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 students at Moonridge Academy:

  • 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 student to subconsciously reveal deep thoughts and feelings), play therapy, equine assisted therapy, and adventure therapy experiences that improve self-esteem, encourage teamwork, work on trust issues and set patterns for overcoming fears.
  • Individualized treatment:  Each student at Moonridge Academy has their own Treatment Plan developed by their primary therapist with input from the treatment team.  This plan is specifically designed for each individual student and helps guide treatment for a student throughout their stay at Moonridge.  Our Treatment Team reviews each student's treatment during regularly held treatment team meetings.  
  • Time for play and fun: Because of the great need for structure, most residential treatment centers that work with varying age groups end up being too structured for a younger teen. Moonridge students like to play!  They like to do arts/crafts projects, celebrate holidays, and be outside with the animals.  
  • Equine therapy and horseback riding: Moonridge Academy has an outstanding equestrian program. Animals can be highly therapeutic. Moonridge students ride, groom and work with horses. Students 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 teens.
  • More Protective Environment:  Moonridge's age limitation means that students don't get exposed to "older teen 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 teens tend to open up more in group therapy and worry less about "looking dumb" when older students aren't present.

Each student works with a primary therapist who is chosen based on a teen's treatment needs.  Students at Moonridge Academy receive the following clinical services each week:

  • Individual Therapy: Once per week with the primary therapist and frequent interactions with the primary therapist throughout the week. 

  • Family Therapy: Once per week.

  • Parent Coaching: Phone calls with primary therapist as needed.

  • Group Therapy: Four times per week. Current groups include Equine Therapy, Art Therapy, DBT Skills, Social Skills and general processing.

  • Adventure Therapy: Once per week on Wednesdays with one 3-day trip per month (with the exception of November and December).