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Teen Treatment Programs Helping Teens Struggling with Trauma

Trauma Treatment Program For Teens

What are the causes of teenage trauma?

Teenage trauma can develop from a wide variety of distressing events. Whether the trauma is on a high or low scale, the impact on a developing adolescent’s brain is critical. Eric J. Green of University of North Texas at Dallas says, “Complex trauma is defined by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network as both children’s exposure to multiple traumatic events, usually of an invasive, interpersonal nature, and the wide-ranging long-term impact of this exposure.”

Causes of teenage trauma run the gamut from physical and sexual abuse, neglect, medical trauma, to bullying, and relationship betrayal. Trauma is typically an ongoing and upsetting experience for adolescents. Because traumatic occurrences tend to leave adolescents insecure, they are less likely to seek out help and form trusted relationships. Trauma stimulates different parts of the adolescent brain. Green says, “Complex trauma changes adolescents brain neural proliferation and causes physiological alterations in the brain structure and function of key neural networks related to responses affiliated with stress.”

Medscape says, “Roughly, 15% to 43% of children suffer a traumatic incident. Of these children, 3% to 15% of girls develop PTSD.” Due to a young adult’s significant neural response to traumatic incidents, young adults often develop greater problems than their peers. Their resistance to illness and daily functioning becomes ostensibly lower, and can reach dangerous levels.

How does Solstice East help teens struggling with Trauma?

Solstice East is a leader in therapeutic approaches to help teenage girls recover from trauma. We have a keen awareness of how trauma specifically affects the developing mind of a teenager. We take on both “Big-T” and “little-t” traumas with the same holistic approaches. Trauma is assessed on both scales, for example: a natural disaster is categorized as a “Big-T”and being severely bullied is a “little-t.”

Young women will benefit from a proper trauma assessment and subsequent natural therapies. Our belief at Solstice East is to transform the entire spirit of an individual. We offer therapeutic methods such as EMDR, neurofeedback, somatic experiencing, Trauma-Focused Equine Psychotherapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and addiction treatment. Treating trauma is a relationship-based effort, and young women have the ability heal because their well-being and care is our entire focus. Solstice East is different than other treatment centers because our program emphasizes the impact adolescent trauma has on the developing mind.

One of the Leading Residential Treatment Centers Treating Trauma

Solstice East provides teenage girls with an approach to healing that has been specifically developed to fit their needs. Whether it’s our uniquely designed equine program, or the clinical specialization and collaboration of our therapists, Solstice East is highly qualified to address the complex needs of adolescent girls on the road to healing.

Solstice East creates a safe, secure environment for teenage girls. This allows them to follow a path of self healing and reflection. Our program is family-focused and puts an emphasis on keeping in constant contact with our girls’ families through family therapy sessions, family seminars, multi-family groups, and experiential interventions. At Solstice East, self-sustaining, lifelong change is created through remarkable people and programming.

Exciting and Fun Opportunities

Students at Solstice East participate in regular workouts and develop fitness goals aimed at improving their cardiovascular fitness, strength, and flexibility. Girls participate in daily aerobic workouts which include running, biking, and aerobic classes. They all participate in other weekly workouts including Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and boot camp. Girls also participate in various forms of community service twice a month. This gives them an opportunity to look beyond themselves and give back to their community.

A Traditional School Environment Mixed with Residential Treatment

Unlike many other programs for struggling teens, Solstice East has one of the leading academic programs designed specifically for troubled youth. Academic struggles can be due to lack of motivation lack of success, attention, or learning style challenges. Having a traditional school environment mixed with residential treatment helps teens get back on track academically. Solstice East has designed an academic approach to meet young women where they are academically and help them develop an individualized academic plan to restore good academic standing. They provide small classes, personal plans, and strong support to help students achieve.

Treatments for teenage trauma

Treatment for a young adult who is suffering from trauma or PTSD must be carefully considered. Because the teenager is experiencing body and mind-altering distress, the treatment approach must be natural, comforting, and be provided in a safe environment. Treatment options start by the teenager focusing on the experience and feeling secure talking about it. Once the young adult has addressed the traumatic experience and has become stable enough to trust and build relationships, she can move forward to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other therapeutic techniques utilized to treat trauma. 

CBT is a therapist/patient session-based treatment. This treatment is designed to provide the young adult skillful educational tools to learn to process the trauma she has endured. The next line of therapy is a reintegration into the world; animal-based therapy has been proven in helping teenagers regain confidence and develop trusting relationships. Solstice East offers many advanced therapeutic options, and focuses on meeting goals gradually and safely.

Another form of therapy utilized to help teens who struggle with traumatic experiences is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). This form of therapy utilizes eye movements to help patients process traumatic memories. At Solstice East, we utilize this form of therapy if a student could benefit from EMDR.

Symptoms of teenage trauma

Emotional, mental, and physical symptoms take hold of a young adult experiencing trauma. Symptoms of teenage trauma include:


Increased emotional states: sadness, anger, anxiety, guilt
Inability to escape the traumatic event, re-playing the distress
Poor sleeping patterns
Lack of interest in friends and family
Escaping reality; either by regressing to childhood or by rebelling and acting out
Being withdrawn from school and loss of interest in activities and hobbies
Negative outlook on life
Suffering from depression and other emotional mental disorders
Difficulty concentrating, having hyperactive thoughts
Short-term memory loss
Physical reactions such as illness of stomach and head
Denial of the traumatic event
Easily startled
Inability to see a fruitful future
Angry Outbursts

Why Should Parents Choose Residential Programming For Trauma in Teens?

Sending a child away to a residential program can have powerful benefits for the child and the family. 

Sending your child away from home to receive treatment:

  • Ensures the immediate safety of the child and family at home.
  • Removes the immediacy of communication- “knee jerk” responses to anger or frustration are eliminated while the child can learn new, healthy ways to deal with their emotions.
  • Removes child’s current stressors, peer group, and temptations.
  • Serves as a total reset for the family.  Communication can resume slowly.
  • Ensures the child is focused on the therapy and peer group of the facility, not in attempts to get their friends to “rescue” them from local treatment.
  • Improves accuracy of assessment outpatient treatment relies on the child accurately recounting events, feelings, and behaviors sometimes days after, whereas at inpatient program assessment is in real-time.
  • Ensures the confidentiality of the child.  At a local facility, the child will likely encounter peers or even form relationships with individuals that could potentially continue after treatment.

Resources for State Families Seeking Help

Your Little Professor Although Your Little Professor is specifically aimed toward helping children with autism, there are many links and tips for parents regarding improving communication with their child. Knowing how to listen and observe a child can help parents identify moments when a child may need help. Detailed statistics are also available for view.
HELPGUIDE.ORG A collaboration between Harvard Medical School and Helpguide.org helps bring vital information to parents and children of any age. From recognizing the warning signs of mental illness to helping parents see dangerous behaviors in their children, Helpguide.org contains a multitude of easy-to-read pages outlining both the symptoms and the suggested course of action.

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