Oak Hill Blog

Boarding School Vs. Therapeutic School

What does it mean that Oak Hill Academy is a college preparatory, co-educational boarding school with a nurturing approach? Is it a therapeutic boarding school? What exactly is a therapeutic school?

In general, therapeutic treatment centers or residential therapeutic boarding schools offer a certain amount of medical oversight for conditions such as anxiety and depression, usually with mandatory in-house counseling or therapy as part of the program. 

Oak Hill Academy also provides options for individual counseling and has medical staff; however, we do not have the same emphasis as a therapeutic school or program. At a therapeutic school, all enrolled students are in need of services related to issues such as severe anxiety and depression or substance use, while at Oak Hill Academy we work with students from a variety of different backgrounds. 

Students dealing with treatable anxiety or depression may find Oak Hill to be a safe haven, without the intense oversight of a therapeutic school (To be clear – Oak Hill Academy would not be a suitable choice for students with substance use issues). This is because of the small size of the student body in addition to small class sizes and the fact that Oak Hill is 100 percent boarding. 

The overall relatively small student body affords Oak Hill Academy the opportunity to ensure that each student is well known. This level of personalized attention is beneficial for all students, especially those who may have social-emotional needs. 

Although there is not a treatment program at a boarding school like Oak Hill Academy, there is an element of peacefulness and care that extends beyond the classroom. This is because Oak Hill is a 24-7 environment that focuses on the overall well-being of its students. Resident managers, adult supervisors in the dorms, are available for students outside of the classroom, and dedicated teachers are there for the students during the class day and beyond into after school activities. Most of the faculty and staff live right on campus, so that adds to the atmosphere of support. 

For students who need more intensive therapy or who are struggling with substance use issues, a therapeutic boarding school or program could be an excellent option, and there is a directory at www.natsap.org

In cases of students who need a home away from home with the oversight of caring adults and the option for some counseling if needed, Oak Hill Academy might be the perfect home.

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