The Healing Effects of Life at Sorensons Ranch School

February 10, 2010

One of the most important parts of the therapeutic process at Sorensons Ranch School has been the incorporation of animals in the treatment of troubled youth and troubled teens. The animals at Sorenson's Ranch School add variety to the life of the students and help promote responsibility and nurturing abilities.

Some of the animals have many purposes in our program. Some are used for our 4-H program. They can also be individually assigned to students to care for, groom, and show at the local county fairs. Horses, sheep, pigs, and cattle are the main stock that our youth learn to care for and show. The 4-H program nationally has been a proven vehicle in helping youth build self-esteem, knowledge, and individual responsibility. This individual responsibility can help teens overcome problems associated with ADD, ADHD, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), anger, depression, lack of discipline, and many other common issues with troubled teens.

Sorenson's Ranch focuses on helping troubled youth return to a time of tending to their chores and taking care of the work that is involved in running a ranch. Another element that animals provide is unconditional love to their caregivers, and they present non-judgmental companionship, which is especially valuable with troubled youth with reactive attachment issues.

Shoveling horse manure, feeding horses, herding cattle, assisting in the birthing process of the animals, fixing fences, watering, grooming, breaking horses, growing crops, hauling hay - all these activities prepare the youth at Sorenson's Ranch School to learn responsibility and respect. There is never a dull moment and the youth have plenty of things to do! It could be argued that life in a simpler form (ranch life) has a way of soothing the soul.

The high mountain valley that provides the backdrop for helping children here at Sorenson's Ranch School is a beautiful region with high elevation peaks on each side of the valley. Water arrives by canal down to our farm, which then goes into our sprinkling system. The students help in the preparation of the fields for planting by scouring the freshly tilled portions for rocks, which show up with each new plowing of the fields. The youth remove the rocks by hand or in a wheelbarrow and deposit them in the lower fields. Once the fields are planted the sprinklers are the way our crops are irrigated. The youth then must move the sprinklers on average every twelve hours for crops of oat hay or barley. With alfalfa or alfalfa-grass mixes for horses the sprinklers are moved once daily.

Endorphins are produced in the human body by the pituitary gland during strenuous activity. Endorphins give us all a sense of wellbeing. Some have likened endorphins to the body's natural pain relievers. With this knowledge, we capitalize on the healing/soothing effects in our youths' lives by keeping our youth busy in the many activities. There is a simple pleasure to riding a horse through one of our mountain valleys or hauling hay. Often when troubled teens arrive they are reluctant or outright against participating in many of the activities we offer. Some of this stems from basic rebelliousness while often times we find fear to be a factor. Standing by a horse, ready to throw a saddle on it is an intimidating feat for most people. Often as students watch their peers performing these kinds of tasks, it helps them realize that there are many things they can accomplish that were previously considered foolish or impossible.

Sorenson's Ranch School is an excellent program that helps struggling teens find the answers to the problems that they are facing and helps them learn to find solutions on their own.

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Sorenson's Ranch School Helps Troubled Teens

January 27, 2010

Sorenson's Ranch School helps troubled teens work through problems associated with ADD, ADHD, reactive attachment disorder (RAD), anger, defiance, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and many other problems facing teenagers today.

Many troubled teens and troubled youth suffer from ADD, ADHD, reactive attachment disorder (RAD), anger, defiance, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and many other problems that youth face in today's society. Parents are many times finding it hard to know where to turn or who to talk to when their child is out of control or having issues that are not getting any better. Many parents have turned to the internet for more information. Troubled teen schools, residential treatment centers, boot camps, summer camps, and many other behavior modification options are now available.

What is the difference and how do you know which one to choose? Sorenson's Ranch School is a Therapeutic Boarding School that incorporates a unique mixture of therapy, discipline, and education to help struggling teens better their lives. Sorenson's Ranch School has been assisting parents and students for over 30 years. The School incorporates therapy with animals in a very successful way.

