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The Subtle Process of Healing



By Stephen C. Schultz


The weather was wonderful…about 55 degrees Fahrenheit and blue skies. The warm sun was absorbed by my face as the sage and junipers swayed gently in a cool breeze blowing from the West. There is nothing quite like the smell of sage growing wild in the high mountain deserts of the Southwest.

I was sitting on a small boulder outside the kitchen at Discovery Ranch for Girls. DRG is a residential facility that provides personal and customized care to young teenage girls who struggle with emotional concerns. 

I walked up some stairs and into the lodge (Kitchen and eating area) and heard some discussions going on in the kitchen. I walked in and there were five girls all being instructed on how to make a cob Salad. There was one girl slicing tomato’s and another had cut up celery. There was one student chopping lettuce and a girl at the stove boiling eggs and cooking bacon. They were smiling and talking and laughing and learning and feeling and simply being “normal” teenage girls! 

Residential Treatment Center


I heard the dull roar of conversation as the rest of the girls entered the Lodge to eat lunch. I walked out of the kitchen to the dining area and one of the girls ran up to me and said,

“Hi Steve…I got to ride my horse today!”

“Good for you!” I responded. “It’s good to see you again”

Residential Treatment Center

She smiled and then walked off to get in line for lunch. What she didn’t know was that I noticed the scratches and raw pink colored sores on her arms. I started talking with a different girl and a therapist that walked in the room. We slowly made our way to the lunch line. I ended up standing next to the first girl who was able to ride her horse earlier in the day. I looked at her arm again and said,

“You do that with a pencil eraser?”

She responded, “Yeah, I got in a bad head space not too long ago.”

“You OK now?” I said with a raised eyebrow and a sincere tone.

“Yeah”, she said a little sheepishly.

I mentioned, “That’s good! The important thing is that you work through it and heal on the inside as well as the outside. I imagine riding your horse is really helpful.”

She simply looked up and smiled…a twinkle in her eye. Then she turned and grabbed a plate, dished herself some salad and taco’s, and sat down with the other girls at the table!

Below is a link to a short video that I hope you will find inspiring!

Discovery Ranch for Girls - Mission Statement



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