As the founders of Sundance Canyon Academy, we write this letter to you with the intention of reducing some of the anxiety that you may be experiencing at this time. For many of our parents finding the right program or school that meets your son’s needs is the most important step. Fortunately, you have already consulted with an educational or therapeutic expert who helped you find an appropriate placement. Our goal is to also make sure your son will be a good fit for our program. We will not accept a student unless we can offer what he and you need at this time.
While our students come to us from various backgrounds and circumstances, typical diagnoses include: substance abuse or addictive behavior, oppositional defiant disorder, mood disorders, ADHD, and learning disorders. While your son may have struggled at home with some of these serious issues, we find that most of our students have been doing little or no schoolwork; lying to family, friends, and therapists; and acting oppositional towards authority figures.
Your son is at a very important point in his life. Choosing a different path from the self-destructive one he is on is a difficult choice and a very complex process. It means giving up a part of who he is and the immediate gratification he receives from his chosen lifestyle. We hope to help your son experience some different roles and environments that can lead to genuine lasting growth and happiness.
Over the years, we have come to understand that the greatest agent of change comes through relationships. For adolescents, healthy relationships are often grounded in healthy experiences. This is why we are very deliberate in offering an assortment of therapeutic and educational experiences like culinary arts, music, sports activities, and service projects to keep our kids involved and motivated. We do not believe in a “couch trip approach” to therapy. We believe that engagement and trust are established by shared experiences. Some of the best conversations and memories can happen over a cheeseburger dinner or from hiking or snowboarding in the mountains.
For many of our students and parents the team at Sundance often feels like a “second family.” We ask a lot from our parents and families who participate. This participation requires virtual attendance at weekly family therapy sessions, parent visit weekends, treatment team meetings or consultations, and mutually created home agreements. Working together for the benefit of everyone is a goal that brings us together and validates the work of change.
We hope this letter and our web site helps you gain a better understanding of who we are and the services we provide. If you have any further questions, please contact us. Also, if your circumstances allow, we would suggest scheduling a visit with us to tour our facilities and meet our team. We appreciate your interest in our commitment to helping your child.
Owners, Sundance Canyon Academy & East