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Therapeutic Treatment for Trauma: How Yoga Can Play a Role in Recovery

Therapeutic Treatment for Trauma: How Yoga Can Play a Role in Recovery 150 150 se_admin

In therapeutic treatment for trauma, there are many complicated processes and tactics utilized–but there’s also simplistic ones. One of those is yoga. I know what you’re thinking, “How can stretching in different positions possibly help trauma?” Well, studies show it can help in many ways you may have never imagined.

While yoga is an excellent way to keep yourself physically healthy, new research is showing that it could be extremely helpful in therapeutic treatment for trauma.

How yoga can help in therapeutic treatment for trauma

therapeutic treatment for traumaRecently, there’s been more research put into the effects of yoga and what it has to offer–especially for young girls. In one study by the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University’s law school, researchers found that yoga could help girls who have gone through trauma more than we could’ve ever thought.

In the study, researchers focused on girls that were in the juvenile justice system because they seem to frequently be exposed to trauma. They found that fights in the institutions go down–and continue to go down–if girls are participating in yoga. Not only that, but they complain about physical ailments less.

They also found improvements in developing coping mechanisms for stressful moments and self esteem. The believe yoga may be effective in therapeutic treatment for trauma because of the controlled breathing and movements involved in the practice of yoga.

It’s known that there’s a strong body-mind connection and yoga seems to be able to tap into it. Yoga not only puts you in the moment and helps you learn to focus, it also gives you the tools to calm yourself when anxiety filled situations do arise in the future.

Improving your physical health helps improve your mental health as well–yoga is all about the body and mind link. A healthy link between the two is essential for overall wellness, which is why yoga may be the perfect method to include in therapeutic treatment for trauma.

Solstice East is here for your family

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our students often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

In our therapeutic treatment for trauma at Solstice, we include methods such as yoga to help our girls not only stay healthy physically, but also improve their mental health. While we also use other clinical tactics, it’s important to recognize the power simple habits like yoga have to offer in treatment.

We have a strong emphasis on family therapy, nutrition, physical fitness. We also offer a supportive staff, cutting-edge academics, addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services. At Solstice, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve.

For more information about therapeutic treatment for trauma at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.

People Can Change: New Research on Ways To Cope With Stress In Teenagers

People Can Change: New Research on Ways To Cope With Stress In Teenagers 150 150 se_admin

Teens nowadays are under mounting pressure to do well in school, to have a vibrant social life, and to take part in extracurricular activities. Sometimes juggling all of those elements can lead to a huge amount of stress in teenagers.

Stress is known to have a variety of negative side effects which is why it’s really important to do everything we can to decrease that stress. That’s where some really interesting research, described recently in the New York Times, comes into play.

What’s this new research about?

The research, conducted by David S. Yeager who is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, discovered a surprisingly effective technique to lower stress levels in teens. stress in teenagers

In two of the studies Yeager conducted, 60 students at a high school in Rochester, NY and 205 freshmen at a high school in Austin, TX participated in reading and writing exercises intended to promote one, specific message: people can change.

Students were told to read a science article which detailed the ways in which an individual’s personality can evolve over time.

In addition to the science articles, students read stories written by high school seniors about their experiences with change during their time in school. One student’s retelling detailed their feeling of exclusion and loneliness earlier on in high school. This student later got involved in extracurriculars and made friends, displaying that people can change their situations.

Students were then asked to take part in a writing assignment which prompted teens to give advice about change to younger students.

Following that, participants took part in exercised intended to induce stress. They were told to give a speech about what makes some teens popular and were then asked to count back from 996 by sevens.

After being put through the ringer with these exercises, students experienced lower levels of stress and were able to better cope with stress in teenagers overall. They were shown to have half the cardiovascular reaction from their control counterparts and their levels of cortisol dropped by 10 percent.  

Meanwhile, teens in the control group had cortisol levels rise by 45 percent. The evidence was clear: by creating a framework of the idea that people can change over time, participants could develop better coping mechanisms.

The second study Yeager conducted involved 205 freshmen, half of whom who had received the aforementioned intervention (reading and writing exercises about change). They were all told to fill out an online diary each day describing stressful events that occurred throughout the day.

For those students who had received the intervention, they showed a 10 percent decrease in cortisol and said they could handle the stress in their diary. Those who hadn’t experienced an 18 percent increase in cortisol and noted that they had trouble handling the stress.

In addition, participants earned higher grades than students in the control group by the end of the semester.

