John Dewey Academy

389 Main St.
Great Barrington, MA 01230


ADMISSIONS: Andrea Nathans, PsyD, 413-528-0084.

AGES/GRADES: Males and females ages 15+, grades 10 through PG.

THERAPEUTIC SERVICES: The peer-based therapeutic milieu is central to the program and includes daily student responsibility for peer tutoring, cleaning, making meals, and maintaining the grounds. Students are supported and empowered to create a positive, caring community built on a strong honor system. Individual and group therapy is offered (minimum 7 hours/week), along with a behavioral program with increasing levels of responsibility and privileges, a required family component (including on-site parent groups every 6-8 weeks), and a peer-based community group every evening.

THERAPEUTIC ORIENTATION: Eclectic clinical approach that combines honest feedback, a safe and caring therapeutic milieu, and a staff educated in various psychotherapeutic approaches. Though the program has its roots in reality therapy, choice theory, and existential psychotherapy, staff integrates cognitive and dialectical behavior therapy, family systems, psychodynamic, and positive psychology/strength-based approaches as appropriate.

POPULATION SERVED: Bright, high potential adolescents, who have been derailed from fulfilling their potential. They arrive with a variety of emotional and behavioral diagnoses that have not improved with more traditional and less restrictive approaches.

LICENSURE: Accredited by NEASC. Not 766 approved

COMMENTS: Primary identity is as a college preparatory school with heavy emphasis on academic preparation. Placement at a quality college is the goal for every student. There is a high expectation of personal and community responsibility as an integral part of the therapeutic program. As a voluntary setting students have to find a reason to commit themselves to the rules and mission of the Academy. Though many students arrive on psychotropic medication, upon admission every student is tapered off of them. We consider it our primary mission to instill hope and thereby convince students that they and their lives are worth investment and constructive effort.

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