most caring and well intentioned family and friends cannot provide them. 

As much as I shudder at the thought of disagreeing with John, Paul, George and Ringo, sometimes we need to realize that love can’t conquer all.

Tags: therapeutic wilderness programs, parenting, schools for troubled teens, communication, therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers, emotional issues, substance abuse