What is a Motivational School for Teens?

Does your teen struggle with behavioral issues?

Is your teen son acting aggressive, angry, violent, and more?

While getting help for him and other family members, you may have encountered recommendations of sending him to an alternative school. Whether you’ve heard the phrase motivational school, reform school, therapeutic boarding school, or alt school, the concepts are quite similar in how they address the needs of the troubled teen.

Learning more about these therapeutic school options may make it easier for you to determine whether it’s the right choice to help meet your teen’s needs.

Understanding the basics of a motivational school

In a therapeutic boarding school setting, your teen will be able to get several of his needs met with a treatment plan that addresses his unique concerns. The therapeutic aspect is the most important part of a therapeutic boarding school. Allowing teens an opportunity to tackle some of the deep concerns they’re struggling with can allow them to find a fresh focus for living their lives.

To accomplish this, the therapeutic program developed for the individual teen will focus on ensuring a supportive and safe environment that offers plenty of therapy for each teen. This will allow your teen to feel safe and secure enough so that he can explore his concerns, open up, and let himself get vulnerable.

Getting therapy on an outpatient basis can be very helpful, but a therapeutic boarding school will specialize in several therapy types that can be successful in troubled teens. This could include cognitive behavioral therapy, individual therapy, family therapy, equine therapy, and group sessions.

Keep in mind that the goal for therapeutic board schools is typically to create a complete therapeutic atmosphere rather than focus on a few sessions of therapy. The environment will also generally include positive influences from peer groups and the support structure in place. Teens find that they are often more motivated to make more progress than they would typically make in the environment that allows them to develop the concerns they struggle with.

Who is a good candidate for a motivational school?

With more knowledge about what can be offered at a motivational school, how can you determine whether they are the right option for your teen?

There are some criteria to be met that can help determine whether your teen will find the right benefits and motivations in therapeutic programs.

If your teen meets any of the following criteria, you may find they can find benefit and motivation through a therapeutic program:

  • Struggles with school, including dropping grades, attendance problems, or misbehavior in the classroom.
  • Problems with substance use and abuse, whether alcohol, drugs, or both.
  • Displaying anger problems.
  • Anxiety or depression, or perhaps both.
  • Behavioral disorders that may include conduct disorder, oppositional defiance disorder, and so on.
  • Trouble with telling lies, manipulation, and deception to continue to get their way.
  • Minor criminal behavior, including breaking and entering or petty theft.

If you have experienced some of these concerns with your teen, you may find that a therapeutic boarding school can help them.

How can a therapeutic boarding school provide motivation?

The goal of a therapeutic program is not to make your teen feel punished or sent away as part of the punishment. While some may compare reform schools from decades ago, the reality is that a therapeutic boarding school today offers something entirely different.

A reform school focused on keeping the teens out of prison and from committing further crimes within their community. The environment in which teens found themselves rarely had the support and therapy needed to help them turn their lives around. Without the proper support and the right focused therapeutic solutions, teens would have struggled to find the motivation to think of a better and happier tomorrow.

A motivational school will help provide teens with the support and care they need by allowing them that safe space to identify and work through any mental health and behavioral issues.

At what age do reform schools let criminals out?

Teens were seen simply as bad seeds in the community. In most cases, they certainly did their fair share of criminally related behavior, but they were treated exclusively as prisoners with no hope for redemption. That type of mindset wouldn’t do much to motivate anyone, particularly a teen who is already struggling with anxiety and self-esteem issues.

A therapeutic boarding school is not a prison or an alternative to prison. Teens are not forced to stay locked up until they turn 18. Many teens spend at least a year within the facility, with someone going on to spend more than two years in the therapeutic and supportive environment offered. The focus is on helping troubled teens get through their issues, find better solutions for the emotions they feel, and be reunited with their families.

That type of positivity in a supportive environment will provide much more motivation to a teen.

What is your role as a parent in motivating your teen?

Even as your teen moves into a more independent life, you can’t underestimate just how much they need your support through the challenges they face. You’re sure to be frustrated, angry, and even a bit sad at how your relationship with your teen has deteriorated as their behavior has taken a turn for the worse.

With your teen getting the right focused therapy that will address his mental wellness concerns, you’ll be able to switch focus to your own mental wellness needs. This will allow you to understand better how his behaviors have impacted you and how you can better move forward in a healthy way.

Support for your teen should include reminding him that you love and care for him without condition. Certainly, there are days when neither of you will like each other very much. That is a normal part of being in a family. The most important part is that you provide love, support, and of course, healthy motivation for one another.

If your teen recognizes that he has a supportive family, a family who will always be in his corner, he might be able to find the right motivation he needs to focus on healing, growing, and on a positive, healthy future.

It’s going to be a process for your teen, for you, and every member of the family. With the proper support and the right therapeutic program, that process may be a bit easier to navigate.

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