Office Number: 602-335-2000

About Student Life

Our ability to motivate the girls toward a positive, healthy future is a large factor in our success.

See Below

Mountain Lions Club

Mingus Mountain Academy Mountain Lions Club is a student-run organization, similar to a high school student government. The MLC strengthens the normative culture goals by identifying and honoring student leaders. Mountain Lions serve as role models, representatives to the rest of the student body, and influences for modifying behavior in the normative culture. Mountain Lions are recognized as responsible members of the student body and as such, in conjunction with academy staff, are held accountable for the functioning of their peer culture. The MLC maintains a high level of structure at the Academy.

Activities & Programs

Equestrian Program

In this unique program, horses are trained and maintained on campus by hands-on student care. The Academy offers intensive training in equestrian care and maintenance and gives students academic credit for training, grooming and riding instruction. All riders have an opportunity for involvement in roping, barrel riding, pole bending, trail riding, and rodeo activities.

Mountain Lions Club

Mingus Mountain Academy Mountain Lions Club is a student-run organization, similar to a high school student government. The MLC strengthens the normative culture goals by identifying and honoring student leaders. Mountain Lions serve as role models, representatives to the rest of the student body, and influences for modifying behavior in the normative culture. Mountain Lions are recognized as responsible members of the student body and as such, in conjunction with academy staff, are held accountable for the functioning of their peer culture. The MLC maintains a high level of structure at the Academy.

Education Progam

Mingus Mountain Academy’s educational program includes middle school and high school. One-to-one staff assistance is made available if or when Special Education and specific behavioral needs warrant. Mingus also offers High School Title I reading and math programs, as well as vocational preparation curriculum. The Academy’s education programs are fully accredited by the Arizona Department of Education and North Central Association. Academic and social progress is determined by a four-level system that is a function of progress toward positive behavior, academic achievement, and a normative culture. Mingus can also make arrangements for qualifying students to achieve their GED off-campus.

Physical Fitness & Intramural

As part of Mingus Mountain Academy’s “whole person” approach, students may choose from a variety of activities. Personal and group growth is experienced through mountain biking, volleyball, swimming, softball, hiking and running clubs for physical activity and development. Students also participate in the monthly Presidential Physical Fitness Program. Mingus also has a basketball team which competes against local teams in town.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

High atop Mingus Mountain is the 20-acre Mingus Outpost. A pleasant three-hour horse ride on our trails, the Outpost is also vehicle-accessible. Complete with cabins, cook sheds, and corrals, the Outpost provides opportunities for the girls to become familiar with nature as they hike, camp out, and learn wilderness skills. Other opportunities include various clubs: Science, Drama, Art, Music, and Home Economics. A non-denominational church service is also available.

Daily Scheduale
6:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. Wake-up/Hygiene/Room Cleaning, Breakfast
7:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. School
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Lunch
2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Guided Group Interaction (GGI)
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Intramurals/Specialty Therapy Groups
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Dinner
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Homework/Personal Development Time
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Physical Activity
7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Evening Dorm Chores
8:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Townhouse
9:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Journal/Room Time
9:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Lights Out/ Mountain Lion Club Meeting
Medical Services

Mingus Mountain Academy has a strong Nursing and Medical Department with highly qualified professionals working for your student’s optimal physical and mental health. Each student receives an admission nursing screening and physical exam from our Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Thorough medical and psychiatric histories are obtained, as well as a global evaluation of your student’s health. The Nursing Department should be contacted regarding any medical or psychiatric issues.

Clinical Services

A full range of psychiatric and psychological services, including testing and assessments are available on campus. Each student receives a Diagnostic Psychiatric Evaluation and medications if they are needed. Most of our therapists are trained in EMDR, a psychological therapy to speed recovery from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, as well as in individual and family therapy modalities.

In addition, Mingus offers a variety of groups that address the specific needs of each student:

Anger Management Group meets weekly to address the need of students to develop the ability to handle conflict and provocation more effectively in socially acceptable ways. It is understood that anger may be related to deeper issues of unmet childhood needs and family problems, but the group focuses on learning practical methods of self-control through cognitive restructuring (e.g., questioning beliefs, self-talk “reminders”), relaxation training, imagination rehearsal, and assertiveness. Anger control logs are used to help identify anger patterns and triggers. Role-play in group and “homework” of practicing in the treatment milieu add to the learning process for students, supporting the internalization of the skills that are taught. Health and emotional costs of anger along with benefits such as increased personal power are considered. The last four weeks of this 16 week group involves discussions of the book Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls.

