Ashcreek Ranch Academy

Ashcreek Ranch Academy Toquerville Utah

Ashcreek Ranch Academy is an equine assisted treatment program for adolescent boys between the ages of 14 and 18 suffering from academic, behavioral, or substance abuse issues. Boasting over 100 horses and 75 acres, Ashcreek Ranch Academy’s unique experience allows participants to harness a powerful work ethic through a remarkable horsemanship program designed specifically for young men. The hands-on approach of experiential equine therapy promotes personal accountability in boys, while also emphasizing the importance of mutual trust and respect as a part of all healthy relationships. During their stay on the ranch, participants receive a world class academic education and are assisted in credit recovery if needed. Participants also receive individual, group, and family counseling, as well as substance use groups and meetings.

ABOUT ASHCREEK RANCH ACADEMY

Located outside the small southern Utah city of Toquerville, Ashcreek Ranch Academy (ARA) offers long-term residential treatment and education for adolescent boys aged 14 to 18. Clients are struggling typically with co-occurring substance use and mental health concerns, process addictions, behavioral disorders, academics, and/or family conflict.

ARA emphasizes adventure and experiential therapy, particularly highlighting its equestrian program. This facility’s owners also operate Sedona Sky Academy for girls in Lake Montezuma, Ariz.

TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT

In addition to drug and alcohol use, teens come to Ashcreek Ranch Academy with ADD/ADHD, depression, and OCD, as well as process addictions, including gaming, social networking, or pornography. The average stay is eight to 12 months, according to the facility’s website.

ARA’s programming is structured around outdoor adventure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Clients participate in daily group therapy, twice-weekly individual therapy, weekly family therapy, and education. Schooling is nationally accredited and individualized to meet home state requirements. Central to treatment are the goals of developing responsibility and confidence.

Along with CBT, treatment modalities used include motivational interviewing and mindfulness practices. Outdoor activities regularly feature mountain biking, rafting, rock climbing, and scuba diving, as well as horse-handling. Therapists work with boys to address trauma, anger, stress, grief, family dynamics, and attachment issues, while learning relapse prevention and communication skills. Psychiatric and nursing services are provided on-site.

The facility offers quarterly two-day family workshops and encourages families to participate in Al-Anon and/or Families Anonymous. Transitional aftercare arrangements include the availability of staff guidance following graduation from an ARA program.

STAFF CREDENTIALS

Owned and operated by a brother and sister, Ashcreek Ranch Academy employs a psychiatric nurse, psychologists, master’s level licensed therapists, residence counselors, and various activity specialists. The facility has a staff-to-client ratio of 1:4, according to information provided to Best-rehabs.com by ARA.

ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES

Ashcreek Ranch Academy encompasses 200 acres, located close to Zion National Park. A single, home-like residential facility houses 25 boys, sleeping four bunk-beds to a room. Meals are prepared on-site and eaten family-style. The house has a home theater and weight room and directly behind is a private pond for swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Also on-site is an outdoor skate park and, according to ARA’s Facebook page, professional music recording studio.

WHAT ALUMNI SAY

Of the four alumni reviews submitted to Best-rehabs.com to date, two were very favorable and two very negative. The two positive reviewers described feeling comfortable at Ashcreek Ranch Academy, thanks to welcoming staff and the amenities.

By contrast, the two critical reviewers described staff as unprofessional and manipulative. A majority of reviews by alumni on other secondary sites echoed these opinions.

Six alumni offered negative reviews on Google, while two were more moderate. One alum noted that the facility was “religious” but “open.” Another described uneven staffing, with some therapists more supportive than others. Two cited discrimination by staff and residents related to sexual orientation, and two mentioned unhealthy food.[1] On Yelp, one alum repeated reports of sexuality discrimination. Two, however, shared positive perspectives on the effective lessons they learned and staff that cared at Ashcreek Ranch Academy.[2]

WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY

Of the ten reviews submitted by family members to Best-rehabs.com, nine were positive and one was negative. Satisfied parents repeatedly praised the center’s focus on outdoors therapy and the pleasant living conditions, and noted that a stay at Ashcreek Ranch had turned their sons’ and their families’ lives around. In the single negative review from a loved one, a mother reported “many issues,” without detail.

With an average rating of 4.2 out of five stars, most of the 39 reviews for ARA on Google were from family members. Many concurred with Best-rehabs.com reviewers on the value of the equestrian and other outdoor programming and the life-saving effects of treatment at Ashcreek. They tended to characterized staff as consistent, honest, and caring.

Several family members (as well as some alumni) cited friendship as a highlight. Kevin wrote that “nobody was left out,” and Kathleen expressed relief in seeing her son “come out of his shell and begin to interact with the other boys and staff.” Representing the common sentiment that whole families benefited, F.D. wrote: “My son learned valuable life skills and so did the rest of our family.”