The horse therapy program at Sorenson's Ranch was one of the first established. Through years and years of experience this program has evolved to a life-changing therapeutic experience. Sorenson's Ranch is accredited through the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools and can help students that have fallen behind in school get back on track.

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Sorenson's Ranch School Utilizes EMDR in Treating Troubled Youth

January 12, 2010

Sorenson's Ranch School, the premier rehabilitation ranch for troubled teens, relies on its extensive experience and multiple therapies when treating patients.

Trauma can lead to many mental health difficulties and behavioral problems. Some common traumas are natural disasters, serious accidents, the death of a loved one, rape, sexual and/or physical abuse, domestic violence, divorce, and even a major move when a teen is uprooted from friends and the local community. in which one is uprooted from one's friends and community. Trauma can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD symptoms include being hyper-vigilant, over reacting to benign events that remind one of the trauma, emotional numbness, anxiety, anger, sleep difficulties, nightmares, and flashbacks. Sometimes trauma can lead to other mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and behavioral acting out.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a specific form of therapeutic treatment that has proven to be especially effective with troubled teens. EMDR is one of the few therapeutic techniques that have been demonstrated through evidence-based research to be effective. Sorenson's Ranch utilizes EDMR as one of the many techniques to achieve positive results for students. EMDR is based on a simple technique that gets both the left and right sides of the brain working while the student recalls the traumatic experience. With the facilitation of the therapist, the troubled teen is able to work through the trauma. EMDR is just one of the many therapies and techniques incorporated into the curriculum at Sorenson's Ranch School. Sorenson's Ranch combines therapy and real life experience to help troubled teens and troubled youth to overcome many different issues.

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Sorensons Ranch School offers diverse classes to help troubled teens

December 16, 2009

At Sorenson's Ranch students learn in the classroom and also by real life experience. Troubled teens often need their minds challenged and Sorenson's ranch is able to do that on an individual basis with the low number of students in each class.

The elective classes offered at Sorenson's Ranch School are very diverse. As an example Foods and Nutrition classes help students learn to prepare and eat nutritous meals and the importance eating right plays in overall health. They learn that making physical activity a part of that their daily routine is also an essential part of their well-being. At Sorenson's Ranch School, struggling teens have the opportunity to participate in cooking labs once a week. In these labs they learn basic cooking techniques, such as reading a recipe, measuring, and preparing healthy menus. The students are always under close supervision, and are able to learn essential life skills.

Another unique area in which Sorenson's Ranch helps troubled teens and students is learning about finances. When did you first learn about balancing a checkbook? When did you learn about managing your credit cards and other finances? Many troubled youth in today's society do not fully understand these and other financial concepts, so Sorenson's Ranch offers a Financial Literacy course. The course helps students learn to write checks and will help them understand how the banking system works. They learn about insurance and investments and they use a "Hands on Banking" interactive computer course that will help them become more financially responsible.

These unique classes and many others help Sorenson's Ranch assist troubled teens in receiving the education that they need. Small class sizes and a dedicated staff make the education at Sorenson's effective and life-changing. Education is important and cannot be overlooked when searching for a troubled youth camp or boot camp program. Sorenson's Ranch School has the necessary tools to help students overcome their problems. Call 1-800-455-4590 today for more information. You can also visit the Sorenson's Ranch website.

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Sorensons Ranch Treats Adolescents with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

December 04, 2009

Sorenson's Ranch School helps troubled youth who struggle with reactive attachment disorder (RAD). Teens who have been diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder can have long-term emotional and behavioral difficulties.

Reactive Attachment Disorder or RAD is an attachment disorder that can affect children and adolescents and can even continue into adulthood. Most often children who were adopted and who were severely neglected and/or abused by their primary caregivers develop attachment issues. The child's attachment issues can be severe enough to be diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder. RAD can be caused from a failure to form normal attachments to primary caregivers in early childhood. "Troubled teens with RAD are presumed to have grossly disturbed internal working models of relationships which may lead to interpersonal and behavioral difficulties later in life"(

Adolescents who are diagnosed with RAD are also frequently diagnosed with other disorders such as ADHD, ODD, OCD, Anxiety Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. They also commonly have difficulties with low self-esteem and self-identity issues. RAD can affect the behaviors of troubled youth for extended periods of time. Improving their interpersonal skills and communication skills can help teens overcome some of the symptoms associated with RAD. If your child suffers from RAD there is hope.

