5 Types Of Therapy Used At Boarding Schools For Troubled Teens

When parents can no longer control their teenagers and become concerned for the safety of their child as well as that of the rest of the family, they sometimes turn to residential programs that provide both education and therapy. These programs can take teens out of a destructive environment, offering hope for a new life and a second chance. Therapeutic boarding schools have a wide range of approaches and offer different kids of therapy. Here are 5 therapeutic approaches you are likely to find at a boarding school for troubled teens. 

Outdoor Therapy

Therapeutic programs for teens often focus on outdoor activities. This is based on getting kids out of their own heads and connecting with the natural world. 

Farms and Ranches

Residential treatment programs based on a farm or ranch environment offer kids the opportunity to build self-esteem through hard work and a sense of accomplishment. Teens do chores and help care for the property, creating a feeling of ownership and being part of a larger group. 

Caring for animals is often part of these programs, and kids get the psychological benefits of training and bonding with horses and other animals. 

Wilderness Therapy

Wilderness or survival programs are designed to pull teens out of their comfort zones and into a completely new environment where they will have to rely on their own skills. In this type of therapy, kids learn that they do have control over themselves and that they have the ability to make things happen. They also develop self-confidence as they learn about living with nature. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is a classic form of psychotherapy that guides patients through an understanding of how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors influence one another. In this type of therapy, teens are encouraged to examine times when they engage in problematic behavior to determine how their emotions may have led to those poor behavioral choices. 

Therapists guide patients in talking about specific problems and help them evaluate their own progress as they learn more about themselves and about appropriate ways to handle their mental health challenges. 

Arts Therapy

Arts therapy programs allow teens to express their internal struggles through creative channels. This therapy could come from visual arts like painting or sculpture as well as performance arts like dramatics or dance. 

Participating in artistic expression can be a good way to handle feelings of anger, hopelessness, and frustration. 

Family Therapy

Many therapeutic boarding schools ask families to visit at regular intervals to participate in family therapy. This is because destructive behavior is heavily influenced by the teenager's family relationships, and a troubled child is often part of a troubled family. 

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy is a type of psychotherapy for people with depression and other mental health disorders. The Interpersonal Psychotherapy Institute explains that interpersonal therapy involves understanding how relationships can trigger psychological symptoms. Patients are encouraged to identify these triggers and then change their own behaviors in order to change the outcome. 

This is a type of highly focused, short-term treatment that typically only lasts for a few months. It can be a successful starting point to help kids who deal with depression understand how their interpersonal relationships affect and change their mental health challenges. 

Most boarding schools for troubled teens offer a combination of therapeutic approaches that work together to impact each child as an individual. If you are looking into one of these programs for your child, seek guidance from therapists or school counselors to determine which approach will work best for your child. Residential programs can make a huge difference in turning around a troubled teen, and your child is definitely worth it.  

For more information, contact an organization such as Youth Programs For Troubled Teens.