Many parents search for hope for a brighter future for their troubled sons. When a child faces overwhelming problems, such as substance abuse, attention disorders, anger problems, depression and addictive behaviors, the entire family suffers. If traditional counseling and therapy have had little or no success, many boys and their families are left feeling hopeless and exhausted. The good news is that these emotional and behavioral issues can be overcome through correct intervention. The boys find hope; the families receive healing. A therapeutic approach found in many Utah boarding school programs, may hold the answer these distressed parents desire and the help these troubled boys need.
A Program Overview
The beautiful wilderness of Utah is home to several therapeutic boarding schools boasting exclusive private school environments with a focus on a new beginning and healing for youth with a wide range of difficulties. Most therapeutic boarding schools have several programs in common which include the following:
- specialized academics
- intense therapy and
- physical fitness or recreation
The individualized academic curriculum gives a struggling student the extra attention needed to catch up and a gifted student the challenge necessary to reach his full potential. Some offer college prep curriculums and focus on readying students for future educational endeavors. As an integral part of the boarding school’s therapeutic approach, holistic therapy focuses on emotional healing and restoration and usually includes:
- and family therapy
Often an experiential or hands-on approach, the therapy engages the boys as willing participants. Parents and families are strongly encouraged to be active contributors in the therapy sessions. Physical fitness or recreation includes individual and team sports, exercise programs, and other enjoyable activities that give the boys an opportunity to have fun, boost self-confidence, and stay healthy. Athletics build character and integrity in the boys and teach life-lessons that will remain with them for years to come.
Offering Encouragement to Troubled Teens
Many therapeutic boarding school programs group the boys by age and by those facing similar life challenges. Within those groups, the school makes individual accommodations and develops custom treatment plans to ensure that each student’s specific needs are met. The level of academic instruction and the amount of time spent in therapy and counseling depend on the reason for enrollment into the program. For example, if a student has lost motivation or gone down the wrong path in life, the academic portion of the program would be the main focus with an emphasis on goal setting, behavioral support and social skills. If a boy has severe emotional trauma, the therapy portion of his plan may overshadow the academic focus until he grows emotionally and socially and is better equipped to focus on academic learning. Because these boarding school programs offer each troubled boy an individualized, therapeutic approach to healing, youth who once struggled with serious difficulties are now breaking the pattern of delinquency and failure, taking accountability for their actions, understanding who they are and achieving great success.
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