3 Reasons for Therapeutic Boarding Schools

Are you searching for help for your troubled teenager and considering a therapeutic boarding school? 


A simple online search for “therapeutic boarding schools” yield over 3 million results! What is the reason so many families are in need of these places to send troubled teens?


We are facing an unprecedented mental health crisis among adolescents. Many parents recognize that their teen needs more help than they can offer. It’s no longer typical teenage behavior.


Their home has now become a battleground and they’ve exhausted their local resources. Considering a therapeutic boarding school is a major decision for a family of a troubled teen.


How do you know when your teen is ready for this big step?


You’ve tried:


  • Local therapy; your teen either refused to attend or shut down.
  • The school setting isn’t working.
  • Outpatient treatment has failed.
  • A short-term hospital stay was unsuccessful.


You’re not alone. Since 2020, youth depression and anxiety has doubled and parents across the country have been struggling. Social media is threatening the mental health and well-being in young people’s lives. The Teens, Social Media, and Technology 2022 study by Pew Research reported that nearly half (46 percent) of teens say they are now online constantly.

This is very troubling since one of the most common reasons for our teenage mental health crisis revolves around screen time.


Dr. Michele Borba, author of Thrivers: Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine, said that, in more than 40 years working in schools, she has never been so concerned for young people’s well-being:

Today’s teens are smart, open, and well-loved but also the loneliest, most anxious, and risk-averse than any previous generation. The more they spend on devices and screens, the less they connect face-to-face with peers which only increases anxiety and isolation. Our teen’s mental health has become a national emergency.

3 Reasons for Therapeutic Boarding Schools


1. Technology


PexelGirlOnline2There’s no doubt that there are many positive aspects to being connected online to friends and family, as well as using your device as an educational tool; however, extensive use of social media or video gaming also carries risks. A few include the following:


  • Depression, anxiety, withdrawal
  • Quickness to anger, rage, explosive behavior (especially if the parent removes the device)
  • Disrupted sleep patterns, changing eating habits
  • School refusal, skipping classes, poor academic performance


Experts say risks increase when adolescents obsess about gaining “likes” on their posts and make comparisons between their own appearance or life circumstances and that of others. The fact that these young people are constantly seeking approval and gratification through strangers on social media is worrisome.

This contributes to diminishing their self-worth, which leads to them making poor choices. In addition, it adds to mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, self-harm, and even thoughts of suicide.


2. Cyberbullying


Since the start of the pandemic, cyberbullying has increased 40 percent among teens.

Never underestimate the power of words that can emotionally wound a child, especially a teenager that may already be struggling with self-esteem. With cyberbullying, it can be more cruel and hateful since it spreads not only throughout the school but also your community and globally. It’s literally worldwide humiliation of online shame.

With the anonymity of social media, it’s made it easier for peers to engage in malicious pranks as well as sexting scandals, which we’ve seen in both middle schools and high schools that have crisscrossed our nation.


Studies have found adolescents who experience cyberbullying are about twice as likely to engage in self-harm, including attempted suicide, as those who do not experience such bullying.

Being a victim of online bullying also puts adolescents at a higher risk for having an eating disorder, aggression, depressive affect, anxiety, and delinquent behaviors.


3. Substance abuse


It didn’t take drug dealers long to find the digital playgrounds for their newest customers; teenagers. Social media apps such as TikTok, Instagram, and Snap Chat and emojis are being used by drug traffickers to try to snare young people—causing youth drug deaths to soar.


he Internet (social media) is mainly how teens are getting drugs (illicit pills) now, and many of these pills contain fentanyl.


Substance-abusing youth are at higher risk than nonusers for mental health problems, including depression, conduct problems, personality disorders, suicide ideation, and suicide. A disturbing trend is the dramatic rise in teens using online searches for self-poisoning to end their life.

If your family has a history of substance abuse, your teen is at higher risk for addiction.




Teens who reported they spend too much time on social media also said it would be a struggle to completely step back. This is a problem that is not getting better as apps continue to evolve.


It’s time for parents to be seriously concerned about their teen’s screen time and how it affects their mental health.

When a teen is removed from their devices and social media and enrolled into a therapeutic setting, they can stop the downward spiral (of living for likes and other mental health concerns related to excess screen time as listed above) and begin an upward positive course in a therapeutic boarding school.

Your teen will not only get back on track academically, but they will also develop the coping skills needed to manage a healthy relationship with technology.


Read: 5 Benefits of Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens.

Read: Goals of Behavior Modification Programs for Teens.

Read: Where Can I  Send My Troubled Teen.


Since 2001 we have been helping parents find the right therapeutic boarding schools for their troubled teens. Contact us for a free consultation.

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Many parents are at their wit’s end with the challenges of raising teenagers. If you are considering residential therapy, contact us for a free consultation.

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