Therapeutic Overview

Psychotherapy is fundamental in our program. Through individual, group and family sessions, we help teens solve the emotional conflicts that cause troublesome behavior; we aim to solve the problem from the root.

California therapeutic boarding schools for troubled teensDuring their stay in our boarding school, students are constantly faced with activities that push them out of their comfort zones, that help them work on their weaknesses and fortify their strengths.

Students receive individual and group therapy with their peers once a week, and family therapy once a month. In our single and dual diagnosis treatment center we use a multimodal and comprehensive method effective in helping teens to change bad behaviors.

Our certified team of psychologists employs a systemic approach. The program is flexible to fit the teen’s qualities, empower his strengths and direct them to productive attitudes and actions.

CLA offers years of experience as an inpatient, single or dual diagnosis residential treatment center for teens with behavioral issues, helping them recover from risky habits and disorders that affect their development and relationships.

Parents feel safe, hopeful and secure when they choose CLA

California therapeutic boarding schools for troubled teensWe help teens from 12 to 17 years of age that have fallen out of the right path. During adolescence, risky behaviors, drug experimentation, looking for social acceptance and losing interest for school is expected. But even though it’s expected that most teens will experience some of this situations on a minor or major level, the consequences of this experiences can be developing an addiction, delaying or losing academic progress, or legal problems that could affect the rest of their lives.

If your teenager runs away from home or skips school, starts acting evasive, doesn’t follow rules, doesn’t help at house chores, reacts aggressively when he is being reprimanded, experiments with drugs, alcohol or cigarettes, or has lowered academic grades, these are red flags that indicate that an intervention is necessary to prevent irreversible consequences. It’s important to consider that when it comes to teenagers, situations always escalate if they are not stopped.

At CLA we work constantly on changing the trajectory of teens and their families for good

Our students have some base common denominators; they all have good hearts, good minds, and loving families though they are feeling apart from the family at the moment. This may be a result of their own chosen destructive path through rebellion and defiance or at the other end of the spectrum they may be depressed, withdrawn and feeling detached, and anywhere in between.

CLA is the therapeutic boarding school and residential treatment center for teenagers that are experiencing:

• Poor academic performance
• Depression
• Attention Deficit and hyperactivity disorder
• Grief due to loss of a loved one
• Oppositional defiance
• Low self-esteem
• Substance abuse
• Reactive attachment disorder

What can I do if my teenager is suffering from an emotional or mental disorder?

They have experience working with teens that suffer from oppositional defiant disorder, depressive disorders, and reactive attachment disorder. We do not work with psychotic or schizophrenic disorders. Although every teen is different; we invite you to get in contact with our Admissions Department, we will gladly help you determine if we are the right fit to help your teen or guide you to the best program or school.

The Levels Each Student Works Through (In Their Own Timing)

1. Pre-Contemplation – Student refuses to see or understand his involvement in the situation or that he has a problem. He blames everyone else and assumes no responsibilities for his past, not understands why he has been brought to CLA . He manipulates consistently.

2. Contemplation
– Student begins to consider he might have a problem or have involvement in the situation. He does not know or admit he is the cause of the problem; he simply considers he might be part of it. He is still at risk and may relapse easily.

3. Preparation
– Student starts considering possible causes and solutions for his problem. He admits he has an involvement in the problem, but he is still trying to figure out how and in what ways he needs to change. Relapse is common in this stage.

4. Action
– Student knows for a fact that he has involvement in the problem takes responsibility for it). He seeks solutions consistently and applies them when he can. His relations towards others begin to change for the better. He seems more peaceful, but he still may have difficulty controlling his emotions.

5. Maintenance
– Student is active towards change, though he is not yet consistent. He is confident he can change and develops a balanced criteria. Relapse happens infrequently, however when it does, he recognizes it and quickly goes back to more positive behavior.

6. Transition
– Student begins to look forward to a better future. He makes plans for the future and is motivated to achieve those plans. He tries to adapt to the new environment and makes an earnest effort to get along with others.

7. AfterCare (6-month stage we provide for after the student leaves the CLA campus) – Aftercare assures that everything with the family is working well at home.

Handling Psychiatric Medications

Some of our students come to CLA while taking prescribed psychiatric medication(s). These students are supervised closely by our own psychiatrist and his goal is always to lower doses until medication is no longer needed. Every teen is unique and special and we work closely with the parents to determine the correct approach to achieve mental health.

We Operate Like a Family

groupCLA is an individualized program that functions overall like a family. Perhaps you’ve experienced a family member who’s struggled and needed some re­direction. The students will get fit and eat healthy. Those who needed to shed unhealthy, unwanted pounds will likely do so. Their daily fitness routine will ramp up, they will be physically active and their diets of pizzas and junk foods will be replaced with healthy foods.

At CLA, students learn to stand up to, and confront their peers. For most students this is critical to their long-­term success. It invokes self­-confidence and is empowering as they gain self­-respect. Student learn appreciation for parents, and other authority figures. This experience puts the student in a parent-­like role, giving them a whole new appreciation for their own parents. They begin to see and understand the need for rules, limits, and boundaries. They gain insight into their own past negative behavior and why it didn’t work. They’re taking accountability for how those choices and actions affect themselves and others.

There’s no better way to learn to be responsible than by having responsibilities. This experience places a lot of responsibility upon the student. Every student therefore feels needed and valued. Students learn how to work with others and how to serve and contribute to the success of others. They learn the value of being humble and having a heart of servitude. Through responsibility and trust, the student’s self-­esteem and outlook is improved.

By far the most beneficial part of your child’s program will be when he or she achieves the Leadership Level. It is when they begin viewing themselves as part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. The Student Leadership Program has the greatest amount of growth opportunities for your child. This position has to be earned by the student. Then your child will have earned the respect and confidence of the staff, peers, and self. Upper level students also gain the privilege of moving to the rooms with kitchenettes, where they can cook their own meals and have other privileges.

What About Discipline for Bad Behavior?

We discourage negative behavior in many ways. We will match the discipline to fit the student individually. Sometimes we may take away certain privileges for a period of time. In most severe cases, students will be sent to observation (serene room) were they are basically given time out and refrained from participating in regular activities. It is important to clarify that students are always supervised when on observation and they are never left there to spend a night. Students are never deprived of food, water, restroom use, or physical activity. We do not believe in corporal punishment, so students will never be physically mistreated in any manner or form.

In this same manner, students who do well in the program are awarded different privileges which may include extra time with their family during family activities, or added basic privileges such as extra leisure time. We also go to great lengths to find out what a student likes, what kind of activities he or she likes or is interested in trying. Once we know what this is, we will promote this activity in different manners to motivate him or her to move throughout the program. For instance, if they like working with animals we might pair them with a local veterinarian who we know and trust and with whom he or she can do voluntary work. Using this as an incentive will help him or her keep motivated to do well in our program.


boarding schools

Should you need help finding Christian boarding schools, therapeutic programs, boarding schools for behavior or schools for troubled teens, please let us know. We will help you find the right therapeutic boarding school for your troubled teen, with counseling and therapy. We serve teens from the southeast and southwest, including troubled teens in Texas and in California. We help teens in California, Oregon, Washington State, Nevada and Arizona.

Therapeutic Boarding School Overview - California Leadership Academy

Psychotherapy is fundamental in our program and individual, group and family sessions are provided to help teens solve their emotional conflicts

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