Summit Achievement’s program model is unique in that it combines the impactful adventure activities found in wilderness programs with a strong accredited academic program and therapeutic community usually featured in therapeutic boarding schools. This clinically proven hybrid design seamlessly integrates five key program components:
- Wilderness expeditions, conducted four days per week, expose and interrupt self-defeating behavior by fostering personal achievement, while building self-esteem and confidence;
- Academic classes, provided three days per week, utilize a blended learning approach, featuring a multidisciplinary and multi-sensory curriculum that puts the student at the center of learning and allows students to earn transferable credits in up to 4 courses;
- Residential community encourages students to practice new skills in a social setting, easing the transition from the wilderness to a setting more like home or private boarding school;
- Personal therapy, focused on individual treatment issues, includes weekly individual and group therapy sessions conducted by a masters level therapist, combined with daily group processing that is at the core of the Summit Achievement approach; and,
- Family inclusion in the total treatment process puts the focus on the student’s reintegration into the family unit. Parents are involved in the treatment planning process and participate in up to three face-to-face, in-person family therapy sessions, coupled with weekly family sessions facilitated by the primary therapist via telephone or video conference.
Summit Achievment enrolls boys and girls aged 13-19+. Students progress through six program levels, each featuring a rich array of program activities designed to empower teens to take responsibility for their decisions, actions and emotions. During the first few levels the therapeutic focus is on recognizing self-defeating behavior patterns, increasing acceptance and engagement in the therapeutic process and helping students meet their own basic needs. As the teen progresses into the upper program levels, the focus gradually shifts to self-management and leadership development, with teaching skills to newer students, providing appropriate peer support, and practicing leadership skills playing an increasingly important part of the process.
With consistent effort, students can complete the program in six-weeks, one level per week. Each teen is unique, however, and the process of change is an individual one. A successful stay may extend to eight weeks or more depending on the needs of the student and the family.
Nichol Ernst, LCSW Clinical Director
Dr. Will White, D.A.,LCSW, LADC Clinical Supervisor
Summit Achievement also offers Summit Traverse, a 3 month minimum transitional program for boys and young men, ages 14 to 18+, who are leaving a more intensive level of treatment but are not yet ready to return home or transition to private boarding school or other traditional environment.
Traverse offers a family-centered therapeutic approach utilizing milieu, individual, and family therapy. Family therapy includes weekly 90 minute family sessions and a series of “family connects” where students travel home to spend time reintegrating with family in increasing increments of time. The unique, blended-learning academic program, coupled with a rich array of wellness, adventure and cultural activities, encourages balanced personal growth. Students also learn to constructively self-manage their leisure time including reasonable use of electronic devices.
Darrell Fraize, M. Ed., LCPC, LADC Clinical and Program Director
Will White, D.A., LCSW, LADC Clinical Supervisor