Similarly, on Yelp, 14 positive and one negative review from family members followed these trends. The staff were described as “professional but down to earth,” knowledgeable, and “supportive, yet firm.” The one negative reviewer reported that services were not what had been promised.[2] [3]

Notably, each site included at least two duplicated reviews across Google, Yelp, and Best-rehabs.com. An ARA staff member responded to many posted reviews.

WHAT STAFF SAY

Two employees praised Ashcreek Ranch Academy on Indeed for the staff’s commitment to serving clients.[4]

FINANCING

Ashcreek Ranch Academy accepts private pay and some clients may receive reimbursement from out-of-network insurance coverage. Fees start at $9,600 per month and $28,500 for 90 days. Some financial aid may be available.

[1] GoogleReviews
[2] https://www.yelp.com/biz/ashcreek-ranch-academy-toquerville
[3] https://www.yelp.com/notrecommendedreviews/ashcreek-ranch-academy-toquerville
[4] https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Ashcreek-Ranch-Academy/reviews?fcountry=US&floc=Toquerville%2C+UT

Reviews about Ashcreek Ranch Academy

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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  • This program not only helped our son, it helped our entire family. Wonderful Counselors, staff and approach to treatment. I highly recommend it.
  • Treatment Effectiveness
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  • my son has been at Ash creek for 5 months. I have seen improvement and healing in my son and it progressing each time I visit. The program is amazing and they stand behind what they say and represent. They bring the teens back to being teens and teach responsibility and clean fun. They are a great treatment facility and they staff truly care about the residents and family members.
    My only comments would be how Ash Creek has affected our family. I can't speak for anyone else. We were at a complete loss with our son who just turned 13 years old. He was totally out of control and had become abusive and destructive in our home. He was starting to get into crime and we had lost all of our control as parents. We are a good family and had always been a close family and this literally came out of nowhere. We are good parents and we love our son so much that we knew we had to do something drastic. We don't even live in the US and have gone to immense expense to make this happen for our son. I don't know what the future holds, but I can say the boy we have now is nothing like the child we sent away. He is a mostly straight A student, he has stopped "hating" us and we have reconnected as a family. We have a younger child and it was terrifying when she would ask if he would ever be okay and I didn't have an answer for her because I didn't think he would be. The transformation I have seen could and would not have happened in a foster home or youth detention centre. Our son has a second chance at being a teenager and we have hope again. There will be bumps along the way of course, but at least now he will take away the tools to help him deal with the pressures of growing up AND he knows we as a family are serious and committed to his health and safety. We have the tools now too to look at things a little differently. When people asked how we could afford this, the answer is always "we couldn't afford not to". The only downside is the US dollar and I wish they had these schools in Canada, but they don't and they should. The need is there!
  • Treatment Effectiveness
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  • My son attended ARA for 12 months. During that time, he learned many coping skills for his challenges in life, made new friends (adult & peer group), worked hard at improving himself and had lots of fun while doing it. The staff at ARA take advantage of their perfect location with endless outdoor activities (ranch, hiking and much more). The atmosphere is small and laid back. The parent weekends were very educational and helpful in our journey with our son. We find ourself using many of those skills learned in the parent workshops now that he is home. I highly recommend Ashcreek!
  • Treatment Effectiveness
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  • I was attracted to the outdoor adventure therapy more than anything knowing boys need to get away from peers, technology, and the noise of the world. I loved how activities like climbing aren't just for fun, and how the therapists review instances during the activity to help them learn important relationship lessons and how they do it again as a group afterwards. Office therapy never worked at home, but I think boys learn a lot without feeling like they are being lectured. They live in a beautiful home, their rooms are clean with four boys in each room. One of the male staff members was a fantastic therapist and you can tell the boys enjoy working with him. Overall, it was good for our family and our son's progress was much better than I had hoped for.
  • Treatment Effectiveness
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  • My son attended Ashcreek for 11 months following more than a year in private therapy at home. Everything we tried at home didn't work and all of the work and progress we made in therapy was undone at school and with peers dragging him into destructive behavior and experimentation with dangerous substances. Our search for help began primarily through the internet but we were discouraged by the fact that it was difficult to know what was true and what was not. We settled on hiring an educational consultant nearby in San Diego who has been to many of these places and had experience having clients placed at many treatment centers. We chose Ashcreek based on her recommendation of their effectiveness with students having issues similar to our son. She also recommended them because of their size, being small enough to provide individual attention and not get lost in the larger boarding school facilities. The campus is a beautiful place, actually a large home near a lake with views that go for miles. The home is clean and "homey", the boys share bedrooms based on their therapist's recommendations which were clean and neat when we visited for a tour. The rest of the home is much like you would find in your own home. They eat around a large family style table, and the group spaces like the living room are open to the kitchen and patio which had gorgeous sunsets over the lake the night we were there the first time. The therapy is based on individual therapy with their assigned