All Kinds of News for June 07, 2017
How do you get a young teen girl to change, to love herself, to accept love and support? At Moonridge Academy, a small residential treatment center that specifically caters to the needs of younger girls ages 11-15, this change often occurs as students participate in weekly outdoor adventure activities. Moonridge Academy excels at disguising life-changing and often painful work as having a great time. Moonridge Academy’s philosophy is that the more a young teen girl plays, explores, builds mastery, connects with nature and others, the more open she will be to making those adjustments towards a healthier, more balanced life.
Moonridge Academy formally provides outdoor adventure therapy activities all day every Wednesday. Adventure therapy experiences include, but are not limited to hiking, kayaking, climbing and rappelling in the summer. Winter activities include downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Wednesday activities might also include volunteering at Best Friends Pet Sanctuary or competing in an engineering fair. All adventure activities are carefully designed to provide a therapeutic experience or teach a new interpersonal skill. To further enhance the Adventure Therapy component of the Moonridge Academy program, students also set off on a 3-day expedition once per month. In 2017, Adventure Expeditions will include trips to Goblin Valley, Escalante Grand Staircase, Bryce Canyon and Lake Powell. In July 2017, students will spend time whitewater rafting on the Colorado River just outside of Moab, UT.
The clinical team at Moonridge Academy has said more than once that the best breakthroughs and therapy rarely happen on a couch. A student’s individual therapist accompanies her on every Wednesday activity and each 3-day trip. The therapist ensures that the adventure therapy experience meets a student’s specific clinical needs. The true moments of change have been seen while hiking in the rain, laughing with friends in a raft or facing fears as a young teen girl rock climbs higher than she's ever gone before. Unlike many programs, a student’s eligibility and invitation to participate in adventure therapy events does not depend on securing a high status in the program. It starts the first day a teen arrives at Moonridge Academy. Girls are immediately immersed in being active and experiencing new things. Recently as one of students finished a water hike in Red Cliffs Recreation Area, she told her therapist, “This is the happiest I have been in over a year! I finally accomplished something I can be proud of.”
About Moonridge Academy
Moonridge Academy is a CERTS Program in beautiful Southern Utah with 16 beds, and is specifically designed for younger girls, ages 11-15. Younger girls need a younger environment, without the influence of older girls' more sophisticated or advanced issues. Moonridge takes a young approach to therapy and intervention, even our DBT program is taught and delivered at this specific age range level. Moonridge is intensive residential treatment for girls with issues of trauma, emotional regulation, depression, family conflict, and beginning stages of self-harm or substance experimentation. Traditional schooling is provided and Moonridge uses play and laughter to connect, a warm family environment to protect, and deep therapy to inspire and create change.