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Troubled Teen: 5 Positive Effects of Therapeutic Schools

For parents and family members living with a troubled teen, every day can feel like a battle when traditional treatment options fail to work. While difficult, a teenager whose behavioral issues are excessive, parents need to consider the option of therapeutic schools.

Over the last 25 years, the pressures of social media, rigorous academic schedules, and peer pressure have increased. This has caused an uptick in negative adolescent behaviors. A growing number of teenagers are struggling with: substance abuse, mood disorders, anxiety, depression, defiant behaviors, and suicidal thoughts.

What are Therapeutic Schools?

Therapeutic schools are typically set in a residential boarding environment. They are, “designed to help troubled teenagers with a variety of emotional and other problems.” Most therapeutic schools enlist a holistic and natural approach to help troubled teens heal.

Many therapeutic schools provide world-class academic curriculums, fitness and nutrition classes, and various therapeutic treatment options. “Each therapeutic school has its own treatment procedures and philosophy. But most concentrate on providing a highly-structured, isolated environment in which your child can learn new behaviors.” Therapeutic schools employ the best, brightest, and experienced staff members to safely guide teenagers through the healing process.

Who Are Therapeutic Schools For?

Therapeutic schools are for troubled teens that can no longer function in a typical environment. Because a teen’s negative behavior is extreme, outpatient treatment is no longer an option. Troubling teenage behavior includes: substance abuse, violent or threatening behavior, defying authority, refusal to follow rules, poor grades and attendance in school, familial issues, and untreated mood disorders.

Therapeutic schools create custom treatment programs that are tailored to each individual’s needs. Therapeutic schools craft a nurturing, healthy, and positive atmosphere, which allows troubled teens to thrive. They provide, “intensive therapy, counseling, and empowerment programs designed to strengthen teens’ core identities and undo destructive behaviors.”

1. Therapeutic schools teach troubled teens positive coping techniques.

Defiant, troubling behavior is the result of teenagers not having positive coping outlets. Therapists do not “enable the client’s destructive or dishonest behaviors, and they teach the client ways to deal with their issues.” To ensure that teens won’t fall into the same destructive patterns at home, many therapists will lead group therapy sessions, where a teenager’s peers can listen and offer helpful coping tips.

2. Focused on building a teen’s self-esteem, social skills, and personal character.

Obtaining self-worth is the first step in living a healthy and positive life. Therapeutic schools build strong character attributes through: one-on-one academics, art therapy, fitness, nutrition, and volunteering in the local community. Teenagers have the opportunity to learn and grow with their peers in a holistic, non-judgmental community-based environment.

therapeutic schools3. Struggling teens make new and encouraging friends.

Most teens struggle because they live in toxic environments, which encourage defiant behaviors. Through the use of group, equine, art, and other community-based therapies, teens learn to connect with like-minded friends. At therapeutic schools, teens don’t need to worry about succumbing to peer pressure. Instead, teens work together to create meaningful relationships and promote positivity.

4. Teaching teens how to set realistic goals and be successful in the real world.

By taking teens out of toxic environments, therapeutic schools provide the opportunity for adolescents to discover who they truly are.  By providing, “highly structured daily schedules, such as set times for classes, study periods, homework, bedtime, morning routines, meals, exercise, and counseling,” these “positive frameworks nourish healthy emotional and psychological development.” Once teens learn to thrive in a healthy environment, they can take that routine with them when they return home.

5. Bringing families together through communication and various forms of therapies.

Typically, families come to therapeutic schools with broken relationships. Therapeutic schools help families by combining weekly phone calls, family therapy sessions, and individual therapy. Families are able to work together and repair relationships through the use of positive coping and listening techniques. Unsurprisingly, therapeutic schools have a proven track record of healing troubled teenagers. These schools combine therapeutic methods, emotional growth, academics, socialization, self-esteem, encouragement, and volunteerism; thus creating a perfect recipe for adolescents to learn positive skills to help them thrive in the real world.