Have you been dealing with a defiant, entitled teenager? Exhausted and at your wit’s end? What are therapeutic boarding schools and can they help troubled teens?
Making the decision to choose outside help for your out-of-control teen is not an easy choice. It typically means your teen’s behavior has escalated to more than typical teenage behavior and the parent has lost control or authority over their teen. In most situations, parents have exhausted their local resources and choosing a residential treatment (therapeutic boarding school) is their last hope.
One simple online search for “therapeutic boarding schools” yields 3 million results — but how do you know what is right for your teenager?
What is a therapeutic boarding school (TBS)?
A therapeutic boarding school is a type of alternative school that specializes in educating and helping troubled teenagers and young adults usually through behavioral therapy. In addition to offering academic classes, these schools typically provide psychological counseling and are often involved with the students on a very deep level to help rehabilitate them and restore their mental, physical, and emotional health.
We educate parents to select schools for troubled teens with enrichment programs that will stimulate your teen or young adults interests, such as art therapy, music therapy, animals (canine and/or equine therapy), gardening, sports, etc.
How do therapeutic boarding schools help troubled teens?
When a teen is removed from the stressors and triggers of home – not to mention their peer influences and devices (social media) – with a slowed down manageable pace – and placed into an environment with staff, activities (enrichment programs) and therapy designed to encourage change – (build self-worth) – the opportunity for the kind of true and deep change required to turn your teen’s life around can finally start to happen.
A positive and consistent environment replaces the likely toxic environment they are leaving. They won’t have access to drugs or alcohol – or their social media and devices. The negative peer influences are now cut-off. If they’ve been struggling academically, often this new and unique environment is where they will begin to thrive again.
Are therapeutic boarding schools successful for troubled teens?
Reality is, we have yet to see any third-party research or independent study that is not funded by a school, program or organization that is not part of this industry. Another words, a study that would not have reason to be bias.
However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t success in schools for troubled teens. There is SUCCESS for many families.
There can be success in therapeutic boarding schools and there absolutely has been happy endings. This starts with a parent being diligent in doing their research and understanding they do have choices. Keep in mind, what may have failed for one family, could have been successful for another family.
The one absolute fact is that home life is not working, you have exhausted your local resources and typically when a parent decides it’s time for residential treatment, it’s when they realize they are out of options – as well as their teen is literally crying for help by their negative behavior, and it is important to keep them safe. In many cases, it’s not only the safety of the teen that is in crisis, but also the safety of the family.
Read our three tips to finding success in your teen or young adults therapeutic treatment program.
How much does therapeutic boarding schools’ cost?
The average cost of therapeutic boarding schools will start at about $8000 a month and up. The duration your child is there, depends on your teen, but the average stay is 6-9-12 months. As we share with parents — it didn’t take 4-6 weeks for your teen’s behavior to get to where it is at, it won’t take a short-term program to turn it around. You will need at least 6 months to change behavior for long-lasting results.
Young adult programs can be less in duration, from 3 months forward.
Some parents believe that a short-term wilderness program will fix their teen since they aren’t that bad — keep in mind, unless this behavior just started, a short-term program will likely give you short-term results. Most wilderness programs don’t list their costs which typically start at $450 a day up to $650 daily and usually doesn’t include the equipment you have to purchase.
Average stay for wilderness therapy is about 6-9 weeks. Most will then suggest you move on to a therapeutic boarding school. The question is, why don’t you simply start at the therapeutic boarding school or residential treatment center?
There are mental health services for all levels of income, it can be tedious and time consuming since money is a factor but getting your child the help they need is priority. Learn more about the cost of therapeutic boarding schools and on our resources page.
Do you need help finding the right therapeutic boarding school for your troubled teen? Since 2001 we have helped parents searching for their good teen making bad choices. Contact us for a free consultation.