• Residential Treatment Center for Teens 14-17

Trauma Treatment

helping troubled teens

Beyond the Label of a Diagnosis: Taking a Personalized Approach to Helping Troubled Teens

Beyond the Label of a Diagnosis: Taking a Personalized Approach to Helping Troubled Teens 2237 1530 se_admin

The teenage years are full of changes and challenges, for both the teen and their families. As young women enter adolescence, you may find that they are pulling away and looking for more autonomy. You may find that your opinion no longer matters as much, and they are now turning to their friends for help and advice. All of this can be normal teen behavior, but the teen years are also a time when negative or detrimental behaviors can develop as well. This may present in the form of a teen who is experiencing undiagnosed mental health issues. This could also be a teen who is exhibiting potentially harmful behaviors. Teens today are also under an enormous amount of pressure and mental health issues such as anxiety or depression can be triggered. It can be difficult to determine what behaviors are typical for teens, and which are cause for concern, which is why being aware of your teen’s mental health is especially important during this time period. 

Some mental health disorders, like depression or PTSD, have such a wide range of symptoms and overlap with other issues that it is difficult to create a specific plan that is guaranteed to help every individual struggling with the issue. Solely looking at diagnoses when creating a treatment plan for students when they enroll ignores the influence of every student’s background, experiences, relationships, strengths, abilities, and personal goals on shaping who they are as a well-rounded person. Taking a personalized approach to helping troubled teens allows us to consider a variety of areas where teens need additional support to reach their full potential.

The Importance of an Individualized Approach

At Solstice East, we understand that each of our students has its own unique strengths and areas for growth. Too often, teens who are struggling with mental health, living skills, or social skills are grouped together under a label. This can be detrimental to a teen’s self-esteem and may also put limitations on their development and growth. This is why using an individualized approach to residential treatment is our focus. Some of the ways that we work with each student individually include: 

  • Looking at the Bigger Picture: Rather than focusing on problem areas, our holistic approach acknowledges how underlying issues contribute to unhealthy coping mechanisms. We don’t necessarily believe that your daughter is troubled but understand that she has faced a lot of difficult experiences in her life and hasn’t been equipped with the skills to overcome them on her own. Teen girls benefit from experiential activities outside of traditional therapy that empower them to discover who they are as individuals, as well as daughters, friends, students, and teammates. When removed from the negative influences and distractions of their home environment, girls have the opportunity to take a step back and look at areas in their life where they want to grow. 
  • Encouraging Teens to Play an Active Role: While many teens are apprehensive about the idea of therapy when they arrive, once they find their voice and gain insight into their emotions and behavioral patterns, they are more prepared to set personal goals. Our client-centered approach focuses on the unique needs and goals of every girl. Teens work closely with our multidisciplinary treatment team to begin to take back control of their life.
  • Identifying Core Values: Many residential treatment centers focus on compliance to reinforce positive behaviors; however, compliance that springs from external controls and “fear of punishment” tends to be short-lived. When compliance grows out of developing internal values such as respect, responsibility, love, family relationships, and personal growth it is self-evident and self-sustaining. Students are empowered to make lasting changes when they are able to identify what values they want to be consistent with their actions. As they explore their interests and relationship styles, teens learn what matters to them in life, in school, and in relationships. This helps them stay engaged and motivated in their therapeutic process. Our program focuses on healing our girls from the inside out so they will comply because they want to, not because they feel they have to.
  • Following an Individual Hero’s Journey: Your daughter’s experience at Solstice East is designed to mirror the archetypal Hero’s Journey, which is based on universal themes found in literature, theater, and film. During the Hero’s Journey, the hero advances through phases of self-discovery, along the way facing their personal dragons in the form of fears, doubts, and insecurities. As our troubled teen girls overcome these challenges, they grow towards becoming “at-one” with their true self. 

While every girl’s journey is unique, we do not believe they are terminally unique or broken beyond repair. At our program, students follow a similar path and bond with their peers going through similar struggles and experiences while building strong close connections with therapists, mentors, and teachers who understand their individual needs.

Who Can Benefit from a Residential Treatment Program?

Sending your daughter to a residential treatment program can feel like a big step for some families. They may worry that their daughter will feel abandoned or that they have failed their child as parents. But the reality is that residential treatment centers are designed to create the optimal environment for residents to receive treatment for mental health struggles surrounded by a supportive community that encourages them at every step. 

Our clients receive a unique combination of therapeutic techniques stemming from both traditional and holistic mental health treatments that are gender and age-specific. We strive to empower our students with the ability to believe in themselves by providing the tools, support, and motivation necessary to instill these beliefs for life.

Solstice East students are highly intelligent and highly sensitive. Our teens are creative and capable, but vulnerable to the pressures of their surroundings. They often experience the world differently through misperceptions and are impacted by issues of anxiety, depression, identity, attachment, mood disorders, and learning disabilities. Solstice East is committed to treating each student through a combination of individual, family, equine, and adventure therapies as well as treating and diagnosing a range of issues including (but not limited to) trauma, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, self-harming behaviors, attachment, and identity issues.

How a Residential Treatment Center Supports Troubled Teens

A residential treatment program like Solstice East is a unique opportunity for our students to remove themselves from the negative patterns or triggers they experience at home. The therapeutic alliance, the relationship formed between therapist and student, is one of the most powerful factors in the healing process. Using the relationship-based approach as our guide, the therapists understand the value of spending time with the girls beyond the walls of the therapist’s office. Building rapport outside of the office setting is critical to the development of a therapeutic alliance between the girls and therapists, which is necessary in the healing process. As one of the top residential treatment centers, our therapists often participate in adventure therapy outings, camping trips, recreation activities, and mealtime with residents.

