Considered to be midlevel in the range of residential therapeutic programming, therapeutic boarding schools (TBSs) move a step beyond emotional growth schools with increased structure, behavioral support, and clinical sophistication. Admission to a TBS is highly individualized and determined by personal circumstances, but students can expect a length of stay to range from 12-18 months. Many Therapeutic Boarding Schools require a short-term intervention, such as a Wilderness Therapy program, before enrollment. Generally a TBS will fall into one of three broad roles for referred students.
- As an initial intervention for students who are not functioning successfully in the home or school environment.
- As a follow-up step for students who have completed a short-term interventional program such as wilderness therapy.
- As a step-down from a more intensive residential treatment center.