Therapeutic Boarding Schools; Are They Really All They Are Worked Up To Be?

Severe behavioral issues in teens can disrupt healthy development as well as the ability to create and maintain healthy relationships at school and home. Issues such as anger, anxiety, depression, defiance, substance abuse or mental disorders are all struggles that many teens face. If your son is dealing with one or more of these issues, you may be feeling as though you have nowhere left to turn. In such cases, a full time facility like a therapeutic boarding school may be the best solution to helping your teen get back on track and turn his life around.

What Is a Therapeutic Boarding School?

Therapeutic boarding schools are designed to house and care full time for teens with severe behavioral problems. Through a combination of therapy, academics, recreational activities and life skills opportunities, boys are immersed in an environment dedicated to helping them identify their core issues and learn how to effectively correct or manage them. Being housed and guided away from home eliminates the day to day triggers, temptations and distractions that can derail healthy progress. Each teen is assessed upon arrival in order to create a plan of care that will cater to his unique needs. He will set goals and participate in an incentive system that helps him learn the skills he needs to move in a positive direction.

What Life Skills Will My Teen Learn?

A full time facility is a major emotional and financial investment. It is natural for parents to wonder if therapeutic boarding schools are really all they are worked up to be. Although the specifics of different programs are going to be unique, each curriculum offers a combination of the following in order to help your son:

  • Communication Skills – Options such as group therapy and team activities help students practice good communication skills among peers and authority figures, along with personal boundaries and healthy interaction.
  • Coping Skills – Teens attend full time therapeutic facilities because they have developed unhealthy responses to daily challenges. While they are in residence, supportive and experienced counselors and therapists work with them to help them identify their triggers and practice positive reactions and decisions.
  • Self-Esteem – Poor behavior choices often result from a lack of confidence. A variety of therapy modalities, like recreation, music or cooking, help teens to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and learn to manage them appropriately.
  • Academics – Maintaining educational requirements is often a major concern for parents considering therapeutic boarding schools and many programs offer accredited academic programs. Check with the laws and regulations for your state to make sure that the facility is required to have licensed instructors and a nationally accredited program.
  • Balance – One of the goals of full time facilities is to teach students how to manage their days with a healthy balance of work, play and positive relationship building. Asking to speak to former students or parents from the facilities you are considering can help you determine if the experience was positive and worth the investment. The staff should be able to provide you will a list of families that have agreed to contact.

Liahona Academy is a full time residential treatment center located in southern Utah. We specialize in helping teen boys with behavioral issues learn to manage their daily challenges and become happy and healthy. Please contact us at 1-800-675-8101 for questions about our program or a free consultation.

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