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​Treatment For Troubled Teens: Residential Treatment V Therapeutic Boarding Schools

There comes a certain point for many parents when they realize that the unending attempts to help their troubled teen just aren’t working. They have done therapists, psychologists, programs, group therapy, maybe even medication. Your teen could have possibly run into problems with the law, ruined their grades or had health scares associated with their behavior.

What do you do when you feel you have run out of options? Usually go to the last resort, which is some kind of inpatient or secure facility. But is residential treatment necessary and what is the difference between that and a therapeutic boarding school?

Residential Treatment Centers

A residential treatment center is an inpatient medical program designed to treat severe mental illness, substance abuse or behavioral issues within a secure setting. They can vary from a hospital setting with a ward dedicated to the task, to a rehab.

In residential treatment, the patient is given 24 hour care and locked within the facility. They go to therapy, attend group programs, have their medication monitored and may be subject to testing until they are diagnosed.

You have probably heard of people checking themselves into rehab because they have hit “rock bottom”. Or they might go to the emergency room when they are struggling with suicidal thoughts or delusions, ending in them being admitted to a neuropsychiatric ward. These are both examples of residential treatment programs.

Therapeutic Boarding School

A therapeutic boarding school is often mistaken for a residential treatment center because there is some overlap. It is still a secure facility where students are monitored, medication is administered and therapy is a mandatory part of the program.

What makes it different is that only 50% of the program is dedicated to treatment. The other half is academically focused. Students who attend a therapeutic boarding school go to class, take part in extracurricular activities of their choice and have access to tutors

This is a better choice for many troubled teens as it gives them a chance to connect with their peers, improve their academic performance and address the core issues surrounding their struggles.

In contrast, a residential treatment center is 100% dedicated to treatment. During their time in the program, teens can actually become more isolated and see a further drop in academics. For that reason, it is best to leave these centers for the most extreme cases, such as when a child is likely to hurt themselves or others.

Find out more at Sundance Canyon Academy.

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