The Compelling Case for Age-Specific Treatment

Emotionally, developmentally and clinically, there is a difference between a younger and an older teen. Their needs and wants are different, as is the way in which they process information and in how they approach problems. The following benefits are just a few of those experienced by girls at Moonridge Academy as compared to traditional residential treatment's mixing of ages:

  • Age appropriate therapy: This includes sand tray therapy (the use of figurines and a sandbox to recreate relationships and scenes in a way that allows the girl to subconsciously reveal deep thoughts and feelings), play therapy, equine assisted therapy, specialized low ropes course and canyoneering exercises that improve self-esteem, encourage teamwork, work on trust issues and set patterns for overcoming fears.
  • Time for play and fun: Because of the great need for structure, most residential treatment centers that work with varying ages end up being too structured for a younger girl. Moonridge girls like to play!  They like to do arts/crafts projects, celebrate holidays, be with the animals and outside.  
  • Equine therapy and horseback riding: Moonridge Academy has an outstanding equestrian program. Animals can be highly therapeutic. Moonridge girls ride, groom and work with horses. Girls have the opportunity to take riding lessons and to become skilled equestrians. Moonridge feels strongly that this work with horses is ideal for younger aged girls.
  • More Protective Environment:  Moonridge's age limitation means that girls don't get exposed to "older girl issues and behaviors" as much. Moonridge could be metaphorically likened to a therapeutic "Middle School" or "Junior High" while traditional treatment centers could be likened to "High School."
  • Better Group Therapy: Younger girls tend to open up more in group therapy and worry less about "looking dumb" when older girls aren't present.

Girls at Moonridge Academy receive the following clinical services each week:

  • Individual Therapy twice per week
  • Family Therapy once per week
  • Group Therapy four times per week
  • Weekly Equine Therapy
  • A full day of adventure experiences on Wednesdays with their primary therapist in attendance
  • Goal-setting and processing groups held daily