FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT UINTA ACADEMY
Because we focus on individualized progress through the stages of change, we are less focused on time frames. However, we are sensitive to the financial and emotional sacrifices being made by the family. We also consider where a girl is going after she leaves Uinta. For example, it’s easier for a girl to transition home or to a boarding school between school semesters. Our average length of stay is 14 months.
A therapeutic boarding school is designed to provide a school environment which includes therapeutic support. These schools do not provide the complex and intensive level of clinical services that a residential treatment center provides. Although most of our students return home or go off to college, some of our students will step down to a therapeutic boarding school.
Uinta’s unique individualized academic program can provide accommodations and support for all learning styles and challenges. The curriculum and classroom processes are focused on teaching and strengthening girls’ executive functioning skills- organization, prioritizing, starting tasks, paying attention, persevering, memorizing, and managing time- which benefit all students. We work with the student’s home school district to maintain the student’s IEP status.
All of our teachers are endorsed by the Utah State Office of Education as Secondary Teachers in the subject that they teach. The majority of our teachers are Masters or Doctorate level and have extensive experience teaching in public and private schools.
There are many emotional, social, and scholastic differences between boys and girls. By working exclusively with girls, we are able to tailor our treatment approach to those evidence-based practices that are most applicable and effective for women. A main focus at Uinta is helping girls develop a healthy identity. For most of our girls, boys are a distraction in this process. Many of our girls have struggled in their relationships with other girls, yet having healthy, supportive female relationships is extremely paramount for women. In an all-girl environment, there is little competition without the presence of boys and the girls can develop healthy female relationships. However, we recognize that social interaction with the opposite sex is important in a girl’s development. Our young adults and girls in the transition phase participate in regular activities with a local boys’ school.
Uinta Academy is a college preparatory school. We individualize each student’s curriculum to her needs and goals and challenge those students who are emotionally ready. We offer a rigorous course list which includes advanced level classes, AP classes, and six languages. All of our classes were written by Ph.D. and Masters level certified teachers.
Uinta Academy is currently engaged in outcome studies which measure a girl’s ability to regulate her emotions and anxiety, engage in pro-social behavior, decrease compulsive behavior, and increase school performance. We see an average increase of 1.8 points in each girl’s GPA. Pre and post surveys show a marked decrease in depression/anxiety, a decrease in relationship problems, and decrease in behavioral distress. However, each family has its own measure of success. One family may be interested in academic progress, another wants improved family relationships, and another would consider reduced depression and self-destructive behavior a success.
We have a highly trained and experienced medical and clinical staff. Our Board Certified Psychiatrist specializes in adolescent psychiatry and is on call 24 hours a day. Our registered nurse is also on call 24 hours a day. All of our therapists are licensed and have Masters or Doctorate degrees. We have a team of professionals who not only carry the needed credentials, but have extensive experience working with families and have a passion for helping adolescents.
Most families who are considering Uinta have already tried other therapeutic interventions such as therapeutic schools, outpatient therapy, short-term psychiatric hospital stays, and day programs. Residential treatment is recommended when an adolescent continues to exhibit high-risk behavior and does not appear to be able to apply what she is learning despite therapeutic intervention. Although residential treatment may be appropriate for your daughter, different residential treatment centers provide different levels of clinical intervention and clinical approaches, varied living environments, varied educational programs, and different types of ancillary programs such as arts programs, equine programs, and recreational programs. We suggest that a referring professional assist you in your search for the right program. Educational consultants and many psychologists, therapists, or psychiatrists are equipped to help parents connect with appropriate schools and programs.
Uinta has one of the most liberal contact policies in residential treatment. Immediately after arriving at Uinta, your daughter will be able to make two calls to you each week. As she moves through the stages of change and demonstrates emotional and behavioral growth, she will be able to call you at least four times a week. Your daughter will be required to write you once a week, and when she enters the transition phase of treatment, she will be able to email you. You can write and email your daughter as often as you wish. We encourage parents to visit monthly, or as often as they are able, because we encourage face-to-face family therapy whenever possible. We also ask parents to commit to attending our bi-annual Family Weekends. When a girl enters the Preparation stage of change, which is approximately 3-4 months after entering Uinta, she is ready to start home visits every other month. Upon entering the transition phase of treatment, she can earn monthly extended home visits to help her integrate back into her home system and prepare for the transition home.
Approximately 90% of our students return home or go off to college. Other students may step down to traditional or therapeutic boarding schools. Our young adults go off to college or step down to an adult independent living program.
Our school provides a monthly academic report that keeps you abreast of your daughter’s progress in her classwork, her grades, and her classroom behavior and executive functioning. This report also lets you know where you daughter falls in her high school credit accumulation. Your daughter’s therapist will keep you informed of any significant school issues, since school has a big impact on a girl’s emotional and social functioning. Parents are able to email or phone the Academic Director or her Assistant at any time to ask questions, share concerns, or get more frequent updates.
Preparation for the transition home begins immediately after a girl arrives at Uinta. The therapist and parents establish goals that identify changes necessary for the student’s successful return home. As the student progresses through the stages of change, the goals are frequently re-visited and revised. This helps us evaluate when the student will be ready to leave the program. When a girl has reached the Action stage of change, she is ready to enter the Transition program. In Transition, the student will have increased autonomy and responsibility, an adjusted therapy schedule, increased and extended visits home, and increased community involvement. As a girl nears her departure date, the Uinta Academy team will work with you to establish a home contract, including relapse management, and act as a liaison with future schools or programs. Please read about our Integrated Transition Program for more information.
Yes, we encourage you to speak with parents who have placed their daughters in our program. Please contact admissions for a list of parents who would be happy to talk to you.
"Uinta is truly first rate and their care and professionalism shows throw like a beacon of hope."