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Creating the experience vs

Creating the experience vs. filling time

At Discovery Ranch we’re always saying we have an experiential and relationship based program. Saying it is easy. Quite frankly, lots of programs say that. But being a true experiential and relationship based program requires more than lip service. It’s a mentality. Everyone from our administrative team to our front line staff must have that mind set. Without it, we’d just be filling time. We created our program based on therapeutic principles developed in wilderness therapy, specifically, 16 years of wilderness experience from our sister company, RedCliff Ascent. We combined that foundation of therapeutic excellence with more than 30 years of clinical, residential, and equine experience to create a truly unique program. We began with the premise that if were utilizing the same fundamentals as effective wilderness therapy, we should get similar results. What we learned is that our students change faster, with a much longer lasting effect than other residential programs. Our average length of stay is about 10 months, with many students moving on to boarding schools, home type settings and some therapeutic boarding schools. With the economy being in such turmoil, we offer a much more time effective and cost effective experience. Learning through the five senses, creating experiences with a purpose, and learning by doing, not just reading about it, are the most effective forms of learning. Some of our students’ most powerful experiential learning comes through working with their calves. Our top notch equine program takes students from ground therapy to western riding. Ranch students also participate in a variety of community service projects. One of their favorites is the «VIP League.» Our students are paired with children with physical or mental disabilities. Ranch students coach these children one-on-one in soccer or T-ball. We hope you’ll visit the video section of our website for highlights of their season. Helping students gain an understanding of their experiences and how they apply to their lives in the moment is the key to retention. This is where having a trained, committed front-line staff is so critical. In their day to day interactions, we help our students understand the patterns that show up in all areas of their lives. We receive emails and letters from alumni who share with us their experiences once they leave us. They often say they’ve had struggles at home but they remembered what they learned at the ranch. Once they began to re-apply those principles, they became successful again. That is the difference between saying we are an experiential, relationship based program and being one. Seeing our students succeed at home is what makes the extra work worth it.

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