Age-Appropriate Therapy for Young Girls

When it comes to residential treatment programs, younger girls between 11 and 14 need specialized care. Placing young girls amongst older teenagers can expose them to the behaviors, attitudes and addictions of the older girls. At Moonridge Academy, we combine the clinical sophistication of other CERTS treatment centers with programs that are age-appropriate for younger children.
Age-appropriate therapy includes the following:

Play Therapy

According to the Association for Play Therapy, “Play therapy is the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process where trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help patients prevent or resolve psychological difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.” Play therapy is a way of helping a child on their unique developmental level. Play therapy works best when used in a safe relationship between the therapist and client, where the child can freely and naturally express positive and negative feelings. This is good supportive therapy for behavioral problems, like anger management, grief and loss, crisis and trauma and divorce and abandonment. It’s also useful for disorders like anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism, academic and social developmental issues and physical and learning disorders.

Sand Tray Therapy

This is a form of expressive therapy that allows children to emphasize what they are feeling at the moment. The patient can use figurines and a sandbox to recreate relationships and scenes in a way that allows her to reveal deep thoughts and feelings. Sand tray therapy was developed in the 1920s by British pediatrician, Margaret Lowenfeld, who found that this method served as a means of communication between a scene builder and an observer. It allows the observer insight into the builder’s inner world.

Equine Therapy and Horseback Riding

Equine therapy is a great way to get in touch with thoughts and feelings. Rather than using the mind to address problems, girls will use their bodies and hearts to feel and react in the moment. Horses know how to sense emotions and will react accordingly. If someone is aggressive or angry, the horse may become stubborn. If someone is anxious, the horse may also get nervous. But when the animal is approached by a calm, open person, it is more likely to respond in a kind, loving way. Observing the horse’s responses promotes self-awareness and helps people see themselves in a more realistic way.

Call Us to Learn More

At Moonridge Academy, we can help your young daughter cope with the effects of ADHD, depression, eating disorders, anxiety and other issues through residential treatment programs. Our programs are structured around DBT treatment, while also combining traditional talk therapy with experiential therapies like equine assisted psychotherapy, to achieve a resilient, more influential change. Contact us to learn more.