Programs for Troubled Teens

Programs for Troubled Teens

Arivaca Boys Ranch is considered one of the leading Programs for Troubled Teens. We are the preferred licensed residential treatment program for teenage boys ages 13-17.


Programs for Troubled Teens

Arivaca Boys Ranch is considered one of the premier Programs for Troubled Teens. We are the preferred licensed residential treatment program for teenage boys ages 13-17. Arivaca specializes in a range of treatment modalities, including treatment for teens with depression, evidenced-based psychiatric treatment, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

You're at the end of your rope. You want to help your son, but you don't know what to do anymore. How can you help your teen boy grow into the man you know he could be? Is it too late? Your son struggles enough that you are looking into programs for troubled teens, and Arivaca can help.

Perhaps he is dealing with:

  • Substance abuse
  • Attachment disorder
  • Defiance
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Academic failure
  • Trouble with the law

You know that helping your teenage boy is beyond you now, no matter what his troubles. Instead, he needs some actual, solid, professional intervention. For this reason, you are likely considering various programs for troubled teens.

The goal is to help him settle his current problems, learn to face his future successfully, and build a more positive relationship with you and other family members.

Troubled Youth Programs

At Arivaca Boys Ranch, we help your son with a complete program, a culture – a "Way of Being" to guide him successfully into manhood. He works with life lessons and esteem-building experiences to approach challenges using positive coping strategies. He learns to deal with adversity, emotional struggles, frustration, and even failure as part of the challenges in life – long-term behavior change.

"Threats and bribes can buy a short-term behavior change, but they can never help kids develop a commitment to positive values... To help kids engage in such reflection, we have to work with them rather than doing things to them. We have to bring them in on the process of making decisions about their learning and their lives... Children learn to make good choices by having the chance to choose, not by following directions."

~ Alfie Kohn, Human Behavior and Childhood Development Scholar

Troubled youth programs rely on a combination of approaches to manage behavior and symptoms for long-term change. Arivaca Boys Ranch uses a unique equine therapy approach to help each troubled teen take the steps he needs toward making good choices.

troubled youth programs

This combination approach is beneficial for:

Developing TrustThe first thing a troubled teen learns as he starts working with a horse is trust. Next, he starts trusting the horse, his abilities, and his therapist. Developing increased confidence is a crucial step to healing relationships.

Reducing AnxietyContact with horses helps reduce anxiety and distress.

Improving Depressive SymptomsDepression can be isolating. Horses accept people unconditionally. This loyalty helps troubled teens feel a sense of connection, encouraging genuine relationships with people.

Increasing MindfulnessHorses are always present, living in the now, not worrying about the past or future. Communication with a horse means the handler must also be present, centered, and focused. Horses mirror emotions, so working with a horse gives immediate feedback.

Building Greater Self-ControlCommunication with a horse requires calm and patience. Troubled teens struggling with impulsivity or lacking self-control learn emotional awareness, cooperation, self-control, and emotional and behavioral regulation working with horses.

Enhancing Communication SkillsTroubled teens develop intuition and patience as they learn to communicate with a horse. They learn its language. It becomes necessary for the boys to turn inward and come to terms with their emotional state before effectively working with the horse.

Boosting Self-AcceptanceMany new arrivals are self-conscious about their lack of knowledge and experience with horses. They hesitate because they fear embarrassment. However, they learn how making progress is a journey as they work through this.

These underlying issues can create problems for boys as they navigate through their teen years. Many cope with substance abuse, attachment disorders, defiant attitudes, academic failure, and even trouble with the law.

When it is time to give yourself your life back and give your son his future, troubled youth programs can help.

4 Elements of the Arivaca Therapy Program

This unique behavioral therapy program teaches young men to develop and maintain relationships using horses. In addition, this process facilitates foundational opportunities for growth and self-discovery to build a man of integrity. At Arivaca Boys Ranch, young men participate daily in activities that combine to create a successful treatment plan.

  1. Individual Counseling with a licensed professional therapist trained to make the connection between real-life principles and the principles learned in the equine program.
  2. Weekly Group Therapy led by a licensed counselor to develop communication skills, cooperation, relationships, empathy, understanding, anger management skills, etc.
  3. Self-reflection each evening to review the day's events with a staff member, write in a journal, and resolve any conflicts within the group.
  4. Equine program based on a working relationship between a young man and his horse. Each young man is assigned a horse to care for, build a relationship and work with.

These four elements combine in the troubled youth programs at Arivaca Boys Ranch to build the confidence, skills, and vision young men need to face the future successfully.

Equine Therapy and Natural Horsemanship

programs for troubled teens

Equine Therapy has recently become accepted as a powerful therapeutic tool, but animals helping humans heal is not new. For example, Florence Nightingale noted in the late 1800s that her patients were less anxious and recovered more quickly when animals were around. The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH International) defines all horse-person interactions as having therapeutic value.

The equine therapy program at Arivaca Boys Ranch has specific, structured goals. The Arivaca Boys Ranch Therapy Program founder, Ron Searle, is a certified Arbinger instructor and advocate of equine therapy and natural horsemanship.

"Through exercises in natural horsemanship, our clients learn to communicate on the level of the horse while developing a trusting relationship in which you can lead the horse without force or coercion. Through this process, our boys learn more about themselves and their personal relationships with others."

~ Ron Searle, Founder, Arivaca Boys Ranch

Equine therapy and natural horsemanship are more than riding horses and caring for a living creature. The troubled teens learn to calm the horses, get them to pay attention, and respond. Finally, a young man discovers how to get his horse to follow willingly – a lesson in free will and choices.

Arbinger Institute Philosophy

The Arbinger Institute Philosophy is a relationship philosophy that helps boys learn empathy and accountability. The Arbinger Institute Philosophy, used by the Arivaca Boys Ranch in programs for troubled teens, greatly abbreviated here, are:

  • Every person has hopes, needs, cares, and fears.
  • When another person's hopes, needs, cares, and fears are less important than our own; we see others as objects rather than as people.
  • To see a fellow person as an inferior object is to harbor a violent heart toward them.
  • We communicate how we feel about others even when we try to hide it.
  • When others detect violence in our hearts, they tend to become defensive and to see us as objects. Violence in one's heart provokes violence in others.
  • Most occasions of outward violence are manifestations of a prior, and often escalating, conflict between violent hearts; that provokes further violence.
  • Any effort to reduce outward violence will succeed only to the extent that it addresses the core problem – the problem of violent hearts.

The Arivaca Boys Ranch program can help your son uncover the natural rewards of being responsible and productive.