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.

  1. As an initial intervention for students who are not functioning successfully in the home or school environment.
  2. As a follow-up step for students who have completed a short-term interventional program such as wilderness therapy.
  3. As a step-down from a more intensive residential treatment center.