When a client will benefit from a therapeutic placement, Pilcrow Advisors uses a multi-tiered evaluation process to assess the appropriate level of care. We carefully consider all placement options, and may recommend one of the following:


The therapeutic boarding school (TBS) model offers both a specialized structure and supervision (for clients with emotional and behavioral difficulties, substance abuse problems or unique learning issues) and an educational program.

TBS’s run a year-round accredited academic school on campus.  TBS’s offer rolling admission; making it possible for clients to recover lost credits and lost time, helping them get back on track to complete their school curriculum.

The typical focus of a TBS is emotional growth, opportunities to practice newly acquired skills and academic recovery. They stress the importance of emotional, behavioral, family, social and academic development. They place a strong emphasis on the group/peer process as well as individual and family counseling.  

The average length of stay varies significantly based on the program offerings and needs of the client and can range anywhere from 4-18 months.

TBS’ offer great variation between programs with regard to:

  • extent and type of therapy offered
  • extra-curricular offerings
  • academic approach
  • opportunities for family involvement
  • types of clients accepted

Note: Many therapeutic boarding schools require “readiness for change” as a precursor to being accepted for admission, meaning the child goes willingly and with some level of insight/buy-in.


Residential Treatment Centers (RTC) are clinically focused. They provide a more intense level of therapy, 24/7 supervision and treatment for children, adolescents and adults with serious psychological and behavioral issues.  RTC supervision and staff-support (1:4) is offered at a higher level than what is offered at a therapeutic boarding school.

Residential treatment centers offer clients individual, group and family therapy.  Therapeutic frameworks and treatment approaches vary per program but may include: CBT, DBT, EMDR, Art Therapy, Recreation Therapy, Equine Therapy, Neurofeedback, and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA).

For school-aged children, school is an integral part of the child’s experience and growth at RTCs, but academics are carefully interwoven into the treatment plan.

RTC’s place a heavy emphasis on family work. The decision about length of stay is driven by the child’s progress in working through his/her individualized goals.  RTC’s average length of stay can vary between 45 days to one year.


A wilderness program is designed to offer a “time out” from typical daily life.

A therapeutic wilderness program’s intense interruption of your child’s daily routine stimulates behavioral change at the core. It is immediately clear to a participant that existing habits, actions, activities and attitudes are no longer tolerated. Children become more receptive to learning new coping skills and building self-confidence when surrounded by the natural beauty of a wild landscape far removed from the stressors of their social life, family life and schoolwork.  

Wilderness Therapy also offers families and professionals the valuable opportunity to assess and understand a child’s behavior in a short-term controlled environment, with limited outside influence.

Throughout their 6-12 week stay, trained experts specializing in wilderness therapy will guide wilderness clients through an individualized therapeutic curriculum. In addition to individual and group therapy, clients participate in activities that help them recognize and build their own sense of self-worth as they learn the value of helping others. The feeling of “we are all in this together” creates a positive peer culture where helpfulness and honesty are encouraged and valued.

During their time in the wilderness, clients gain further perspective and accountability. Clients are encouraged to focus inwardly—their feelings, their ideas and their behaviors—without the use of poor coping mechanisms (isolation, technology, substance abuse, self-harm) to manage their discomfort.

Wilderness Therapy is often an appropriate intervention for a child, adolescent or young adult who is stuck in self-defeating patterns of behavior.


Assessment & Stabilization Programs are specialized programs that are designed to both diagnose and treat mental health, personality, developmental disorders and substance abuse.

These programs are specifically designed to discriminate between diagnoses, maximize the benefit of psychiatric medications and give everyone involved clear recommendations of how to move forward.  

Assessment and Stabilization programs are often a first-step in treatment and not a final solution.  The length of stay at assessment and stabilization programs ranges from 30-60 days.