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Why Therapeutic Boarding Schools are Valuable for Struggling Teens

struggling teens
What is a Therapeutic Boarding School?

A therapeutic boarding school is “an educational institution that not only serves a therapeutic role, but also has a residential program. Therapeutic boarding schools are for students whose home lives may not be conducive to healing. Or for whom round the clock monitoring and support is required.”

Therapeutic boarding schools are safe and secure. They provide troubled teens with a holistic and nurturing alternative-learning environment. Adolescents have the opportunity to regain trust, and live successful and healthy lives.

Why Do Struggling Teens Attend Therapeutic Boarding Schools?

Struggling teens can get caught in a downward spiral. “Even the most resilient teens waste away under the influence of toxic peers. Or, they lose themselves in an environment that encourages dangerous and destructive behaviors.”

Reasons struggling teens attend therapeutic boarding schools:

  • Substance abuse
  • Severe mood swings
  • Violent outbursts
  • Defiance
  • Delinquent behavior
  • School failure
  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Mood disorders
  • Behavioral issues
  • Emotional issues
  • Cognitive learning challenges
  • Asperger’s Syndrome

Once negative influences are removed, skilled counselors or therapists can begin to address the underlying issues that are triggering self-destructive behaviors.” Therapists help students develop positive emotional and behavioral coping strategies.

struggling teens
struggling teens
Accredited Academics

Residential boarding schools provide a quiet, safe, and stable academic environment.

Therapeutic schools try to help students develop better psychological and academic strategies so they can achieve results in line with their potential.”

A one-on-one scholastic setting helps struggling teens develop strong academic skills. “Students learn structure and discipline in the classroom.” Teens also learn to schedule time for studying, homework, and extracurricular activities.

Various Therapeutic Methods

Psychological counselors are “involved with the students on a very deep level to help rehabilitate them and restore their mental, physical, and emotional health.”

Therapeutic boarding schools have licensed professionals to instruct:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Equine therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Writing therapy

The goal of therapeutic programs is to rehabilitate the student and make her healthy psychologically.”

Skill Building

Therapeutic schools foster skill building through daily empowerment programs. Teens work with peers to solve real-life problems. This helps to promote positive behaviors, identities, and friendships.

Relationship Building

Many struggling teens enter therapeutic boarding schools with irreparable family relationships. Family therapy, weekly phone calls, and healthy behavioral learning teach families to work together. They can then build healthy and long-lasting relationships.


Boarding schools provide highly structured daily schedules, such as set times for classes, study periods, homework, bedtime, morning routines, meals, exercise, and counseling.”

Structured scheduling holds teens accountable for their actions. By following through with vigorous to-do list, adolescents “nourish healthy emotional and psychological development.”

Experiential and Outdoor Activities

Many therapeutic boarding schools are in beautiful, rural areas. Various programs provide “hiking, kayaking, climbing, camping, horseback-riding, and other outdoor activities.” Open-air activities help struggling teens develop healthy bodies and minds.

Exercise and Nutrition

Therapeutic boarding schools work on a teen’s mind, body, and soul. Many schools provide daily exercise, cooking classes, nutrition programs, yoga, mindfulness, and meditation. These activities help struggling teens gain self-confidence. Teens also achieve wellness, and develop a positive attitude.

Community Involvement

Therapeutic boarding schools help teens take part in the local community. Volunteering teaches struggling teens how to work with others. They also learn how to be a part of something larger.

Finding the Perfect Therapeutic Boarding School For Struggling Teens

Ready to send your struggling teen to a therapeutic boarding school, but aren’t sure where to begin? Start by visiting The National Association of Therapeutic Boarding Schools and Programs (NATSAP). NATSAP “serves as an advocate and resource for innovative organizations which devote themselves to society’s need for the effective care and education of struggling young people and their families.”

To learn more about therapeutic boarding schools, click here