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Tips to Vet “The Best” Therapeutic Boarding Schools in the US

Now that I have your attention, I can put the spoiler right out there to you: any list of therapeutic boarding schools for “struggling teens” that says it has the list of The Best Therapeutic Boarding Schools is a directory promoting those treatment programs. Additionally, any individual therapeutic program who says it is the best, just isn’t. I can say this because I am the owner of AllKindsofTherapy.com, the website you are reading right now – and this is a directory.

I look at other directories to see what the trends are all the time. I can see that teen treatment programs are marketing a group of treatment programs together or when owners of a group of programs also own websites to direct search traffic to their schools’ websites. In fact, some of these websites are not so much directories as they are catch-and-direct mechanisms masquerading as independent directories.

What makes this website different is that I am transparent about being an independent directory. While we do get paid by the treatment programs to list their information on this website, we do not get paid for their admissions phone number ringing or getting them a qualified lead. The goal of this website is to give you the facts you need about teen treatment and young adult assessment, treatment or transition programs – and that mission has value for advertisers and parents. I strive to beg more questions than I can answer – and teach you how to ask better questions. I support transparency and require the same from those advertising on my site.

To be even more transparent about how the teen treatment works, I will share with you the characteristics of the best therapeutic boarding schools so that you can think about these tips as you are investigating. With this information then you can find out which is the best therapeutic boarding school in the country for your child.

  1. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country are self-reflective. They will tell you what they want to change in the program or what they have struggled with.⁣⁣

  2. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country will give the names of families who might not have been satisfied with their treatment process as well as those that are.
  3. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country will share with you openly and honestly what their outcomes study (research) data looks like.
  4. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country tells you why or why not they are not accredited by a national accrediting body.
  5. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country might not be called a therapeutic boarding school, but instead a Residential Treatment Center because of how the state licenses programs.
  6. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country will share with a prospective family why they use a particular type of therapy AND if it is EVIDENCED BASED.
  7. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country do not provide kickbacks to professional referral sources.
  8. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country require a troubled teens family to be involved with the treatment process.
  9. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country will tell you why they may have some terrible reviews on Google, Yelp, or Reddit – without breaking HIPAA confidentiality.
  10. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country will tell you why your child is not a fit or what their exclusionary criteria are for enrollment.
  11. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country will not take 6 months of tuition upfront.
  12. The best therapeutic boarding schools will have a type or types of students that they work with and will not be everything to all clients.
  13. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country will be transparent about who owns the program(s) and this will be easy to find.
  14. The best therapeutic boarding schools will have all licensed clinicians.
  15. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country will use different types of therapies to assist clients’ needs.
  16. The best therapeutic boarding schools will not practice conversion therapy.
  17. The best therapeutic boarding schools will report to the state licensor when there is a minor infraction at the program, always erring on the side of caution.
  18. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the United States do not want to intentionally harm a student.
  19. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country have individual treatment plans that are co-created by a licensed clinician and the client and updated regularly.
  20. The best therapeutic boarding schools might be a for-profit school owned by individuals or a larger company.
  21. The best therapeutic boarding schools that provide academic credit have an accredited school, with licensed teachers onsite
  22. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country are OK with having the state come in to regulate, evaluate, or investigate, as needed.
  23. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country deal with complex family systems, complex diagnoses, and not every family or child is happy with the treatment received.
  24. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country might have changed their names because the ownership structure also changed.
  25. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country will over-report to their state licensing agent about a problem because they want to be transparent about any issue.
  26. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country will contact parents when an incident has occurred with their child and will tell you before enrollment how quickly they will call/contact you.
  27. The best therapeutic boarding schools in the country do not show up in a Google search for every state where you are searching for treatment for your child.
  28. The best therapeutic boarding schools might not call themself a ‘therapeutic boarding school’ and be licensed as a residential treatment center, because the license and type might not be the same in a particular state.

Doing a Google search for treatment for your child is a landmine. Although websites are well-meaning, be sure you are educating yourself and asking questions of the treatment program when you speak to them on the phone. You can also hire a Therapeutic Consultant (Expert) to assist you with this process, whose job it is to support and guide you through this stressful time with their experience, insight, and expertise. Mental health and addiction treatment does not have a beginning, middle, and clear end – but starting the process as an engaged stakeholder.

About the Author
Jenney Wilder, M.S.Ed launched All Kinds of Therapy in 2015, as the only independent online directory for the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare Industry. With an impressive case of ADHD and her starter career in the 90’s in Silicon Valley, the dream for creating a website with features like side-by-side comparison and an integrated newsletter was born. Jenney stopped counting treatment centers and all types of schools that she has visited when she hit 500 many years ago. She was the sponsoring author of the only Economic Impact Study of the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare Industry, which revealed the only true financial figures about this industry (in Utah). Jenney has a Masters in Special Education from Bank Street College (NY) and a Bachelors of Arts focused on History from Wheaton College (MA).