Please click here for a General Information packet.
The therapeutic services at Home On The Range fall under the overall umbrella of Trauma Informed Services. A key aspect of a Trauma Informed approach is the concept of “habilitation” vs. “rehabilitation.” Rehabilitation suggests that children once had the tools necessary to be successful yet somehow lost those skills along the way. It is our belief that many of our kids may never have had the opportunity to develop specific positive coping and life skills strategies thus making our approach one of “habilitation.”
Trauma Focused CBT is an evidenced based approach that incorporates trauma sensitive techniques into cognitive behavioral interventions. The specific interventions are designed to assist residents on an individual basis in learning new skills or strategies in order to better process thoughts and feelings related to traumatic life events. Residents are referred into this program by the treatment team and then assessed by TF-CBT therapist for appropriateness. Included within Trauma Informed Services are three specific departments with unique theoretical models of treatment delivery and involve group, individual and family modalities. These are:
~Animal Assisted Interventions
~Drug and Alcohol Services
Animal Assisted Interventions
Animal Assisted Interventions include both Equine Assisted programs and Canine Assisted programs. All are incorporated into trauma specific habilitation goals. Specific models and approaches include EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Assocation), Natural Lifemanship/Rhythmic Riding, mule driving programs, and some therapeutic riding.
Equine Program: Horses have played a key role in the history of Home On The Range. This tradition continues today in a variety of treatment and leisure activities. The Equine Program is a trauma informed, experiential based intervention, which includes the use of horses and mules. This intensive, outcome based treatment program was designed for individuals presenting with externalizing issues such as poor anger management, impulsivity, low frustration tolerance and nonverbal communication difficulties. The program is a combination of ground work with horses as well as riding and mule driving activities. The overall intent of the equine program is improving emotional regulation, problem solving and team work skills. The program consists of group, individual and family sessions as deemed appropriate and manageable. Home On The Range, in collaboration with North Dakota State University, has been conducting outcome studies on the efficacy of equine therapy. The research data has been nationally recognized and presented at various conferences.
Natural Lifemanship: Natural Lifemanship is a Trauma Focused Equine Therapy model that is part of the Equine Program and includes a technique referred to as “Rhythmic Riding.” This technique is relationship based experience between the group member and their chosen horse, and was designed to assist group members in learning how to self-regulate their emotional states. Individuals with traumatic backgrounds often experience difficulty in regulating their “fight/flight” responses to stress and stimuli, and often take a longer time to “return to normal” after being triggered to a heightened state of arousal. Trauma Focused Rhythmic Riding combines horse-back riding, mindfulness skill components, and relationships into a “dance” of learning opportunity. Simply stated, residents are able to experience the present moment while listening to meaningful songs (they select) and riding to the rhythm of the music. Between songs, mindfulness practice is utilized to assist group members in regaining emotional regulations which can so easily become dysregulated during the riding activity.
Canine Program is a trauma informed, experiential group designed to engage youth in the treatment process. This program works to assist residents in self-identifying improved problem solving techniques and increasing independence. Participants are paired with rescue dogs and develop a treatment plan to address behavioral issues presented by their canine partner. This process promotes the development of executive function skills such as planning and prioritizing, task initiation and organization. Residents assist in training shelter dogs in basic obedience, socialization, and house training so they can be adopted out to appropriate families.
Adventure Therapy is experiential therapy approach where members are able to learn to work through their trauma based challenges through outdoor and healthy living activities (i.e. cooking and exercise). The program includes capstone events that are designed to teach skills such as learning how to use a camp stove, build a tent, and pack a backpack, as well as practice hikes and overnight trips in the local National Park before embarking on a more challenging four-day back country camping trip. This group focuses on teaching communication and social skills through team based initiatives, forethought and organization through planning and preparing one-day and four-day backpacking trips. Emotional regulation and mindfulness are addressed through challenging tasks such as climbing a rock wall, martial arts and a high ropes course while personal responsibility and self-esteem are enhanced through capstone events.
Horsepacking Program is a unique treatment intervention that joins two experiential, “bottom up” activities; equine and adventure therapy. Participation in this program provides traumatized youth an opportunity to develop a bonded, mutually satisfying relationship with an equine partner, which relies upon interpersonal rhythm, visceral awareness and vocal and facial communication, all of which help traumatized youth reorganize their perceptions of danger and increase their capacity to manage relationships. It is within the context of this relationally-driven intervention that recalibration of the autonomic nervous system occurs and gives rise to neurological re-wiring of secondary and primary process emotions. Venturing into the backcountry with an equine teammate provides the catalyst for building connections to oneself, others and the great outdoors.
Adventure Therapy/Wellness Program is designed to introduce healthy hobbies and promote whole body wellness, focusing on healthy mind, body, and spirit, with the goal that skills learned will help kids cope with traumatic experiences and make better decisions. Activities vary from week to week and cover a broad range of experiences. A few examples are: outdoor adventures such as high ropes courses and hiking, weight lifting in our weight room, rock wall climbing and running, discussing nutrition and experimenting with healthy recipes, yoga and mindfulness activities, volunteering and making a positive impact in our community, and exploring artistic and musical talents.
Strengthening Family Workshop program utilizes a systems approach to assist families in identifying their strengths and challenges. It consists of a multi-family group setting with Home On The Range social worker(s), residential specialist, and therapists. The workshop is dedicated to working with each family in a client-driven manner to address the family’s issues and progress. The workshop is utilized by youth and families in all stages of placement. The families gain support and learn from one another.
Additional programs provided to the residents of Home On The Range:
Life Skills is a cooperative group program with Beach High School and is designed for youth ages 16-18. It includes several activities, resources, and speakers to address areas including but not limited to housing, employment, insurance, budgeting, community resources and safety. There is a primary focus on both college and career planning as well.
Life Skills Youth is also a cooperative group program with Beach High School offered to females ages 13-15. This group explores the hierarchy of needs and discusses topics including dating, hygiene, peer relations, and job applications. This group can be modified to best meet the needs of the residents in these clients in these general areas.
Drug and Alcohol Services: Our drug and alcohol program is a combination of abstinence based, non-abstinence based, support group, and education. The platform is a 12-week program with youth who are working on making changes, being able to continue in the support group for as long as they want.
Components of the drug and alcohol program are:
~Stages of Change
~Harm Reduction vs. Abstinence
~Cues, Triggers, Coping Skills
~Long Term Plans/Commitment to Change