Because today’s toxic culture and digital overstimulation are especially challenging for teens suffering from addictions and behavioral issues, Shepherd’s Hill Academy has made nature-based therapy a cornerstone of our Christ-centered residential programs to help teens heal and thrive.
Not Just Getting Away, but Finding the Way
Teens struggle to process the intense stimulation from a day engaged with rap music, computer screens, and smartphones nearly around the clock. The influences and information that bombard them affect their attitudes, motivations, and behaviors. As with any other addiction, the brain tends to seek more and more stimulation, to the detriment of mature thought processes.
The science of psychology and our experiences over decades demonstrate the therapeutic value of nature. Spending significant time outdoors works wonders in helping teens not just “get away” from negative influences, but to find “the way” back to the path of happiness and fulfillment.
Curious about the science behind the therapeutic value of nature? We are happy to answer your questions as you explore options.
Please call (706) 703-4188.
Year-Round Residential Therapy Programs for Lasting Impact
Shepherd’s Hill Academy is a hybrid between a boarding school and a therapeutic residential outdoor experience. Our year-round residential therapy programs provide an extended and immersive experience that supports troubled teens making positive changes that last a lifetime.
You cannot set up your child for life-long happiness with a short-term, one-dimensional solution. Our programs are long enough and immersive enough to make an enduring impression. Our model combines year-long residential programs within a nature-based, unplugged environment that are led by a highly-trained residential staff and fully-licensed therapeutic teams.
The challenge of primitive living takes teens out of their comfort zones, curbs entitlement, and teaches them more effective coping skills. Faulty thinking patterns diminish as their brain’s critical, constructive, and creative thinking capacities grow.
Boys and girls live in separate cabin communities that they help build and maintain, with no running water or electricity, heated with wood-burning stoves. They attend class on the main campus, with amenities such as showers, restrooms, laundry machines, a cafeteria, and classrooms.
Boys Nature-Based Therapeutic Program
Teenage boys live in a rustic, yet positive and calming environment that takes them out of their comfort zones and teaches them valuable skills, working together as a community.
Girls Nature-Based Therapeutic Program
Teenage girls also benefit from rustic living, homesteading, gardening, and team building in an environment conducive for learning, growth, and creativity.
Equine Relationship Therapy
Teens learn empathy and patience working one-on-one with a horse and O.K. Corral Series-certified therapists. Forming a relationship with a horse takes time, patience, and discipline. It enhances behavioral, relational, emotional, and spiritual growth. Equine Relationship Therapy provides teens with a sense of responsibility, shifting their focus from themselves, to caring for the animal in a relationship that is exceptionally rewarding.
Teens are empowered to live sustainable lifestyles, and gain skills in sustenance agriculture, food preservation, household crafts and the practices of self-sufficiency. Teens also work with animals to develop nurturing skills and find self confidence that comes from caring for another. The intrinsic value of hard work, of community, experiencing the fruits of their labor, and providing for those in need, make an indelible impression. The program transforms a toxic self-entitlement attitude to one of caring for others and stewardship of the planet.
Comprehensive Approach to Healing
Our multi-dimensional, biblically-based approach has proven to bring hope, healing, and transformation to the lives of families in crisis. We provide teens with core resources that enhance cognitive development, constructive reasoning, and creative thinking. Your teen will acquire the following:
- 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