Counseling and Treatment Programs

Lakeside Academy is a Christian-based, holistic approach to long-term care for troubled boys ages 14-18. Our staff of licensed clinicians and caregivers are passionate about pouring into the youth we serve by providing routine, structure, psychoeducation, counseling, values-based programming, and character development. At Lakeside Academy, we offer specialized, at-risk youth programs in Minnesota.

Read our Program Guide

Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse is one of Lakeside’s troubled teen programs that begins with a one-on-one assessment from which we design our 4-level program. The depth of treatment may include mental health counseling and substance use disorder treatment. While many treatment and recovery centers are limited to only 30 days, most youths spend anywhere from six months up to a year at our premier recovery center.

Time in recovery includes intensive detox, exploration of the hurts, habits, and hangups that led to self-medication and addiction, learning appropriate coping skills, and developing a plan for life after they leave.

School for Troubled Boys

The School for Troubled Boys is an on-campus program with living facilities and a recovery center and accredited coursework. Lakeside Academy combines academics with faith-based recovery and character growth. Lakeside Academy staff develop curriculum with personalization while integrating things like behavioral therapy.

Through this combination of personalized behavioral therapy and dynamic academics, teen boys are better able to engage in learning while also learning life skills and coping mechanisms in real-time.

4-Level Program

In our 4-level program, we meet each student where he’s at, and then encourage him to take ownership of his life by demonstrating positive spiritual, mental, and emotional growth. We work with him through four different levels, each with its own therapeutic focus, life skills development, and behavioral milestones. As students advance from one level to the next, they are rewarded with more personal privileges and responsibilities.

We also provide licensed chemical dependency and mental health counseling based on assessed needs.  Our treatment approach for your son will be based on his individualized clinical assessment, a collaborative working relationship, and an empirically proven cognitive-behavioral treatment model that addresses the whole person (physical, emotional and spiritual needs).


ADHD manifests in three ways: hyperactivity, inattention, or impulsivity. Genetic predisposition is an influential factor in this disorder. Lakeside Academy believes in personalized care specific to the needs of the individual and integrates healthy practices, such as mindfulness, focus, and how to respond rather than react to various life situations.

Teen boys in this program will leverage a different approach to academics in that the curriculum includes experiential and interactive components, often outdoors, to entice engagement and keep them stimulated.


Behavioral camps in Minnesota are an ideal location partially because of nature. At Lakeside Academy, we combine evidence-based practices like cognitive behavioral therapy with outdoor activities, compassionate guidance, and individualized care as we deliver a holistic approach to the mental health needs of your son.

Weekly individual and group therapy supplement the customized treatment plan.


Individual and group counseling sessions are helpful for your son to know he’s not alone and to learn effective ways in which to share emotions safely and learn how to cope. 

Self-harm concentration is fully integrated with the other aspects of Lakeside programming. Should a boy pose a risk to himself in his housing unit, he may be reassigned and supervised.

Anger Management

Adolescent anger can be intense and frightening, making the whole family feel like they are hostages. The fact that teenage brains are not fully developed, reducing the ability to think through decisions and maintaining self-control only adds to the challenge.

Whether anger is the manifestation of a mental health issue, the symptom of substance abuse, or the result of bottling emotions due to trauma or lack of emotional safety, we have extensive experience in this programming.


Did you know that nearly 32 percent of youth are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder before the age of 18? Anxiety is a common denominator in many of the presented issues that bring teen boys to Lakeside Academy.

Your son will be surrounded by others who share similar struggles and benefit from the extensive programming we offer.

Individual Therapy

Each student has weekly mentoring sessions with his primary counselor.  If your son is assessed to need chemical dependency or mental health counseling, additional sessions will be scheduled as needed. 

Individual counseling sessions are tailored to address the student’s current needs, taking into consideration his progress in the program, as well as staff and teacher input.

Community Therapy

We hold daily community meetings, facilitated by trained addiction counselors and staff.  In these meetings, we address community strengths, community problem areas, individual step work and step progression, family dynamics, and we have an open dialogue about progress or concerns for group members. 

Community Therapy is one place we help our students put love into action. We teach assertive communication skills and how to demonstrate healthy boundaries/care with our peers. We also discuss topics that tend to be broad-based, such as shame; guilt; men’s issues in recovery; sexuality; spirituality; grief; loss; abandonment, and more.

Family Support

Lakeside Academy’s goal is to help parents understand each aspect of their student’s progress and care by providing:

  • Weekly phone calls with your student
  • Regular letters from and to home
  • Detailed monthly progress reports

Parents Weekend

Parent Weekends are designed for parents to reconnect with their students, to meet with counselors and staff, and to network with other parents. We host a formal parent weekend 4 times per year.

During these weekends you can expect educational programming, time to discuss any issues, worship services, and time alone with your son. In warm weather months, we welcome parents to stay onsite in one of our cozy cabins.

Home Visits

Students may earn up to three home visits during their stay at Lakeside Academy (LA). The purpose of these passes is to allow families time to connect and to gauge the progress of the student outside of direct Lakeside Academy supervision. Families are highly encouraged to uphold the standards and policies of LA during home visits. Home visits are allowed after successful advancement to each level in the program.

  • Home visits are not allowed prior to 90 days in the program.
  • Level 2 home visit is up to 4 days
  • Level 3 home visit is up to 5 days
  • Level 4 home visit is up to 6 days
  • Passes must be at least 45 days apart from each other
  • Passes not used during the level cannot be accumulated

Motivating Positive Behaviors

At Lakeside Academy we use a point system to help students understand the connection between behaviors and outcomes. Students learn that their actions and behaviors directly lead to either rewards/privileges or to negative consequences. When a student demonstrates personal growth and positive behaviors, he earns points toward special privileges and advancement to the next level. On the other hand, negative behaviors result in a restriction of privileges.

Our scoring model focuses on respect, responsibility, resourcefulness, positive peer interactions, and dealing constructively with authority. Many students may come to Lakeside struggling with what it means to live healthily and with a purpose. For this reason, Lakeside Academy utilizes a Behavioral Grading System to evaluate and train students in various areas of character and behavioral development.

This point card serves as a medium for conversations and feedback from staff and for the student to learn the cause/effect relationship to their choices. Although this point card may start by using extrinsic motivation for change, the hope for all students is that they mature past the need of a card and that the values would then become part of who they are – intrinsic in nature and because it is the right and Christian thing to do.

Contact Lakeside Academy Today

Lakeside Academy proudly offers a unique blend of robust, Christian-based, at-risk youth programs in Minnesota. If you’re looking for troubled teen programs for your 14-18-year-old son, fill out an application, and someone will reach out to you. You can also reach out by calling (844) 768-8336 to find answers or to schedule a tour.