Discovery Academy Experiential Therapy

Genuine experiential therapy does not consist of occasional student activities. It consists of deliberately structured clinical, residential, and academic activities.

Discovery Academy has pioneered the use of “communities” to advance treatment while providing the setting for students to take safe risks they have never experienced before. Those activities may include ropes courses, joining a sports team, dramatic productions, or pursuing newly discovered academic interests. We created a supportive but challenging environment. Students must leave their comfort zones. This lets them see their world, and themselves, with new eyes.

At Discovery Academy, therapy is not reserved for traditional business hours. A student’s treatment team includes clinicians, teachers, and residential staff. Each group uses their area of influence all day long to extend therapeutic goals. They achieve this through experiential activities, a common language, and relationship development.

We Specialize in Helping Teens Ages 13-17

Many of our boarding school students are bright underachievers with behavioral and or emotional problems that have manifested themselves in school, at home, and within the community. Other Discovery Academy students have learning disabilities that require the one-on-one learning environment in which we specialize.

Many of our students have simply fallen into the wrong peer crowd. Discovery Academy is an excellent boarding school choice for teens that have failed in traditional schools, boarding schools and/or are transitioning from other types of treatment programs, such as wilderness or intensive residential treatment programs.

The Power of Music Therapy

Music is an incredibly important feature in the life of a teen anywhere. At Discovery Academy, we use music to guide students through therapeutic processes.

The parent seminar variety show features songs performed live with voice and instruments by our students, as well as some numbers recorded previously in our studio. Students get the chance to build themselves up as they learn a new talent, and show it off in front of parents and teachers. During our parent days event, you may experience a taste of our music therapy with your teen and therapist in our studio!

On-campus music studio

In our professionally-equipped music studio, students have an opportunity to use technology in a specialized way. Easily manageable software allows the students to not only act as performing artists, but recording producers, carefully mixing and designing their own songs, and most students, when given the chance, will choose to create something entirely original, helping them explore their emotions in the creation process, and building their self-esteem as they create something they are proud to show off.


Several times a year, Discovery Academy participates together with several other Ascent Family Companies in a Battle of the Bands, wherein students perform live on stage in a competition of what they have put together over the last few months.


Drama Therapy

Drama therapy allows students to take new roles so that they can broaden their experience and empathize with emotions, people, and situations that are different from their own. Drama therapy groups are held throughout the year, and a twice-yearly parents’ seminar performances are held where parents and teachers are invited to see the work the students have put in. Discovery Academy uses drama therapy to help young men and women learn from their own experiences, grow beyond their traumas, and develop an understanding for other people’s point of view.


For many actors, acting alone promotes their emotional well-being because acting gives them a way to express themselves. While this is part of drama therapy, the treatment goes much deeper. Drama therapy allows teens to solve problems in a way that is more dynamic than talk therapy alone. Participants work with a certified drama therapist. The therapist guides them through clinically proven activities designed to support the individual’s treatment goals. Drama therapy uses techniques such as role-playing or improvising a role in order to help participants gain a better understanding of their experiences, allow them to break out of unhealthy roles, and improve their ability to express themselves.


Art Therapy

Visual Arts are an easily accessible venue through which students can express their emotions. Art therapy gives students new ways of self-expression as well. Students are asked to explore their experiences and emotions and apply them to a visual medium. Many students find that through art they can give their emotions a voice that otherwise would stay silent. Art students work together in teams to create the mural backdrop and set the stage for the parent’s seminar performance. The level of technical skill is not so important as the genuine expression that goes into the work. Art Therapy at Discovery Academy is focused on giving students the opportunity to communicate in a way that may be new for them. This creative endeavor rewards students for their openness and honesty. Many students find that creating art, from doodles to masterpieces, helps them to regulate emotionally, process and resolve personal conflict, and reduce anxiety.

Students put their art skills to use in our parents’ seminar variety show, where art students participate in painting the backdrop and set pieces each show, working in a group for a common goal.