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Therapy – Our Approach

The Academy at Sisters employs a diverse approach to treatment which includes a variety of therapeutic interventions and modalities designed to meet the unique needs of at risk adolescent girls.

The Academy at Sister’s treatment program is an eclectic combination of the latest evidence-based treatment models. We incorporate Accountability Based Cognitive Restructuring (ABCR), as it has been recognized by the National Institute of Health as one of the most effective approaches to dealing with the targeted population of adolescents enrolled in our program.  Our therapeutic approach can best be described as an attachment based, trauma informed, gender supportive, and strength based approach.  We incorporate the use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindful Self-Compassion, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy to help youth identify how their past has impacted their present as they build effective skills for a healthier future. We teach youth how their perspectives on the world and their self-talk relate to their emotions, feelings, thoughts, and, ultimately, choices in life.  Throughout this treatment program, your child will learn new skills and be given opportunities to practice making more responsible choices.

While at the Academy, all youth work directly with a licensed therapist for individual and group therapy, and are active participants in the treatment process which includes the design of their short and long-term individual treatment goals. Our therapeutic approach blends both traditional and experiential therapies. This allows us to meet each youth at a starting point in therapy that will both engage them, and enrich the process.

Boarding school students after group therapy session
therapist and girl talking in a therapy office at a boarding school
  • Accountability Based Cognitive Awareness (ABCA) helps young women to address patterns which influence their thoughts, emotions (feelings), choices, behaviors, and decision making. Treatment is individually designed, and student driven.  While in our program, all youth participate in developing their treatment plans, and take ownership of their short and long term goals.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is used in conjunction with the Cognitive Awareness Component and offers youth additional tools and coping strategies to help manage the behaviors and issues that are creating stress and discord in their lives.
  • Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is an experiential therapy designed to enhance the learning process, EAP affords a way to engage even youth who are resistant to traditional talk therapy through the use of animals (horses) as both a medium and metaphor to treatment.
A girl talking with her therapist at a boarding school

Therapeutic Services include:

  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)
  • SMART Recovery for Addictive Behaviors
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Mindfulness
  • Skill Building Groups / Psycho-Educational Groups
  • Community Service Projects and Volunteering
  • Family Therapy, Workshops, & Coaching

Therapy is supported by daily skill building and independent living groups which help develop and foster:

  • Improved inter-personal skills
  • Improved communication skills
  • Improved conflict resolution skills
  • Improved  healthy relationships
  • Improved decision making skills
  • Improved anger management skills
  • Improved independent living skills
Girls harvesting carrots as experiential learning at a boarding school

“Five years ago tomorrow would mark when I attended the Academy, I was reluctant at first but looking at me now, I have learned to be empathetic toward people more, I have been able to make a complete 180 in school to the point where I’m a 4.0 student in college and my relationship with my family is the best it has ever been, thank you so much Janice, Brooke, Sandy, and Karin. All of you made such a difference in my life and allowed me to find me this picture just shows how much I have changed in those 5 years. I learned to love myself, my body, and find my self-confidence!”

Academy Alumni

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