Insider’s Guide: List of (Almost All) Therapeutic Boarding Schools

I get loads of calls and emails every month for advice on how to find the best therapeutic boarding school. Unfortunately, there is no one-stop shopping list of schools so I’ve done my best to list them all out below. I’m sure I’ve missed some. By the time this is posted, there will probably be a few new ones that pop up, a few that changed their name or got gobbled up by a big company. If you have updates, feel free to email me and I’ll post the new info here. This is not meant to be an endorsement of these programs, just a list. As I visit schools that do great work, I generally will do a blog post about what I’ve found and why I like what they’re doing.

Academy at Sisters

62895 Hamby Rd Bend, OR 97701
800.910.0412
Female Only, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Adelbrook

60 Hicksville Rd. Cromwell, CT 06416
860.635.6010
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen, Religious

Alabama Institute for Deaf and…

1209 Fort Lashley Ave. Talladega, AL 35160-2339
256.761.3259
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Allendale Association

600 W Grand Ave, Lake Villa, IL 60046
888.255.3631
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Flexschool

97 Whitney Avenue New Haven, CT 06510
203.628.4018
34 Russo Place Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
908.322.0554
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Kids Peace – Graham Lake Campus

16 Kidspeace Way Ellsworth, ME 04605
800.257.3223
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Kids Peace – Orefield, PA

5300 KidsPeace Drive Orefield, PA 18069
800.854.3123
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

King’s Daughter School

412 West 9th Street Columbia, TN 38401
931.388.3810
Coed, College Prep, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

La Amistad

1650 Park Avenue North Maitland, Florida 32751
800.433.1122
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Lake Mary Center

100 Lakemary Drive Paola, KS 66071
913.557.4000
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen

Laurel Ridge Facility

17720 Corporate Woods Drive, San Antonio, TX 78259
210.491.9400
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Learning Clinic, The

473 Pomfret Rd, Brooklyn, CT 06234
860.774.5619
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen, Wilderness Program

Liahona Academy

325 W 600 N, Hurricane, UT 84737
800.675.8101
High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Male Only, Pre-Teen

Life Development Institute

18001 North 79th Ave. Glendale, AZ 85308
866.736.7811
Coed, College Prep, High School, Licensed

Little Keswick School

500 Little Keswick Lane, Keswick, VA 22947
434.295.0457
High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Male Only, Pre-Teen

Logan River Academy

1683 S. HWY 89/91 Logan UT 84321
866.755.8400
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Luther Hall RTC

3911 20th Ave. S. Fargo, ND 58103
701.235.7341
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen, Religious

Main Place Youth

1111 North Main Street Kingman, KS 67068
620.532.2681
Female Only, High School, Junior High School, Religious

Marsh Foundation

1229 Lincoln Highway Van Wert, Ohio 45891
419.238.1695
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Matheny School

65 Highland Ave Peapack, NJ 07977
908.234.0011
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

May Center for Child Development

511 Main St, West Springfield, MA 01089
413.785.5462
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Melmark

2600 Wayland Road Berwyn, PA 19312
800.695.6815
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Menninger Residential Treatment Program

12301 Main Street Houston, TX 77035
800.351.9058
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Meridell Achievement Center

12550 W Hwy 29 Liberty Hill, TX 78642
800.366.8656
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Mid-Pacific Institute

2445 Kaala Street Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
808.973.5000
Coed, College Prep, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen

Midwest Center for Youth and Families

1012 W. Indiana Street Kouts, IN 46347
888.629.3471
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Monarch School

2815 Rosefield Dr. Houston, TX 77080
713.479.0800
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

New Haven

228 West 400 North, Saratoga Springs, UT 84045
888.317.3958
College Prep, Female Only, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

New Leaf Academy

63050 Dickey Rd, Bend, OR 97701
877.820.5050
Female Only, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Newport Academy

Conneticut, California, Pennsylvania
888-934-1222
Coed, College Prep, High School

