Therapeutic Boarding School for Girls

As a therapeutic boarding school for girls, The Academy at Sisters empowers young women to be resilient and insightful leaders of their own lives. We support our residents and their families to learn the skills they need to lead the lives they want. 

Anxiety, depression, trauma, and other struggles teenagers face can become daunting hurdles, sometimes leading to falling grades, social disconnection, conflict with family, and behaviors that put girls at-risk. We have long been a leader in adopting multi-faceted therapeutic approaches to help girls learn the skills they need to heal and build healthy lives.  

Proficiency based academics allow students to take ownership of their education and get the support they need to connect with their unique learning process and individualized academic path.  Our tranquil ranch setting gives girls the chance to unplug from unhelpful behaviors, people, and influences to reconnect with themselves and learn new ways of being.  

Our students are extraordinary adolescents who have struggled to find their place in more traditional settings. 

They are often: 

  • Creative 
  • Sensitive 
  • Bright 
  • Out of the box thinkers 
  • In search of a more confident, authentic self 
  • Tired of struggling and ready to change and take personal responsibility for their future 
Central Oregon view

Is your daughter dealing with one or many of these challenges?    We can help! 

  • Depression  
  • Anxiety  
  • Trauma 
  • Substance Use Disorder
  • Family Conflict 
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder 
  • Eating Disorders 
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder 
  • Difficulty with Social Cues 
  • School Avoidance 

Call us today to find out if a therapeutic boarding school is the right choice for your daughter. 
The Academy at Sisters may be a match for her specific needs 1-800-910-0412 

What sets us apart from other therapeutic boarding schools?   

  • With an enrollment of about 20 girls and up to 20 staff, we offer individualized treatment, engaging educational enrichment, and 24/7 support.
  • Located on a ranch just minutes from Bend, a thriving recreation destination, we have tranquility on campus, easy access to outdoor pursuits, as well as great opportunities for community involvement. 
  • Our horses are for more than just riding: caring for them teaches connection and responsibility, and our Equine Assisted Psychotherapy  helps girls explore their relationships experientially.  
  • We offer intensive family support to accompany girls’ individual therapy treatment.  
  • We are one of a small handful of therapeutic schools across the country who have achieved national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA). Organizations pursue accreditation to demonstrate the implementation of best practice standards in the field of human services. 
  • Combine these with our wellness programs, unique and individualized academic experience, and evidence-based therapies, and you will understand why we have one of the best therapeutic boarding school programs in the nation.
  • International Students – The Academy at Sisters is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. 

“The Hero’s Journey as a Roadmap to Positive Change”
By understanding our own hero’s journey, and being able to recognize and respond to the call to adventure, we can become agents of positive change for ourselves, for others, and for our community.”

~ Joseph Campbell

group therapy outdoor session at a boarding school
We offer a broad range of therapies to experientially teach young women the skills needed to handle life’s complex issues. 
Multifaceted Therapy
Academic Excellence shown in a boarding school classroom interaction with a student and teacher
A student-driven model allows girls to personalize and take ownership of their learning and become critical thinkers. 
Achievement Oriented
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy depicted with a boarding school student interacting with a horse
Experiential learning, recreation, and family therapy enrich lives, alter perspectives, and promote communications.
Holistic Experience

Our Mission

Assisting young women in leading healthy lives though self-exploration, increased self-awareness, and building relationships based on integrity and mutual respect.

Accreditation seal from Council on Accreditation for a therapeutic program
Central Oregon Program Alliance logo - helping youth in our region
Accreditation seal from Cognia for a boarding school
Membership logo for NATSAP assuring best practices and accreditation for a therapeutic program serving youth
Oregon department of education seal for schools
logo for Parent Coach Professionals demonstrating our partnership with this organization

As a therapeutic boarding school for girls, we see how individuals have great power over their environments, inside and out.

Students learn how brain-body awareness is key to learning how to live their potential

J Bar J Youth Services logo and information

The Academy at Sisters is a program of J Bar J Youth Services

Since 1968, when we have seen an unmet need and youth struggling in Central Oregon, we have added programs to help them. We now have eight separate programs, each providing a spectrum of services. We are the largest social services organization helping youth in Central Oregon.

Adolescence brings intense emotion for all teens. Yet, to some, challenges are minor, while other girls’ hurdles seem overwhelming. Even in families with multiple siblings, one teen often struggles more than others. Parents can feel confused and panicked as they watch their daughter contend with serious issues such as anxiety, conflict and crisis, dropping grades, depression, substance abuse, and problems with social media. Unhealthy behaviors can become entrenched in a dynamic that is toxic or dangerous. Locked in this cycle, a girl’s beliefs and self-talk shape her experience. 

Awareness and mindfulness comes in small steps. Learning how mixed-up thinking can impact feelings and then behaviors is a process. Cognitive awareness is, in essence, thinking about thinking. Being mindful is not the same as trying to control emotions. By identifying and interrupting problematic thinking, self-talk like “I have to be perfect,” “I am unlovable,” and “I can’t succeed,” girls can begin to see how it has impacted their emotions and behaviors. 

It is important to distinguish between thoughts and emotions. By learning what physical sensations accompany underlying emotions, students can begin to choose more helpful, adaptive thoughts. This in turn can interrupt negative emotions. Being mindful and nonjudgmental of our emotions is an important tool to regulate their intensity. 

The girl that is consistently using attack and blame as a tactic may be struggling with mistaken beliefs around power and control. The daughter that is failing school may be telling herself “I can’t succeed, so why bother trying?” Mindfulness and self-awareness offer tools to understand herself and interrupt the downward spiral of emotion. Our boarding school’s therapeutic approach offers a combination of therapies and interventions directly targeting these beliefs and self-talk. 

We use a variety of therapeutic approaches to help the girls and their families find what works for them to heal and grow: 

“Top-down” or brain approaches, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), help clients shift problematic thought patterns and learn healthy communication skills. “Bottom-up” or body approaches, like Eye-Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), help clients work through trauma with mindfulness and body-based coping skills.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): When we become aware of how our internal dialog impacts how we feel and respond to the world, we can learn ways to reframe that dialog and change our lives. A core component of CBT is Cognitive Restructuring.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Directly targets the emotional dysregulation that comes from beliefs and self -talk. 
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Is based in the research that memories of trauma are not stored in the brain in the same way normal memories are, and that they become like a wound in the mind that doesn’t heal.
  • Trauma Informed, Strength Based interventions. 
  • Positive Reinforcement: We help the girls break down their long-term goals into small, attainable goals, based in the strengths they do have. 
  • Experiential Therapy and Growth: Equine Therapy, Art Therapy, Recreation including skiing, horseback riding, hiking, camping, rafting, etc. 
  • Individualized and Family Therapy: Individual treatment plans and 90 day assessments, personal special programs and goal work, and regular sessions including family. 

If you would like to talk about the various therapies we use and whether a therapeutic boarding school for girls might be a good fit for you daughter, please give us a call at 800-910-0412