Prior to the 1960s about the only choice for residential treatment of teens with behavioral/emotional problems were mental health hospitals explained Robert Kantar to Lon on March 5, 2019. Kantar had been in Education for about 40 years, most of it as an Independent Educational Consultant, and was one of the early members and organizers of the professional organization IECA in 1974. Out of the creativitiy of the 1960s came several trends and experiments in alternative ways of working with struggling young people Kantar explained, including experiential education, wilderness therapy, and new healing exercises that had show promise. Kantar continued explaining that these were packaged in a boarding school structure with academics emphasizing learning by experience and a tight structure with a high staff-student ratio with confidence building exercises where each student lived with the consequences of their actions, whether positive or negative.
Originally known as Emotional Growth schools and programs, with the increasing involvement of clinically trained professionals they became known as Therapeutic Boarding Schools which for a time became a sources of many news stories internationally by reporters wanting to learn about this new phenomena called Therapeutic Boarding Schools.