Northwest Academy

1130 SW Main Street Portland, OR 97205-2047
503.223.3367
Coed, College Prep, High School

Northwest Academy

139 Success Lane Naples, ID 83847
877.882.0980
Coed, College Prep, Middle School, High School

Northwest Children’s Home

602 13th St, Lewiston, ID 83501
208.743.9404

Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen


Oaklawn, the Children’s Campus

1411 Lincolnway W, Mishawaka, IN 46544
574.259.5666

Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen


Oliverian School

28 Becket Drive Pike, NH 03780
603.989.5100

Coed, College Prep, High School


Paradise School – Catholic

6156 West Canal Road Abbottstown, PA 17301-8982
717.259.9537
Coed, Junior High School, Pre-Teen, Religious

Penrith

662 Scotia Rd, Newport, WA 99156
509.447.0665
Coed, College Prep, High School

Providence Pass Girls Academy

866.738.2785 Orlando, Fl, 32836
High School, Female Only, Religious

Red Rock Canyon School

747 E St George Blvd St. George, UT 84770
877.705.7831
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

S.A.I.L. at Ferncliff Manor

1154 Saw Mill River Road Yonkers, NY 10710
914.968.4854
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Saint Francis Center at Salina

5097 West Cloud Salina, KS 67401
785.825.0563
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

San Marcos Treatment Center

120 Bert Brown Road, San Marcos, Texas 78666
800.251.0059
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Secret Harbor School

225 N. Walnut St., Burlington, Washington, 98233
360.755.5700
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen

Shelterwood Academy

3205 N Twyman Rd, Independence, MO 64058
866.585.8939
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen, Religious

Shortridge Academy

619 Governors Rd, Milton, NH 03851
877.903.8968
Coed, College Prep, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School

6245 S. Ingleside Avenue Chicago, IL 60637
773.420.2900
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Spaulding Youth Center

72 Spaulding Road Northfield, New Hampshire 03726
603.286.8901
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Spring Mountain Treatment Center

7000 West Spring Mountain Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89117
702.873.2400
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Spring Ridge Academy

13690 S. Burton Rd. Mayer, AZ 86333
928.632.4602
Female Only, High School

Springbrook

105 Campus Drive Oneonta, NY 13820
607-286-7171
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen, Religious

Stetson High School

455 South Street, Barre, MA 01005
978.355.4541
High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Male Only, Pre-Teen

Stewart Home School

4200 Lawrenceburg Road Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
502.227.4821
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen

Summit Preparatory

1605 Danielson Road Kalispell, MT 59901
406.758.8100
Coed, College Prep, High School, Licensed

Summit School at Nyack

339 North Broadway Upper Nyack, NY 10960
845.358.7772
Coed, College Prep, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Sunrise Girl’s Home/Academy

65 N 1150 W, Hurricane, UT 84737
888.317.3961
Female Only, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen

Sunrise School

13130 Burbank Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91401
877.994.3588
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen, Autism, Developmental Disabilities

Uinta Academy

3746 South 4800 West Wellsville, UT 84339
435.245.2600
Female Only, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

United Methodist Children’s Home

2002 S. Fillmore St., Little Rock
501.661.0720
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen, Religious

Villa Maria

2300 Dulaney Valley Road, Lutherville-Timonium, MD
410.252.6343
Coed, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen, Religious

Villa Santa Maria

19 Cirguela Rd, Cedar Crest, NM 87008
505.281.3609
Coed, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen, Attachment Issues

Visions Adolescent Treatment Program

33335 Mulholland Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
866-889-3665
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Wediko Children’s Services

11 Bobcat Blvd., Windsor, NH 03244
603.478.5236
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Wellspring Foundation, Inc.

21 Arch Bridge Road Bethlehem, CT 06751
203.266.8002
College Prep, Female Only, High School, Licensed

Wildwood School

2995 Curry Road Extension, Schenectady, NY 12303
518.836.2200
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Willow Springs Center

690 Edison Way, Reno, NV 89502
800.448.9454
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Woods Services Mollie Woods Program

40 Martin Gross Dr, Langhorne, PA 19047
215.750.4000
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Elements Behavioral Health Expanding

Elements Behavioral Health has been actively expanding as evidenced by the purchase of  Park Bench Group Counseling in New Jersey and the opening of Brightwater Landing in Pennsylvania right outside Harrisburg and Hershey.

Elements portfolio are also ramping up programs to meet increased market demands. Centers in Texas and Tennessee are adding new services, and a detox program in Florida launching in the first quarter of the year.

