15 Therapeutic Boarding Schools in California | Cost, Types 

Many young people experience therapeutic conditions intermittently. In actuality, it has risen over the years. To better care for these people, the government and private organizations have established numerous schools. And in a moment, we’ll examine the best therapeutic schools in California.

Teenagers who are having emotional, social, academic, or behavioural problems need a disciplined and encouraging environment, which is what therapeutic boarding schools in California are designed to offer.

Teenagers with a variety of issues can receive successful treatment at therapeutic boarding schools in California. Discover some of the main benefits of therapeutic boarding schools in California and other states as you continue reading.

These top therapeutic boarding schools have actually taken action to handle this condition. Additionally, they have had varying degrees of success.

If you’re a parent of a disturbed child looking for the best therapeutic boarding schools in California, we hope you may select one of these schools.

Are There Therapeutic Boarding Schools in California?

Therapeutic Boarding schools in California provide a variety of vital support systems to deal with mental health and well-being.

While not all teenagers are right for boarding school, the majority of therapeutic boarding schools provide a high degree of emotional and social support through peer counselling, peer mentorship, and counselling services.

 The best therapeutic boarding schools in California:

  • California Family Life Center
  • Visions Treatment Centers
  •  River View Christian Academy
  • Pacific Life Program
  • WinGate Wilderness Therapy
  • Thacher School 
  •  Havenwood Academy 
  •  Liahona Academy
  • Sundance Canyon Academy
  • Sunset Bay Academy
  •  Southwestern Academy
  • San Pasqual Academy
  • Sunrise School
  • Webb School
  • Asheville Academy

Read Also: 16 Best Boarding Schools in South Carolina | Cost, Types

How Much Do Therapeutic Boarding Schools in California Cost?

The cost of attending therapeutic boarding schools in California 2023 varies from school to school. Generally, attending therapeutic boarding schools for 9-18 months costs $2,500 -$10, 000 per month depending on the school.

Short-term intensive therapeutic programs cost more than long-term. Short intensive programs charge as much as $10,000–$12,000 per month.

Therapeutic boarding schools in California for teens charge about $3, 000 as tuition monthly. The most expensive may charge as much as $6, 500.

Read Also: 15 Best Boarding Schools in Philadelphia | Cost

What Are The Best Boarding Schools in California 2023?

Many rules can be found in boarding schools, giving them a stuffy and uncool appearance. But this is only a myth and is undoubtedly wrong.

Therapeutic boarding schools in California typically take extra effort to ensure that students obtain the correct plan for their program because of their line of work.

The following are the best 15 therapeutic boarding schools in California:

#1. California Family Life Center

For its Foster Family and Kinship Care, Group Home Care, and Support and Facilitation programs, the California Family Life Center has received the highest level of certification from CARF International.

The mission of California Family Life Center is to offer safety, comfort, and healing to children who have experienced abuse and abandonment; to teach love and trust; to instil self-worth, values, and hope for the future; and by doing this, to help children who are caught in hopelessness and despair become kind and helpful members of the community.

California Family Life Center is prepared to take chances in providing services for young people, to advance, act bravely, and develop both personally and professionally. It holds that individuals function at their peak in settings that value lifelong learning and high standards.

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#2. Visions Treatment Centers

The Visions Treatment Centers, which have locations all across Southern California, provide teens with peaceful surroundings where they may concentrate on their well-being while teams of doctors, therapists, and specialists treat a variety of diseases and conditions. 

They take a comprehensive approach to every case and provide a range of programs across all of their campuses. Together, the sites of Visions Treatment Centers treat teenagers with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, co-occurring disorders, and other mental health conditions. Each facility has a unique focus.

With a focus on various teen mental health treatment programs, such as primary residential care, extended care, and private practice specialist clinics, each teen mental health treatment center serves families in Southern California. Visit any of the sites to learn more about our dual diagnosis and teen mental health treatment programs. Parents and teenagers are welcome.

