HAT for Troubled Youth
Why is my teen having so many problems at
school and home?
It is common for teens to start rebelling between the ages
of 13 and 19. They start staying out
later than they should and are more likely to listen to their friends than
their parents. Some parents say they
feel like their teen is not even the same child they have been raising the past
several years. Parents struggle with the
balance of controlling their child so they do not get hurt, but also letting
their child learn from their mistakes.
Some teens begin experimenting with drugs, sex, and may even commit
serious crimes at this stage. Teenagers
are at a transitional stage of development existing between childhood and
adulthood. This is a very confusing time
for your child and they do not fully understand how to be the obedient loving
child you wish they were and the independent adult they want to be.
I really want to try Horse Assisted Therapy (HAT),
but is it
Paradise Ranch has an extensive training program for HAT
providers and horses. Paradise Ranch
horses are selected based on their personality, attitude, and desire to work
with children. Our horse handlers and
providers spend years studying horse behavior and natural training
techniques. Our providers understand how
to read the horse’s behaviors and know what the horse is saying to the people
around the horse. Also, providers take
cues from your teen’s body language and verbal tones to help your teen
understand what the horse is “hearing” from tone and body position of your
teen. The horses are trained to never
kick, bite, or show any aggression towards humans. This makes our program one of the safest and
most effective horse programs.
How does HAT help my teen become a better person?
HAT uses the relationship between horses and your child to
form a new way of regulating emotions and behaviors for your teen. HAT providers place your child in various
activities and therapeutic scenarios with their horse partner to help your
child learn new empathetic patterns and understanding relationships. Because the relationship with the horse is new,
different, and sometimes scary, your teen is engaged and excited to
participate. Riding horses is seemingly
dangerous and appeals to the teen’s desire for adventure and excitement. By the time your teen realizes what they are
doing is relatively safe and the excitement wears off, they are already
invested in the relationship with the horse and have begun to realize the
positive changes in their personal relationships and life as a whole. Horses give very honest feedback to your
teen, so if your teen is showing aggressive body language and verbal tones, the
horse will react with fear and recoil.
If your teen is shy and meek, the horse will react with leadership and encourage
your teen to be more willing and open.
The job of the horse is to help your child learn the give and take of a
productive healthy relationship , how to be empathetic to another being’s
feelings, be honest and open, experience vulnerability, overcome anxiety and
instill self-confidence with humility
How long does the HAT process take?
Every child is different in their needs, experiences, and
life challenges. HAT providers take this
into consideration when developing the treatment plan for your teen and assess
progress every 90 days. Some teens
benefit from weekly sessions while teens that have been in the program for
several months see continued success through bi-weekly or once a month
sessions. Generally, sessions start
frequently and are more intense and as your teen improves in behavior and
attitude, the intensity and frequency slows down. We encourage you to take the program one day
at a time and before you know it, your teen will be a fresh, happy and
productive version of their former self.
Does Paradise Ranch take insurance?
Paradise Ranch does currently take fee for service (FFS)
Medicaid for medically necessary treatment.
This includes psychosocial rehabilitation (PSR) and family therapy. The process for this treatment is a little
different from HAT and requires annual assessments and a mental health
diagnosis. Talk to your in-take provider
if you think this is an option for your family.
How do I start HAT sessions?
Call 702-515-7117 to schedule your evaluation
appointment. During this appointment you
will fill out all the necessary paperwork and meet your in-take provider. Your provider will give you a full tour of
the facility, introduce you to all the horses, and answer any questions you
have about the HAT program. Treatment is
a team effort, so your teen is welcome at the appointment and is invited to
provide feedback during the appointment.
This appointment is when we establish general goals and objectives for
your child. Make sure to wear closed
toed shoes and pants. No sandals,
flip-flops, crocs, etc.