By Craig Rogers
Students at the Ashcreek Ranch Academy learn that living by a code of pro-social principles have a way of paving the way toward a life of honor and respect; the code is based on "The Great American Cowboy". Knowing that most boys desire "respect" more than any other experience or value in life, we focus on teaching our boys how to earn respect by living a principled life of respect. Respect is at the top of the heap, and to young men respect is one of the most important factors of a happy and fulfilling life.
Ashcreek Ranch Academy provides services to adolescent boys between the ages of 14 and 18 years who suffer from substance abuse or addiction disorders, in combination with other issues such as: ADD/ADHD, Depression, Anger Management, Academic Problems, and Parent/Child Conflicts. Thus, Ashcreek Ranch Academy provides specialized treatment services for youth who have a dual diagnosis; boys who are attempting to find symptom relief from their "primary" diagnosis (i.e. depression, low self-esteem, school failure, etc.). Substance abuse or addictive disorders (addictive disorders can manifest in a wide variety of ways including drugs, alcohol, pornography, virtual social networking, gaming, etc) are often a symptom of the primary diagnosis.
The term "evidence-based" therapy (counseling and psychotherapy) for adolescent boys can be "simply" defined as a therapeutic approach that emphasizes seeking "evidence" on which to use to prove effectiveness. If there is evidence that it works, then it must work. If there is evidence that it doesn't work, you can make changes and adjustments to your approach until you find the desired results. More importantly, with the evidence-based therapeutic approach we encourage our students to consider "evidence" before taking action. In other words, look for the proof.
Therefore, at ARA we encourage our students to look for proof, starting with the outcome of their choices that led them to ARA. They already have plenty of proof that "their way" has not worked (the evidence for that is in the fact that they have a substance abuse problem, poor academic performance, trouble at home and at school, and their life is out of control). Our therapeutic approach challenges the students to look for proof of effectiveness, starting with their own outcomes.