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The Out-of-Control Teenager: Could a Boarding School Help?


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Is Your Angry Teen Out-of-Control?

If your teenager is seriously out-of-control, have you considered a boarding school? Our parenting expert and author of the book Wits End, Sue Scheff, not only writes about the trouble with her daughter but also shares high quality parenting resources. In today's post Sue is discussing the Therapeutic Boarding School.


Therapeutic Boarding School (T.B.S.)

This place is set up to provide an environment for positive emotional growth, with an emphasis on behavior modification.

Is There a Difference between a Therapeutic Boarding School and a Residential Treatment Center?

The goal is pursued by a carefully designed and regulated daily life for each student. The program's overall structure mixes the practice of life skills with academics and therapy. The therapeutic aspect of a T.B.S., however, is not as intense as that of a Residential Treatment Center.

How Much Therapy Will Your Child Receive?

At a Therapeutic Boarding School, a child may only expect to participate in one-on-one therapy sessions as infrequently as once a week, or even biweekly. Group therapy is usually held every day, but positive social skills can also come from the atmosphere itself.

There may be a licensed therapist on staff, but not necessarily on site. Young people can be transported to the therapist for examinations or scheduled sessions, as needed.

What's the Working Philosophy of Good Therapeutic Boarding Schools?

A T.B.S. uses what I call an all-encompassing approach. It is a comprehensive program that integrates all aspects of emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. Their working philosophy is that a well-structured, positive, respectful, and disciplined living experience that is conducted over months at a time will be absorbed by the child as a natural process.

Is There Discipline in a Therapeutic Boarding School?

Because we are all creatures with a survival instinct, every human being can be counted on to move toward experiences that are rewarding and move away from those that are not. The enforced discipline at a T.B.S. keeps the child in a position to directly control how satisfactory his experience is in that place. Approval, comfort, the respect of others, and the respect of oneself combine to forge powerful exchanges. (From pages 106-107)


From Sue Scheff's description of the T.B.S. parents can be ready with questions when they're thinking of sending their teen to such a school. Questions like: 1. How often and what kind of therapy do you offer your students? What is your philosophy for helping students? How long does the average student stay? How do you discipline offending students? How much does it cost? These questions and more should help you decide your next step.


Pick up Wit's End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen

Cover Wits End

Available at Amazon.com


Let's give Sue Scheff a HAND for sharing the true story with her daughter and the nightmare of a facility she unwittingly sent her daughter to. Sue knows that parents with out-of-control teens would never knowingly send their child to such a place. That's why Sue has done the research and is the founder of Parents' Universal Resource Experts. She offers many different solutions and recommends the best facilities. 

Author Sue Scheff
      Sue Scheff


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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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