Experiential Group Therapy
Promoting Positive Peer Interaction
Group therapy is a significant aspect of the Sedona Sky Academy Therapeutic Program. We believe that the group process is a powerful tool for adolescents and provides for peer interaction that can greatly enhance the therapeutic experience.
Through the sharing of ideas, experiences, knowledge, and support; adolescents come to understand they are not alone in this process and that by having positive interactions they can create a culture of healing and wellbeing.
We believe this to be a vital concept to adolescents in understanding the importance of surrounding themselves with positive people throughout their lifetime and to find and maintain motivation to continue pushing themselves beyond what they perceive they are capable of.
Sedona Sky Academy students attend a minimum of 6 hours per week of group therapy, however the group process is embedded in the school culture. We also use time spent in school and the residential milieu as a means in which to help students learn to self-assess, problem solve as a community and identify areas in which to build upon strengths and abilities.
Our equine groups offer students an opportunity to develop self-confidence, self-efficacy, trust, social skills, impulse control and spiritual connection. Students engage with the horses for care, grooming, saddlery and activities where they learn about confronting fears, being patient, the importance of boundaries and limits, assertiveness, nurturance and responsibility.
The group is facilitated by a trained therapist who helps the students develop a special relationship to the horses and to generalize the skills used in this group, such as trust and respect, to their everyday life.
These groups offer an avenue for releasing emotion that may be difficult to otherwise express in words. Art therapy provides a productive outlet for thoughts and emotions by tapping into a student’s creativity and oftentimes hidden talents. This modality of therapy can also be co-facilitated with academics, such as during an art class, and used for individual work with a student’s primary therapist.
Drama & Theater – Experiential Therapy
These groups are facilitated by a master level therapist to engage students in acting, role playing, poetry reading, monologues and guided imagery to help students to freely express and/or act out internal struggles in a safe environment.
This experiential format provides an avenue for self-development through building confidence, learning to reflect and approaching problem solving creatively.
The format, also referred to as “psychodrama,” has a benefit of allowing participants to re-create and re-work life events, being able to say what is left unsaid, and freely expressing and acting out emotional pain via creative means.
These groups allow students to engage in athletic, recreational and social activities that are led in group format to increase and encourage positive interaction with peers, staff and others within our local community.
In these group students learn about team work, community, cooperation, leadership, abilities, following direction and development of social skills that will provide them with a foundation for making positive choices and finding balance in their lives.
Community Processing Groups – Psychoeducational
These groups are led by master level therapists to help build a student’s “tool box.” Students learn about and process information related to a multitude of subjects, such as substance use, anger, stress, fear, depression, anxiety, conflict, leadership and an array of other topics that can affect healthy functioning throughout life.
Discussion and processing of these topics allow for students to learn critical thinking and begin to develop a sense of their own patterns of thoughts and beliefs. Students also use this information to help them learn about and develop healthy strategies to overcome difficulties they might encounter in their everyday life and to further develop their strengths.
Transition – Homeward Bound Format
This group is for students working towards completion the Sedona Sky Academy program. These groups discus and process topics surrounding transition planning and employ the tools that students have gained throughout their program.
Topics include finding balance, developing a support network, utilizing strengths, development of transition plans, building trust again with family once home and the importance of continued therapeutic support during the transition period.