Sorenson's Ranch School treats RAD and assists troubled teens and troubled youth by helping them overcome the many issues associated with RAD. Sorenson's Ranch uses a unique approach that combines education, therapy, and life skills. Clinicians at Sorenson's Ranch School have a wide variety of specialties and experience provides therapy. This allows each student to have individual needs addressed by a professional who has extensive training in the adolescent's specific problem areas. For more information you can contact the admissions office of Sorenson's Ranch School at 1-888-830-4802 or visit the Sorenson's Ranch website.

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Sorensons Ranch School Horse Program

November 18, 2009

Sorenson's Ranch School has an excellent horse program that helps students with depression, self esteem issues, addiction, anger, reactive attachment disorder and defiance. Horse programs have been getting more and more popular and Sorenson's Ranch has had one of the most effective programs for over 50 years.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy or horse-centered therapy, works to help people overcome many different psychological problems. It has been stated that horse-centered therapy can help struggling teens overcome mental and physical problems. Equine therapy can help troubled teens to learn more about responsibility, dedication and love.

Horses can help teens become more self-aware by allowing the troubled teens to experience an array of different emotions. Therapy in collaboration with nature can help students overcome addiction, anger, defiance, depression and many other problems facing troubled youth today. Horses hold very deep emotions for people. Youth enrolled in Sorenson's Ranch School are able to receive therapy in conjunction with a very unique and very successful horse program. Students receive expert instruction from qualified counselors that have experience with equine assisted psychotherapy. Sorenson's Ranch School is a fully functioning boy's and girl's ranch that is located in Koosharem, Utah.

Sorenson's Ranch has been using equine therapy for more than fifty years. A residential treatment center that uses horse therapy can be much more effective for troubled youth. Students at Sorenson's Ranch not only receive the therapeutic environment that they need, but also receive many life skills that will help them throughout their lives.

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Sorensons Ranch School reunites families

November 14, 2009

Sorenson's Ranch School helps troubled teens struggling with oppositional defiant disorder, drug and alcohol abuse, reactive attachment disorder and many other struggles. Sorenson's Ranch School is a therapeutic boarding school or residential treatment center.

In today's society families are being affected by many different things. Children face more and more trials than ever. Families are being torn apart by manipulation, lying, defiance and the lack of communication. Many families do not know where to turn or how to get the help that they need.

When your child has defiant behaviors, beyond what you feel you can control, where do you turn? What are the options available and how do they help? What if your child is defiant and does not listen, but is not abusing drugs or alcohol. Can you get the help that you need from a residential treatment center? What behavioral issues are addressed in a therapeutic boarding school?

Sorenson's Ranch School is based in Koosharem, UT. Sorenson's Ranch is a therapeutic boarding school that assists troubled teens and helps boys and girls learn the tools that they need to succeed in their families and in life. Sorenson's Ranch is a working ranch that provides a unique opportunity. Boarding schools and residential treatment centers can assist defiant teenagers through the recovery process. Sorenson's Ranch School is a highly successful treatment center for troubled teenagers.

Sorenson's Ranch can help with problems ranging from defiance and anger to drug and alcohol abuse.

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Sorensons Ranch School - 50 Years Of Successful Experience In Adolescent Treatment Of Reactive Attachment Disorder For Troubled Teens

April 27, 2009

Sorenson's Ranch School was started as a summer teen boot camp and over the last 50 years has been transformed into a contemporary well-equipped therapeutic boarding school providing licensed adolescent treatment including a very effective wilderness program for its students as well as assistance and advisory help to parents.

