Boulder Creek Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for adolescents

Boulder Creek Academy pic

Boulder Creek Academy
Image: bouldercreekacademy.com

Boulder Creek Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for adolescent boys and girls in grades 8 through 12, and focuses on integrating therapeutic components into its academic curriculum. Its therapeutic elements include opportunities for personal development and growth through animal interactions and animal-assisted therapy approaches. Boulder Creek Academy recognizes the following benefits of using animal-assisted therapy:
1. Versatility. Animal-assisted therapy doesn’t rely on a single theory or approach and allows teachers and counselors to customize the lesson or interaction to suit the needs of students. Their versatility also means they can help people with a wide variety of issues, ranging from psychological conditions to social development deficits and self-esteem problems.
2. Fosters positive traits. Learning to care for and understand animal companions fosters personal growth and positive traits of compassion, empathy, and responsibility. In caring for another creature, they learn to show compassion and understand the merits of responsibility.
3. Social lessons. Understanding animal interactions can teach students about important social lessons regarding personal space and how to read body language. For instance, horses and dogs communicate extensively through body language and chickens are adamant about personal space with those they don’t trust yet. Observing these animals and learning about their body language can transfer over to lessons about reading human body language as well.
4. Nonjudgmental environment. Studies show that many people find the presence of animals comforting and soothing. Furthermore, animals are significantly more honest than humans: they express straightforward reactions to things they like or dislike and express unconditional love to those that gain their affection. This provides students with a comforting, nonjudgmental environment in which to learn and grow.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Therapeutic Boarding School Settings

Boulder Creek Academy pic

Boulder Creek Academy
Image: bouldercreekacademy.com

Boulder Creek Academy is a therapeutic boarding school based in Idaho. Serving at-risk teens, this school caters to students who struggle with unevenly developed cognitive skills, self-regulation issues, and mood disturbances like anxiety or depression. Offering individual, group, and family therapy, the school helps students learn healthy coping mechanisms for many types of mood disturbances and mental health conditions. One common type of individual therapy implemented at Boulder Creek Academy is cognitive behavioral therapy.

Staff counselors utilize cognitive behavioral therapy to help students work through negative or inaccurate thought patterns. Teaching students to recognize negative thinking or illogical thoughts helps them to develop constructive and positive mechanisms to deal with stress, mood issues, and self-destructive habits or beliefs. Replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts is a process that can help increase self-esteem and improve the ways in which a person responds to stressful or triggering situations. Cognitive behavioral therapy has practical applications for those struggling with depression and low self-esteem.