Do Therapeutic Boarding Schools Really Help?

Making the decision to enroll your teenager in a therapeutic boarding school can be difficult. For many parents, it’s a last resort in hopes that the boarding school can save their struggling child. For other parents, therapeutic boarding schools symbolize hope that the teen will be able to get back on the right track and really thrive following intense challenges.

When should a therapeutic boarding school be considered?

Therapeutic boarding schools are often considered for children or adolescents with significant emotional, behavioral or mental health challenges. This is especially true if the child is exhibiting violent or aggressive tendencies, is involved with drug use or is otherwise demonstrating behaviors that are harmful to himself or herself, as well as the family. Many parents turn to boarding schools when the only other alternative is hospitalization or eventual legal trouble. The choice to enroll a struggling teen in boarding school might also be made if there are younger siblings in the house who are being significantly affected by the teen’s behavior or who are at risk for being injured as a result of the issues the adolescent is struggling with.

Will a therapeutic boarding school really help my child?

Oftentimes, the decision to enroll a child in a therapeutic boarding school is met with feelings of guilt, shame or doubt. Parents may feel like they are abandoning their child during a time of need or may feel embarrassed to have to resort to a boarding school to “fix” the child’s problems. However, in the end, most parents would do whatever it takes to help their child heal and recover, even if that meant time in a boarding school or residential treatment center.

The first thing that a boarding school may be successful in is keeping other members of the family safe. If your adolescent is threatening or actually harming siblings, parents, pets or other members of the family, a temporary separation is key in keeping the family members safe from further harm. A boarding school can also keep the adolescent safe, as the school’s full-time staff will be trained to detect and intervene in your teen’s risky or self-injurious behaviors.

A therapeutic boarding school is often a very structured environment, which is essential when a child is struggling with issues that seem out of his or her control. The routine, structure and consistency can help your teen feel safe and secure enough to begin to work through his or her struggles and challenges. Your child will likely be assigned a treatment and education team dedicated to providing support, positive role models and mental health treatment. This team will help your child learn accountability, trust and self-respect, as well as develop coping mechanisms to help with his or her current struggles.

If you have questions as to whether a therapeutic boarding school could help your child, please contact us for a free consultation. We are dedicated to helping your family thrive while facing significant parenting challenges. We provide our services at no cost to you and can help you determine if a therapeutic boarding school is the most appropriate treatment option for your struggling teen.

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