On The Market?

Within all this activity, observers are reporting that Elements is for sale. Reuters reported in December 2014 that private equity and venture capital firm Frazier Healthcare is potentially looking to sell Elements, and that  investment bank Jefferies Group LLC has been retained to facilitate the next steps. Across the entire industry, valuations are up, and the market is ripe for activity.

Elements has been estimated to be worth $30 million in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) and get 10x more in actual negotiations.

Acquisitions!

Founded by two clinicians in 2006 the newly acquired Park Bench in New Jersey provides day treatment and intensive outpatient services, including an individualized aftercare program (…often a big missing piece in substance abuse treatment).

Elements was targeting the Northeast for some time, particularly in the New York/New Jersey Tristate area because of population density and the need for young adult treatment. The services they’re providing, which are addiction and co-occurring disorders, fit with the Elements family of programs.

Elements has an existing property in York, Pa., and this month, it added a new location, Brightwater Landing in Lancaster County – west of Philadelphia. The center is on a 150-acre campus that lends itself to treatment interventions that require more outdoor space as well as landscape features appropriate to experiential and adventure-based therapies.

Treatment at Brightwater will include equine therapy and a ropes course to enable clients to process the emotional and behavioral parts of their addiction. The experiences will address not just the substance-use disorders but also the underlying trauma that contributes to using. The center will offer primary psychiatric and active mental health models of care – early on-ramp for those seeking treatment for the first time. 

Elements Behavioral Health is part of a trend within the industry where small mom and pop outpatient and treatment centers built over the last few decades are being gobbled up by some big players. We expect more merger and acquisition activity in 2015.

Program Review: The Renfrew Center

Renfrew PicMany years ago I had the pleasure of visiting The Renfrew Center just outside of Philadelphia, PA. At first, I wasn’t sure if this was a gigantic private residence with it’s ancient stone farm house, stables, and quintessential barn. Definitely one of the more beautiful suburban locations for a treatment center I’ve seen. I had my tour of the grounds which look more like an upscale farm (in a good way), talked with the Executive Director about mental health under a giant oak tree, and got to know the program schedule as young women shuffled in and out of the various buildings. Below are more details on Renfrew with my Final Thoughts at the end. 

Background

The Renfrew Center is headquartered in has been serving women with eating disorders and behavioral health issues since 1985. As one of the nation’s first residential eating disorder facility, with 16 locations throughout the country, Renfrew claims to have worked with more than 65,000 women since their founding. The Renfrew Center has experienced it’s most significant growth in the last decade and a half have with the additional of programs across the country. 

Services

The Renfrew Center offers a full continuum of care that supports patients well beyond a residential stay. This comprehensive range of services available at most of their locations, includes day treatment, intensive outpatient and outpatient programs. The services are tailored for each patient and with her referring therapist to develop treatment plans and goals based on her unique needs.

Renfrew maintains continuity in philosophy and approach throughout the individual’s treatment, while facilitating timely transitions from one level of care to another in order to maximize treatment and insurance benefits. 

Residential services are only offered in their Philadelphia, Pa and Coconut Creek, Fl locations. 

Clients

Renfrew works with women over the age of 14 suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) and related mental health problems.

Locations

Cost
Residential – $8050 per week
They work with most insurers so a significant portion of services may be covered. 

Reviews
Employees on multiple sites give Renfrew some terrible grades for working conditions, diversity of the work force, and work-life balance. Most notably were many comments on Renfew’s seeming focus on profit and not much focus on treatment. They also described poor, untrained supervisors that did little to organize chaotic situations. 

Clients on the other hand often report having a positive experience and feeling somewhat nurtured. There were dozens of reports from clients going back to Renfrew multiple times for support. This could be viewed as good or bad. 
The New York location stood out with many, many negative reviews which highlights an ongoing theme among larger providers like Renfrew – when it comes down to actual effectiveness of a program, everything has to do with the clinicians at specific locations and very little to do with the corporate handlers up above. 

Contact

Here is a link to their online contact form which is probably the best way to get ahold of them. 