Voices: A Program of Self-Discovery and Empowerment for Girls was developed by Stephanie S. Covington, PhD, LCSW, co-director of the Institute for Relational Development and the Center for Gender and Justice, to address the unique needs of adolescent girls and young women between the ages of twelve and eighteen. The program model uses a trauma-informed, strength-based approach that helps girls to identify and apply their power and voices as individuals and as a group. The focus is on issues that are important in the lives of adolescent girls, from looking at oneself and how you connect with others, to exploring healthy living and the journey ahead. Given the pervasive impact of abuse and substance use in many girls’ lives, these themes are woven throughout the sessions. Voices encourages girls to seek and discover their “true selves” by giving them a safe space, encouragement, structure, and support to embrace their important journey of self-discovery. In addition, skill building in the areas of communication, refusal skills, anger management, stress management, and decision making is integrated across program topics.

Beyond Trauma: A Healing Journey for Women is an integrated curriculum for women’s services based on theory, research, and clinical experience. While the materials are designed for trauma treatment, the connection between trauma and substance abuse in women’s lives is a theme throughout. The program has been developed for use in residential and outpatient treatment settings, domestic violence programs, mental health clinics, and criminal justice settings. Beyond Trauma has a psychoeducational component that teaches women what trauma is, its process, and its impact on both the inner self (thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values) and the outer self (behavior and relationships, including parenting). The major emphasis is on coping skills with specific exercises for developing emotional wellness.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Group meets once a week to offer students instruction in the skills developed by Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D. Although DBT was developed for persons suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, the skills have been invaluable for many of our students who struggle with emotional regulation. Students keep track of the skills they use throughout the week by means of a “diary card” and share their efforts in the first half of the group. The students then give each other feedback and offer either congratulations for successful efforts or suggestions for improvement when warranted. During the second half of the group students are introduced to and role-play a new skill. The skills are broken down into four main categories: mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and emotional regulation.

Equine Therapy gives our young women another avenue to work through their struggles and the ability to form a relationship with another living being that will not judge them, but will love them unconditionally. For some students, traditional therapy is a struggle; this group gives them another way to work through their therapeutic goals and achieve the same outcome. Various activities with the horses are done as they work toward building their own obstacle course that they will take their horse through near the end of the 10 weeks. These obstacles will represent their various obstacles and temptations in life, and they will discuss ways to work through them as they work through the course. This group is designed to work on various treatment issues such as aggression, assertiveness, boundaries, teamwork, communication, self confidence, addiction, trauma, and recovery.

Chemical Dependency

Substance Abuse Treatment:  Mingus Mountain Academy (MMA) is proud to offer our residents a holistic, multi-dimensional substance abuse treatment program.  We feel that our interventions are specific to the needs of our adolescents.  We recognize the unique nature of each teen’s experience, and we are able to individualize our program to accommodate differences in critical issues like a teen’s developmental level, family strengths, culture, and co-existing disorders. MMA believes that in order for our students to make progress in treatment, they must be engaged in the process to the place of self-ownership and accountability. MMA’s peer-run culture encourages such ownership. Each student is supported and held responsible for her behaviors by her peers as well as by the staff.

Chemical Dependency Classes:  These classes are a component of the school curriculum which each student attends each day during school.  The class is based on the Living In Balance program, which is designed as a practical instructional system for conducting treatment sessions for persons who abuse or are addicted to alcohol and other drugs.  The Living In Balance program uses sets of interactive student worksheets, through which students read and learn information and engage in a variety of exercises designed to reinforce the learning.

Chemical Dependency Group:  Therapist-facilitated groups are held three times weekly, with an emphasis on the bio-psycho-social aspects of addiction.  This includes a fundamental understanding of family roles, dynamics, childhood developmental stages, and the basic effects of drugs and alcohol on human biology. The goal is to illustrate, then identify specific cause and effect of substance abuse on each student’s life.  The therapeutic modalities are role-play, discussion, guided imagery, videos and assignments specific to drug and alcohol abuse.  The length of this treatment component is 12 weeks.  By completion, the student has written a relapse prevention plan, a crisis management plan, and has been introduced to the 12-step model of Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous.  Students are encouraged to attend 12-step meetings upon discharge, get a sponsor, and work the steps.  Additionally, each student completes a posttest to evaluate each 12-week module for quality assurance.

A Woman’s Way through the Twelve Steps: This compilation of women’s voices and wisdom illuminates the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. A Woman’s Way explores such fundamental topics as spirituality, powerlessness, and the emergence of a women’s sense of the feminine soul. It maintains the underlying spiritual truths of the Twelve Steps program while overcoming the traditional male orientation of A.A.

Community Based 12-Step Meetings:  Students begin this proactive measure while at Mingus Mountain Academy.  Participating in these meetings assists the student in familiarizing themselves with the 12-steps, sponsorship, and the fellowship & support of others in recovery.

Individual Therapy:  Therapy sessions address the personal needs of each student regarding their substance abuse.  These sessions provide specific support and education to identify and validate feelings, and use role-playing to make immediate how to identify and cope effectively with triggers and cravings.  An additional focus is the development of healthy coping and problem-solving skills, including drug and alcohol-free leisure and recreational activities.  The development of an individualized relapse prevention plan, including a safety plan, is completed prior to discharge.

Student Projects Coming Soon!

Questions? Get In Touch!

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