Boarding schools for troubled girls can also be a residential treatment centers (RTC)
Residential treatment centers are a live-in healthcare facility providing therapy for self-medicating, mental illness, or other behavioral problems. Residential treatment may be considered the “last-ditch” approach to treating abnormal psychology or psychopathology.
Residential treatment centers for teens provide treatment for disorders such as oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and some personality disorders. These centers also help with academic and life-controlling issues.
Residential treatment centers use either a:
- behavior-modifying model
- relationally oriented model
- community or positive peer-culture model
Generalist boarding schools for troubled girls are usually large (80-plus clients and as many as 250) and level-focused in their treatment approach. That is, to manage clients’ behavior, they frequently put systems of rewards and punishments in place. Specialist programs are usually smaller (less than 100 clients and as few as 10 or 12). Specialist programs typically are not as focused on behavior modification as generalist programs are.
Different boarding schools for troubled girls or residential treatment centers work with different types of problems, and the structure and methods of boarding schools for troubled girls vary. Some residential treatment centers are lock-down facilities; that is, the residents are locked inside the premises. In a locked residential treatment facility, clients’ movements are restricted. By comparison, an unlocked residential treatment facility allows them to move about the facility with relative freedom, but they are only allowed to leave the facility under specific conditions. Residential treatment centers should be distinct from residential education programs, which offer an alternative environment for at-risk children to live and learn together outside their homes.
Issues that Boarding Schools for Troubled Girls and Residential Treatment Centers Address
Residential treatment centers for girls address various conditions, from emotional and behavioral disorders. Studies have shown that many teenagers that come to residential treatment centers have a history of family-related issues—most of the time abuse.
Residential treatment centers and boarding schools for troubled girls are usually clinically focused and offer techniques to manage and change behaviors and treat the more severe issues of teenagers that attend. Therapeutic boarding schools provide therapy and academics in a live-in boarding school environment. The treatment is typically administered by social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists who work with teenagers daily. The goal of these programs is academic repair and mental and behavioral stability for the teens they serve. Residential Treatment Centers have more significant input today than ever to improve success rates and discourage unethical practices.
The Concept of Behavioral Intervention
Sending a child to a residential treatment center is a form of what is called behavioral intervention. The two principles of behavioral intervention that make it successful are conceptual understanding and building on pre-existing knowledge. Teenagers are given new problem-solving skills and exposed to new and healthy situations, people, and environments. The idea is to remove children from negative influences and stimuli in their present environment and introduce them to further information, ideas, and peer groups. This tactic has been proven effective, as it works with how teenagers learn and mature rather than working against it.
This technique builds upon the basic understanding that most children have of reward systems. Teenagers in these residential treatment centers have pro-social, or healthy, behaviors positively reinforced, which will lead to them engaging in such behaviors more frequently. On the other hand, appropriate and beneficial means of discouraging negative behaviors are employed. Typically, this involves losing or gaining privileges as children demonstrate healthy change and responsibility or the lack thereof. They are also exposed to group therapies and settings where they can observe appropriate social behaviors and practice engaging.
Success Treating Self Harm and Criminal Behavior
In addition to helping teens with behavioral issues, residential treatment centers have been shown to be highly effective in teenagers with a history of self-harm and criminal behavior. These structured programs address the specific needs of such teenagers. Community-based residential treatment centers have been studied repeatedly and shown to have positive long-term effects on children with behavioral problems. In one such study, participants in family-driven care and positive peer modeling displayed no incidence of elopement, self-injurious behavior, or physical aggression.
Research has also shown that treatment with a defined course of action and a pre-determined duration relates to positive treatment outcomes. Long-term results for children using planned treatment showed that they are 21% less likely to engage in criminal behavior and 40% less likely to need hospitalization for mental health problems. Further evidence exists supporting the long-term effectiveness of boarding schools for troubled girls exhibiting severe mental health issues. Studies found that clients showed a significant reduction in symptom severity 12–18 months after leaving a residential treatment center for girls, with results maintained 36–40 months after discharge from the facility.
Many boarding schools for troubled girls encourage parents to select programs further away from home. Children in an entirely unfamiliar environment, where they are sure to have no friends or acquaintances in the area, are significantly less likely to run away, negating the program’s potential benefits.
For nearly 30 years, the Clearview Girls Academy, a therapeutic boarding school for girls, has helped young women solve difficult emotional issues such as: attachment disorders, attention deficit, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, self-destructive or antisocial behavior, and issues involved with adoption. We will help your daughter get past her emotional and trauma struggles, as we have done for so many others. Please inquire online or call us.
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