Final Thoughts
Oh how I wish programs like Renfrew could just slow down and focus more on quality. I’ve known too many therapists over the years who think poorly of Renfrew’s clinical integrity to feel comfortable referring clients that come to Fonthill. That said, it doesn’t mean women struggling with an ED should avoid Renfrew. I think programs like this have a place in the menu of options, especially if you want treatment close to a major metro area like Philadelphia. Just make sure to make a decision on more than what the admissions folks at Renfrew tell you. Look up reviews, talk with outpatient eating disorder specialists (like Dr. Joanna Marino in Washington, DC) or placement specialists (…like Fonthill ) and do your homework. It’s expensive and takes a huge amount of time to go to Renfrew so don’t rush in. 

Philadelphia Prep School Drug Ring: Affluence and Substance Abuse (and really good business planning)

Two young men, 25-year-old Neil Scott and 18-year-old Timothy Brooks, developed what they allegedly called the “Main Line Take-Over Project” (the Main Line referring to a group of affluent towns and cities outside Philadelphia). Their business plan: Take over the drug trade at some of Pennsylvania’s best schools. The team also had at least eight employees with a sophisticated business infrastructure. Scott and Brooks would allegedly push their dealers to each move at least one lbs of pot per week, and offer incentives like lower drug prices and the ability to buy drugs on credit if they successfully hooked new customers.

Montgomery County authorities announced April 20th that they were able to destroy this ambitious effort. They confiscated marijuana, hash oil, cocaine, ecstasy as well as cash and weapons and arrested the pair allegedly at the center of it.

“They were in business to make money, and they were going to do whatever they needed to do to make sure that no one threatened their business,” Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.

Officials claim Scott ran the operation by shipping pot from California to Pennsylvania, while Brooks supervised sub-dealers at area high schools.

And these weren’t just any schools. They include the prestigious Haverford School ($35,000/yr tuition), from which both Scott and Brooks graduated. Also included were Conestoga, Radnor, Harriton and Lower Merion – each of which have some of the highest SAT scores in Pennsylvania.  According to the district attorney’s office, all had students tied to the drug ring. College students involved hailed from Gettysburg, Haverford and Lafayette Colleges.

Authorities seized stacks of cash and some semi-automatic weapons
Authorities seized stacks of cash and some semi-automatic weapons

In brief comments Tuesday, Scott’s lawyer Tom Egan said his client’s “main concern … is how the mandatory minimums are going to operate if he’s indeed guilty of the offenses.”

Greg Pagano, Brooks’ attorney, spoke more extensively regarding his client, who went to the University of Richmond in 2013 on a lacrosse scholarship then left after one semester. He said Brooks had gotten injured, after which he was at home, “idle and suffering from some depression” when he got involved with Scott “at a very susceptible, low point in his life.”

“He’s willing to accept responsibility for what he did,” Pagano said of Brooks, whom he said “was involved in this conspiracy for a very, very short period of time.”

In a news conference and release, authorities laid out what they described as an elaborate operation to build up business. This effort included things like offering incentives to sub-dealers, such as lower drug prices and being able to buy them on credit.

Including Scott and Brooks, eight people have been arrested in the case, an arrest warrant is out on another, and there are petitions for two juveniles. All but two of those arrested attended local schools such as Lafayette College, the Haverford School and local public high schools. They face a host of drug, criminal conspiracy and other charges.

Reflecting on the areas where this alleged drug scheme operated, Seth Williams — the district attorney for Philadelphia, which is near the schools in question — said in a press release, “The days of, ‘It can’t happen here’ are long gone.”

The arrests follow an investigation that began in January. Authorities say seized text messages showed the suspects’ plans to expand the business, with Scott giving Brooks business advice on how to expand marijuana sales in local high schools and Brooks encouraging sub-dealers to “efficiently distribute drugs at their schools,” Ferman’s office said.

Authorities assert the discovery of a loaded .223 caliber AR-15 assault rifle, in addition to a semi-automatic pistol and another rifle, suggest the drug ring’s leaders had the capability to use force.

Ferman admitted she’s bothered by the fact Scott — who left Connecticut College after three semesters of study after being sanctioned for using marijuana and creating fake IDs — and Brooks both attended Haverford, then allegedly did what they did.

“You’re dealing with kids from one of the finest institutions probably in the country,” she said. “To take those skills and turn it into this kind of illegal enterprise is very distressing.”