Who We Work With

Our students are teens who present with challenges such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and maladaptive coping skills. These challenges have put our students in a place where they would benefit from out-of-home care in conjunction with specialized educational services. 

We understand that each case is unique. We’d be happy to talk with you more about your unique situation and your specific youth.

Take A Tour

Please come visit us and see what we are about. To schedule a tour, contact Todd Harper, Admissions Specialist, at tharper@tlc4kids.org or (707) 634-9059.

Our Location

Journey Academy is on five green acres in Sebastopol, California. We are just a short drive from the Pacific Ocean, various state and regional parks, and the Russian River. We can guide you as to what to see and experience in Sonoma County when you come for a tour. The nearest accessible airports are located in San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK), and Santa Rosa (STS).

Please call our Admissions Specialist at 707-634-9059 to ask any questions you have.

Our Students

Bright & Capable

Our students are bright and capable. However, they often struggle at school and at home, due to anxiety, learning differences, trauma, relationship difficulties, and other challenges. Our students want to be healthy and happy, but they need support to see a path to get there.  Our work is to guide them toward connecting deeply with their authentic self and to be in healthy relationship to others and the broader community.


Some of our students live in our residential treatment center, while others are community students who live at home with their families, depending on their particular needs.  All students who attend Journey Academy have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), and school staff collaborate to support each student’s unique educational and social-emotional goals.


Because our students tend to internalize their feelings, they don’t typically express themselves through violence toward others. Like many teens, they may have emotional outbursts when they get frustrated, but we don’t enroll youth who currently exhibit physical violence. We also don’t work with youth who have a primary need for substance abuse treatment.  All areas of concern are explored on a case by case basis.

Gender & Sexuality

Wondering about gender identity and sexual orientation is not unusual for teens. We create an open and accepting environment for all our students, so that LGBTQ youth can explore who they are without judgment or pressure to “pick” or “decide” on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

As specialists in LGBTQ issues, Journey Academy has earned the prestigious Human Rights Campaign Seal of Approval. We also provide SOGIE (Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Expression) training and gender sensitivity training workshops in the community.


Yes, if they live within a reasonable driving distance from the school. Often driving distances greater than 60 minutes one way is too far to ensure students will be motivated to attend school daily. All transportation needs are arranged through the placing school district and the parent/guardian/adult student.

Students typically have individual therapy once a week, family therapy every other week, and group therapy three times a week (such as equine, art, mindfulness, music, LGBTQ, or debate). In addition to set therapy times, we have 24hr staff care and staff work with your youth as needed to manage in the moment challenges, as well as to practice the skills they’ve been working on in therapy. We also provide recreational and adventure therapy to enrich the therapeutic experience.

Your case manager and therapist will be in regular contact with you about your teen’s goals, needs, and how things are going. The house manager will have weekly check-ins with you to give you updates on how things are going in the house and at school. You can always reach out to your team if you have questions or needs.

You’ll coordinate with the house manager and case manager to set up visits. You’ll start with onsite visits, then off-site visits, followed by longer home passes. You’re able to talk with your teen by phone throughout the week.

We’ll work closely with your family, teen, and placing agency (if applicable–such as your school district), to establish clear and actionable academic and mental health goals. We track these goals, review them, and make adjustments as needed, to make sure your teen is on track to return to a less restrictive setting as soon as possible.