Free Consultation Learn more about options for your teen
  • Residential Treatment Centers
  • Specialty Boarding Schools
  • Therapeutic Boarding Schools
  • Wilderness Programs

What options are available? provides many options for parents. These options include residential treatment centers, specialty boarding schools, equine therapy schools and ranches, therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness programs (in conjunction with long term treatment options), and many other types of help.

What are the differences?

Residential treatment centers are usually the most effective of the long term options. RTCs are licensed in their state and typically require higher staff/student ratios. These include full therapy and are usually very well regulated. RTC is the most effective option.

Therapeutic boarding schools are very similar to RTCs. A TBS usually has fewer staff than a RTC and therapy may or may not be included (but available). Generally, a TBS is allowed to have more students per room than RTC.

Equine therapy schools and programs are usually licensed as RTC or TBS. They include an equine component which has been proven to be very effective with younger children and struggling adolescents. Usually these programs are set in rural areas on many acres to accommodate the equine component.

Wilderness programs are typically licensed by each state. Making sure the needs of youth are met while out on an excursion. These are very intensive and hard work. Studies have shown that long term residential treatment is more effective for struggling teens. Wilderness programs can be very effective with combined with a long term solution.

Specialty boarding schools are usually licensed as a boarding school. They are not licensed to do therapy, but at some it may be available through local providers. Behavior modification is usually a component of the program. Staff/Student ratios are much lower than RTC.

What do these options cost?

Wilderness programs usually run in the $300-400/day range.
RTCs vary by location, but typically they run $175-200/day.
Specialty boarding schools can range $130-175/day.

Loans are almost always available at very reasonable rates and can be as low as $400 per month. Most programs do not accept insurance, but you may be eligible for reimbursement of therapy costs (contact your carrier). Interest on loans may be tax deductible depending on the type or if home equity is used (please check with your CPA).

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