What are Therapeutic Boarding Schools?
Therapeutic boarding schools are specialized, nurturing residential environments offering a fusion of academic and clinical services tailored for young individuals grappling with emotional, behavioral, and psychiatric challenges. These institutions prioritize intellectual and academic growth, seamlessly integrating it with a holistic support system. This system encompasses physical, emotional, and behavioral wellness, along with familial and social support structures, delivered through personalized and group therapy sessions, comprehensive family counseling, and engaging recreational therapy.
Often nestled in tranquil suburban or pastoral settings, these schools provide a serene backdrop conducive to healing and learning. They frequently serve as the progressive step in treatment journeys for adolescents transitioning from outpatient counseling, wilderness therapy programs, or short-term residential treatments, offering a structured yet empathetic path towards personal development and well-being.
Most private therapeutic boarding school programs create a “milieu” — a broad 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.
What Do Therapeutic Boarding Schools Cost?
- Boarding Schools for Difficult Teens — 24/7 Oversight and School (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
Best Choice can provide a list of options for you to consider based on your child’s needs, your insurance coverage, and your family budget. We are a free information 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
Assistance from family, employer, crowd funding and insurance are often an excellent source for funding the cost of private program options.
What Kind of Therapeutic Boarding School Does My Child Need?
Determining the right path for your child’s well-being is crucial, and your child’s therapist or a service like BEST CHOICE can be invaluable in making the decision of what programs may be best for your child.
For children formally diagnosed with conditions such as depression, ADD, ADHD, ODD, RAD, PTSD, drug use, or who have faced suicidal thoughts, a therapeutic boarding school with psychotherapy emerges as a compelling option. These schools provide a structured, positive, and nurturing environment, focusing on the vital mental and emotional needs required for a successful life.
In cases where academic struggles, peer influences, runaway risks, or a general drift down the wrong path are concerns, a residential boarding school offers a safe and secure haven to help your child rediscover their path to success.
For adolescents grappling with drug or alcohol addiction, it’s essential to consider a detox program as a first step, followed by an intensive clinical rehab program led by qualified professionals who specialize in addressing addiction’s underlying causes. Typically, after a brief detox and rehab phase, teenagers can transition smoothly into a long-term therapeutic program that provides continuous care.
In instances where eating disorder tendencies are present, exploring programs staffed with medical professionals and a specialized focus on eating disorders is vital. These programs effectively address the critical health issues associated with eating disorders. Collaborating clinicians within an intensive facility will help create a seamless transition into a long-term therapeutic program exclusively dedicated to eating disorder treatment.
Many therapeutic programs are equipped to manage milder eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia, by closely monitoring daily calorie intake and offering essential psychological therapy. The severity of the disorder guides the decision on whether intensive treatment is required before entering a non-clinical therapeutic environment.
Therapeutic Boarding Schools Can Be Very Expensive and Each One is Different…So Ask Your Helpers at BEST CHOICE for FREE Advice, including several good options based on your teen’s needs.
Call Toll-Free: 888-964-3654, or Set Up an Appointment Online Here >>
Therapeutic boarding schools 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 for a time and gaining intensive therapy 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 and even improving their education is a priority, then a boarding school with a therapeutic milieu may be right for your teen.