Ranch For Troubled Boys


Worried parents of troubled teen boys want to do everything they can to help, but it can seem like nothing will help their struggling son. When troubled teenage boys are living in an unhealthy environment, they will encounter more behavioral, emotional and academic problems than ever. The longer these growing young men follow a destructive path, the more set on their path they will become.

A specialized therapy program for troubled boys may be the answer to the problems that struggling teen boys and their families are dealing with, helping to move everyone back on track towards positive futures.

Options For Parents With Troubled Boys

There are many therapy options available to parents who are seeking help for their troubled sons. From therapeutic boarding schools to boot camps, it is important parents understand what their options are as they select a program for their son.

  • Wilderness therapy – By removing teens from the negative influences in their everyday lives, the teens learn to focus on what truly matters. The focus of these programs are behavior modification and experiential education.
  • Boot camp programs – Military-style programs designed to enforce strict discipline and behavior modification on attendees. However, the focus is not therapy and if there is a therapy component, it is contracted outside of the program’s scope.
  • Therapeutic boarding school – Longest duration program, therapeutic boarding schools should be selected if parents want their son to be able to continue his education as he receives therapy to address what is troubling him.

Ranch therapy for boys stands out among these programs as it is a unique blend of many of the best qualities of the different programs.

What is a Boys Therapy Ranch?

Ranches are particularly popular with parents seeking to help their troubled teen sons because of the outdoor and work elements that the boys participate in. The ranches also include aspects of other therapy programs by:

  • Learning through doing – It pulls in the experiential education aspect of wilderness therapy programs by involving troubled boys in ranch life, something many of them have never experienced. The boys are less likely to hold onto negative habits as they are completely removed from their previous environments.
  • Discipline without harshness – Ranch life is highly disciplined, much like would be found in a military-style teen boot camp. Animals need to be cared for on a strict schedule and chores consistently done. This is done without breaking down the young men to conform to a certain standard, unlike in a military-style program.
  • Encourages high activity – A ranch-style program is closest in results to a therapeutic boarding school, as both have academic components as well as a strong therapy aspect. The main difference is the setting, which the ranch setting encourages high activity in its participants and the inclusion of animal therapy.

Therapy ranches are highly supervised and structured, giving the boys a safe and supportive place to work out their issues. Therapists and staff member work with the troubled boys to get to the root of their issues and learn new skills, habits and coping abilities.

How Do Boys Ranch Programs Help?

Boys ranch programs can be short-term or long term. If a short-term program is selected, that program is designed to be:

  • A step in transition from family home to long-term boarding school.
  • Behavior modification for less severe cases.
  • Short-term therapy.

If parents choose to have their troubled son in a therapy ranch program long-term, that length of program is designed to be:

  • Therapeutic environment with group and individual sessions to address troubled youth’s issues.
  • Academic support with certified teachers so boys don’t fall behind while receiving therapy.
  • Immersion in completely different lifestyle to allow for greater behavior modification.

Benefits Of A Therapy Ranch For Troubled Teen Boys

Regardless of length, at a boys ranch teens who suffer from a number of issues can get real help from trained professionals. Typical teen issues which can be helped at a boys therapy ranch include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar
  • Trauma
  • Substance abuse
  • Learning disabilities
  • Low self-esteem
  • Abuse
  • Abandonment
  • Adoption issues

Parents should be sure to address any therapy concerns with the programs they are interested in to be sure that their son’s particular problems will be address by the particular program.

In most cases, therapists understand that a teen boy’s bad behaviors come from an inability to overcome those underlying issues, not because the boy is inherently bad. Therapy, support, environment change, and time can help boys as they work to separate their bad behaviors from themselves. The ranches can be that long-term solution to a teen boy’s problems, and facilities that have a successful record of healing troubled teen boys are plentiful.

Many ranches have specific programs designed to help boys heal, including equine therapy, recreational therapy, wilderness-based therapy and more. By bringing together many aspects of different therapy programs, there is a high margin for success when utilizing a ranch therapy program.

No matter what a troubled teen boy is facing, a boys ranch may be the best way for him to find the help he needs. Parents who are looking at teen help facilities should definitely consider a boys ranch.

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