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Second Shelter

Family Strategies for Navigating Therapeutic Boarding Schools and Residential Treatment Centers

Rebecca Haid and Elizabeth W. Donnelly

When it is necessary to send your child away for residential therapeutic treatment? How do you choose the right program? Will the program even work? What happens if it doesn't?

In answering these questions and many others, Second Shelter gives a comprehensive overview of therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment facilities in a format that is readable and accessible for counselors, educators, and parents alike. The book examines which adolescents are best served in these environments as well as the different therapeutic approaches provided. It also takes a practical look at the costs involved with these schools, how long the programs take, how effective they are, and how parents and educators can help students transition back to traditional day schools when the treatment process is complete. In addition, parts of the book are dedicated to residential school safety and academic standards.

Written with compassion and insight by authors who are both educators and parents of children who have recently been enrolled in these types of schools, Second Shelter is an essential guide for any family that is considering residential therapeutic treatment for the safety and health of its adolescents.

"Haid and Donnelly have provided an invaluable resource for parents facing the daunting decision to enroll their child in a therapeutic program. Packed full of practical education and expert guidance, you'll feel as if these two are holding your hand, anticipating your questions, and reassuring you through their combined personal and professional experience." —Paul Case, Psy.D., author of What Now? How Teen Theraputic Programs Could Save Your Troubled Child

"Truly a must-read for all parents whose children are struggling and may be in need of a therapeutic boarding school. It is an extraordinary book—well researched, skillfully presented, and beautifully written. From this book you will gain insight and information, and, perhaps as importantly, you will know that you are not alone." —Ronald J. Greer, Minister and Director of Pastoral Counseling at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, Atlanta, and author of Now That They Are Grown

"A lovely fusion of information and intimate conversation about the authors' odyssey to find appropriate emotional treatment for their adolescents. The beauty in this story can be found in its deep personalization of its characters, their grief and sorrow, their joy and faith. This book would be a welcome gift to both mental health professionals and parents in similar circumstances." —Ray J. Kuckleburg, Ph.D., Psychotherapist

"A much needed, helpful guide. Haid and Donnelly's advice to parents on how to partner with the school to achieve the best outcome, how to handle home visits, and how to deal with predictable regressions and the emotional roller coaster of all the family members is invaluable. Second Shelter is a comprehensive, essential manual for parents who seek to find that 'shelter' where the dysfunctional teen can transform into an adolescent who can once again function at home and at school." —Dr. Martha Burdette, Ben Franklin Academy, Atlanta, Georgia

176 pp.  
6" x 9"

Lantern Books


Published:  November 2013


Rebecca Haid received her master's degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Georgia in 1983. A long-time mental health advocate, she served for nearly a decade on the board of directors for The Link, a not-for-profit counseling and mental health facility in Atlanta. Rebecca is also the author of Waiting for Answers: A Parent's Guide to Grief, Resolution, and Healing. She and her husband Reg live in Atlanta. See all books by Rebecca Haid
Elizabeth W. Donnelly holds a BA from the University of Virginia in German Language and Literature and a MS in Educational Psychology from Georgia State University. She is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and an Affiliate Member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP). Elizabeth remains committed to the education and support of youth, not only professionally, but in her personal life and in the local community as well. She lives in Atlanta with her husband John. See all books by Elizabeth W. Donnelly

Related Titles

  • The Parallel Process : Growing Alongside Your Adolescent or Young Adult Child in Treatment
  • To Change a Mind : Parenting to Promote Maturity in Teenagers
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