What Is a Therapeutic Boarding School?

A therapeutic boarding school is a tuition-based treatment center that combines education and therapy for troubled teenagers who may be dealing with behavioral issues, emotional or psychological disorders.

Struggling teens placed in therapeutic boarding schools in the United States, leave their family home and move into year-round housing at the boarding school with other students. There, your teen daughter or son will participate in the school's academic program and receive behavioral therapy and often, family therapy as well, while participating in recreational activities or service opportunities in the local area.

Typically, a therapeutic boarding school is a highly-structured residential treatment program that helps young people build emotional and personal skills while continuing their education.

The Benefits of Therapeutic Boarding Schools for Teenagers

Therapeutic boarding schools can be an excellent option for troubled teens or troubled youth who need lighter treatment than residential treatment but still require some structure. 

Therapeutic boarding schools offer educational programs that are integrated within the therapeutic program and include specialized supervision for students with behavioral and emotional problems – from eating disorders to low self-esteem issues – as well as learning difficulties or learning disabilities – like ADHD and Asperger's – and substance abuse issues.

Often, teens transition to a therapeutic boarding school following successful residential treatment or wilderness therapy (also known as wilderness programs). This can help them maintain the gains they received in their prior treatment. Teens who are compliant in the treatment process and do not require intensive treatment are good candidates for a therapeutic boarding school.

Ways to Find a Therapeutic Boarding School for Your Child

When searching for a therapeutic boarding school for your teenage daughter or son, the first step you may want to take is to consider working with an independent therapeutic educational consultant or mental health professional to define the needs of your child.

Educational consultants can assist you by providing a list of the best therapeutic boarding schools for your family to consider.

These consultants can reference membership associations like the Independent Educational Consultant Association (IECA) or the Therapeutic Consulting Association (TCA) to help you find the right accredited and licensed program for your child, for the right reason, at the right time.

Then, after narrowing down your family's therapeutic boarding school options with an educational consultant and speaking with the school directly, it is important to ask prospective schools about accreditation, admissions criteria, costs and licensure.

In addition, asking questions about the academic curriculum, staff training and qualifications will be helpful when considering a therapetuic boarding school for your child as well.

Embark Behavioral Health can assist your family in your treatment journey, by connecting you with an independent, unaffiliated educational consultant. Contact us to learn more about how to work with an independent educational consultant not affiliated with Embark.

Therapeutic Boarding Schools for Teens: FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that families often have when considering therapeutic boarding schools for their teens:

Q: How long will my child be enrolled in the school?

A: It will depend on his/her needs, but typically, after enrollment, students live in a therapeutic boarding school for one to two years.

Q: Where does my daughter or son go after successfully completing a therapeutic boarding school?

A: These programs offer academic credits that can transfer to other teen boarding schools, or secondary schools, as well as grant high school diplomas. Depending on where teenage boys or teen girls are with their education and therapeutic needs, some may graduate high school from the therapeutic boarding school and continue on to college. For other young men or women that still have high-school credits to earn, some return home to finish their school while others transition to alternative schools, like emotional growth schools, military schools, private schools, etc.

Interested in Learning More About Our Therapeutic Boarding Schools?

The best way to determine which type of therapy or treatment is right for your teen child, is to speak with one of our mental health professionals.

Our mental health team will consider your child's symptoms and treatment history, as well as outline what you and your family want out of therapy to recommend the best next steps specific to your situation.

If you think one of Embark's therapeutic boarding schools may be right for your teenage daughter, contact us to learn more today.