A Push For Maturity
Montana Academy’s program provides two key experiences: a balanced life; and a sustained, deep experience of accurate recognition and appropriate limit-setting.
Rather than fix upon one idea or another, Montana Academy challenges students to integrate and master a combination of demanding academics, authentic interpersonal conversation, expressive arts and experiential recreation. The implicit theory is that a balanced life creates a balanced mind.
To mature, students need close, influential relationships based upon accurate recognition: the experience of being well understood. This is the purpose of Montana Academy’s scheduled therapies (individual, group and family), and the reason that Montana Academy organizes students and staff into teams, which are intimate cohorts in which each student becomes well known to staff and peers.
Students also need to come to terms with social constraints and the program encourages students to mature by appropriately setting limits, rules and policies which guide daily life. These constraints are implicit in the clan system and explicit in rewards and privileges which are prescribed by clinicians, team-leaders, teachers and parents.
The Treatment Team
The treatment team is the primary organizational group at Montana Academy. Each new student, upon arrival, joins a cohort of peers and a stable staff group consisting of a primary therapist who sees students individually and facilitates family therapy, an academic faculty member who guides academic course planning and course selection and two team leaders who facilitate daily life, activities and weekend outings.
Teams meet each week to discuss a student’s progress and challenges, decide upon joint actions to be taken, and in concert revise the treatment plan. These discussions and decisions are communicated to other staff, beyond the team, at meetings of the academic faculty, the program staff, the clinical staff, or leadership.