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Academics, therapy, support
What is a therapeutic boarding school?

Part academic institution and part residential treatment, therapeutic boarding schools are an innovative, out-of-the-box solution for children and teens who need additional structure and supervision. By helping students cope with emotional or behavioral struggles while continuing their education, these specialized schools offer hope for a stronger future.

Who do therapeutic boarding schools accept?
TBS's support many different types of students with varying struggles.

Every therapeutic boarding school (TBS) offers specialties and features particular to that program. No TBS is the same. They can be co-ed, single gender, or even specialize in a specific type of disorder, such as autism spectrum disorder.

Students that enter TBS’s are typically individuals:

  • Who are struggling socially or academically in a traditional school setting, and whose behavioral or emotional issues are impairing their chances of future success
  • Who have failed to benefit from traditional treatment paths, such as prescription medication or individual counseling.
  • Who have been negatively influenced by toxic peer groups or other harmful
  • Who need the structure of long-term treatment, but would struggle with the restrictive nature of a residential treatment center
  • Who would benefit from a nurturing community environment with plenty of support from peers and mentoring from authority figures
  • Whose parents do not feel equipped to address their emotional, mental, or behavioral challenges
What makes a therapeutic boarding school unique?
The combination of a therapeutic and academic setting sets students up for long-term success.

While TBS’s have many unique features, some of the most notable include:

  • Varied Therapeutic Approach: Most therapeutic boarding schools use a combination of recreation, group discussions, and intensive one-on-one therapy—plus more unique programs like animal therapy or community service—to help students
  • Focus On Academics: Since therapeutic boarding schools are fully qualified academic institutions, students are expected to fulfill high academic standards and work toward reaching their full intellectual potential. This might involve classes and lectures, individual tutoring, or support for teens with special needs.
  • Independent Environment: Therapeutic boarding schools are much less restrictive than the average residential treatment center, giving teens the chance to cope with their struggles without slowing down their social, emotional, or physical development.
How do I find the right one for my child?
Searching for the right TBS can be a long process, but it's essential to find one that fits your family.
  1. Before committing to a therapeutic boarding school, take a few minutes to think through your needs. Which kinds of therapies have you found most beneficial in the past? Which kind of social environment would support your recovery best?
  2. Make sure that the academic credits from the boarding school that you’re considering will transfer back into your home school district or lead to a valid diploma.
  3. Decide whether you want to stay close to home or travel to a boarding school. Some people prefer to stay close to their friends and parents, while others enjoy the anonymity and privacy of going far from home.  
  4. Determine length of stay. Not every TBS is outfitted to keep a student for a full 4 years, many are only 10-14 months. This is because the therapeutically intensive aspect is typically not needed for longer than that time period. Figure out what your child needs specifically. 
Is your child having issues in school? You have options. Learn More
Why send your child to a TBS?

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% of boarding school students that reported they're motivated by peers

% of boarding school students reporting high quality teachers

% of boarding school students that report supportive environment



The closeness and camaraderie shared between students at a therapeutic boarding school will continue to support them after they leave campus. They need proper support from peers and adults to thrive. 



With dedicated, qualified teaching staff and a comprehensive support system, therapeutic boarding schools keep teens’ academic progress stable so they don’t fall behind their peers during the course of their treatment.



TBS’s offer a therapeutic intervention that inspires lasting change for students with problematic behaviors. The therapy helps them work through emotional and behavioral challenges–but it also helps them succeed in academics more.



After a teen leaves a traditional boarding school, they often feel like they’re alone in the world. The counselors and mentors they meet in a therapeutic boarding school can create a structured plan for their transition back to home, college, or the workplace.

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