What is a Boarding School for Troubled Teenagers?

When children are struggling, the instinct of most parents is to circle the wagons and keep them as close as they can. Our desire to protect and help even our troubled teens can be strong, despite the frustration and stress they may be adding to our lives.

That said, there comes the point where it proves challenging to offer the right type of help and support to teens who are struggling with serious behavioral concerns.

How can you better help your teen?

Therapeutic boarding schools can potentially provide your troubled teen with the tools they need to refocus and change their life direction.

Just what kind of experience can be expected inside of a therapeutic boarding school?

Could it be the right choice for your teen and your family?

Are there different types of boarding school options for troubled teenagers?

We will answer these questions and more as you decide if a boarding school is right for your troubled teen.

What is a therapeutic boarding school?

Offering the academic options teens need to keep up with their education, a therapeutic boarding school provides the residential structure and supervision for teens struggling with a range of challenges.

These types of schools address emotional and behavioral issues, allowing teens the structured and safe space they need to tackle their issues head-on. Your teen will be supported by experienced and trained therapists, medical professionals, and residential staff members.

In a comfortable residential environment, teens may also have opportunities to participate in sports, outdoor activities, art programs, and social opportunities with some of the other students.

In a therapeutic boarding school, the atmosphere has been carefully curated to ensure a much less stressful environment for struggling adolescents and teenagers. They will have the opportunity to better focus on what is important for them and to them. This is typically healing from trauma and learning the important skills needed for an independent and successful future.

How long is a typical stay?

Unlike other treatment facilities, the focus of a boarding school for troubled teens is not to get them past an immediate crisis and then send them home. This residential school provides teens with the academics they need, combined with the structure essential for working through learning challenges, behavioral issues, and emotional concerns.

That said, the average stay tends to be a full year. This allows teens to work through their concerns in a safe and structured environment that is also away from the potentially damaging influence of a bad peer group.

Therapeutic boarding schools vs residential treatment centers: what’s the difference?

On the surface, they may look quite similar. However, the approach that is used for treating teens can differ significantly.

A residential treatment facility will focus more on a comprehensive therapeutic program, with an academic program as an aside. These focused programs will offer more of a direct approach for treating emotional and behavioral concerns.

A therapeutic boarding school may take a different approach by not directly tackling the challenges teens face as firmly as the residential treatment facility will. The focus is often directed more toward fostering a stable academic environment that offers healthy therapies and programs.

Knowing which one is right for your teen’s needs is important to get the right focused treatments in the environment that will help them thrive.

Are there different types of boarding school options?

There are no one-size-fits-all options for boarding schools for teens, which is great news. Your teen may respond better in an environment that differs from what even their sibling would thrive in.

Knowing your teen and knowing how he could best benefit will help you to make the right decision. Here are a few popular options:

  • Faith-based boarding schools are a good option for some teens and their families. Not only will these structured environments help your teen to heal and recover, but they will allow him to maintain his connection to his faith.
  • Boarding schools that focus on outdoor activities and adventures as a part of the healing process can benefit some teens. Teens will be able to connect with nature while also reconnecting with themselves.
  • Working ranches can be a great place for teens to learn new skills and have experiences to give them a fresh perspective. Teens will learn to ride horses, take care of animals, and focus on their mental wellness to benefit from fresh air.
  • Military-style boarding schools are not suitable for every teen. However, they can provide the structure and focus that some teens need to thrive.

Research the options available, and you’ll find the one that’ll meet the needs of your troubled teenager.

Benefits of boarding school for a troubled teen

The benefits of a boarding school for a teenager who is struggling can be wide-reaching. If you are on the fence about whether your teen could benefit from time in a boarding school, the list below might help you make your decision:

Stability. A stable home can be easily derailed by instability at school or even by issues parents are having.

Separation from peers. Peers are one of the largest sources of negative influence in the life of a teen. If your teen has struggled with alcohol or drug abuse or other poor behavior, time away from their peers will help refocus them.

Focus on education. Teens who have struggled may have seen their grades dropping. A boarding school can offer them the opportunity to get their education back on track.

Focus on healing. Whether your teen has struggled with mental health, drug or alcohol abuse, or something else entirely, he will be able to focus on health and healing.

Positive relationships. Teens will have the opportunity to make new friends and build positive relationships with like-minded peers. These friendships can offer the support teens need as they face challenges.

Leadership skills. In the right environment, teens will learn leadership skills that will stand them in good stead as they tackle their future.

Sense of responsibility. In boarding school, your teen will be tasked with caring for many of his chores, including making his bed and doing his laundry. The responsibility may increase, which can only prove to benefit your teen as he learns valuable life skills.

There are countless reasons for a troubled teen to spend time in a boarding school that focuses on healing, therapeutic solutions, and positive experiences.

At Help Your Teen Now, we can connect families with the resources to help troubled teens find their way back to stability and good mental wellness.

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