At therapeutic boarding schools, counselors trained in various therapeutic techniques create individualized plans for each student to help them succeed in life. For many students, these plans focus on overcoming struggles with anxiety, depression, and addiction. However, many teenage behavior problems stem from a lack of positive life skills. Without those skills in place, teens fall prey to self-doubt, peer pressure, and negative coping skills.
By focusing on developing positive life skills, the therapists at Sundance Canyon Academy help their students learn tactics that allow them to thrive in adulthood. By engaging in personal therapy sessions, group therapy sessions, and nontraditional extracurricular activities, our students develop the responsibility to take charge of their emotions and actions.
4 Life-changing skills teens can learn at therapeutic boarding schools
Learning life skills is an integral part of any good therapeutic program for teens. At Sundance Canyon Academy, we focus on a few primary skill sets.
Though good hygiene seems like something that should come naturally to most people, that is not always the case. This is especially true for teens who struggle with mental health issues like depression, ADD, and ADHD. Our students learn how to take care of their appearance as well as keep their surroundings tidy.
Learning to have control of our emotions is challenging, especially for teens. With their counselors’ guidance, teens at therapeutic boarding schools learn to understand their emotions and take steps to regulate them. By addressing emotional fluctuations early, teens can prevent the spiral that leads to depression and outbursts of anger.
Through team-building activities with their peers, students learn to communicate more effectively with one another. This reduces conflict among the group and improves overall interpersonal understanding. By learning to communicate effectively, teens are more likely to improve their school performance and demonstrate empathy for others.
In our school, students are given progressive levels of responsibility. While they are still learning the basic life skills needed to succeed, but have less responsibility and less freedom. As they move through the program’s phases and improve their skill set, students are given more freedom and are held accountable for their choices. Students get the chance to practice their newfound life skills at school before returning home to use them in real-life.
Gradual increase in accountability
Just as you wouldn’t have the same expectations for your toddler as you would for a 10-year-old, we don’t have the same expectations for all students across the board. We expect that students will need more help and guidance when they first enter the program, and we know that they will make mistakes. We give them just enough freedom to make some mistakes and learn from those mistakes.
As the students learn new life skills and progress through the stages of their therapy, we expect that students will handle more responsibility on their own. We start to remove some of the supports in place and let the students practice the skills independently. Much like removing the training wheels from a bike, it’s not always a perfectly smooth transition. However, the students’ therapists are there to guide them through owning their emotions and taking on more responsibility for their actions.
If your teen son struggles with mental health problems and needs to learn life skills that will help him succeed in adulthood, a therapeutic boarding school might benefit him. Contact us today to find out more about our therapeutic approach for teens.