While the teen years are often a tumultuous time for many children, when an adolescent's behavior gets out of hand, a therapeutic boarding school can provide the assistance that isn't always possible in the home environment. Schools that focus on behavioral issues or keeping kids out of the juvenile justice system can offer your teen the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe setting that features intensive counseling, unique types of therapy and academic advantages.
Therapeutic boarding schools often seek to provide a positive influence over teens who are heading down a destructive path. If your just-turned-teen daughter is hanging out with the "wrong crowd," getting into trouble with teachers, skipping school or experimenting with illegal substances, a residential program would remove her from those negative influences and offer her a supervised living environment to flourish in. For example, the Scotts Valley School in Oregon notes that its therapeutic model features a positive environment and influences that build the student's self-concept and make her accountable for her behavior.
At age 13, girls are just heading into their teen years and find themselves somewhere in between being a child and a young adult. If you're looking for a therapeutic boarding school that caters to 13-year-olds, choosing one that has a program geared specifically towards the tween set can keep your child away from older kids who may negatively influence her behavior. For example, the Asheville Academy for Girls is a therapeutic boarding school in North Carolina that is specifically for females ages 10 through 14. This school, like other similar residential programs, offers a middle school curriculum along with treatment for emotional and behavioral issues.
Religious Role Models
If religion plays a central role in your family's belief system, choosing a faith-based therapeutic boarding school for your troubled teen is an option that aligns with your expected values. Religious residential therapeutic schools provide the same types of counseling and behavioral and academic services that secular ones do, but they also add a sense of spirituality. The Boise Girls Academy in Idaho is a Christian boarding school that offers behavioral counseling, recreational activities, an academic environment and neighborhood service projects with a faith-centered approach.
Although most therapeutic boarding schools offer similar counseling and academic preparation services, only some provide additional types of treatments, such as equine therapy. Equine therapy, according to Copper Canyon Academy Residential Treatment for Girls in Arizona, uses horses as co-therapists. The social and emotional nature of horses can help children in need to develop self-awareness, assertiveness, empathy and problem solving skills. Schools like Copper Canyon Academy typically employ equine therapy along with other types of treatment, providing a full range of options.
Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.