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Discovery Ranch

Residential Treatment Center

Discovery Ranch Program Information

Gender: Coeducational
Ages: 13 - 17
Grades: 8-12
Estimated Enrollment: 44
Length of Stay:
Program was founded in: 2005
Accreditations: Affiliations:

Discovery Ranch Contact Information

1308 South 1600 West
Mapleton, UT 84664
Phone: (801) 489-3311
Fax: (801) 489-3355
School Contact: Marlene Kendall
Alternative Contact: Clinton Dorny
Therapy Provided?: Yes

Program Description:

Discovery Ranch is a 20 acre equine center nestled along the Wasatch Mountains with 2 homes that create the perfect environment for learning, personal growth, responsibility, and accountability by giving students “experiences” that truly build positive character traits and self confidence.

Discovery Ranch is a high-end troubled teen treatment center nestled at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains. With two homes on twenty acres, ten miles South of Provo Utah, Discovery Ranch offers the wide-open space of country living, and the benefits of a metropolitan area.

Learning from the experience of Discovery Academy (Our boarding school that offers teen residential treatment) and RedCliff Ascent (Our wilderness treatment center), Discovery Ranch is the first troubled teen treatment center in the industry to offer clinically intensive care with the foundation being experiential therapy. Like most wilderness treatment centers, the focus on experiential learning is what sets us apart. Equine therapy in a Kentucky Derby style facility, nursing day old calves by hand, exercising in a full gymnasium and participating on high and low ropes course apparatus describe just a few of the therapeutic activities students will be involved in, side by side, with their therapist and residential staff. Most teen residential treatment centers try to combine school and therapeutic activities during the day. This creates a confusing and often chaotic learning environment. However, because students at Discovery Ranch attend school in the late afternoon and evening, therapists have full access to the students during the day. This allows the therapists the freedom and creativity to be involved with the students in therapeutic activities throughout the campus without the distraction of pulling students from class.

Following the example of Discovery Academy, where students score above the National Average on SAT and ACT scores, students at Discovery Ranch participate in a teacher driven, student paced school. This model is not to be confused with “Independent Study” or “Packet” type courses offered in other programs.

Discovery Ranch is the most comprehensive experiential program and campus in the industry. Over fifteen years of experience have taught the founders of Discovery Ranch that memories, experiences and traditions shape lives. Our experiential focus permeates throughout our therapy, residential and academic programs which are intricately interwoven to create a unique therapeutic environment.

Experiential therapy, as many students experience in wilderness programs, creates a powerful and intense opportunity for staff and students to work side by side. Together relationships are formed, progress is made, and memories of a lifetime are created.

What is Experiential Therapy?
Experiential therapy involves not only the cognitive exchange of internal processing but includes a sensory rich and emotionally laden environment, which includes sights, smells, sounds and touch. The ranch has 20 acres of opportunities to provide a plethora of experiential activities for the students.

“What I hear I forget, what I see I remember, what I do I understand.” — Confucius

Many programs have experiential activities, however Discovery Ranch is a comprehensive program, integrating clinical and real life experience, for example:

-Feeder Calves (taking care of a newborn calf)
-Equine Therapy
-High and Low Ropes Course
-Quilt Tying (each student makes their own comforter)
-Community Service (working with handicapped children, helping at homeless shelter, and other Forget About Me projects)
-Make a Difference Day (crocheting quilts for homeless shelters and Primary Children’s Hospital)
-Life Skills/Goal Setting/Daily Planners
-Yard Work (weeding and planting flowerbeds)
-Various off campus activities (hiking, biking, running, camping, trips, etc)
-Academic Field Trips (Fridays)

Every experience at Discovery Ranch will be educational and therapeutic in a fun purposeful environment.

Foundations of Growth
1. Perception of self
2. Relationships
3. Life skills
4. Accountability

The Treatment Objectives of Discovery Ranch

Healthy PERCEPTION of SELF and thinking: Using the phrase “Whatever life throws at me, I can handle it.” Discovery Ranch assists each student to discover their own identity and how they can tap into their own individual potential. Students will be able to work on and control behavior errors on the outside by examining personal thinking errors on the inside. Each student can impact their quality of life and feelings about oneself as they develop the ability to choose their own cognitive process, belief or attitude about themselves or others. We develop this by providing various activities, challenges, and experiences where they can learn, practice and internalize their own self worth.

Loving and Validating RELATIONSHIPS: True health and happiness requires love and validation. At Discovery Ranch we strive to develop within every student self-love and validation so as to eliminate destructive behaviors that tend to be love substitutes. As an individual learns to love himself or herself, they are able to develop and maintain positive relationships. Students will learn and internalize skills to properly develop and maintain relationships. We will provide each family the necessary support and therapy to assist in the development of family growth and change.

SKILLS for life: Discovery Ranch teaches and helps internalize coping skills that will be utilized to develop not only a life worth living, but, an affective and happy life. The highly experiential campus will provide an environment to practice learned skills, so as to internalize through doing.

Personal ACCOUNTABILITY: (personal integrity) Critical to adolescent growth is the development of following through or doing that which you have committed to do. Accountability breeds responsible adolescents who are able to make healthy choices. We will provide sufficient structure and mindfulness to allow a youngster to see ”the big picture,” which will allow them to make insightful choices and lasting change.

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