How We Help Girls Who Are Struggling
Columbus Girls Academy offers various therapeutic methods to help turn around the lives of girls who come here. These are girls who have been struggling with rebellion or misbehavior, or who are self-destructing. While providing a first-class education and 24/7 care, CGA will be a life-changing experience for your girl.
The parent, student, and counselor team is vital to our counseling process. Teens who are hurting internally often live in a very distorted view of reality. One of the many goals of the parent-counselor team is to work together to continually uncover reality and reveal truth. This includes taking the student through the process of telling their story, addressing past hurts, confronting deceptions, taking ownership of past failures, and gaining tools for future successes. Counselors also coordinate the care of students throughout their entire stay at CGA and are available to provide parent updates on a regular basis.
Near the completion of the CGA program a Home Contract is mutually created by the counselor/parent/student team that outlines the expectations of home life as well as the support available to the student who is returning home. Topics covered include future counseling options, positive peer activities, future school and work plans, conflict resolutions, and boundaries. The contract also highlights am aftercare plan for the student to stay connected with CGA.
CGA utilizes group curriculum that leads our students through addressing struggles common to our student body. In this setting students are learning together about ways that they have acquired dysfunctional thinking and thought patterns that are not grounded in God’s truth. The group dynamic can be powerful in that if a student can not see their own dysfunctional thinking they may be able to see similarities in a fellow peer who is having a similar struggle. Once they can identify these unhealthy patterns they are free to accept truth and reject negative and false beliefs.
The family members of each student are highly involved in their teen’s care as the student embraces her important role in the family. We hold parent retreat weekend several times a year. Parents receive regular updates from their girl’s counselor and have regular communication with their teen through mail, phone calls and visits. The parent’s insight and history with the teen is an invaluable resource to the girl’s counselor at CGA. Our counseling staff offer support to parents in order to provide unified plan and guidance for the students of CGA, both during and after the program. We make this a team effort!
CGA offers students equine therapy sessions with our equine specialist, Candace Murphy as well as additional opportunities for horseback riding experiences. The horse-human partnership stretches far beyond the barn or arena. Lessons learned with horses help with human to human interactions and problem-solving capabilities. Through horsemanship, we cultivate poise and critical thinking. Students learn that horses are prey animals, acting out of anger or frustration simply does not get you far with them. A big lesson in horsemanship is learning to breathe, remain calm and think through situations. Horses can teach us many things, even when we don’t think we’re learning. They act as a medium for us to find attributes and skills within ourselves and help to strengthen our minds and bodies.
Positive Peer Culture
The student culture at CGA is welcoming and positive. Students are encouraged to treat one another with respect and compassion, to be responsible for their own actions and to hold their peers also accountable for their actions. This positive peer element is a part of the CGA dynamic. More experienced students positively influence the students that have been in the program for less time, opposed to the negative peer pressure that so many of our students faced before coming to CGA. As a student comes into our program and demonstrates better thinking and actions, she begins to recognize and reap the benefits that come with these advances.
CGA students have scheduled periods throughout the week that have been set aside for a focus on reflection and personal growth. “Personal Studies” is a curriculum that each student completes while at CGA, specifically designed for the individual student. It is the homework component of biblical counseling.
Nutritious and Healthy Meals
We employ a full-time certified kitchen coordinator, who manages the meal plan. We offer wholesome, well-rounded and nutritious meals. Due to the complexity and cost, individual meal plans cannot be accommodated.
Faith-Based Spiritual Support
Life changes is the foundation and heart of what we do. We want every student to understand what it means to know real faith. We provide at atmosphere where students can learn about the faith in an environment of both love and respect – spirituality is not something that can be forced.
Today’s top speakers motivate the girls, with powerful and positive messages. Students learn that God has a plan and purpose for their lives that is above and beyond what they could have imagined for themselves. Redemption, eternity, purpose, identity in Christ and Christian living are common themes represented at CGA. Students also attend regular church services while here.
Signs of True Change:
The following are some of the signs that mark the marvelous transformation that we see take place in our students:
- Reconciliation with God and Family
- Making of amends
- True confidence in the unique individual they are
- Academic improvement
- Gifts and talents begin to excels again
- Becomes a positive influence on others
- Speaks the truth and makes the truth known
- Submits to authority
- Begins to have a vision for a positive future
- A joyful and peaceful disposition.