What Can I Expect From a Therapeutic Boarding School?
Most private therapeutic programs are situated in rural areas with beautiful surroundings, animals and other therapeutic tools they incorporate to create a “milieu” therapeutic environment. The experience will often be accompanied with outdoor, back-to-nature experiences such as skiing or snowboarding, hiking, horseback riding, camping, swimming, and various individual or team sports.
There are a wide range of options to consider (depending on the severity of the child’s issues), from “lock-down” facilities and 24/7 surveillance for really difficult teens, to open campuses with less adult supervision. In most cases, students will invariably have a structured daily schedule, learn to speak respectfully, and have limited distractions. Students are usually required to remain on the campus, incorporating family visits and home visits at scheduled times. Most programs do not allow the student to have a smart phone or a computer, other than in the school setting for online classes. A distraction-free environment is a hallmark of programs that are designed to bring about change in a child’s thinking and actions.
The therapeutic boarding school experience instills independence while developing appreciation of family and home life. Length of stay in a therapeutic program varies. While some follow an open enrollment policy others require specific enrollment periods with deadlines. A short term program is considered less than three months and long-term programs range from four months to two years. A therapeutic boarding school can help those whose emotional and behavioral issues have been unresponsive to rules, behavioral contracts and out-patient counseling.
What is the Typical Tuition for Therapeutic Boarding School Programs?
Therapeutic boarding schools offer a wide range of services and levels of care, as well as different lengths of recommend stay. Much of the cost of the program is the 24/7 care and supervision they provide while your child is there. The amount they charge per day, week or month will depend on the training and experience of their clinical staff. Higher qualifications translates to higher staff costs and higher monthly tuition, all else being equal. Residential programs offering counseling or mentoring with lower-level degrees or who operate as a nonprofit translates to lower tuition cost program. Many options are available and can often be covered in whole or in part by your insurance company.
Long-term enrollments are generally billed on a monthly basis. Short-term program options such as wilderness therapy and intensive in-patient are assessed on a weekly or daily basis. Length of stay can range from two weeks to 18 months. Daily rates range from $100 to $800. Monthly rates range from $4,500 to over $10,000.
Insurance may cover a portion of the program cost — usually the therapeutic part not the housing and education. Scholarships may be often offered for longer stays and discounts may be offered for long-term financial commitments. Financing the cost of therapeutic treatment is available through various lenders that the programs have agreements with.
So, What Do Therapeutic Boarding Schools Cost?
- Traditional Boarding Schools — No Therapy (ongoing): $2,500 – $5,500 per month
- Boarding Schools for Difficult Teens — 24/7 Oversight (ongoing): $4,500 – $7,500 per month
- Therapeutic Boarding Schools — Therapeutic Milieu (9-18 months): $5,500 – $10,500 per month
- Residential Treatment Centers — Intensive Individual Therapy (6-9 months): $8,500 – $15,000 per month
- Short-Term Wilderness Therapy (1-3 months): $500+ per day
Assistance from family, employer, crowd funding and insurance are often an excellent source for funding the cost of private program options.
How Do I Know What Kind of Therapeutic Boarding School My Child Needs?
Your child’s therapist or a service such as BEST CHOICE can help you make this determination. If your child has been formally diagnosed with depression, ADD, ADHD, ODD, RAD, PTSD, drug use, or has experienced suicidal thoughts, a therapeutic boarding school with psychotherapy can be the best option. This will provide structure in a positive and nurturing environment while focusing on the mental and emotional needs necessary to lead a successful life.
If your child is struggling academically in the public school setting, is experiencing poor peer selection, is a runaway risk or is simply headed down the wrong track, a residential boarding school will provide a safe and secure setting to help get him/her back on track.
If your child is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is necessary to consider a detox stay first, then a clinical intensive rehab program with qualified and trained professionals who focus solely or dually on the roots of addiction. In most cases, a teenager can be transitioned into a long-term therapeutic program for continued care following a short detox period and time in a drug rehabilitation center.
If your child has eating disorder tendencies, it may be necessary to consider a program with medical staff and a specific focus on eating disorders. This option is extremely effective in addressing the serious health concerns associated with an eating disorder. Clinicians involved with your child’s treatment in an intensive facility will work with you to transition into a long-term therapeutic program for continued therapy following treatment within their facility with a focus solely on eating disorders.
Many therapeutic programs are equipped to manage mild eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia by monitoring daily calorie management and providing psychological therapy. The seriousness of the disorder is considered to help determine whether your child requires intensive treatment prior to entering into a non-clinical therapeutic environment.
Therapeutic Programs Can Be Very Expensive…So Ask BEST CHOICE About Options that are the Right Fit for Your Child and Your Budget. It is a free service, supported by the programs themselves to initially help direct parents to the right options. Call Toll-Free: 888-964-3654 (phones are manned morning to evening, every day), or Inquire Online Here
Therapeutic boarding school offer a wide range of experiences; providing your family an opportunity to recover emotionally and your teen to get help academically and behaviorally.
While some children struggle in a traditional style classroom, therapeutic boarding schools are designed to provide a quiet and nurturing atmosphere where there are few distractions and additional tutoring. In addition to therapy, therapeutic boarding schools can offer a boost to a child’s academic success and therefore a boost to their self-esteem.
For students with various behavioral or emotional issues, the public school setting can be overwhelming and unforgiving. It can limit the child’s ability to retain information and reach their full potential. In severe cases, misbehavior can lead to expulsion. Students who qualify for IEP learning programs will most often thrive in therapeutic boarding school since the style of learning aligns with an individualized plan.
Therapeutic boarding schools can be an excellent option for those children who have deeper emotional issues that may be impacting their future. Living at a therapeutic boarding school will add needed structure and change how the child responds to their own environment and to others around them. It is not uncommon for a student to encounter academic difficulty as a result of more serious underlying emotional issues such as depression, trauma or anxiety. If addressing your child’s emotional needs while continuing academic advancement is a priority, then boarding school in a therapeutic setting may be right for your teen.