What is a Therapeutic Boarding School?


Not all boarding schools are the same. They have different locations, academic structure and sizes. More importantly, boarding schools have different purposes. For instance, a traditional boarding school typically focuses on preparing a student for college. It offers a strict and more challenging curriculum, as well as plenty of extracurriculars that will help make the college application look better.

A therapeutic boarding school offers this as well, but caters to a different type of student. Students at this type of boarding school are typically troubled teens struggling with depression, substance abuse, adoption issues or other emotional or behavioral problems that have made it difficult for them to succeed in regular school and at home. The therapeutic boarding school offers a structured environment where they have access to different types of therapy as well as personalized academic curriculums and extracurricular activities.

Admissions to a Therapeutic Boarding School

Do you think a therapeutic boarding school may be the right answer for your daughter? Unlike a day school or traditional boarding school, you don’t have to wait for the start of the school term to enroll her or be subjected to tight admissions deadlines. Once you’ve made the decision that going away to school would be more beneficial to your daughter than staying at home, you simply apply and wait to see if your application is accepted.

So, how do you know if a therapeutic boarding school is the next step for your child? The first thing you should do is talk to her doctor, psychologist and any other healthcare professionals that know her situation and condition. Discuss with them any issues she may be having at home or at a regular day school, like poor grades, low self-esteem, defying authority, refusal to follow the rules or substance abuse. Together, you will be able to determine what the best solution for your troubled teen is.

Therapeutic Boarding Schools in Action

What sets therapeutic boarding schools apart from other schools is their therapy options. At Greenbrier Academy for Girls, for instance, there are a variety of therapies available to your daughter. She will take part in one-on-one therapy and group therapy with a trained counselor. In addition, she’ll have access to art therapy, equine and animal therapy, addiction recovery therapy and our peer-centered Aspirations culture. Every girl also takes part in drumming, which has been shown in studies to help reduce anxiety and depression.

Greenbrier also offers a number of activities that will keep your teen moving and having fun, including kayaking, rappelling, fishing, mountain biking, and white water rafting. Sports activities like basketball, volleyball, badminton and soccer are available as well. While students have fun with these activities, they also serve therapeutic purposes. As your daughter learns new skills, her self-esteem grows. Many of the activities will help her learn to work with a team and be a team player. Activities that encourage exercise can help improve her mental state while also helping keep her body physically healthy.

Are you thinking of enrolling your daughter in a therapeutic boarding school? Greenbrier offers a home-like environment with multiple types of therapy and activities for troubled teens.