Lowering stress, happier teens

So what does this research tell us? According to Laurence Steinberg, professor of adolescent psychology at Temple University, this research “boost[s] kids’ self-confidence by changing their belief in their own ability to change.”

By feeling like they had the capability to change over time, students felt less stressed out about their current situation. Is this a sustainable intervention? Only time will tell.

Solstice East can help teens struggling with anxiety

Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18, helps girls struggling with anxiety, trauma, depression, and other emotional or behavioral issues.

For more information about Solstice East, please call (855) 672-7058.

Wellbeing in Teens: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Wellbeing in Teens: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay 150 150 se_admin
wellbeing in teens

Photo Credit: flickr user – Kleinefotografie, wellbeing in teens

According to a recent article by CNN, maintaining wellbeing in teens can be difficult and that’s okay. In a previous study, researchers studied human happiness and wellbeing in teens. They found that maintaining wellbeing in teens and human happiness isn’t always possible. They found that the saying “You can’t have it all,” is quite true for individuals overall wellbeing.

Happiness Comes in Different Forms

Part of the reasoning is that happiness isn’t just one thing. Jennifer Hecht is a philosopher who studies the history of happiness. Hecht proposes that we all experience different types of happiness, but these aren’t necessarily complementary. She believes that some types of happiness, may actually conflict with one another. Basically, that having too much of one type of happiness may undermine our ability to have enough of the others, making it impossible to “have it all.”

How Our Brains Process Happiness

Maintaining wellbeing in teens is also confounded by the way our brains process the experience of happiness. We’ve all started a sentence with the phrase “Won’t it be great when…” (I go to college, fall in love, have kids, etc.).  We hardly hear people saying “Isn’t this great, right now?” Our past and future aren’t always better than the present, yet our brains continue to process it this way. These are the elements that limit our happiness and wellbeing in teens.

We as a society, work extremely hard to reach a goal, anticipating the happiness it will bring. Unfortunately, according to this research, after a brief fix we quickly slide back to our baseline, ordinary way-of-being and start chasing the next thing we believe will “finally” make us happy. While this may seem depressing, the reality is that dissatisfaction with the present and dreams of the future are what keep us motivated, while warm fuzzy memories of the past reassure us that the feeling we seek can be had. According to the researchers, perpetual bliss would completely undermine our will to accomplish anything at all.

Realistic Happiness

Researchers hope that this news won’t be depressing, but will provide more of a realistic mindset. Understanding that it’s impossible to have happiness in all aspects of life will hopefully help individuals enjoy and better appreciate the happiness that has touched them.

If you have a child who is struggling to achieve wellbeing in teens, there are programs that can help.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with teen depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.

For more information about how Solstice East handles social media addiction, please call 828-484-9946.

The Importance of the Milieu at a Residential Treatment Center for Girls

The Importance of the Milieu at a Residential Treatment Center for Girls 150 150 se_admin

“Milieu”: For any parent searching for help for their struggling teen at a residential treatment center, this is a word you may come across often. Milieu refers to an individual’s social culture or environment. The milieu of a residential treatment center provides an opportunity for social growth and improvement. At Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teen girls, the milieu is an important aspect of each students’ therapeutic process. residential treatment center

Why is the milieu important?

At Solstice East, milieu therapy helps create positive transformative experiences for students. In an environment where everyone in the community is invested in creating lasting change, struggling girls can find the support they need to make positive decisions. The community atmosphere at Solstice East includes everyone on campus – from students to staff. Here are some other ways Solstice East uses the milieu on campus to help girls find success:

  1. Community roles: Each member of the Solstice East community is assigned a designated role. These roles help contribute to carrying out daily tasks within the program. Roles range from assisting in the kitchen to creating a laundry schedule on campus. The community roles within the milieu help teaches teens responsibility, gives them a valued role within the community, and boosts feelings of self-confidence.
  2. Building relationship and social skills: At Solstice East, many of our students build trusting friendships. The community environment at Solstice East provides a unique opportunity for teens struggling to make and keep friends. Through the guidance of designated mentors and therapeutic staff, strong relationships are formed with peers and relationships with family members are rebuilt.
  3. Home-like setting of campus: The small, comfortable setting of campus allows for a close knit community feel. As a residential treatment center devoted to helping girls find and achieve success, the small size of our campus allows for the personalized treatment your teen needs to heal.
  4. Collaborative team: Our residential and therapeutic staff work together to create the most nurturing, healing environment possible for students within the milieu.

Solstice East can help your child

Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18, can help your struggling  daughter achieve lasting success.
For more information about Solstice East, please call (855) 672-7058.

