Farm therapy is a very large part of our therapeutic process here at Horseshoe Mountain Academy.
For two days a week, the students get to spend time at the FCS Crossed Arrows Ranch located on the outskirts of Mt. Pleasant Utah.
Each student can do a wide variety of therapeutic activities that include anything, from participating in the training process of colts to grooming horses, feeding cattle, feeding chickens, gathering their eggs for a full farm-to-table experience, and enjoying campfire dinners.
Horseshoe Mountain Academy is given the opportunity to attend equestrian and livestock events associated with time at the farm.
The owners of FCS Ranch have over 30 years of experience working with youth and have specialized in behavior management and child development.
Not only do the girls love it, but we have also seen them thrive!!!
Morning Focus Group
Morning Focus Group students have the opportunity to run this daily group. This focus group is for setting their daily personal goals and setting a goal for the group for the day. They do check-ins and explain what they are working on in treatment and what therapeutic assignments and academic assignments they will be accomplishing for the day. Students have the opportunity to take accountability for any issues that have arisen, talk about concerns, and have a problem-solving avenue for peers and staff in the program.
The focus group is designed to gather opinions, beliefs, and attitudes about issues of interest for the day's activities. Staff and peers can test the students assumptions, encourage discussion about a particular topic and provide an opportunity to learn more about a topic or issue.
Virtues: Our students are introduced to a virtue every day that is discussed, investigated, evaluated, and applied to their lives. They use definitions of the virtue, quotes, and then illustrate their understanding of each virtue by explaining how they would show the use of each virtue. For example: What is Integrity?
Integrity is standing up for what you believe is right, living by your highest values. It is being honest and sincere with others and yourself. You have integrity when your words and actions match. You don't fool yourself into doing what you know is wrong. You fill your life and your mind with things that help you live a good, clean life. Why practice it? Without integrity, no one would be able to trust each other to do what they say they are going to do. Integrity helps us listen to our conscience, do the right thing, and tell the truth. When people act with integrity, they stand for something. Others believe them and rely on them. Integrity gives us self-respect and a peaceful heart.
Mission Statements: Constructive Self-Talk. Self-talk is the continual dialogue that you have with yourself. It is also the raw material from which you manufacture your own self-image. Self-dialogue can help you achieve power over behaviors. If you control your self-talk, you can use your subconscious to help you achieve your goals. This activity will help students practice and build skills/tools to help change personal "self-language."
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT emphasizes balancing behavioral change, problem-solving, and emotional regulation, mindfulness, and acceptance. DBT helps those who need to change patterns of behavior that are not helpful, such as self-harm, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse. This approach works towards helping people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help avoid undesired reactions.
Afternoon Progress Group
Progress group is for the students to check in and see how they are progressing on their personal goal and group goal for the day. This is an opportunity for them to explain how they’ve been working on treatment and explain what or if they are struggling. They can seek peer support and staff support to help them refocus and achieve their accomplishments for the day before holding themselves and others accountable in Evening Reflection Group.
Progress Group is designed to give guidance and the second chance to make the day positive and provide an opportunity to learn more about a topic or issue.
This is conducted by a Licensed Therapist, with a maximum of 12 students. The focus is on changing maladaptive behaviors through activities that are based on cognitive behavioral therapy theory and dialectical behavior therapy. Group therapy addresses issues such as improving social skills, communication skills, and emotion regulation through discussion, role play, art, poetry, and music-assisted therapy, and written assignments. In addition, group therapy focuses specifically on expressing anger and other emotion appropriately, decreasing symptoms of anxiety and depression, PTSD issues, and addictions. We use the following therapy techniques in this group:
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT): CBT is a widely used evidence-based therapy and has been shown to be effective for a wide range of mental health diagnoses. CBT combines cognitive therapy and behavior modification. CBT is active and focuses on the present, emphasizing problem thoughts and behaviors and taking direct steps to change both.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT): TF-CBT is an evidence-based psychotherapy that aims to address the needs of adolescents with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other difficulties related to traumatic life events.
