Are Therapeutic Boarding Schools the Same as Residential Treatment Centers?
Residential treatment centers are live-in health care facilities that cater to the people with more serious issues. These centers are primarily more clinical in their approach to achieving behavior modification. Residential treatment centers are generally considered to be more suitable as a last-ditch effort of parents of troubled teenagers. On the other hand, the therapeutic boarding school system is derived from residential treatment programs but is a lot less clinical in its approach.
Therapeutic boarding schools are more successful in helping students who have emotional, behavioral, and learning problems to gain emotional and academic recovery. They are ideal places for troubled youth to get back on their feet and gain emotional stability while earning academic credits or a high school diploma. Because there is less stigma about getting help through therapy these days, more and more therapeutic boarding schools are opening in different states.
Who Can Benefit Most From Therapeutic Boarding Schools?
- Children with ADD/ADHD
- Children with Learning Differences/Disabilities
- Defiant teens
- Children with Asperger’s Syndrome
- Autistic children
- Children struggling with anxiety and depression
- Children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Children with anger management issues
- Teens with substance abuse issues
What Makes Therapeutic Boarding Schools Effective?
Parents who are looking for ideal places for troubled youth often ask why therapeutic boarding schools are effective for many families. Because these schools combine traditional boarding school and intense psychotherapy, students get the best of both worlds. These schools put students in a highly structured environment, under the supervision of trained staff members that have experience working with troubled teens.
These schools are also usually located in scenic rural areas of the country which is an ideal kind of setting for healthy activities like hiking, skiing, camping, and so on. Good therapeutic boarding schools provide a good balance between academic activities and recreational activities and stick to a schedule for classes, breaks,
Good therapeutic schools would also involve parents and work with family members while teens are studying. The ultimate goal is to be able to reintegrate these young people back to their home environment and to help them maintain their emotional stability until they are ready to be on their own. These schools achieve that through providing an aftercare program that provides support for former students who are in the process of reintegrating back to their home and to mainstream schools.
Why Pick a Residential School?
Parents of troubled teens often feel unsure about letting their children out of their sight. However, there are certain situations where residential treatment is better than non-residential treatment. This isn't to say that one is better than the other, but there are situations where troubled teens adjust better to the environment in residential treatment centers.
For example, teens who are involved with gangs and substance abuse are easier to monitor and control when they are not in a home environment. Parents cannot stay with their children 24/7, and they certainly cannot control everything their kids do outside their home when they are supposedly in school. In therapeutic boarding schools, students are supervised and guided, and teachers live on campus. It’s a lot harder to sneak a smoke or a drink when there are adults supervising school hours as well as after school hours.
Teens who need a lot of focused therapy would also do well in therapeutic boarding schools. They can flourish more in a supportive and safe environment. This gives teens the time to develop their self-esteem and have a better appreciation for themselves before they go out and try to deal with the world outside school and their home.
It also gives families the space to breathe and take a break from each other. In cases of defiant and aggressive teens, home life can be pretty toxic for everybody. Simple things like doing their homework or keeping their room clean can become daily arguments that really increase the stress level at home. Aside from the therapy and counseling they get while earning academic credits, being apart from their family for a short time can give teens a better sense of perspective. Living in a family-style environment at school also gives them a new appreciation for their own family. It’s amazing what this breathing space can do for family members sometimes.
These are just some of the reasons why therapeutic boarding schools can be ideal places for troubled youth. Talking to your family therapist can give you a better insight on whether this option can really help your troubled teen adjust better and get back on the right track.