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About Therapeutic Boarding Schools and Residential Treatment Programs

Mary Warren
Mary Warren

Independent Educational Consultant
and Parenting Coach

One of my very favorite things to do in the summer is to visit the therapeutic boarding schools and treatment programs that I currently work with as well as the new ones that I am adding to my portfolio of schools as another option for families.

I love visiting with the staff as well as the students. Being able to see their faces and hear from them on how things are going not only amazing but heartwarming.



How does the troubled teenager feel once they arrive at the treatment center?

Teens attending residential treatment programs

Surprisingly enough, your child has a lot of the same feelings about their own life and how they feel about their parents. They felt all the same feelings you had prior to coming to the program you chose for them. They just didn’t know how to change things on their own. Here a just few of the statements that I heard from the students:

“I am still mad that my parents made me come here but I know I needed it.”

“I understand why they sent me here and I am not mad at them.”

“I was smoking a lot of weed and flunking school, now I feel like I have a future to go home to.”

“If my mom would not have sent me here, I would have started using heroin.”

“I was very angry and hated myself and everyone around me. Now I am starting to feel happy again.”

“I do want to go home but I know I need to stay here and finish and learn to love myself again.”

“Right before I got taken away I was talking to a boy on the internet and wanted to run away with him. I don’t know where I would be if I did that. She said, ‘please tell my mom I love her and thank you’”

“My life feels so good now! I was so mad the morning I got taken from my house. I told my parents I would hate them forever and I would kill myself unless they came and got me. I feel sad I said those things.”

One girl had been in her program for only 6 days and said: “I don’t like it here and I want to go home but I think this is best.” Now talking to them feels like their pilot light is back on. They are bright and shiny again with hope for their own future. I hear accountability, humility, forgiveness, love, and motivation to improve and grow.


How do the parents feel before making the decision to send their kids to a therapeutic boarding school?

A mom talks to her troubled teenager about residential treatment

When I talk to the parents prior to making this crazy, difficult decision the things that I hear about their child is scary and heartbreaking.

  • My teenager is out of control
  • My child’s school work is suffering, (if they are even going)
  • My teenager is hateful
  • My teenager is entitled as heck
  • My son or daughter is smoking weed or doing stronger drugs
  • My teenage son is drinking alcohol
  • My teen’s risky behavior is frightening
  • My child has no accountability for any of his actions
  • My teenager blames others for everything
  • As a parent I feel like prisoners in my own home.

As much as this is an intense and scary process for all families, I wanted to give you an “inside perspective” to realize the outcome is so worth the struggle. I have found this to be a transformative process for all involved. There is healing, strength, accountability, and renewed love for life and for each other. There really is a bright side when you embark on this deep commitment to your child and your family.

Talking with the students attending these boarding schools was the highlight for me. I often talk with the parents of troubled teens and hear everything from their side; their hurt, pain, fear, guilt, sadness, anger, frustration as well as the love they feel for their child and wanting them to have a successful life, free of drugs and risky behavior.

Read the Empower My Teen Testimonials to see how parents feel after they send their teens to program and when their child graduates. 


Troubled Teen Treatment Programs Offered by Therapeutic Boarding Schools

While all of schools are very clean, safe, and include academics as well as wanting the best for the students and their families, they do have some distinct differences such as:

  • Adoption only
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and adoption
  • Boys only schools
  • Girls only schools
  • Equine therapy program
  • Art therapy program
  • Beauty salon on campus
  • Volunteering programs in the community
  • Volunteering at an orphanage
  • Sports activities and therapy
  • 12 Step Programs
  • Out of the country such as Mexico
  • Christian or faith based

Know more how you can take the next steps in helping your troubled teenager. A boarding school and a residential treatment program may help them. Contact me today or book a consultation below!

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