Age Appropriate Treatment at Moonridge Academy

Emotionally, developmentally and clinically, there is a profound difference between a younger and an older teen. Their needs and wants are different, from the way they process information and approach problems, to how they navigate the social world. For a younger teen struggling with depression, anxiety, suicide ideation, self-harm and trauma, it is important to provide age appropriate treatment to a younger teen.

Moonridge Academy’s age limitation of 11-14 years means they specifically design treatment to accommodate and serve the developmental stage of being a young teen, and also minimize exposure to “older teen” issues that they may not be ready for.  That doesn’t mean that the issues at Moonridge Academy aren’t still significant and clinically complex, but it affords our students the environment and milieu that allows them to function in the world as a pre and young teen, rather than trying to prematurely fit in to an older world.  
 Moonridge’s age limitation means that students don’t get exposed to “older teen issues and behaviors” as much. Moonridge could be metaphorically likened to a therapeutic “Middle School” or “Junior High” while traditional treatment centers could be likened to “High School.”

Active, playful and varied clinical modalities AND a nurturing environment provide the springboard to healing and wellness for younger students who might struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma or attachment issues.   There’s no surprise that earlier intervention and addressing issues before some of the more significant behaviors are internalized has far better outcomes for students and families in the long run.

Each student at Moonridge Academy has their own Treatment Plan developed by their primary therapist with input from the treatment team.  This plan is specifically designed for each individual student and helps guide treatment for a student throughout their stay at Moonridge.  Our Treatment Team reviews each student’s treatment during regularly held treatment team meetings.  

The following benefits are just a few of those experienced by students at Moonridge Academy:

Trauma Focused Treatment

At Moonridge Academy, Trauma Focused Treatment means that we take into consideration past trauma and any resulting coping mechanisms when working with a student in our therapeutic milieu.  Young adolescents need the experiential and somatic work that addresses the parts of their brains impacted by their previous experiences.  Our therapists are trained in trauma based modalities such as Brainspotting, EMDR, Natural Lifemanship Equine Therapy and trauma sensitive yoga

Moonridge Academy has an outstanding equine program that includes equine therapy and horsemanship classes. Moonridge students work with horse learning to care for them, training them and ultimately riding them. Moonridge feels strongly working with horses is ideal for younger students.

Equine Therapy and Horsemanship
Adventure Therapy

How do you get a young teen to change, to love themselves, to accept love and support? Well, you have to make it fun to do so! Moonridge Academy EXCELS at disguising life-changing, soul-excavating, often painful work as HAVING A GREAT TIME!  We believe that the more a student plays, explores, builds mastery, connects with nature and others – the more open they will be to making those adjustments towards a healthier, more balanced life. Weekly adventure therapy experiences and monthly 3-day Adventure trips provide opportunities that improve self-esteem, encourage teamwork, work on trust issues and set patterns for overcoming fears.

Our teachers are enthusiastic and know how to quickly discern different learning styles, adapt classroom instruction and assignments to each student.  We help each student to be successful in school and most importantly to ensure that they are learning.  Instructors often use project based and experiential activities to teach curriculum.  Teachers also provide differentiated assignments to allow for a student’s individual learning needs.

Specialized Academics