Paying Attention Behind The Wheel: Distracted Driving and Technology Addiction in Teens

Paying Attention Behind The Wheel: Distracted Driving and Technology Addiction in Teens 150 150 se_admin

It’s hard for young people to stay off their phones. It’s where their entire social life is, and where they play fun, interactive games like Pokemon Go and CandyCrush. When this turns into technology addiction in teens, it can become a major struggle for teens to stay off their phones at all times – even when behind the wheel.

All over the highway, you’ll see signs saying “Don’t Text and Drive”. Many teens and adults completely ignore this sign. Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents across the country. technology addiction in teens

A deadly issue

According to Distraction.gov, in 2014 3179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured by distracted drivers. When teens and adults look at their phones while driving, they are not paying attention to the road. This can lead to terrible accidents that could have been avoided if people would just put down their phones.

Technology addiction in teens makes it extremely hard for teens to break the habit of constantly texting and using apps, even when driving. It’s important to talk to your teen about the risks they are taking by using their phone while driving. It’s not just their lives they are risking, but everyone else on the road.

Even conscientious teens text while driving

A study conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that conscientious teens are more likely to text and drive than other teens. The researchers attributed this to their need to be responsible and respond immediately in order to please others. For adults, the researchers found that extroverts were more likely to text and drive.

This research can be used to target specific groups that may be more likely to text and drive. It can prevent this behavior from happening in the future – which may save a lot of lives.

Ignoring texts and snapchat messages

Technology addiction in teens and adults may be responsible for why we can’t ignore messages while on the road. When we receive a text, our brains get surged with dopamine. The expectation of a reward, such as figuring out who is texting you and what the text is about, increases the surge of dopamine more than reading the text itself.

When our brain is in this reward state, it shuts off the part of our brain responsible for judgment and self control. That’s why it’s so hard to not respond to texts and calls while driving. It’s technology addiction in teens and adults in its purest form.

Getting help

If your daughter is struggling with technology addiction in teens or impulsive behavior that may lead to serious consequences for her, Solstice East might be able to help. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18.

For more information about Solstice East, please call (855) 672-7058 today.

 

Eating Disorders in Teen Athletes

Eating Disorders in Teen Athletes 150 150 se_admin

eating disorders in teen athletes

With media today, body image in teen girls has become an increasing problem. Teens feel more pressure to fit a specific body type, which is ultimately leading to more and more issues with eating disorders in youth. As a growing number of teen girls participate in sports, health issues have begun to arise from eating disorders in teen athletes. A recent article by Reuters discussed how eating disorders in teen athletes has begun to increase, and the need for doctors and parents to be aware of the health risks.

The Female Athlete Triad

Eating disorders in teen athletes can be seen when teens exercise too much and don’t eat enough calories to maintain the amount of physical activity. The health issues associated with eating disorders in teen athletes include: disordered eating, a halt in monthly menstrual cycles known as amenorrhea, and a bone-thinning disease known as osteoporosis. These three issues are known as the female athlete triad. Girls can have just one of these problems or a combination, in varying degrees.

The Dangers of Over Training

While sports can have tremendous benefits like improved self-esteem and better physical and mental health, doctors, parents, and coaches need to be aware of eating disorder habits in teen athletes. If teens begin to train too hard, the elements of the triad can surface, which can have dangerous consequences on girl’s bodies.

Timothy Neal, a researcher with the athletic training program at Concordia University in Ann Arbor Michigan states:

“It has been my experience that coaches, parents, pediatricians and family practice physicians are not experienced in caring for athletes, and athletes themselves are not aware of the health risks unique to the triad for female athletes. Parents, athletes, pediatricians, coaches and certified athletic trainers should be aware of signs and symptoms of eating disorders, including those athletes who display signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression, anger, isolation, and other behaviors that may indicate a mental health disorder.”

Be Aware of Your Body

Being aware of your body and the signals it’s giving you is an important part of staying healthy. Teen’s and parents should be aware of the risks low-calorie intake and excessive exercise can have on the body physically and emotionally. If your worried your teen is suffering from eating disorders in teen athletes, there are programs that can help.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with teen depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.

For more information about how Solstice East handles social media addiction, please call 828-484-9946!

 

Childhood Obesity and the Urge for Change 

Childhood Obesity and the Urge for Change  150 150 se_admin

childhood obesity

As a parent, getting your child to eat healthy and be active can be difficult. Some youth find the act of being healthy a chore, and often fight parents on doing it. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, obesity most often develops from ages 5 to 6 or during the teen years, and studies have shown that a child who is obese between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult. A recent article by the New York Times discusses the significant health risks childhood obesity has on youth.

