Our Mission

In partnership with students, parents and community, our mission as educators and counselors is to provide a safe and nurturing environment and to facilitate the development of well educated, responsible and productive citizens through a program of instruction and studies that will enable them to grow as individuals, to value differences, and to adapt to an ever-changing world.

Sundance Canyon we are committed in our belief that all young men are capable of making positive changes in their lives, regardless of the nature of their problems. We believe that all of our students are worthy of a physically and emotionally safe environment. A safe and structured environment provides direction as our students to begin their trek towards making good and proper decisions.

We believe that there are certain behaviors and skills that students should demonstrate competence. For example, we believe that all people should be respectful to each and every member of society, no matter what their race, creed, age, gender, religion, political affiliations, etc. We try to instill in our students the value of treating people warmly and genuine without compromising their own values.

We believe that marvelous changes can and do take place as the student becomes aware of his many strengths and limitations. For these significant events to occur in the lives of our students there must be a time commitment. We believe that the time in a program may vary, as boys learn to eliminate inappropriate behaviors, which in the past have often lead to unhappiness in their lives and that of their families.

Our philosophy is that as these young men are redirected and begin to practice appropriate personal and social skills, they begin to feel of their own personal worth. As their own self confidence builds, they begin to verbalize their feelings and needs to others in a constructive manner. They are then ready to make giant leaps in the direction of commitments and becoming capable, caring and contributing young men to their families and in society.


Our therapeutic program is administered by licensed professionals and qualified staff. We provide therapeutic intervention in the following three forms: Group, Individual and Family. Our milieu includes the Why Try Model, a program that was originally developed as a one-on-one counseling tool. The WhyTry visual analogies provide a practical guide for discussing personal challenges and solutions to problems that youth face at home, at school, and with their peers.

The program utilizes a strength based approach to counseling and is infused with empirically sound theories and techniques including:

  • Reality Therapy
  • Solution Focused Brief Therapy
  • Multiple Intelligence Theory

The program is also used nationally by clinical social workers, psychologists, and other mental health clinicians in both group and one-on-one settings.


We provide a nationally accredited curriculum In addition to our academic offering, we provide an experiential education program that may be used for certification or education credits. Our program provides social situations and environments that teach new behaviors, responsibilities and awareness.

Life Skills

We also provide a Fine Arts programs and recreational education to expand additional learning environments for exploring creativity and relationship building.

  • Culinary Arts (knowledge of knife skills, cooking preparation, menu selection, food handler’s permit, and all line cook positions).
  • Music (music theory and practicum).
  • Outdoor Recreation (recreation, service and sports team instruction)


This function can possibly prevent the need for sending a teen away for weeks, months, or even years to an out-of-home treatment facility. If you are feeling like you have exhausted your options and weekly therapy isn’t working, you may want to try the next logical step which is bringing intensive help into your home first, before you commit to the separation and cost of an adolescent treatment program. Many of our parents comment that they were surprised how much they didn’t know about parenting!


Aftercare is the support of both the student and their parents in creating a plan and the environment to help them hold on to the positive changes and progress made while attending Sundance Canyon. We help them transition back to their natural surroundings of school, friends, and family, or independent living. Think of it as physical therapy after surgery. There is a lot of work to be done at home to get back to functionality and health. Transition makes sure that the changes, structure and education are happening at home in preparation for the reunion and return to regular family life. It’s also the crucial support for the months following discharge and the “honeymoon phase,” to keep the “testing phase” crises to a minimum and total relapse unlikely.