Sorenson's Ranch School started as a summer youth program. In the summer of 1959. The original people involved were Burnell and Carrol Sorenson, Ell Sorenson, Wayne Brindley and Milton Brindley. At the time of its inception Burnell worked as a teacher in the Whittier Unified School District in Southern California, and used his spare time recruiting for youth locally for the summer juvenile boot camp program. Some of the original facilities also served as a deer camp through the early 1960's.

During the 1970's Burnell was the principal owner with Carrol and had several years representing the Youth Conservation Corps, which was a newly formed organization to provide youth from various backgrounds teambuilding, educational, and outdoor experiences while doing projects with the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service. Many of those projects still exist to this day in the surrounding outdoors of Grass Valley.

It was in 1984 that Burnell and Carrol retired from their teaching careers in Southern California to live full time in Koosharem. That same year Sorenson's Ranch School started to give year-round adolescent treatment to troubled teens needing help. Sorenson's quickly formed the basics to become an accredited boarding school and a licensed residential treatment facility. Because Sorenson's Ranch School was a pioneering venture, the State of Utah initially were unclear how to oversee and inspect our facilities to care for troubled youth, so the license was first granted through Youth Corrections to provide reactive attachment disorder treatment. Later this was done directly with the Department of Licensing. Wayne Holland, who is the current Chairman for the Utah Democratic Party, was the original licensor. Now Sorenson's Ranch School is a family-owned and operated residential treatment centre accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools (NAAS). It is licensed as a mental health and substance-abuse treatment centre with the Utah State Human Services Department and is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

Because of the declining health of Burnell, Shane and Jill Sorenson took over the helm of the school around 1998. Layne Bagley took over as the primary admissions person. Today the Clinical Director is Dave Nelsen, who has specialist training in Reactive Attachment Disorder, ADD, ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, and extensive experience with adolescents suffering from behaviour modification needs. Dave coordinates his efforts with our other primary therapists who bring considerable expertise to today's Sorenson's Ranch School.

Nowadays Sorenson's is also a licensed residential treatment facility that includes treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, serves students with histories of different kinds of behaviour modification such as problems with parents, substance abuse, low or non-existent self-esteem, learning difficulties, dropping out of or being expelled from school, extreme mental stress, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Many new buildings have added to the facilities. Among them are: school building, gymnasium, library/administration building, lodge, industrial arts building, and the largest wood barn built in Utah in the last 50 years. Troubled teens seem to respond well to the animal therapy offered at Sorenson's. With the consolidation of the farms, Shane Sorenson also assists in the sowing and harvesting of the crops, which are needed for the many animals on the youth ranch. Currently, we have horses, cattle, bison, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, peacocks, rabbits, and goats.

The Sorenson's ranch's wilderness program instills in its students the values of loyalty, respect, self-worth, personal management, and respect for property, cleanliness, and trustworthiness.

The improvement in the dormitories has been dramatic during the 50 years youth have been in Sorenson's therapeutic boarding school in Koosharem. In the early 1960's the cabins all had no bathrooms or running water, only one common bathroom on each side of the cabins for each specific gender. Indoor heating was installed in individual cabins in the 1970's, and consisted of small wood burning stoves. The 1980's brought the advent of indoor plumbing into each cabin along with central heating. In the last two years the dormitories have been completely renovated.

Overall there has been, a total transformation in the comfort and coziness of student dormitory living. Moreover Sorenson's Ranch School has the goal of continuing to improve its services for its clients.

We teach a new way of life with emphasis on ranching, farming, camping, and country living. Many students go on to college or trade programs. All students have life-enhancing experiences.

We look to the future with excitement and hope for our staff and the clientele we serve.

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The Ranch Life youth program is healing the souls of troubled teens

April 19, 2009

The therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens offers an effective healing program where youngsters living in a picturesque spot at a teen ranch are involved in farming, learn to care for animals, planting crops, camping, hiking, and fishing. Sorensons Ranch can help place your troubled teen back on track to a happy successful life and correct many of the problems facing adolescent youth today.

