All Kinds of News for November 09, 2016
Because there are so many different therapeutic programs available today, parents may find it hard to choose the best placement for their troubled teen. Some of the options are therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers, and wilderness therapy programs, and working ranch programs. The purpose of this article is to explain how the positive environment on a working ranch can be so effective in helping troubled teens turn their lives around.
When adolescents are failing in their home environment, it is sometimes essential for them to go to an isolated therapeutic environment to get their lives back together. One of the reasons a working ranch environment is beneficial is because a ranch has no technology. While new technology comes out every day to make things easier for us, the flip side is that it also makes us lazier. Think of all the tasks we can do on the Internet without leaving our comfortable computer chair. We don't have to get dressed, move from our chair, leave the house, drive anywhere or talk to anyone face to face. We hardly have to communicate or even think for ourselves. The computer, cell phone, TV or video game make it easy for us to sit down, tune out and have very little interaction with anyone in our families.
In the working ranch environment, technology is very limited. This means teens have to be responsible and think for themselves. They have to deal with boredom and the lack of stimulation which technology provides every hour of every day. In one study performed in a psychiatric unit, Binnema (2004) found that boredom results from not finding meaning in our environment. To avoid boredom, we need to find meaning and think for ourselves.
Over the last hundred years, very little has changed about life on a working ranch. A working ranch is a natural outdoor environment. A working ranch is rustic and reminiscent of the way our ancestors lived. Crops in the field, cattle and horses in the pasture - such a setting creates a quiet and serene environment. The work on a ranch is not just about having fun or building character; it is a necessary part of keeping the ranch running from day to day. Hay needs to be harvested and stored during the summer so animals can feed during the winter. Farm animals require daily care and the ranch needs constant tending. Examples of other essential work include: farm equipment maintenance, fence building and repair, moving cattle from summer mountain pastures to winter desert pastures, chopping wood, and growing garden crops. Adolescents learn about themselves as they learn to contribute to something bigger than themselves.
A Maori Elder stated, "Those who build the house are built by it. Only when I participate in the fullness around me can I learn from the fullness around me." After clearing a field from new fresh bales of hay, an adolescent can't help but receive satisfaction from a job well done. Roger S. Ulrich, a research psychologist, studied how being in nature affects recovery. He found that when we are in nature, we recover sooner, take less pain medication and have a better outlook on life (Jack, 2006). His research supports the fact that out in nature and out on the ranch, adolescents can be positively influenced by their surroundings.
Many adolescents refuse to go to treatment on their own, forcing their parents to find the program necessary to save their children's lives. The working ranch environment is particularly helpful for those who are resistant to treatment. Doing chores and work projects side by side with adult staff members is how these resistant teens gain so much therapeutic benefit. Relationships are formed in a natural way as staff members and teens work together. Using experiential therapy in natural settings, the staff and therapists help the teens in a non-threatening way.
The working ranch program is an amazing tool for changing lives and helping families. Turn-About Ranch is a leader in the application of a real working cattle ranch that provides intensive therapy, substance abuse treatment, and academics for a well-rounded opportunity for change. Turn-About Ranch: Real Ranch. Real Values. Real Change.
Turn-About Ranch is a wilderness therapy and residential treatment program located in the heart of Southern Utah’s canyon country. Students experience life on a real working ranch while undergoing treatment to improve their life back home. Surrounded by multiple national parks and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Turn-About Ranch is the ideal location for youth of today to have the space they need to find healing and purpose.