Finding appropriate residential therapeutic wilderness and educational placements for troubled teens and young adults.
What is a Therapeutic Placement?
Therapeutic residential placements consist of a number of different types of programs, including therapeutic boarding schools, therapeutic wilderness programs, residential treatment centers, and transitional programs for teenagers and young adults who require more intensive treatment and supervision than can be provided on an outpatient basis. Most programs make use of several of the following components: medical/psychiatric, individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, academics, vocational training, a therapeutic milieu, other specific types of therapies such as art, movement or equine therapies, and specific activities such as hiking, camping, art, and music. When choosing a program, it is important to find the right program that is the right fit for a specific individual that will meet his or her specific needs while maximizing his or her strengths.
What is a therapeutic placement consultant?
Therapeutic placement consultants match troubled teens and young adults with residential and wilderness programs that will best fit their specific clinical, therapeutic and educational needs. Our clients include adolescents who have difficulties with substance abuse, depression, suicidal gestures, ADHD, psychiatric disorders, autism, asperger's syndrome, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, oppositional defiant behaviors, eating disorders, learning disabilities and anger management.
Our special qualifications as therapeutic placement consultants
Dr. Stacy and Dr. Gold have a combined 50 years of clinical experience working with teenagers and young adults, including more than 20 years experience working in residential, outdoor and wilderness settings. They are thoroughly trained both in diagnosing psychological disorders and in identifying an individual's clinical and therapeutic needs. They have personally visited over 100 residential and wilderness programs throughout North America. This training and experience give them a unique perspective in matching clients with the appropriate therapeutic school, treatment center, hospital, or wilderness program.
Description of our therapeutic placement services:
Visit and survey residential and wilderness programs in the United States and Canada, maintaining contact with clinical staff and selected programs
Evaluate psychological, therapeutic, and educational needs of clients and their families
Match placements to the specific needs of our clients and their families
Assist with the admission process
Maintain communication throughout the admission process and provide regular consultation with the family and therapeutic program during treatment
Remain actively involved throughout transition from a therapeutic program and assist in developing an aftercare plan
Therapeutic Boarding Schools
A therapeutic boarding school is a residential program that has both a strong academic component as well as a strong clinical/therapeutic component. It may or may not include psychiatric services. Some therapeutic boarding schools have very challenging academic programs and send their graduates to some of the finest colleges and universities in the country. Others may focus more on learning disabilities, learning differences, and organizational skills. Some therapeutic boarding schools focus more on the academics while others emphasize the clinical/therapeutic components.
Therapeutic Wilderness Programs
A therapeutic wilderness program combines hiking and camping with a very intensive clinical/therapeutic component. These programs are usually somewhat short, they average about six to eight weeks in duration, and are often used as a first step that is then followed by a longer placement in a therapeutic boarding school or residential treatment center. Wilderness programs are often very effective in helping teenagers and young adults to change their perspectives and to take ownership of their own decisions in behaviors. They very specifically are not boot camps. They are not based on confrontation or punishment, and they do not seek to tare someone down so they can then build them back up. There is a large body of research that demonstrates how effective and powerful these programs can be (http://www.obhrc.org/publications.php)
Residential Treatment Centers (RTC’s)
Although they make use of other types of clinical interventions (i.e. psychotherapy) and therapeutic activities, RTC’s typically have a very strong psychiatric component. Most RTC’s have an academic component as well, though this is usually not as central to the program as it would be in a therapeutic boarding school. Residential treatment centers are typically somewhat longer in duration than wilderness programs, and often include those programs that specifically focus on substance abuse.
Transition programs are typically used for young adults. Although there is quite a bit of diversity in these programs, most include a therapeutic component, an independent living skills component, and a vocational and or academic component. Transition programs may or may not have a strong substance-abuse component and are designed for young adults who have voluntarily chosen to attend and participate in such a program.