Thinking for a Change (TaC): TaC is a cognitive-behavioral program governed by simple, straightforward principle-thinking (internal behavior) controls actions (external behavior). Therefore, it is necessary to target the student's thinking to change their actions that lead to negative conduct. Students engage in planned and deliberate negative acts supported by strong, antisocial attitudes and beliefs. Their way of thinking supports and justifies the negative things they do. Behavioral change cannot take place for them until they become aware of their thinking and see a reason to change.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBTJ): (DBTJ) emphasizes balancing behavioral change, problem-solving, emotional regulation, mindfulness, and acceptance. DBT helps those who need to change patterns of behavior that are not helpful, such as self-harm, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse. This approach works towards helping people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help avoid undesired reactions.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD):Children with reactive attachment disorder are believed to have the capacity to form attachments, but this ability has been hindered by their experiences. The goal of therapy is to help the child process the traumatizing events in an effort to move forward and feel safe enough to bond with others who are trustworthy. Treatment aims to help the child and the caregiver rebuild trust and create an attachment to each other through mutual empathy and compassion. Within a safe relationship, most children learn how to regulate their emotions and cope with life stressors. They learn what healthy attachment and boundaries look and feel like so they can replicate these behaviors in the future.
Evening Reflection Group
Students run this group, unless they need a staff to run the group. Students reflect on their daily personal goals and their goal for the group for the day. They check in and explain what they accomplished and explain what therapeutic and academic assignments they finished or worked on. This is also an opportunity to explain what they are struggling with and seek peer and staff support for dealing with issues that may arise in the home. Students have the opportunity to take accountability for any issues that have arisen, talk about concerns, and have a problem-solving avenue for peers and staff in the program.
Reflection group is designed to gather opinions, beliefs, and attitudes about issues of interest for the day's activities. Staff and peers can test the student's assumptions, encourage discussion about a topic and provide an opportunity to learn more about a topic or issue.
Mission Statements: Constructive Self-Talk. Self-talk is the continual dialogue that you have with yourself. It is also the raw material from which you manufacture your own self-image. Self-dialogue can help you achieve power over behaviors. If you control your self-talk, you can use your subconscious to help you achieve your goals. This activity will help students practice and build skills/tools to help change personal “self-language.”
There are a wide variety of needs-based manuals and assignments that are given to each students.
Psychosocial Rehabilitation Courses
At Horseshoe Mountain Academy, we use a variety of teaching opportunities to help assist in the rehabilitation of our students. We use The Carey Guides, team building courses, life skill courses, and empowerment activities.
Research has shown that the contact model for supervision of juveniles does not reduce recidivism. Instead, a more effective method works with students to help them understand and address their identified criminogenic needs and teach them the skills required to change their own behavior. The Carey Guides support this method. They are designed to help staff and students translate evidence-based practices (EBP) into a series of strategies and skill-building tools. The following is what is taught from the Carey Guides:
Family Therapy is a family-based prevention and intervention program for high-risk youth that addresses complex and multidimensional problems through clinical practice that is flexibly structured and culturally sensitive. Family therapy is focused on identifying what the problem issues are, how each member of the family contributes to both issues and solutions, increasing effective communication, rebuilding trust, setting goals and expectations for the future and developing a home safety plan and set of rules and expectations.
Students work one-on-one with a licensed and trained therapist in a safe, caring, and confidential environment to explore their feelings, beliefs, or behaviors, identify aspects of their lives that they would like to change, better understand themselves and others, repair and improve personal relationships, set personal goals, and work toward desired change. Many students are in need of an opportunity to work through traumatic events and attachment disruptions. Students address emotion regulation difficulties. Decreasing symptoms of anxiety and depression is a frequent goal. Students address thoughts and feelings of low self-worth and seek to increase personal confidence and empowerment.