CERTS’ Standards of Excellence

Broad Elective Class Offerings. CERTS programs offer an unusually broad, fully accredited enrichment program based on a highly successful private-school model. Depending upon the facility, classes include spanish, physical education, drama, art, music, etc., in addition to the traditional core academic subjects.  To us, a great education is truly part of the cure.

Clinical Sophistication. All CERTS programs use cutting edge therapeutic techniques and practices. These include numerous therapeutic modalities such as DBT, equine assisted psychotherapy, sand tray therapy, or even drama as a means of therapy. Students in each program also have access to specialized group therapy sessions that work specifically with their issues—e.g. adoption, substance abuse, eating disorders, learning disorders, etc. Depending upon the facility, art therapy, recreational therapy, horseback riding, rappelling, and hiking all play key roles in breaking down barriers and teaching life lessons.

Effective, Concurrent Parent Education. All CERTS programs have a unique parent-education program that corresponds directly with their child’s therapeutic journey. Because parents must often learn to parent this child differently in order to be able to have them return home successfully, all parent assignments must be completed for students to advance and graduate. Additionally, every eight weeks special Parent Weekends offer additional education and therapy on site.

Individual Attention. CERTS schools and programs do two things to maximize the one-on-one care that profoundly changes lives: (1) our programs are generally small, and (2), residential therapist case loads are limited to five or six students. As a result, we believe that in a CERTS program your child will have more individual time with his or her therapist than in other similar programs. We believe this individual attention speeds up time identifying and resolving core issues. We further believe it helps reduce the incidence of students reverting to past behaviors shortly after returning home.

Outstanding Parent Communication. A well informed parent is better able to assist their child in the recovery process. In fact, CERTS feels strongly that excellent parent communication is a basic right of all of our parents (click here to visit our Parent’s Bill of Rights). Therefore, parents receive weekly phone calls from therapists and regular communication with staff mentors or Program Directors. Teachers provide parent-teacher conferences at Parent Weekends held every other month. No major medical care decisions of any kind (e.g. medication changes, etc.) are made without parental consent.

Small, Teacher-led Classrooms. Highly qualified, passionate teachers instruct small classes that usually do not exceed eight to ten students. In general, classes are teacher led (unusual in an industry where “packet” work is the norm) and much education is experiential and “hands on.” Our strong educational emphasis and vision—”An outstanding education is part of the cure”—is more than a slogan; students often make educational breakthroughs that lead to clinical breakthroughs as their success and confidence begins to snowball.

Specialized Treatment. CERTS is the leader in providing specialized treatment that uses gender, age, presenting issues, and the interests or “languages” of our students to help them heal. For example, the therapeutic use of horses at Kolob Canyon, the powerful way art and music are used at La Europa, the age-specific therapies used at Moonridge—all provide unique clinical programming that reaches each student in ways they understand. Outcomes from this type of treatment are better and occur in a shorter period of time.

“Teaching Model” as opposed to “Punishment Model.” CERTS programs look at mistakes as opportunities to understand what core needs are driving the behaviors, and then to teach healthier ways to meet these unmet core needs. CERTS therapies are highly effective at helping teens discover both “why” and “how” to change. This philosophical approach of insisting on inner change helps students make better decisions when they return home to an environment that can still be filled with old temptations.

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