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#3. River View Christian Academy

 A privately run, fully approved residential boarding school for Christians, River View Christian Academy was founded in 1993. In order to better prepare its pupils for the future, the school aims to educate them in all facets of life.

The boarding school helps students, ages 12 to 17, who have had academic difficulties because of unfavourable influences or behaviour. Being in an environment that is structured with a predictable schedule is one of the most crucial elements of refocusing a struggling adolescent.

Student boundaries are important at River View Christian Academy in every aspect of life. The high degree of staff and parent involvement is another factor in River View Christian Academy’s success over the past 25 years.

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#4. Pacific Life Program

Through Family Therapy and visitations, the Pacific Life Program aims to improve and enhance relationships by fostering communication and trust. Due to the school’s cap of 50 pupils, every adolescent will receive specialized care and assistance.

Teens who are falling behind in class or finding it difficult to keep up can catch up and feel proud of themselves thanks to the academic program.

The school focuses on helping teenagers who struggle with failing or underachieving in school.

  • Running Away / Truancy
  • Promiscuity
  • Lying & Manipulation
  • Oppositional Defiance (ODD)
  • Problems with Authority / Rebelliousness
  • Disconnection from Family & Friends
  • Alcohol & Other Substance Abuse
  • Impulsivity
  • Negative Peer Group / Influences
  • Online & Video Game
  • Teen Bullying
  • Self-Esteem & Self-Defeating Behaviors
  • Lack Of Motivation / Laziness

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#5. WinGate Wilderness Therapy

WinGate Wilderness Therapy is a therapeutic treatment program that uses a nature-centred environment to set the stage for its extremely thorough and individualized treatment programs — assisting young teen girls in facing a number of enigmatic issues, such as substance abuse, addiction, and behavioural issues.

However, despite the fact that WinGate is not a girls boarding school, it has an exceptional reputation for providing highly specific and individualized treatment programs for struggling teenage girls who are struggling with issues that include substance abuse.

While parents of troubled adolescent girls will frequently search for boarding schools for teen girls in their area, the truth is that it is highly unlikely that one of the top programs will be located in California.

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#6. Thacher School 

The Thacher School is not like other schools. Here, students experience a unique blend of difficult academics, challenging character-building tasks, and a strong, genuine community culture that supports them along the way. It’s how Thacher succeeds in creating young people who are robust, kind, and ambitious and who are ready to face the problems of the modern world.

You can read more about the strongly held convictions that serve as the school’s compass below. Convictions that have undergone research testing, improvement, and validation. Convictions together add up to the obvious fact that high school can and should be an exciting adventure.

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#7. Havenwood Academy 

Has your kid had recent difficulties? Adverse childhood experiences can leave children with a variety of difficult-to-manage mental and behavioural conditions. ADHD, OCD, issues building healthy bonds, a history of self-harm, difficulties in school or with education, being very reactive, depression, or excessive anxiety can all be signs of this.

You might not have the means to sustain your child or give them the level of assistance they require on your own as a parent. For you and your child, Havenwood Academy specializes in giving you the resources you need to get through these challenges.

Havenwood Academy is a long-term residential treatment facility, or a place where your child can stay for however long is required for them to receive the healing they require. The school’s customers ultimately experience healing from previous trauma and get the strength necessary to go ahead thanks to its highly structured program and immersive therapeutic techniques. Additionally, Havenwood supports kids who have struggled academically and require additional assistance in order to get the credits required to graduate from high school.

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#8. Liahona Academy

You feel irritated and helpless when your teenage kid behaves badly and makes decisions that put his future in jeopardy. Send your son to Liahona Academy to arrest his downward spiral; the school is aware of what you are going through and wants you to know there is something you can do to help. 

One of the best all-boys boarding schools for problematic boys in California and other states is Liahona Academy, which is located in Utah. We’d like to share with your family the success of our special method for assisting and healing problematic teen boys.

