The High Frontier provides a fully integrated therapeutic and experiential milieu conducted within the framework of Positive Peer Culture (PPC), a values-based and process-oriented model utilizing a system of cognitive strategies and interventions. PPC strives for long-term change by teaching and internalizing core values of pro-social and positive behavior such as altruism, responsibility, acceptance, self-worth and autonomy.
By “integrated” we mean that all aspects of the therapeutic and social milieu revolve around the core concepts of PPC and that the individual, group and family therapy sessions are integrated into the milieu of PPC. In other words, all types of social interactions, including therapy sessions, formal education and even recreation share a commonality of purpose: to teach a positive value system based upon the concepts of altruism, responsibility, self-worth, acceptance and autonomy. Formalized group therapy sessions act as a teaching catalyst for the therapeutic work that permeates a student’s social day and serve the milieu.
In Positive Peer Culture, the students are an integral part of the helping process and are fully incorporated into the social and experiential milieu. The development of altruism, responsibility, self-worth, acceptance and autonomy, and the internalization of these qualities, requires the student to be an active part of the helping process. These qualities are developed as the treatment process exposes and provides insight into the student’s previously unsuccessful efforts to discover and develop identity, status and a self-concept based upon negative behaviors.
Integrating the students into the experiential and social milieu recognizes and capitalizes on the fact that students are modeling their behavior most strongly after other peers. Students are asked and taught to become of service to their peers and to take a meaningful role and responsibility in helping others. As they learn how to be of value to others, students develop the self-worth necessary to establish and maintain more positive and productive relationships, behaviors and goals.
Novitas Academy believes that sports and healthy, energetic, extra-curricular activities play a very important part in one’s mental health. As you may know when people are actively engaged in physical exercise their body releases endorphins that can make them feel happy and more content.
Competitive sports and regular exercise can help those who battle depression, or many other forms of mental health challenges, to have a better outlook on life. Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or hiking – are commonly recommended to relieve or prevent depression. Many people who participate in sports in addition to having other treatments say that it feels good to be able to do something to fight their depression themselves.
Did you know that sports are a great outlet for behavior issues as well? Yes, Novitas Academy has had many students that have profited from being in competitive sports. Participation helps curve their poor behavior choices towards their peers because it builds their self-respect and in return they seem to treat others better. Sports offer them the opportunity to be active and to meet other people and focus on building those relationships. A more productive student, whether in the classroom or on the gym floor, is a happier, more confident student.
For instance, it is wonderful to see how much change occurs in our young men’s behavior during wrestling season. Our students that take wrestling at our local high school have the unique opportunity to be coached by one of our Novitas staff that has coached there for over 20 yrs. He also coaches for the local high school in golf and tennis. Wrestling is a tough sport and they not only get a hard workout but they have that connection both on and off campus with their coach. More respect is even observed from our other students that have supported their classmates at their wrestling matches and other games.
Our clinicians practice active, Adventure-Based Therapy just for this reason. The students have mastered many challenging backpacking trips and day hikes. Accomplishing something difficult makes us feel achieved. Isn’t that a great feeling for all of us?!
Located in Emmett, Idaho on 30 acres of majestic river front property, Novitas Academy is a unique therapeutic boarding school for boys ages 14-18 and grades 9-12 accredited by AdvancED. Novitas is a relationship-based program that strives to help our students build their self-esteem and self-confidence through discovering and nurturing their strengths, passions, and dreams.