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Clinical Approach

Lake House Academy's clinical focus is rooted in a relational model empahsizing commitment, acceptance, security, and attunement to create experiences of secure attachement.  Students take part in weekly individual therapy, group therapy and  family therapy. To support this we utilize the primary clinical interventions of Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. In addition to those primary interventions, Lake House Academy utilizes canine assisted therapy, equine therapy and offers the opportunity for Neurofeedback  when determined therapeutically appropriate.

Theraplay - Healing Through Play

Theraplay is a highly relational and uniquely structured clinical approach specifically designed to support the needs of pre and early-adolescent children and their families. Having the highest evidence-based practice rating by SAMHSA, Theraplay has proven to build and enhance attachment, self-esteem, joyful engagement, and trust in others. This stems from natural patterns of playful, healthy interactions between parent and child. Theraplay is more than just play—it lets the body have experiences while re-training the brain in the process.

Theraplay is a treatment modality created specifically for children and teens. Unlike other “play therapy” modalities, Theraplay is therapist led—not client-driven. It requires no verbal processing from the child. Theraplay helps teens heal from their very core by targeting the limbic system of the brain. This part of the brain is what helps drive behavioral and emotional responses.

Theraplay - Healing Through Play

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy is an attachment-focused therapy developed by Dr. Daniel Hughes, which stems from evidence-based treatment for complex trauma, reactive attachment issues (RAD) and other issues with attachment.

DDP is inherently relational in its approach, meaning both a child and caregiver are actively involved in the intervention and both are reflecting on growing individually while also growing dyadically. DDP’s focus is to increase emotional awareness and regulation to improve the relational experience for the child and between the child and caregiver.

DDP achieves this outcome by using affective-reflective dialogue and playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy (PACE). PACE shapes how one behaves, communicates, feels and thinks to allow a child to feel safe. It is through this sense of security that exploration and healing can begin.


Neurofeedback (NFB) is a therapeutic intervention that trains the brain to initiate and practice self-regulation.

NFB can manage the brain so that it functions in a healthier manner, by stimulating the reward system which releases dopamine into the sub-cortical regions, informing the brain to change its behavior. The result is an increase in the regulation of the brain, which allows the areas of the brain that were dysfunctioning to improve and be better prepared for treatment.

At Lake House Academy, families have the additional treatment option to have their daughter participate in NFB sessions with our contracted outside provider.

Canine Therapy

At Lake House Academy, Golden Retrievers are strategically employed to teach our students how to work on healthy relationships through what is known as transferable attachment. Transferable attachment is practicing relationship tools with the canines and then transferring those skills learned to healthy human relationships.

Our canines provide unconditional love and loyalty, making them ideal animals to practice these safe relationships with. Our canines are with our students throughout the day and night, attending school with them, being in therapy sessions or playing outside.

Research indicates that caring for and interacting with a canine can yield the following:

Decreased stress

Elevated mood

Improved communication and social skills

Increased attention and focus through experiential learning

Increased feelings of empowerment and self-esteem

Increased physical activity

Learning appropriate ways to treat self and others

Motivation to participate fully in therapy and stay in treatment

Raised levels of oxytocin

Relief from anxiety and depression

Reduced blood pressure

Reduced loneliness and a larger sense of purpose

Respecting and setting boundaries

Unconditional affection, empathy, love and nurturing

Meet The Canines

Dolly the canine


Ruby the canine


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