Experiential Learning

Discovery Ranch for Girls combines experiential therapy with experiential learning activities. The result is an exciting therapy approach that fills each day with positive activities where girls grow.

At Discovery Ranch we have a long history of working with girls that have participated in traditional outpatient therapies with a poor response to treatment. If outpatient therapy by itself has not worked, why do so many residential treatment providers still rely on the “50 min. therapy session”? Discovery Ranch has incrementally improved the therapeutic process by providing residential therapy in a highly engaged experiential environment. Our therapeutic environment is based on the value of experiential therapies. Experiential learning is learning through experience. Experiential therapy emphasizes how experiences, including environmental factors and emotions influence the therapy process. Through the process of experience your daughter can translate the often complicated abstract therapeutic concepts in a more understandable and meaningful way. Experiential learning involves a whole person’s thoughts, feelings, and physical activities. Experiential opportunities allow the student to truly connect with those around her, the world, and most important herself.

Therapy is learning and we learn by doing. The most effective method to strengthening new neurology connections or healthy beliefs and thinking is by engaging the body in process. Confucius said it best, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Often the girls that come to Discovery Ranch have difficulties generalizing what they have learned in therapy. Experiential therapies use the power of action, reflection and transfer. Your daughter will be capable of transferring and generalizing therapeutic concepts into actions in her life.

Experiential opportunities allow the girls to utilize their strengths while leaning to overcome their weakness. Your daughter’s engagement in a highly experiential environment will help her develop the confidence and skills to overcome personal struggles. Experiential therapies provide an opportunity for the girls to apply what they have learned through hands on experiences and integrate new information about themselves and the world around them in a real life setting. Experiential therapy and learning takes on many different appearances at Discovery Ranch such as equine therapy, experiential group therapy, our feeder calf and peer leadership programs, as well as FAM (Forget About Me) projects. Academic activities that introduce girls to new learning opportunities are an additional aspect of our experiential learning focus.
The goal is to help girls learn to recognize and develop the following life skills:
• Honesty
• Respect
• Responsibility
• Hard work
• Service and sacrifice
• Accountability
• Courage
• Selflessness
• Empathy
These life skills are universal keys to happiness for all people.

The idea is to let girls practice these principles in a supportive ranch environment. While their responsibilities are real, the learning curve isn’t as steep as that in the adult world they will one day enter. Staff or mentors will often stop an activity and ask a girl, “What skills have you learned that you could use right now?”
This kind of preparation pays off. Girls learn “real world” organizational, communication, and coping skills while they are participating in therapy at the Ranch. They leave feeling excited to meet new challenges and confident they can master them.


“I would say the number one thing that [my daughter and I] have going for us is that we have learned to communicate.”

We invite you to get to know us better by exploring our website, or, if you prefer, calling our admissions department at 855-667-9388.
Hope, Passion, and Perseverance…