Effects of Childhood Obesity

Life-threatening conditions like heart disease, cancer, stroke and Type 2 diabetes are more commonly heard of effecting adults, but they can also be consequences of childhood obesity. Two new studies, conducted on over half a million children, linked a childhood obesity to an increased risk of developing colon cancer and suffering from an early stroke as adults.

When is Your Child Considered Obese

Children are generally considered obese when their B.M.I. is at or above the 95th percentile for others of the same age and sex. Currently, one-third of American children are overweight or suffering with childhood obesity. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 18 percent of children and 21 percent of adolescents were dealing with childhood obesity.

Studies on Childhood Obesity

Many people assume that children dealing with childhood obesity won’t see the effects of major health risks until later in life, if they still struggle with obesity. But studies have shown that childhood obesity starts to effect youth early on. Dr. Stephen R. Daniels, a pediatrician at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital in Denver, found that problems in many organ systems were often apparent long before adulthood. They include high blood pressure; insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes; heart-damage and high levels of cholesterol; liver disease; obstructive sleep apnea; asthma; and excess stress on the musculoskeletal system resulting in abnormal bone development, knee and hip pain, and difficulty walking.

Youth suffering from childhood obesity are also at a greater risk for developing mental health issues. Obese adolescents have higher rates of depression, which in itself can foster poor eating and exercise patterns that add to their weight issues. They’re also more likely to have poor body image and self-esteem.

Urge for Change

This information reveals the critical importance on promoting healthy eating habits and exercise patterns in all youth. Parents should encourage children to be active and make healthy decisions, without labeling them as overweight or obese. Commenting on kid’s weight can actually harm their self-esteem, increasing their unhealthy habits. It is important that parents encourage kids by changing their environment and creating opportunities for them to be active.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with teen depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.

For more information about how Solstice East handles social media addiction, please call 828-484-9946!

Say It Out Loud: Unexpected Anxiety Reduction Technique Reduces Anxiety in Teens

Say It Out Loud: Unexpected Anxiety Reduction Technique Reduces Anxiety in Teens 150 150 se_admin

anxiety in teens

Sometimes admitting something about yourself out loud instead of keeping it bottled up inside is one of the best first steps to overcoming a struggle. According to researchers, that happens to be the case for anxiety in teens and adults.

According to a recent study published in the journal Psychological Science, putting a label on anxiety and saying out loud what an individual is truly feeling can greatly reduce their fear response.

The more words, the better

The study, lead by Katharina Kicanski of Stanford University,  found that the more words people use associated with fear and other reactions to anxiety, the greater the reduction to anxiety symptoms.

As the line from Harry Potter goes, “fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.” By saying out loud how people are feeling, they are able to let those fears and anxieties go. This can make people feel instantly less anxious.

An unexpected result

Another interesting aspect of this study is the unexpected results. Participants in the study truly did not expect that speaking about their emotions out loud would have any effect on their overall anxiety.  But it did. How, you might ask? Skin conductance allowed for these results to be seen.

Researchers compared the results of vocalizing and labeling emotions to popular techniques used to help lessen the effects of anxiety in teens and adults. The techniques they used are known as distraction and reappraisal. grammostola-1198225_1280

In reappraisal, individuals are instructed to change their thoughts around anxiety. To think about it differently.

During the study, reappraisal was used on a group of people with anxiety towards spiders. Through reappraisal, the individuals were told to use words considered to be “neutral”. For example, one person said “Looking at the spider is not dangerous for me.”

Other individuals were told to speak about their emotions towards the spider. They formed a sentence that included a negative word about the spider and one or two negative words or phrases about their emotional response to the spider.

All participants were exposed to the spiders for varying periods of time and came back one week later for a follow up meeting.

The conclusions

Researchers found that those in the group which used labels to express their emotions towards the spiders had a reduced skin conductance response compared to the groups who experienced distraction and reappraisal. By using words related to their anxiety and fear response, there were greater reductions in overall anxiety in teens and adults studied.

By having a lower skin conductance, those who spoke about their fears and anxieties out loud and labelled them were less fearful of spiders overall.

There have been a variety of studies associated with verbalizing fear and anxiety in teens and adults. Many of these studies have concluded that overall distress is reduced relative to conditions in which anxiety in teens and adults were never expressed verbally or through writing.

So what does this tell us? If you’re feeling anxious, talk about it out loud! It, apparently, can lessen the overall effects.

