Schools for Troubled Teens in Georgia

By Amy Sutton
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The teenager years are full of ups and downs for everyone, but some teens become troubled and begin making bad choices. Georgia is home to several therapeutic schools, wilderness programs and residential treatment centers, which may be able to help your troubled teen to get her life back on track. Before deciding on a school, it's important to call each school you are interested in to ask questions and express your concerns. Ask about accreditation and licensing, staff credentials and training, employee background checks, school curriculum, credits, discipline guidelines and family involvement. Then, set up a date and time to visit the school with your teen.

Advancing Youth's Academy

Advancing Youth's Academy, located in Alpharetta, follows a military academy model. Students follow structured schedules and can build high school credits through the school's fully accredited curriculum. Focusing on healthy emotional and behavioral development, the school has a mental health division staffed by psychiatrists, therapists and counselors. The juvenile justice system of Georgia recognizes this private program as a behavior modification school. Advancing Youth's Academy also works closely with the state's district attorneys and judicial system.

Second Nature for Adolescents

Second Nature for Adolescents offers a therapeutic program for teens at their Blue Ridge campus in Clayton. This therapeutic wilderness therapy program introduces teens to a primitive living environment, where a group of adolescents learn to live and work together as a family unit. Groups are supervised by staff that includes a therapist who is licensed and has an advanced degree. The academic curriculum at Second Nature is tailored for each student and accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools.

Columbus Girls Academy

Columbus Girls Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for teens dealing with self-destructive behavior, such as defiance, manipulation, sexual promiscuity and alcohol or drug abuse. Therapy helps girls get to the bottom of the reasons for their inappropriate behavior and assists them in turning their lives around. A bible-based curriculum is tailored for each teen and used through the Alpha Omega Academy, which is accredited through AdvancED. Staff at the school includes certified teachers and counselors. Additional activities at the school include art programs, physical education, church services, fishing, kayaking and special off-campus outings.

Shepherd's Hill Academy

Located in Martin, Shepherd's Hill Academy is a Christian-based boarding school for troubled teens. It offers a wilderness program, equine therapy program and academic program. The on-campus private school is state accredited, staffed with certified teachers and helps teens work toward high school diplomas. The school is a member of the Georgia Association of Christian Schools, the American Association of Christian Counselors, the American Association of Christian Schools and the Association of Christian Therapeutic Schools and Services. It is also licensed by the Georgia Department of Human Services.