A Residential Treatment Center (RTC) differs from a Therapeutic Boarding School (TBS) even though the two terms are often heard together. Typically, an RTC serves clients who are clinically more complex than clients at a TBS. There are varying levels of RTCs such as locked/ secure or unlocked. An RTC should be able to offer a variety of emotional and behavioral approaches to meet the individual needs of the client. Typically, an RTC will have a psychiatrist on staff who is part of the treatment team with a registered nurse to monitor medication needs.
The length of stay at an RTC is shorter than the stay at a TBS and insurance will often reimburse part of the cost because of the level of care. One should also expect there to be more individual and group therapy at an RTC than what is offered at a TBS. The therapeutic program is emphasized over the academic program because an RTC is more concerned about correcting the maladaptive behaviors interrupting a client’s life than their academic record.
Once the client is healthier, academics become more of a priority. TBS goes on the premise that education and therapy go hand-in-hand for healing to occur. An RTC feels the emotional and behavioral issues need to be addressed before worrying about a person’s education.