therapist along with group therapy sometimes more formal, but often more "experiential" where they participate in adventure activities like river rafting, mountain biking, climbing, or hiking. We were impressed to observe the group of boys returning from a mountain bike excursion where the therapists went over the trip and the experiences they had and related each obstacle or hardship, or success, to a life lesson. That was what convinced me for the most part because they all just experienced some fun and difficult things together while a therapeutic activity at the same time, and none of them thought of the day as "therapy" but engaged in the lessons they learned that day. Horses are a part of the program and I wondered if my son would engage since he is so far removed from the lifestyle, but I was surprised at how much fun he had learning to work with the horses, to ride, to rope, and the other things they do on ranches. The highlight of it all was a video they made when they went on an overnight cattle drive and the letter he wrote to me under the stars somewhere near the grand canyon and camping near old native american ruins. I cried when I saw the video, and his letter is precious. The first indication we were all ok as a family and going to be fine. Overall we are happy with the outcome and his experience. Having him home for the past year has been difficult now and then, but he is able to talk things out and make his own decisions which have been for his best interest, including college searching. I recommend visiting before making a decision or hiring someone you trust who is a professional. We did both and it was the right decision for us. Konai -San Diego, CA
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    I was sent there for 11 months. I didnt like that my parents sent me away from my friends but I understand why they did once i got done. I have to be honest and say that i didnt like it most of the time but only because i thought in new better then every one else. i didnt like outdoors stuff or working and school or people like that but i have to say three of the guys there are better freinds than what i had at home. i learned alot about myself and being a true person to myself. One of the guys was a big influence the whole time especially on the funner trips rafting an mountain biking. it wasnt always easy and we had to be respectful which some kids acted like it was punishment to be expected to have respect of others and participate but i never heard bad language or mean words to anyone while i was there the whole time. it would be easy to be hateful to the school because my parents sent me there but i learned enough to know that they loved me enough to do the hard thing. i learned that too at ara to do the hard thing when it is right no matter what any body thinks. I dont know the treatment effectiveness ecept to say that I'm a better person and better friend because going there. the home was a nice as my home here in Reno, except bigger and by a lake. The food was good at the house always because they cook for a big group and the food was packed lunches on hikes and mountain bike rides and climbing trips but we usually stopped somwehere on the way home to get a burger or pizza. thats my experience. Thanks for keeping me right.
    • Meals & Nutrition
    Ashcreek Ranch has been a life saver for our son. Before he went there he was participating in self-destructive behaviors that could have led him to prison or even death. After graduating from the program just before his 18th birthday he still struggles, but now at least, he has a chance of moving forward in a positive direction. No program in the world can "fix" our son. These boys have to find the inner resolve to turn their life around with the support systems they have. Even after graduation, Ashcreek Ranch has been a support system. The staff and therapists truly care about our son and our family. I recommend Ashcreek enthusiastically!
  • Treatment Effectiveness
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  • Outstanding treatment, exactly what we needed for our son. The outdoor adventure therapy was able to get through to him and get him to think about his relationships and decisions. the amenities and food were good, and the size of the program was appealing. the ranch environment was more modern and upscale than expected, but much more effective than clinical feeling programs we looked at when we toured several to make a decision. The only downside was really the distance from VT. Unfortunately there isn't equivalent programs in our area.
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  • I was recently a student at ashcreek ranch academy. I dont have much to say. What i saw from two of the staff memebers was minipulation and lying to make money. I could go on for hours...
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  • This company is nothing that it claims to be, i attended this treatment facility for a year and recently left. The workers are very unprofessional. I could go on and on ... If you are reading this and curios if this is true or not call my mother
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  • We have had the chance to work with Ashcreek Ranch Academy and always been impressed with how professional and respectful staff are.  We have only had positive interactions with other families that have sent their kids here.  The first time we toured the campus we had a chance to meet boys that were currently at the program and speak with them candidly about life at Ashcreek.  It meant a lot they allowed us to tour. 
  • Treatment Effectiveness
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  • I was at ashcreek ranch academy for 10 months. When I first got there straight out of wilderness I was welcomed by other students first thing in the morning I had fellow students walking up to me and being very friendly. I had staff also welcome me into the school. The staff at ashcreek are very caring and loving and want to help the students there and I still keep in contact with a few staff to this day. The equine part of the program was a very therapeutic part of the program and was very fun to go out to rodeos and shows etc and because of ashcreek I am currently pursuing a future in farrier work. I would encourage parents to send there child to ashcreek if they are looking for a helpful effective safe RTC for their child
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  • My son witnessed many issues while at Ashceek. We would urge any parent to reconsider sending their son to Ashcreek.