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  • Struggling Teens Residential Therapy Programs

Help Finding Best Florida Residential Treatment and Therapeutic Schools.

Dr. Bishop provides program matching and guidance services to students with a wide range of behavioral and learning issues to a variety of programs in Florida.  While not an all-inclusive list, Dr. Bishop has partnered with families to find the best fit for teens and young adults with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), depression, ADHD, anxiety, adoption issues, reactive attachment disorder (RAD), school refusal, bullying issues, internet/gaming addiction, pornography addiction, drug/alcohol use, trauma/loss, self harm (cutting), suicidal ideation and attempts.

Dr. Bishop uses the Ten Factor Model for Therapeutic Placement which identifies the ten most important factors in your child’s profile to determine the best clinical fit.  The Ten Factor Model, pioneered by Dr. Bishop, was developed as a result of 25+ years’ experience in successful residential treatment for adolescents and teens.

What School is Right For My Child?

With well over 100 schools and programs for students with emotional, behavioral, and learning differences in existence- the thought of finding the right match for your child’s specific needs can seem overwhelming. It is critical that the social, emotional, and learning needs of your child match the treatment modality and philosophy of the therapeutic boarding school, wilderness program, or treatment center you choose.  Making the right match the first time can save you time, frustration, and money.

It is common for an at-risk student to have multiple issues that need to be addressed simultaneously. Struggling students with learning disabilities or attention-deficit issues may have co-morbid emotional or social issues that may need treatment along with educational support. Even within the different types of treatment available, each facility has its own characteristics and personality. It is imperative you match your child with the best treatment available.

Dr. Bishop assists families find the best:


Services Offered Include:

Mini-Consultation: Basic assistance to find an appropriate program for your child.  This is a one-time interview and list of recommendations.

  • Review of most recent psychological testing and/or treatment notes.
  • Phone interview with parent or guardian to understand child’s strengths, relative weaknesses, and areas of concern.
  • Summary report of findings and recommendation for placement.

Comprehensive Consultation: Assistance with initial placement and step-down placement.  Services can include:

  • Ongoing consultation and guidance beginning with a comprehensive evaluation.  Dr. Bishop will evaluate the student’s behavioral, social, emotional and academic needs; strengths and relative weaknesses; in addition to goals, personality attributes and interests.  Psycho-educational or psychological testing will be included in the evaluation if available.
  • A thorough review of a wide range of possible appropriate facilities prepared in a professional report for the family.  Reasoning for each facility identified based on treatment offered, activities, location, size, facilities, ability to accommodate identified factors, and so on will be outlined in the report.
  • Comprehensive assistance with the admissions process including completion of initial application paperwork, and assistance with arranging therapeutic transportation services to the facility if needed.
  • Check-in with the child’s therapist at placement to ensure continued appropriateness of the facility, and continual support and guidance for the family through the entire placement.

To schedule a comprehensive consultation contact Dr. Bishop here to begin today.

Types of treatment programs commonly referred to are detailed below.  You can also find additional information on the blog or you can read about the assessment and referral process here, and you can read about the 10 Factor Model here.

Therapeutic Boarding and "Emotional Growth" Schools

  • Focus on emotional and academic recovery.
  • Students live and function in a structured community where consequences for behavior were immediate and appropriate.
  • Often used as “step-down” from higher level of treatment.
  • While therapeutic boarding schools will have clinical staff which all students utilize, emotional growth boarding schools generally have clinicians as contractors that see only a portion of the students.

Residential Treatment Centers (RTC's)

  • Clinically licensed by the state in which they are located.  Often also clinically accredited by Joint Commission or Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
  • Offer a higher level of clinical sophistication than therapeutic boarding schools.
  • Sometimes locked, but always offers a higher structure for students that need an environment which ensures their personal safety and reduces the possibility they can run from the program.
  • The focus is more on the clinical needs of the student and academics are often secondary.
  • Potentially the best option for a student with a biological basis of behavior (bipolar disorder, major depression, generalized anxiety disorder).

Wilderness Programs and Working Ranch Programs

  • Tend to be short term (60-100 days or more typically).
  • Creates an inter-dependent community focused on common goals- an ideal framework for a child that is resistant to treatment.
  • While more internally focused participants (anxiety, depression, trauma, social issues) can benefit, they are most popular with externally focused participants (defiance, opposition, impulsivity).
  • Wilderness in particular is often used as a first step in a sequence of treatment.

Transitional Programs

  • Includes “failure to launch” programs for young adults, or programs for individuals that have aged out of an RTC that are not ready to continue on to college or independent living successfully.
  • Requires a student to voluntarily commit to treatment due to the age range of the program.
  • Students often attend college or volunteer during the day.
  • Students gradually earn privileges to use their cell phone, go out independently, even date or drive (depending on the program).