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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