What Is A Residential Treatment Center VS A Therapeutic Boarding SchoolOne of the first things parents should understand is that exactly what defines a residential treatment center and a therapeutic boarding school can vary from state-to-state. As we are based in Utah, we will be using the legal guidelines to help define the differences between these two programs.
Therapeutic Boarding SchoolA therapeutic boarding school is generally more focused on the academic side of a teen’s success with needed therapy interwoven. Teens who have found the public school system unsupportive of their mental, emotional, and other needs can find greater support in a therapeutic boarding school. Along with classes paced to help struggling teens catch up academically, therapy is interwoven into the daily schedule. However, the therapeutic needs of these teens are often not overly complex.
Residential Treatment CenterAt a residential treatment center for troubled teens, children with complex therapeutic needs can receive the kind of treatment they need. There is a greater concentration of medical and mental health professionals at these treatment centers. Also, academics are not neglected, and teens will continue their education through an accredited academic program. Residential treatment centers are designed this way to address teens with complicated needs. For instance, say a teen who is struggling with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiance disorder (ODD), has engaged in substance abuse as well as other delinquent behaviors. This teenager doesn’t stand much of a chance of succeeding in the public school system, and a therapeutic boarding school is not equipped to help guide this teen through the tangles of their mental, emotional, physical, and academic needs. But at a residential treatment center, this teen can find the help to grow and succeed again. Also, in Utah, all residential treatment centers must first qualify as a therapeutic boarding school before they can go on to be certified as a residential treatment center. So, by choosing a residential treatment center in Utah, your teen can have all the benefits of a therapeutic boarding school as well as the greater care a residential treatment center provides.
How To Determine Which Program Best Benefits Your TeenFrom the above definition of therapeutic boarding schools versus residential treatment centers, you may already have an idea of which program is best suited to your teen’s needs. But to be sure, here are some ways you can see which troubled teen boarding option is best for your teenager’s needs. Teens attending therapeutic boarding schools:
- Need tailored academic help to get back on track
- Have more straightforward mental health needs
- Can benefit from a change in environment
- Will be able to transition home within 6 months to a year
- Have complex emotional and mental health needs
- Need support overcoming traumatic events/backgrounds
- Require remedial classes to catch up to peers academically
- Obligated to leave current environment due to poor choices
- Generally need at least 9 months or more to successfully make changes