At Moonridge Academy, Trauma Focused Treatment means that we take into consideration past trauma and any resulting coping mechanisms when working with a student in our therapeutic milieu.  We focus on healing the roots and causes of a student's behavior rather than focusing only on their behavior.  Most of the students at Moonridge Academy have experienced some kind of trauma, whether it be big or small.   When the daily care and clinical program Moonridge Academy provides is informed by a basic knowledge of how traumatic experiences and traumatic stress may impact our students, many things are likely to turn out better.  Our clinical team is trained in different components of trauma focused treatment.  Our residential staff are taught about trauma and provided skills to support a student who has a history of trauma.

We feel that experiential types of therapy are extremely helpful with our younger students especially as we focus on trauma in all aspects of our clinical program.  A trauma focus is infused into each of these clinical modalites at Moonridge Academy:

  • Adventure Therapy:  Adventure therapy promotes growth, development, and enhancement of a student's physical, social, and psychological well-being.  Adventure therapy includes the use of activities supported by traditional therapy.  At Moonridge, Adventure Therapy includes outdoor experiences, school field trips, service projects, and trust building activities.  After each activity, our therapists process the activity to help our students internalize the experience and related it to their therapeutic goals.  
  • Equine Therapy:  Equine therapy is a clinical modality that involves the interactions of our horses and our students. Our horses provide an excellent way for students to provide metaphoric experiences and learn about themselves.  Both during the activity and after a student has finished working with a horse, their therapist can observe and interact in order to identify behavior patterns and process thoughts and emotions. Moonridge Academy therapists are certified and trained in Natural Lifemanship a type of equine therapy that emphasizes connection.  
  • EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that is designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories.  EMDR helps students at Moonridge Academy heal as they process difficult traumatic events and life experiences. 
  • Brainspotting:  Using biolateral sound, brainspotting engages deep parts of the brain to release stored traumatic memories and experiences.
  • Dialectial Behvioral Therapy (DBT):  At Moonridge, we modify the teaching of DBT skills to meet the needs of younger teenagers.   We know that if a student is having fun and is engaged in what she is learning, the likelihood of her continuing to use her skills outside of therapy is greatly increased.  DBT skills are taught in group therapy sessions, as well as practiced in individual and family therapy.  Each of our 3-day adventure trips has a DBT skill as it's theme. This skill is then taught and practiced during the trip.    
  • Trauma Sensitive Yoga:  The goal of trauma sensitive yoga is for trauma survivors to develop a greater send of the mind-body connection to help ease a student’s traumatic experiences and gain a better understanding of and a feeling of safety within their own bodies.