The fabulous concept of using the incorporation of animals into the program for troubled teens has turned Sorenson's Ranch School into a very effective therapeutic boarding school.The abiding principle of adolescent treatment is reducing their life to the simple basics. Youth ranch life encourages students to return to a time of tending to their chores, and taking responsibility for the work involved in looking after the animals. Moreover, in working on the farm, taking care of the stock, and growing crops, students acquire unconditional love of our animals and a non-judgmental companionship that is of enormous value in addressing youth reactive attachment disorder. Our 4-H program is individually designed to educate students to care, groom and show at the local county fairs. The main stock that our students learn to care for and show are animals that you may find on any farm 50 years ago with one or two exotic additions. Horses, sheep, pigs and cattle are utilized in a multipurpose program that has been an effective remedy in helping troubled teens build dignity, confidence and individual responsibility.

A simpler life is said to soothe the soul. So our youth have plenty of things to do, such as shoveling manure, feeding horses, herding cattle, giving assistance to the animals as they give birth, fixing fences, watering, grooming, breaking horses, growing crops, harvesting hay, and so forth. All these activities form the essentials of preparation and diligence that is needful for successful and healthy animal husbandry.

Sorenson's Ranch School is situated in a picturesque and dramatic spot, which further inspires the children. In the background of this arid region, there are high mountains elevated on each side of the valley, where the moisture accumulates in the form of snow pack most of the winter. This in turn feeds into the Koosharem Reservoir thus storing a water supply for the irrigation of the crops here at the youth ranch. Water arrives by canal down to our farm, and then is diverted into our sprinkling system. To prepare the fields for planting our young people help to remove from the freshly tilled portions the innumerable rocks, which show up with each successive ploughing of the fields. Our teens remove rocks by hand or in a wheelbarrow and transfer them out into lower fields. Planted fields are irrigated with the sprinklers. Every twelve hours or so on average, the youth have to move sprinklers for crops of oat hay or barley. For fields with alfalfa or alfalfa-grass mixes for horses, the sprinklers are moved once a day. During strenuous activity the pituitary gland produces endorphins in the human body. These are akin to natural pain relievers and give us a sense of well-being. Engaging the youngsters in a variety of ranch-style activities makes good use of these healing effects in our students' lives. Whether it is just riding a horse through one of our glorious mountain valleys or hay-making in the sun, it is just pure pleasure to be so occupied. Often young people initially are unwilling or completely against participating in many activities that we offer in our program. It occasionally springs from teenage rebellion but more often it comes from their fear of the unknown. For many just to stand by a horse, ready to throw a saddle on it, may be quite an accomplishment on its own. Often our students earn a great deal of encouragement watching their peers succeed in performing tasks that appeared impossible or were considered foolish.

As soon our students become aware of their surroundings they get knowledge and practical experience of most of the ranch work, which has to be done. In addition to participating in this special teens program and working hard physically, our students still have plenty of time to enjoy all the fun of staying in such beautiful natural countryside. Such is not their experience in town. The favorite pastimes in teen boot camps are occasions when youngsters learn to make their own meals over an open fire, survive sleeping in tents and engage in making new friends and opening up heart to heart with each other in a way that so naturally occurs when sat by the fire in romantic surroundings.

They also can participate in everyday sports that are part of a program, such as fishing, hiking, water-skiing, horseback riding, to name a few.

The Sorenson's Ranch School ethos has been proven to be highly effective - over the years many of our past troubled teens have returned to visit the ranch. They fondly remember their happy experience on camp as it formed a positive foundation that helps them to face with confidence any difficult situations in their adult life. Abraham Maslow calls these kinds of involvement "peak experiences." He says that they lead to self-realization, and this is key in enabling someone to change their life for the better. He explains that these defining moments help to shape us in such a way that we can look back on an event with appreciation. His ideas have been shown to work and thus many of his teachings are incorporated into our teen programs.

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Newer publications
Richfield Area Chamber The Community Network for People Interested in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning The Join Commission 4-H Northwest Accreditation Commission
Sorensons Ranch School is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.