Solstice East can help your anxious teen

If you have a daughter struggling with anxiety or another emotional or behavioral issue, Solstice East might be able to help. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-17.

For more information about Solstice East, please call (855) 672-7058 today!

 

Coping with Grief: Understanding Grieving Styles 

Coping with Grief: Understanding Grieving Styles  150 150 se_admin

coping with grief

Coping with grief  is a difficult task. Many of us have different methods for coping with grief. A recent article by Psychology Today discussed how boys and girls handle grief differently. In the book Grief Beyond Gender: Understandings the Ways Men and Women Mourn, Dr. Terry Martin discusses the two patterns of grieving.

Styles of Grief

The first style of coping with grief is an intuitive pattern where individuals experience and express grief in an effective way. In this pattern, grieving individuals find strategies that are focused toward the expression of affect. The second pattern of coping with grief, is one that is labeled instrumental. Here, grief is experienced physically, such as in a restlessness or thought. Here the strategies individuals use tend to be, cognitive and active as well.

Some individuals may show a mix of patterns that draw from both intuitive and instrumental reactions and responses in the ways that individuals experience, express, and adapt to coping with grief. Other individuals may show inconsistencies between the ways that grief is experienced and expressed. These inconsistent patterns are labeled as dissonant.

As society we believe that there is a clear relation between gender and coping with grief, but this has been shown to not necessarily be true. The instrumental pattern of dissonant, is typical in the way many men grieve, due to contemporary patterns of male socialization. Women also may exhibit an instrumental style. And many women and men represent grievers who demonstrate more intuitive patterns. Clearly, patterns are influenced by gender but not determined by it.

Tips on Coping with Grief

If you find yourself have difficulty coping with grief, here are some tips on how to deal with grief in a healthy and productive way.

  • Listen. Don’t ignore your emotions–if you need to cry, that’s fine; if you need to sob, that’s fine; if you need to talk to someone, that’s fine. The important thing is to listen to what your body and feelings are trying to tell you.
  • Breathe. Deep breaths help trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, helping you calm yourself down when things get tough.
  • Be Aware. When dealing with teen grief, don’t just float through the days; take a moment to be mindful of what’s happening currently to you and others around you.
  • Cry. There’s a huge stigma against crying, but it’s your body’s way of coping and instead of avoiding it when you feel it coming, let it out.
  • Enjoy. Try to notice the small things that improve your day, like the taste of coffee or hitting 3 green lights in a row.
  • Don’t Be Hard on Yourself. Don’t think about other’s expectations of you, just your own. Be realistic and stop thinking about what you should do for other people–focus on you.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with teen depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.

For more information about how Solstice East handles social media addiction, please call 828-484-9946!

Childhood Adversity: How A Child’s Brain Adapts

Childhood Adversity: How A Child’s Brain Adapts 150 150 se_admin

We hope that our children develop into healthy and stable individuals after childhood, but sometimes that is not the case. Research has shown that approximately two-thirds of the population have experienced a form of childhood adversity by the age of 18. With so many people having experienced a form of childhood adversity, what determines if an individual emerges from childhood unscathed, while others develop serious forms of mental illness? Recent research reveals that certain brain functions in children who experience childhood adversity, plays a role in determining if they will develop various forms of mental health issues later in life.

New Research on the Effects of Childhood Adversity

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, have discovered in a new study that certain areas of the brain–such as the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala—reveal which individuals who have experienced childhood adversity are more likely to develop symptoms of various mental illnesses. childhood adversity

The common types of childhood adversity researchers focused on included, negative parenting, parental conflict, and financial stress that occurred between infancy and 11 years of age. When the subjects were 15 to 18 years old, the researchers studied their behavior to look for symptoms of common mental illnesses. They also used a form of imaging to study the brain responses during emotional processing.

They found that when teens viewed images that evoked negative emotions, those who experienced childhood adversity had a strong reactive amygdala–the region of the brain involved in processing emotions. They believe that childhood adversity may sensitize certain areas of the brain to negative emotional content, which could better allow children to detect a threatening or stressful environment.

Researchers also found that childhood adversity was associated with a stronger connection between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex, which is an important circuit for regulating emotions. This connection was much weaker in adolescents with high anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Researchers explain that this finding could mean that the ability of the brain to strengthen the connection between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex strengthens emotional adaptation. They hope these finding can help explain how the brain adapts to childhood adversity, and eventually predict which kids will be more vulnerable to developing mental health issues later in life.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with teen depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.

For more information about how Solstice East handles social media addiction, please call 828-484-9946!