A therapeutic boarding school, categorized as alternative or intervention school, is a type of program that helps troubled and / or struggling adolescents, teenagers and young adults. These schools offer academics while also providing psychological counseling, rehabilitation, life skills, character development and family restoration.
Students often attend therapeutic schools which offer a structure, consistent environment that id drug free and free of the distractions of peers, social media and other triggers that add to their personal challenges. Some students range in psychological issues that require more extensive therapy, which include learning disabilities, substance abuse, academic failure, relational conflict and even personality and psychiatric disorders. Other students in therapeutic schools are attempting to understand difficult life situations and need healthier strategies for doing so. Most students who attend therapeutic schools have faced academic failure in mainstream educational settings and need strategies to help them succeed.
Some students in therapeutic programs, particularly in the residential or boarding programs, need to be removed temporarily from their home environments, in which they are out of control and/or violent. The goal of therapeutic programs is to rehabilitate the student and make him or her healthy psychologically. To this end, many therapeutic schools offer additional therapies such as arts, writing, or working with animals in an attempt to help student’s better cope with their psychological issues. Many residential programs are located in rural areas in which students have access to nature.
Therapeutic programs also offer students an academic program which includes psychological counseling. The teachers at these types of programs are generally well versed in psychology, and the programs are typically overseen by a psychologist or other mental health professional. Students in these programs usually attend therapy with counselors or therapists on staff or contracted through the program.
The average stay in these programs is about one year. The goal of the therapeutic programs is to rehabilitate the student and make him or her healthy psychologically, while also maintaining a focus on academic success. Many students in these programs have been unsuccessful in mainstream educational settings, even if they are bright. Therapeutic schools try to help students develop better psychological and academic strategies so that they can achieve results in line with their potential. Many schools continue to offer or arrange help for students even once they return to mainstream settings so that they can make a good transition back to their usual environments.