Over the course of 20 years, Liahona Academy has a proven track record of success in transforming troublesome teen boys from problematic to promising. Adolescents with various behavioural, emotional, and mental health disorders can be treated in schools since they have the necessary training. We succeed in giving disturbed teen boys in California the therapeutic, academic, and recreational care they require in part because of our qualified, compassionate personnel.

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#9. Sundance Canyon Academy

Due to his significant behavioural issues, your kid is having issues at school and even with the local police. What do you as a distressed parent do next? Perhaps it’s time to look into California boarding schools for problematic youngsters.

The therapeutic boarding school Sundance Canyon Academy offers a wide range of troubled adolescent programs that are designed to find the root causes of your child’s misbehaviour and provide him with healthy coping mechanisms for life’s challenges, change his behaviour, and ultimately transform his heart. A welcoming and upbeat atmosphere will surround him, with supportive mentors by his side who want to see him grow and flourish. Our licensed therapists are certified and unwavering in their dedication to giving your son the tools he needs to change his life.

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#10. Sunset Bay Academy

Teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 who have strayed from the proper path are assisted by Sunset Bay Academy. Risky activities, drug use, seeking out social approval, and losing interest in school are common during adolescence. However, even though it’s expected that most teenagers will encounter some of these issues on a minor or major level, the results of these encounters may include the development of an addiction, an unintended pregnancy, a delay or loss of academic progress, or legal issues that may have long-lasting effects.

Running away from home or skipping school, acting evasively, breaking rules, refusing to assist with household chores, acting aggressively when reprimanded, experimenting with drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes, or having lower academic grades are all warning signs that an intervention is required to avoid irreversible consequences. It’s crucial to keep in mind that when it comes to teenagers, problems always get worse if they are not resolved.

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#11. Southwestern Academy 

 The goal of Southwestern Academy is to provide education to both domestic and foreign students in a setting where small class numbers and individualized attention provide each student with the chance to achieve their very best. The amount of challenge in student work is appropriate for each student’s ability and is suited to their personal accomplishment levels. Classes are small, aptitude rather than age groups students, and teachers take the time to get to know each student as a whole. 

Southwestern Academy promotes diversity of thought and equips its pupils with multicultural sensitivity and a larger perspective for the future. Students learning English as a second language receive an intense program to help them speak the language fast.

Students at Southwestern can study at the other campus for a week, a month, or even an entire semester to experience a different setting thanks to the university’s two complimentary campuses, which provide them with the option of choosing where they wish to live and learn. One is in a location noted for its amazing views and chances for outdoor exploration, the lovely red rock canyons outside of Sedona, Arizona. The other location offers the opportunity to experience active city life and is located in San Marino, California, just a few miles from the busy Los Angeles downtown. Both campuses are beautiful and serene, and they provide a wide range of academic and extracurricular options for students.

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#12. San Pasqual Academy

 The first residential school campus in the country created particularly for foster adolescents, San Pasqual Academy, offers placement options for Juvenile Court dependents between the ages of 12 and 17 as well as Non-Minor Dependents (NMDs) up to the age of 19. Public-private cooperation between the County of San Diego, New Alternatives, Inc., the San Diego County Office of Education, and Access, Inc. ensures the smooth delivery of services.

The Academy is a distinctive approach to providing trauma-informed care that serves the complete child. It was approved as a three-year pilot project by the California Department of Social Services. The Academy offers foster adolescents a stable, long-term placement with strong ties to transitional housing and post-emancipation programs, despite the fact that it does not offer legal permanency.

Similar to a resource family placement, the Academy provides the youth with a full range of supports, including individualized education, training in independent living, preparation for the workforce, therapeutic services, extracurricular and enrichment activities, family ties, and relational permanence.

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#13. Sunrise School

 Sunrise School offers fully adherent and integrated DBT treatment and employs an evidence-based system. The residential staff, educators, and therapists have DBT training. To assist students in learning DBT skills and using them in daily life, they provide skill coaching.

