The process of evaluating wilderness programs, therapeutic boarding schools or residential treatment centers for troubled teenagers is probably one of the most difficult things a parent will have to do. You may wish you had a crystal ball to help you predict which program will be the most beneficial to your child. At Turning Winds, we understand how overwhelming it can be. We are here to help you find the best place for your child, whether that is here, at home, or elsewhere.
We understand because we’ve been there. Contact us online and we can help steer your search in the right direction. Or call us at (800) 845-1380 and one of our friendly staff will be happy to answer all of your questions.
As parents, it can be difficult to tell the difference between “typical” teen problems and behaviors, and those that might be more serious. After all, teens are notorious for being rebellious, moody, and disrespectful. If you’re questioning whether or not your child’s issues warrant intervention, you can determine your child’s need for placement by taking our online quiz.
In the meantime, here are some guidelines for differentiating between typical teen behaviors and those that should be considered “red flags.”
I have learned that I am much smarter than I believed myself to be. I have learned great study habits. I have learned in order to accomplish something you have to work. I have taught myself not to give up.
You may not know the difference between a wilderness program, a residential treatment center, and a boarding school. While each of these offers help for troubled teens, there are some important differences.
Wilderness Program (Outward Bound, boot camps) – For some troubled teens, this may be a good option. These are behavioral health programs that utilize wilderness therapy in a group setting, typically entirely outdoors. Participants must become self-sufficient, develop problem solving skills, and improve interpersonal skills due to the communal living arrangements. These programs are typically shorter term (6 to 10 weeks), and less expensive than a residential treatment center or a boarding school. Criticisms include that these programs do not prepare teens for real life scenarios; that they are too short to allow for real growth and change; and that they lack an educational/academic component.
Residential Treatment Center (RTC) – These programs provide behavioral support, medication management, and medical support, particularly for teens with serious psychological and behavioral problems. They often provide individual and group therapy in a very structured environment. The amount of time a teen lives at a Residential Treatment Center typically ranges from several weeks to several months, depending on their problems and how they progress in treatment.
Boarding School – A boarding school, unlike an RTC, integrates an academic program with other activities geared toward the physical, emotional, social, and behavioral growth of the students. Teens will earn credits toward a diploma, and may reside at the school from 12 months to several years.
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Turning Winds is a hybrid program. We have blended all of the benefits of each of these 3 approaches to create a therapeutic boarding school that helps teens to overcome their problems and rebuild their lives. We use the power of nature, academic support, and both group and individual therapy in a strength-based program that typically spans 12 months – enough time for teens to achieve real change, and practice what they’ve learned.
As much as we would like to help every troubled teen, we are not the best choice for everyone. In order to provide the best care for our students, we focus on helping teens who meet the following criteria:
Students who come to Turning Winds are struggling with: anxiety and depression, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), co-occurring and dual-diagnosis disorders, eating disorders (mild to moderate); obsessive compulsive disorder, and oppositional defiance disorder (mild to moderate). We can also provide therapeutic service to teens with select medical needs that include type-1 diabetes and girls who are pregnant up to 30 weeks.