A therapeutic boarding school, sometimes known as a behavior modification facility, offers assistance to parents looking for help for their teenage daughter struggling with serious, ongoing emotional and behavioral issues. Often parents who seek out these programs feel they have exhausted all other options for their teen without finding real solutions. The programs might may vary in the specific problems addressed and their methods of treatment, but most offer healing, hope and education to young women and their families so that they can look forward to healthy and productive futures.
Sending Your Daughter to a Therapeutic Boarding School
You will likely struggle with the choice to place your hurting teen daughter in a facility outside of your home; you cannot make this choice lightly. If you have employed serious interventions, such as counseling, medication or therapy, and seen your daughter’s behavior stay the same or decline, you realize that you will need to take a different approach. Even as you work through your own feelings of fear, guilt, embarrassment and failure as a parent, you need to put your daughter’s problems and pain first. Watching her head toward self-destruction and worrying about her dangerous choices creates an unhealthy environment for everyone involved, including your other children. Removing her from her current friends and activities will not only help your daughter but benefit your entire family as well. You are not alone—other dedicated and caring parents have made the agonizing choice to send their children away in order to save their lives, which can comfort and encourage you. If you wait too long to make a decision to send her to a therapeutic boarding school, you might regret it.
The following actions might seriously threaten your teen’s health and even her life. As a parent, you should seek professional help from a therapeutic boarding school for girls if you face any of the following:
- An eating disorder – If not promptly addressed, eating disorders can threaten the life of your daughter.
- An alcohol or drug addiction – Your daughter can overcome an addiction to alcohol or drugs through intervention at a therapeutic boarding school.
- Extreme anger and aggression issues – In addition to being a symptom of underlying emotional issues, rage takes a physical toll on the body, resulting in stomach problems, heart issues, high blood pressure and more.
- Delinquent behaviors, including gang involvement – Gang affiliation and juvenile delinquency can take your daughter down an irreversible path.
- Mental illness, including depression and bipolar disorder – Make sure the facility is equipped to treat your daughter’s specific diagnosis.
- Promiscuity – In addition to sexually transmitted diseases and possible pregnancy, your daughter risks emotional coupling with another young person, these bonds can be difficult to break.
- Suicidal ideations – Contact emergency personnel if your daughter gives any indication of suicidal threats.
- Self-harm – Cutting and self-mutilation might accompany suicidal thoughts.
In addition, watch your daughter’s grades as a therapeutic boarding school could provide the right intervention if she is struggling scholastically. Also, address bullying and cyberbullying, which could lead to self-confidence issues and serious long-term behaviors as listed. A therapeutic boarding school might find the root issues that lead to such serious behaviors, including childhood trauma, abuse or early bonding issues.
Keep a watchful eye on certain disorders, such as anxiety, attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiance and a terrible attitude toward your home. While your daughter might not need to attend treatment at a therapeutic boarding school for these issues, you should pay close attention in case these negative behaviors escalate.
Research Your Options
Before enrolling your child in any type therapeutic boarding school, research your options. With a variety of programs and facilities from which to choose, you can find one that suits your daughter’s needs. Schools generally last nine to 12 months, the length of the school year, so that your daughter can enjoy a continuum of treatment. Verify that the treatments offered specifically address your daughter’s particular problems. Teens face many different concerns, which stem from a variety of issues, so choosing a program tailored to meet the needs of your daughter is vital to her success.
Finding the right program and facility can challenge and overwhelm you. If possible, seek professional assistance to assist in making this life-altering decision. A counselor or doctor might make a recommendation, but as a parent, you should carefully investigate each program. Obtain information about licensing, accreditation and regulations. Research any grievances filed against the program concerning medical neglect or physical or sexual abuse. Look at site evaluations and read any facility reports available. Plan a visit and look for adequate staff supervision, a sanitary and safe site and nutritious meals. Ask as many questions as possible about staff qualifications and background checks. Check for the following:
- Types of experience and credentials the therapists and counselors hold
- Teacher certification
- Additional staff training
- Academic remedial work and opportunities to make up missing credits
- Type of medical staff on site and
- The handling and monitoring of students’ medications
Make sure all of your concerns are addressed thoroughly and all questions answered to your satisfaction.
Look at the program’s outcomes and success rates and if possible, talk with parents whose daughters have successfully completed the program. Consider these criteria as you research:
- Type of relationships between students and staff
- The presence of a feeling of family and trust among the teens
- How communication procedures are handled for those outside the facility, including family
- The treatment plans available and the methodology the program employs, such as faith based or “tough love.”
- The use of individualized treatment plans tailored to meet each teen girl’s needs
- The use of group sessions
- Alternative therapeutic activities offered, such as art, music, outdoor or animal therapy #The type of academic curriculum
- The educational setting, such as traditional, individualized or online
- The class sizes and discipline procedures
- Transitioning back to the home
- Aftercare and ongoing support upon completion
Keep in mind that the investment you make in your daughter’s future now can make the difference between her success and failure later. When you send her to therapeutic boarding school, you can help give her a strong foundation, heal from past hurts, establish healthy ways to handle problems, develop life skills and achieve academic excellence.