Long-Term Placement


Therapeutic Boarding Schools

Therapeutic boarding schools are supportive, yet highly structured environments. They focus on helping teens gain communication skills to better manage the issues they struggle with, whether personal, emotional, or family related. Many of these schools have developed creative learning environments to enhance the learning process. Many offer team sports and other extra curricular activities.

In addition to classroom activities, therapeutic boarding schools offer psychotherapy and conduct regular counseling groups. Students who have done a significant amount of their own work in therapy and who are self-motivated are good candidates to be successful in this type of setting.

Length of stay is typically one to two years.

Family Style Residential Programs

Family Style residential programs recreate a home-like environment, typically serving no more than 12-18 adolescents at one time. In many home-based programs, teens are also encouraged to do volunteer work and to choose an extra-curricular activity to engage in through their school, such as athletics or a club.

Some family-style programs are a good deal of clinical work, while others are more focused on "working hard and playing hard."

Length of stay is typically one to two years.

Emotional Growth Schools

Emotional Growth schools focus on character development, self-awareness, and appropriate socialization as teens move into young adulthood. These schools place an emphasis on accountability, self-acceptance, emotional transparency and improved self esteem through cathartic workshops, group treatment, and positive peer interaction.

The typical length of stay for an emotional growth school is usually 18 months.

Residential 12-Step Programs

12-step programs use the principals of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as the “umbrella” for their treatment model. Clients work through the 12-steps in psychoeducational and process groups. Several different types of 12-step programs exist, with varying levels of structure and support, from more restrictive settings, which are locked or in remote locations, all the way to traditional boarding schools with a 12-step component for those who need it.

Length of stay is typically one to two years.

Long-Term Outdoor Therapeutic Programs

Outdoor therapeutic programs feature some of the elements of wilderness programs in a very simple, low-tech environment. They usually offer an academic program, as well as family therapy and peer counseling. Students may live in cabins or wall tents and eat and bathe in separate locations from the sleeping quarters.

Mentorship by dedicated staff may be emphasized over therapy. These programs are generally ideal for the young person who does not thrive in traditional environments or who blossoms using experiential learning in an ongoing way.

Length of stay is typically one to two years.

2nd Generation Residential Treatment Centers

Designed for adolescents with more severe emotional issues who present with a good deal of clinical complexity, 2nd Generation residential treatment centers (RTCs) are highly structured programs usually (but not always) in secured or locked facilities. RTCs focus to varying degrees on therapeutic support, but often have a traditional medical component, with medication management available on site.

Because they provide medical care, portions of their costs are sometimes covered by health insurance. More recently, long-term treatment centers that are based in large home-like settings have become a trend. These programs can deal with a clinically complex dually-diagnosed adolescent, without a pathologizing or institutional feel.

Length of stay is typically six months to one year.

Transitional Independent Living Programs

With the goal of helping older teens and young adults individuate from their families and integrate successfully into the larger community, transitional independent-living programs combine home-like living with supportive activities. Young adults receive counseling and mentorship and are given opportunities to attend community colleges or vocational schools, participate in volunteer activities, or intern/work for local businesses.

Many of these programs model themselves after home-based residential programs as they facilitate the transition to independence. They teach life skills such as time and money management, employment skills, and interpersonal effectiveness. Twelve-step-based transitional living programs have been around for years, but more recently this model has also been applied to young adults who do not have the skills to launch into adulthood.

Length of stay is typically 6 months to one year.