Home – Boarding School for Teens

Sundance Canyon Academy

Boarding School for Teens

Live. Learn. Lead.

“Thank you for helping to change the life of our son and our family. Our deepest appreciation,” Lisa Z., 

Sundance Canyon Academy is a boarding school for teens, specifically teen boys who need a residential therapy program.

Sundance Canyon Academy is a licensed, residential treatment program that utilizes a highly specialized, therapeutic approach in treating young men (13-17) whose lives are jeopardized by emotional and behavioral issues.

z-studenta200Our therapeutic and educational approach is a unique and innovative in addressing common issues that face today’s young men: Depressions, Anxiety, Substance Abuse, Executive Functioning, Family Discord, Social/Self-Esteem issues, and Academic or Developmental difficulties.

Our holistic model increases students’ recognition and resiliency by identifying and addressing factors that fuel anxiety and poor choices. We provide specific skills, tools, and practice for lifestyles that promote opportunity, self-respect and independence.

How are we different?  Unlike most treatment programs or schools, we do not use a behavioral modification approach. Our goal is not to focus on the behaviors (with rewards, advice giving), but what causes those behaviors – their feelings. Going deeper still, what causes those feelings is the core self-concept.

  • Empathy and attunement are the most powerful agents of change. If your child feels that we understand them, and can actually feel what they are going through, then they get this idea in their head and in their heart that they are worth the effort we put forth. This creates an experience that allows the relationship to be the agent of change.
  • We accept our students by active listening, reflection, empathy, permission to feel, and giving without return. Unconditional care, attunement, and validation go a long way for our kids.
  • Vulnerability can dispel the cultural myth that it is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage. When students and families understand this and apply it, it can reduce a significant amount of time off treatment.

Our 7 keys for success are based on years of replicated studies and systemic outcomes.

  1. Therapy – increases emotional aptitude through specific therapeutic approaches and considerations including; identity, communication, and commitment.
  2. Education – improves confidence and increases optimism through achieving academic needs and goals, thereby contributing to present and future successes. Learning becomes a ‘Life-long’ endeavor.
  3. Nutrition – plays a key role in health and wellbeing and self-management.
  4. Recreation – provides opportunities for team building, competition, and acquiring new skills.
  5. Service – builds empathy by putting others before self.
  6. Life Skills – furthers independence through the development of practical skills and passion. Competence and maturity enhances one’s ability to navigate life’s obstacles and promotes interpersonal relationships, negotiation, and community involvement.
  7. Transition – aids anticipation and appreciation for the ‘next steps’ and opportunities now and in the future.

z-group200We begin with the end in mind.  All aspects of our program are designed specifically for the best outcomes and success of our students and their families. To provide that ‘environment of change’ parental participation is paramount. As these elements come together, students who would otherwise need two or three programs can move through their growth process – from treatment to transition back home or college – all at Sundance Canyon, quickly, effectively, and affordably.

  • Sundance Canyon Academy is a 16-bed contemporary home, where all of our students arrive for orientation, assessment and treatment planning. Students complete levels 1-4 at this campus.
  • Sundance Canyon Transition is a 12-bed ranch style home focused on transition planning and final steps for graduation. Students complete levels 5 and 6 at this campus.

Professional and credentialed clinicians and staff ensure the disciplines of academics, therapy and experiential activities are dynamically integrated. Specifically, each young man receives weekly individual and family therapy, as well as daily specialized groups according to their individual needs and emphasizes the WHYTRY Model. These groups include: Adolescent Male Development, Trauma Resolution, Anxiety and Depression, Information Processing Skills, Drug and Alcohol, Adoption and Attachment. Each student is also provided psychiatric services as needed.

We are Sundance Canyon…

  • Two campuses strategically located minutes from Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah
  • Licensed with the Utah Department of Human Services
  • Licensed in 2007 as a Residential Treatment Center
  • Academic & Therapeutic services for boys ages 13-17 years
  • 6-9 month average length-of-stay
  • Weekly progress reports and consultations
  • Established parent advocacy groups and treatment teams
  • Professional testing and assessments
  • Family weekends
  • Staff secured facility
  • 8-10 hours of therapeutic interventions per student per week
  • Ph.D. and Masters level therapists and teachers
  • Psychiatric and medical services provided
  • Recreation therapy/outdoor education program
  • Music therapy program
  • Culinary Arts program

Thank you for your guidance, friendship, and love towards our son. We’ll never forget the Sundance team. Scott E., CA