Therapeutic boarding schools have been increasing in popularity in the past years because of the decent success rate they have been having with troubled teens. One of the most common characteristics of these schools is that they’re located in beautiful, rural locations. Getting troubled kids closer to nature is part of what makes these schools very effective. Nature has a therapeutic effect on people, and it’s also a good teacher. This is why therapeutic boarding schools make it a point to include as much outdoor activities as possible.
New England is one of the popular locations of therapeutic boarding schools in the US. It has a lot of mountainous areas, coastal regions, and lots of wide open spaces for students to enjoy. Because of the varied climates and beautiful land and water forms in the region, the six states of New England are considered some of the healthiest states in the US. They had the lowest obesity rates in the country and also enjoys low crime rates.
It’s not surprising that there are a lot of therapeutic boarding schools in New England. Here are just a few examples of them from some of the six states:
- Summit Achievement (Stow, ME) Summit Achievement is a wilderness program located in Stow, Maine. It caters to teens aged 13 to 19 (grades 8 to 12). It’s a small school that accommodates 4 groups made up of 8 students each group. It’s a short-term program that usually lasts from 3 to 16 weeks. This coeducational, New England therapeutic boarding school uses wilderness therapy and experiential learning in a focused and structured environment to help troubled young teens changed unproductive patterns and reform their behavioral issues. The school also uses formal individual and group therapy to help their students. Students also engage in weekly wilderness explorations while earning academic credits for middle school and high school.
- True North Wilderness Program (Waitsfield, VT) – True North is a wilderness program that is located in Waitsfield, Vermont. This school deals with students who are challenged with depression, defiance, academic difficulties, substance abuse, aggression, and other issues. Its therapeutic process is based mostly on wilderness therapy. Students engage in outdoor activities that will aid the process of their emotional growth. Through outdoor activities and therapy, students gain the confidence they need to set a foundation for personal and academic recovery.
- Academy at Swift River (Cummington, MA) – Academy at Swift River is one of the many therapeutic boarding schools in Massachussetts. This coeducational, New England therapeutic boarding school caters to college-bound adolescent boys and girls aged 14 to 18. The school not only focuses on providing students a helpful structure as well as therapy and counseling, they also give help for parents. The school uses weekly phone calls, workshops, and family counseling sessions to help parents develop new parenting styles that will address and challenge existing family cultures that are not helpful for troubled teens.
- Grove School (Madison, CT) – Grove School was established in 1934 and is a family-run New England therapeutic boarding school in Madison, Connecticut. The school is found in a shoreline community and accepts students from grades 7 to 12, as well as offers postgraduate courses. The school deals with students with diagnosed ADD/ADHD, learning disorders (non-verbal), anxiety, eating disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, depression, and other related disorders. The school also offers psychotherapy to students through individual, group, and family sessions while they are earning academic credits and preparing for their SATs/ACTs. Additionally, the school also provides additional cultural exposure to students through Carribean trips, ski trips, and trips to El Salvador. Grove School also has a transition program for teens who have already graduated from high school but needs additional help and structure in order to smoothly transition into adulthood. The transition program provides therapy to students while they attend community college and/or maintain employment.
Therapeutic boarding schools in New England vary widely in their type and approach. Most are licensed by different organizations and are members of NATSAP (National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs).