Families who have teens in crisis may feel like no-one is there to truly help them get through to their teens in a way that will actually change the negative behaviors they are dealing with. Many parents have tried programs available through the school or the state, and have seen no progress, or have seen progress dissipate because of poor choices or peer pressure.
The fact is, there is a high recidivism rate for kids who have undergone drug and substance abuse programs, and for those who have been through eating disorder and/or weight management programs. In addition, teens dealing with anger, depression, or emotional distance because of common issues at homes such as divorce, rarely get the help they need through solely traditional therapy sessions. For those struggling with clinical diagnoses such as ADHD, ADD or clinical depression, the situation is even more dismal. These diagnoses affect every aspect of a child’s life, including their grades, their ability to listen, completes tasks, hold on to personal items, remain focused, and so on. The constant failure and conflict they endure related to dealing with these conditions can lead to an extremely negative self image permeated by a feeling of inadequacy.
A lot of programs and medical professionals who provide services to these teens, see them as just another body to go through the program, or just another prescription to sign; but that is NOT the way Eagle Ranch Academy sees them. Many teens in crisis simply “wait out” a program they get placed in, because they know it has a final end date, thus they have no incentive to truly make progress. Here at ERA, the graduation date depends solely on the progress of the student. We take teens in crisis and put them in an environment (literally a ranch) where all the distractions that prevented them from overcoming their obstacles are stripped away. We begin with a thorough medical evaluation so we know how their issues are affecting their physical health, including a physical exam, a dental check up, psychological testing, and lab tests.
Once we have this information, we put our comprehensive program to work as a highly focused intervention method to break through to your teen in crisis. The program includes chores around the ranch (and in the community) using a Value Based Behavior Modification technique founded on current psychological principles. This teaches teens in crisis that they have a stake in how their actions play out, and rewards them for follow-through and hard work. This setting is extremely helpful for canceling out the distractions that plague teens struggling with ADHD and ADD, and they can learn coping strategies to work around their disorders.
Our program also includes regular therapy sessions: individually, as a group, and even covertly. At Eagle Ranch Academy, our 12 person classes are run by professional instructors, one of whom is an embedded therapist. This embedded therapist is able to provide counseling throughout the day as your teen expresses his/her issue through their interaction with other students, and during the completion of their everyday responsibilities in the program regimen. A teen in crisis can thus have a 1 on 1 therapy session without even knowing it—and without the manipulation techniques they usually employ when they know they are in therapy.
Through the recovery of physical and nutritional fitness, therapy support, an open-ended completion date, and the encouragement of self introspection, we help teens in crisis to stop, take stock of their crisis situation, rediscover their sense of self, and choose who they really want to be after they leave ERA. We also equip them with the real life skills needed to battle the challenges and distractions they’ll face back home, giving them a sense of control over the path their lives take back to them.
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