The five areas of skill development that DBT emphasizes include:

  • Mindfulness
  • Relationship Effectiveness
  • Tolerance for Distress
  • Emotional Control
  • Middle Road

Your child can benefit from Sunrise School in these areas;

  • Depression
  • Mood Disorders
  • Disorder of the Borderline Personality
  • Mood Disorders
  • Disorder of the Oppositional Defiant (ODD)
  • Autism with high functioning (HFA) or Asperger’s syndrome
  • Drug Abuse and Recovery
  • Disorder of compulsive behaviour (OCD)
  • Disorder of the mind
  • Addiction Disorder
  • trauma-related stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Also, other

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#14. Webb School 

In the California region, The Webb School is an “open” school, which indicates that it is non-sectarian. Most schools “concentrate” on how they wish to differentiate themselves from other institutions that offer this service. 

The Webb’s is not just an academic institution; it also has a strong focus on helping students create an internal honour code. In other words, they are teaching young kids how to do things “rightly,” not just “do” them. They want to create individuals who will conduct themselves honourably in a society where anything goes and lead courageously under difficult circumstances.

Two on-staff mental health experts at the Webb Schools Health Center provide private counselling services. As needed, we also make arrangements for skilled outside counselling through local specialists.

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#15. Asheville Academy

At the certified therapeutic boarding school, Asheville Academy supports teenagers from California in making long-lasting changes.

For girls aged 10 to 14, Asheville Academy offers a therapeutic setting in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Asheville, North Carolina.

The organization assists families from California and other states as well as countries worldwide.

Asheville Academy has created a special therapeutic method for troubled girls struggling with difficulties, including depression, anxiety, oppositional defiance disorder, or school refusal as one of the best therapeutic boarding schools for California girls.

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Read Also: 15 Best Boarding Schools in California | Cost

Are There All-Girls Boarding Schools in California?

In California, there is an all-girls therapeutic boarding school that serves as a tuition-based treatment centre for troublesome kids who may be struggling with behavioural problems, emotional problems, or psychological disorders.

A few of these are;

  • River View Christian Academy
  •  WinGate Wilderness Therapy
  •  Thacher School 
  • Havenwood Academy 
  • Asheville Academy

Read Also: 16 Best Boarding Schools in Illinois | Cost, Types

Are There All-Boys Boarding Schools in California?

A residential school that provides counselling for children with emotional or behavioural problems is the All Boys Therapeutic Boarding School. California’s therapeutic boarding schools include, among others:

  • Liahona Academy
  • San Pasqual Academy

Frequently Asked Questions

How effective are therapeutic boarding schools?

Therapeutic boarding schools assist troubled youth in developing their character and becoming productive adults. Teens who are struggling can find refuge at boarding schools where they can develop healthy coping mechanisms for challenging emotions and behaviours.

Do boarding schools benefit students’ mental health?

A lot of vital support mechanisms for addressing mental health and well-being are provided by boarding schools. While not all teenagers are right for boarding school, the majority of boarding schools provide a high degree of emotional and social support through peer counselling, mentorship, and counselling services.

Why would someone attend a therapeutic boarding school?

Residential schools called therapeutic boarding schools (TBS) were developed to assist troubled teenagers who are trying to get through their adolescent years. The majority of teenagers who enrol in therapeutic boarding schools suffer from emotional, social, and/or behavioural problems.

What is a school for therapeutic placement?

The school presently serves students with learning disabilities (low average, to moderate to severe or complex requirements) and related challenges who are between the ages of 7 and 19. The school gives students and parents a choice of weekly residential placements or day placements.


Children with disabilities are not cursed, nor do they indicate they will never achieve genuine achievement.

Read up on therapeutic boarding schools in California 2023 if you know any child who is currently experiencing disabilities.

Money is not a concern. Usually, the majority of these colleges have scholarship programs.


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