A Place of Healing for Your Troubled Boy or Girl
Our purpose is to turn around troubled boys and girls and point them toward a better life, while living in our two separate campuses (one for boys and one for girls). Our program is built on person-to-person mentoring and counseling based on a wilderness program designed to remove modern distractions and to help the teen start thinking about the important things in life — home, family, relationships, responsibilities, and their future.
The therapeutic approaches we employ at SHA are many. First, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is utilized to provide Evidence-Based treatment for adolescents with specific disorders and symptom-based diagnosis. CBT is based on the belief that our thinking causes our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. When put into practice in real life, this truth profits us as it empowers us to change the way we think in order to feel and act better even if the situation does not change.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach that addresses dysfunctional emotions, maladaptive behaviors and cognitive processes, through a number of goal oriented explicit systematic procedures. It recognizes that care is individualized, ever changing and involves uncertainties and probabilities.
The milieu therapeutic landscape of SHA provides therapy through adventure, exercise and sports, counseling, and participation in Equine Relational Therapy (ERT) and Family Therapy. The therapeutic counselor works closely with the residential team in implementing the approaches which most effectively compliment and support the student’s individual treatment plan.
The Achenbach Child Behavior CheckList (CBCL)
Your child’s therapeutic journey begins with the Achenbach Child Behavior CheckList. In the first session CBCL is completed which measures the maladaptive behaviors and emotional distress of each student.
Individual treatment plans are then developed using the results of the CBCL as well as psychological evaluations, student interview and parental admission information, such as the bio-pyscho social.
In-service meetings are completed quarterly in order to revise and update this plan throughout the student’s stay. CBCL testing is also completed upon graduation of the program in order to provide parents a complete measurement of progress and success.
The Therapeutic Team
Our Team will work directly with your child providing 24/7 supervision and care. Your child’s Team also works closely with their therapist in order to be kept abreast on any ongoing CBT homework your child maybe working through. The Residential Team assists your child by coaching them through emotional distressing situations and recalling CBT and DBT techniques discovered in therapy. This allows students to feel supported as they train themselves to evaluate their feelings, practice mindful thinking and react to situations based on facts rather than emotions. Residential team members are able to sanction such homework by providing a structured environment through our exclusive Relationship Model.
Residential Team members oversee daily activities intentionally used for therapeutic gain such as gardening, working with animals, building structures, fishing, nature hikes, etc.
The combination of these therapeutic activities offer your child a unique adventure that equips them with the tools necessary in order to cultivates his/her strengths and address weaknesses. The end result is spiritual, emotional, physical and character healing and development.
SHA offers a variety of therapeutic programs for our students.
- Wilderness Program
- Academy (Georgia State accredited Junior and Senior High School)
- Next Step Program
- On-Campus Equine Therapy Program
- Individual, Family, and Group Therapy
- Weekend Seminars and Retreats for Parents
- A variety of popular athletic activities
Equine Relationship Therapy
Approximately 2 weeks after enrollment, your child will select the horse that will accompany them during each of their weekly ERT sessions. The relationship between child and equine provides an ideal bond that is built upon throughout the duration of your child’s stay. This bond beautifully enhances therapy; raising the benefits and productivity to new heights.
Each week our ERT team provides your child with weekly therapeutic equine activities specifically designed to facilitate character development, as well as healthy attachment. ERT also provides your child a chance to engage in therapy more objectively by observing the horses responses to situations and relating it to real life personal experiences.
Our ‘Milieu’ Approach
The SHA Wilderness Program builds trust and teamwork, and teaches lessons from nature right along with daily time in our Academy learning from our top quality educators. Equine Relationship Therapy is utilized to enhance behavioral, relational, emotional and spiritual growth. Within time, our students progress to the Next Step Program after they have learned to accept responsibility for personal decisions, address individual and family issues, and become invested in their own personal and academic growth.
In addition to therapy, we provide a fully-accredited year-round school with transferable courses commensurate with the educational requirements of the Quality Core Curriculum within the state of Georgia. We provide each graduate with a high school diploma.
We have designed our program to meet the following objectives:
- To teach students how to learn and think analytically
- To teach decision making for a positive future
- To guide each student into career decisions appropriate to his or her gifting and abilities
- To develop the self-concept of the learner through positive educational experiences
- To give students a quality education in preparation to be productive members of society
- To meet the requirements for graduation as set forth by the State of Georgia
SHA offers a general-education course specifically designed for the students’ unique needs. SHA uses the Stanford Achievement Test, as needed, with any student who comes in need of remediation to help determine appropriate placement. This test measures the students’ and school’s national standing academically. SHA has a well trained and educated staff with degrees ranging in Christian Counseling and Psychology, Christian Education to Master’s of Education, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Nursing.
SHA is a member of the American Association of Christian Schools and the Georgia Association of Christian Schools, and is accredited by the Georgia Accrediting Commission. We are also a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and licensed by Georgia Department of Human Services.
In class, the teens learn from Georgia-certified teachers. Our academy Principal holds two Master’s degrees specializing in Education, and has a lifetime career as an educator. Our school and campus facilities have all the conveniences of other schools, plus the day-to-day activities around the wilderness sites give great opportunities for teens to grow in cooperation and responsibility. Our sports, field trips, games, horses, devotions, accountability groups, game room, exercise room, music room, and chapel are just some of the other healthy activities that kids are involved in, which are designed to help them grow in personal character. Every activity at SHA is designed to provide a teachable moment.
We strive to provide a loving environment. No staff member will force-feed his or her faith, or our organization’s stated faith, on any resident. We offer an environment that is structured, yet loving and non-threatening, and where healthy boundaries are clearly defined.
To learn more about Shepherds Hill Academy, please contact us at (706) 779-5766 or fill in the online inquiry form.