What is Milieu Therapy?
Milieu therapy involves the use of therapeutic communities in which the environment has been strategically structured so that all aspects of a resident’s experience are considered therapeutic. French for “middle space,” a milieu refers to a person’s social environment. In milieu therapy, the environment serves as a primary tool in treatment and is designed to foster opportunities for growth, healing, and prevention that are developed in the milieu and subsequently carried over into day-to-day living. At Shepherd’s Hill Academy, our milieu provides a number of resources for your child to grow in the following areas:
- Emotion regulation skills
- Life skills
- Adaptive coping mechanisms
- Leadership development
- Responsibility for his/her own behavior
- Accountability to and from peers
- Work ethic
- One-on-one and group communication
- Healthy interactions and relationships with peers, family, and authority figures
- Holistic (mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual) healing and growth
At Shepherd’s Hill Academy, your child will become a part of a therapeutic milieu created by the natural environment of our Wilderness Therapy Program, accredited academy, and various forms of therapy. To have an in-depth look at these different components that make up our milieu here at Shepherds Hill, please view each description below.
Components of Shepherd’s Hill Academy Milieu
The wilderness environment alone provides a restorative and healing space for our teens here at Shepherd’s Hill Academy. Serving as the foundation of our program, our Wilderness Therapy component works as a therapeutic medium for our youth by offering an array of activities as well as natural, organic occurrences that lead to change. The wilderness component provides an “unplugged,” safe, and structured environment free from former maladaptive influences, where each teen is met with appropriate challenges that develop character, perseverance, grit, and healthy, wholesome fun along the way.
Shepherd’s Hill Academy is privileged to be home to a fully accredited private academy. Our academy allows our teens to not only undergo the residential care they need but also work towards their academic credits and improvement throughout the course of their program. Many of our students have even graduated high school through Shepherd’s Hill Academy! Our certified teaching staff delivers quality education, in-depth subject knowledge, and individualized assistance for students who need it. With smaller class sizes and the absence of public school pressures and distractions, our academic environment provides fertile ground for our teens to flourish academically.
With a fully licensed therapy team, Shepherd’s Hill Academy offers well-rounded, comprehensive care to our teens. Our therapists come from a variety of clinical backgrounds and are trained to provide holistic, evidence-based treatment tailored to meet the needs of each child. During the course of his or her program, your teen will regularly attend individual, group, family sessions for the adolescent, and Equine-Relationship Therapy sessions, which deliver a number of opportunities for authentic transformation and healing.
Equine Relationship Therapy
One of Shepherd’s Hill Academy’s many therapeutic methods is its Equine Relationship Therapy component. Equine Relationship Therapy, or ERT, is a unique way for your teen to develop the skills needed to develop healthy relationships and bonds by utilizing a relationship he or she will develop with one of our many horses here at Shepherds Hill. ERT focuses on the interactions, feedback, and relationship between teen and horse to enhance behavioral, relational, spiritual, and emotional growth. Each of our teens attends ERT sessions once a week once enrolled in our program.