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therapeutic boarding schoolsA Special Place for Girls in Need of Lasting Intervention and Care

Girls who enroll at Kansas City Girls Academy typically come from loving and caring families who have exhausted every option. They are in their search for help for their daughters and need help. When a parent has tried all other options such as counseling, medication, location changes at school and at home, mental health approaches, and social service interventions, they find themselves in search of serious long-term intervention and care.

Unfortunately, there is no one treatment that works for every person, and, typically, a combination of different approaches may be needed to help your family and your child cope with and manage emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that cause problems in their lives. The important thing to remember is that early intervention can make a significant difference in the length and severity of ANY health problem, including those related to mental health.

Championing Girls 

Our students are often gifted and have great potential, but some event in their lives has caused them to make self-destructive choices as they are older and have that opportunity.  They usually have lost sight of the benefits of their current endeavors and have lost a purpose and calling in their life.   Where there were once excelling grades, there were failing grades. Where there were once athletic, artistic, or musical abilities, there is a loss of interest. The young girl who always looked to her parents for direction, love, approval, and acceptance, now looks to her peers to fulfill those needs and is willing to follow wherever that path may lead.

Many of the students that attend Kansas City Girls Academy have previously been battling negative self-image, attempting to self-harm, engaging in risky online engagements, associating with negative peer groups, experimenting with and/or abusing substances, and disrespecting both parents and siblings. Parents who seek help from us have often reported that they have tried other outpatient programs and are still not finding the change that they desire.  Some have a previous history of RAD, ODD, BPD, DMDD, anger control, general anxiety, or depression, and other mental health diagnoses. Often the current treatment plan and/or medication have little to no effect on the extreme behaviors and therefore parents have come here for alternative long-term solutions. We enjoy great success helping young ladies identify the source of their trauma, address the major life-controlling problems, and heal the relationships within their homes.

Psychological Disorders 

Many of our students have been previously diagnosed with behavioral or psychological disorders such as:

  • Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
  • Anxiety or Depression

Some of the precipitating factors of such a negative change in a teenager may include:

  • Adoption
  • Death of a parent or loved one
  • Early abuse (apparent or hidden)
  • Family split
  • An absent or abusive parent
  • Blended family
  • Bullying
  • Change in economic status or move to a new home and school
  • Chronic illness of a loved one
  • Rape
  • Excessive exposure to pornography
  • Negative peer influences.

Students who enter our program often exhibit issues and behaviors such as:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Anger and defiance
  • Deceitfulness/cheating/theft
  • Manipulation
  • Promiscuity
  • Self-harm
  • Dangerous behavior
  • Running away
  • Rebellion against family values

Gaining Hope

As teens, our students have only begun to experiment with behaviors that would later in life render them completely hopeless and unfulfilled in every area of their life; emotionally, academically, physically, and spiritually. In some cases, the girls have been protected from the full consequences of their decisions by well-intended and loving adults. For these reasons, the girls are not always entirely certain of the need for change in their lives. However, the family has become convinced of a need for life-changing intervention and separation from the environment and peers that may have been facilitating such behaviors. We are an early intervention program, intervening before the girls become adults, trapped in a dysfunctional lifestyle.

When a student comes here, it is typical for there to be blame-shifting, avoidance of responsibility, and complete denial of wrongdoing. Soon after enrollment, the girl will begin to experience regret for the consequences of her prior behavior and how it has impacted her family. Essentially, she is “sorry” for being caught in her behavior but has yet to experience deep heartfelt change, nor a positive lifestyle to replace the negative one. This may be very similar to the ups and downs — the roller-coaster — that parents have experienced at home: a promise to change, a period of peace, then back to bad behavior and crisis. Regret does not change individuals, repentance and a long-term focus on positive living does. Change that is permanent is a long-distance race, not a sprint.  We’re here to go the distance with you and your child.

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