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Heartlight: Help for Troubled Teens

Parents frantically look for solutions when their teenager displays anger, rebellion, runs away, gets involved in drugs or sex, or otherwise shows self-destructive behavior.  And if things have gotten beyond a parent’s ability to control the child, or if the child is flirting with the law and could face jail time, parents seemingly have nowhere to turn.  That’s why we created Heartlight, 20 years ago.

Since 1988, we’ve helped more than 3,000 troubled teens who have come to live with us at Heartlight, all of whom have struggled immensely.  We’ve shed many tears with their parents, who, at the time, didn’t see the path to make it through the struggle.  These parents were so tired of being called every name in the book, challenged on every thought they’ve ever had, and absolutely depleted because of all the hardship caused in their home by their troubled teen.  Many had lost hope and didn’t think they were going to make it.

But with our help, they did make it.  Heartlight offers a way to break the tension for a family.  We provide around the clock mentoring, counseling and guidance for each teenager in our program, and encouragement and training for the parents as well.  Parents get a needed break and the teenager will get a break from bad influences and gain a new, healthy perspective on life.   In a few months, there’s  a renewed interest and respect by the teen for his or her  family and rules, and a desire to make something of their life, not a penchant to throw it down the drain as they had been doing.

If your child exhibits some of the signs of needing intense counseling and temporary removal from the home, then I welcome you to check out Heartlight (

The Heartlight formula is loving and relational, not forced or focused on breaking the teen’s spirit.  It is designed to bring light to a troubled teen’s heart and reveal and deal with their struggles, not crush their heart like many of the harsher boot camps and wilderness programs can do. 

Heartlight is specifically designed to work with and solve troubled teen issues.  And among only a handful of Christian-focused programs, Heartlight is one of the most effective and least costly choices (see the Cost Comparison). 

The stay at Heartlight usually lasts 9-12 months.  We have a nearly 1-to-1 ratio of staff to residents on campus.  Throughout their teen’s time at Heartlight, our master-level counseling staff work with them in individual and group counseling sessions and the house staff mentor the teens around the clock.  Our residential staff are younger men and women, all of whom are believers and have a passion for helping teenagers.  Parents are continually updated on the student’s progress and on-campus events and seminars help parents know how to deal with the teenager more effectively.  It is a well-rounded program that focuses on healing of family relationships and better thinking and actions on the part of the teen.

We welcome you to request more information, including the Spirit of Heartlight DVD, which introduces you to the program in the words of parents of previous Heartlight residents. They are our best endorsers.  Many of our alumni parents say that Heartlight literally saved their troubled teen from sure self-destruction, or at the very least saved their family from pulling apart at the seams. 

Email us, visit our webpage, or call us at 903-668-2173.   We’d love to hear your story and find a solution for your teenager.

Mark and Jan Gregston


Author: Mark Gregston

Mark Gregston began working with teens more than 40 years ago as a youth minister and Young Life director. He has authored nearly two dozen books, has written hundreds of articles, and is host of the nationally-acclaimed Parenting Today’s Teens podcast and radio broadcast.