When considering the arena of adolescent therapy, the most effective programs are ones that are immersive and work to create a healing environment that sustains even after the participant leaves therapy. Discovery Academy believes that this healing process takes place in every aspect of the program itself, including the crucial residential environment. We understand that treatment begins at that basic level.
Residential life for our program is a constant, enriching experience. Our girl’s program is housed in our living and learning center and the boy’s program is in our original campus building. Participants live in assigned dorms with four students to a room. Daily life is full of activities, chores, and other purposeful responsibilities. Each staff member that our participants interact with are privy to the therapeutic experience, making them vital members of your teen’s treatment plan. We work to develop strong and personable relationships between participants and with the staff. Our Student Service Coordinator ensures the wellbeing of your teen both physically and spiritually by providing proper clothing and hygiene items, and by making it a point to celebrate birthdays and other important events in your teen’s stay with us.
The atmosphere on campus is conducive to the therapeutic experience, while also providing an enriching and enjoyable experience for your teen. Common areas are set up to be spacious and comfortable; perfect environments to foster future friendships. Each program has its own academic spaces. Both common and academic areas are program-specific, meaning the boys’ areas are separate from the girls’. Discovery Academy also has a music studio and fitness room housed in the same building. Our grounds consist of a sports field and basketball court allowing participants the opportunity for physical activity and growth. Discovery Academy offers cafeteria-style dining for meals. Our boy’s and girl’s programs are set up so that they have alternating schedules for meals and other shared spaced activities while allowing for some appropriate co-ed interaction at other times.
Participants at Discovery Academy have a full schedule, with plenty of activities and responsibilities designed to keep them moving toward meaningful treatment goals. A wide variety of chores are assigned which include wiping dining tables, sweeping floors, folding personal laundry, vacuuming, wiping desks, cleaning and organizing closets and sleeping areas, and cleaning bathrooms. Chores are conducted first thing in the morning with the purpose of teaching students the valuable lesson of responsibility and accountability. Physical education classes are also set up in the morning helping our teens to feel energized for the coming day’s activities. Therapy, both individually and group, takes up a good portion of the morning. Each participant’s therapy schedule is tailored to his or her’s personal needs. After therapy, school is held in the afternoon/evening hours as research has shown that students perform better educationally later in the day. Free time is allotted for evenings and weekends.
New environments can be a difficult transition for teens. Discovery Academy seeks to make that transition as smooth as possible. Each participant is assigned a residential mentor that acts as an advocate for healing and growth. These mentors supervise student activities and work closely alongside teens in therapy groups, in the classroom, during recreational time, and throughout the student residences. Mentors are there to alleviate conflict and to give participants the tools to process emotions and to improve upon improper behaviors. Discovery Academy students develop healthy relationships, learning to trust in those of authority. We want to ensure that participants have a safe space to grow; our mentors are there for your teen to turn to for emotional support or academic needs. Even if our participants just need someone to talk to, mentors are there for those needs as well.
The goal of any therapy is to create a type for future real-world experiences and our mentors help to bridge the gap between treatment center life and home life. Teens leave Discovery Academy with the necessary tools to succeed in future endeavors.
Emphasis on Community
With the close encounter of so many troubled teens together, it might seem like an environment that would be difficult to foster any sense of community, but Discovery Academy has found that to be the opposite case. Residential life is founded on the basis of community. Residents learn how to develop appropriate relationships, learning responsibility and building confidence along the way. Our students are divided into small groups based on shared diagnoses, special interests, or therapeutically advantageous traits. These groups become the core of each participant’s community, acting as a family unit. Placing teens in such communities help them to develop individually while also learning how they fit into the world around them. Daily meetings are held with each community and with individual residence halls to ensure that each environment is remaining conducive to the therapy experience. Conflicts are resolved, emotions are expressed, and communities learn the valuable lesson of communication when living and dealing with a variety of personalities. Participants are encouraged to address issues that arise in their communities before staff intervention. Having this open communication provides the proper environment for our Discovery Academy students to learn responsibility and to understand that the community has the chance to build up the individual as much as the individual has the means to uplift the community.