Individual, Group & Family Psychotherapy
Every student at Montana Academy participates in individual, group and family psychotherapy which are seamlessly integrated into daily campus life. Montana Academy invests heavily (in staff and time) to put these encounters at the heart of each student’s experience, because they mitigate or eliminate psychological obstacles in the way of a student’s maturation; and they promote the close relationships within which maturation takes place.
Each team’s therapist provides most psychotherapy for team students and families. The mix and the clinical emphasis changes and evolves as students move through the clan sequence.
From the start, students participate in groups up to five days each week. Three of these are team group meetings in which students talk with one another and with team staff about current and past events and relationships, about feelings, hopes, dreams, goals, and plans. In these groups, students learn to listen, to speak honestly and frankly, albeit tactfully, about personal matters, about thoughts and feelings. In groups, students discover what impact they have upon others, hear how others feel and think, and discover that they are not alone. Team groups create a culture in which considerate, honest conversation routinely takes place. Social skills are sharpened, support is offered and accepted.
A Concerted Effort
The team therapist is also responsible for the treatment plan, which guides the team staff’s concerted effort. The therapist spends several hours each week in therapeutic conversations with each student. The therapist shares meals in the dining hall, plays with students on the volleyball court or sings with them around a campfire. Therapists and students listen to each other’s words in dorm and community meetings, during phone calls with parents and in conversations in the lodge. These therapist-student relationships become close and intense. It is within these relationships that accurate recognition and limit-setting powerfully influence the course of maturation.