The Solstice East philosophy includes a belief in a holistic approach. This approach focuses on treating the whole person, not just the “identified problem” or “problem behavior.”. This is evident in our multi-disciplinary approach towards therapeutic treatments. Students have access to their therapist, psychiatric services, group therapy, equine therapy, substance and addictions therapy, milieu therapy, adventure therapy, and family therapy. By approaching their treatment from many different angles, students are given the opportunity to learn which therapeutic practice best benefits them. 

An additional benefit of attending a residential treatment program is that your teen will not fall behind academically while they are receiving treatment. Students attending Solstice East receive educational instruction from our private North Carolina certified on-campus academics academy, fully accredited by Cognia. Our customized educational approach encourages a challenging academic environment while meeting each student’s individualized emotional and therapeutic needs. With small classes and passionate teachers, Solstice East’s academic program features a competitive college preparatory curriculum designed to inspire our diverse student population.

Again, everything comes back to supporting the individual as a whole. Historically, residential treatment center interventions have focused solely on compliance. While compliance is important, what is more important is how it’s generated. When compliance happens through developing internal values such as respect, responsibility, love, family relationships, and personal growth it is more self-sustaining. This is in contrast to compliance that springs from fear of punishment which tends to be short-lived. Self-sustaining, lifelong change is what we strive to create at Solstice East through our remarkable people and programming.

Solstice East Can Help 

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!

Contact us at  828-484-9946 to learn more about how we create personalized treatment plans.

teen mindfulness program

Breathe In, Breathe Out: How Mindfulness Helps Teens who Struggle with Depression and Anxiety

Breathe In, Breathe Out: How Mindfulness Helps Teens who Struggle with Depression and Anxiety 640 426 se_admin

Teen suicide. Substance abuse. Bullying and fights. Although seemingly unrelated, these all too frequent epidemics are plaguing today’s schools; and, frequently, they seem to spring from a single common source. Teenagers are finding it tough to cope these days; the challenging, sometimes stifling demands of peer pressure and academic performance placing undue stress on their sensitive psyche.

In order to combat these issues—and, for that matter, the feelings of anger, frustration, and sometimes out and out the hopelessness that accompany them—many school districts are offering mindfulness sessions in school.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of slowing down and paying attention to yourself and your surroundings in the moment. For many teenagers, their day consists of running from school to after school clubs to homework to family obligations. Their days are tightly packed, and even in their down time, they are rarely focusing on one task at a time. For example, during homework time, many teens can also be found chatting with friends via social media or watching videos. For previous generations, a ride in the car or a walk around the neighborhood forced them to look out the window or take in their surroundings. Today, teens can be watching movies, listening to music, or posting on social media during those same activities. Being mindful and slowing down is no longer a built in part of their day. Instead, teens need to learn how to actively engage in mindfulness practices and set aside the time to do them. 

Mindfulness involves the teaching of techniques like breathing and meditation to help people calm themselves and control their emotions.

Here is how you and your teen’s teacher can put mindfulness to work for them:

  • Guide the teen in the commission of deliberate deep breathing exercises. The phrase “Stop and take a good deep breath,” never has been more applicable. The simple act of stopping, falling silent, and taking a good, deep breath can do much to center and calm a frenetic teen; especially if they happen to be in the throes of an anxiety attack, when the simple process of breathing becomes strained and difficult.
  • Learn more about yoga and meditation. These sacred, time-honored arts have been utilized for centuries to bring peace, balance and happiness to people of all ages. Through instructional classes, books and videos, you can learn the principles and practices of yoga and meditation; passing this information on to your troubled teen. Teachers can lead meditative sessions in the classroom, and physical education teachers might integrate yoga into daily fitness regimens. Parents can morph a good yoga or meditation session into an enjoyable family activity.
  • Encourage self-reflection. Train your teen to reflect on and contemplate their problems and stressors; also to discuss these issues with parents and teachers, so that you can work together to find healthy and workable solutions.
  • Teach and encourage your teen to express themselves. When teens are empowered to release their tensions and frustrations in constructive and highly creative manners, then they no doubt will feel calmer, more centered, and more in control of their emotions. If they can sing a song instead of scream, draw a picture instead of take a drug, write instead of cut, etc., then they will develop a positive and intensely constructive outlet for their emotions.

Form a mindfulness team with your teen. When you meditate, breathe or draw/write/sing with the troubled teen, then you will bring the divine circle of mindfulness to its completion—to the benefit of both of you.

Mindfulness for Better Mental Health

A 2021 study found that mindfulness courses, like many other mental health practices, can reduce anxiety, depression and stress and increase mental wellbeing within most non-clinical settings. Many people who practice mindfulness report feeling calmer and more balanced in their emotions, but how does mindfulness actually help improve mental health?

One way that mindfulness can help is that it reduces rumination. Rumination is the process of continually thinking about the same thoughts. Often, teens who experience anxiety feel stuck in a rumination loop, where they are fixed on negative or “what if” thoughts. Several studies have shown that mindfulness reduces rumination. In one study, researchers asked 20 novice meditators to participate in a 10-day intensive mindfulness meditation retreat. After the retreat, the meditation group had significantly higher self-reported mindfulness and a decreased negative affect compared with a control group. They also experienced fewer depressive symptoms and less rumination. 

Another benefit of mindfulness is stress reduction. Researchers believe the benefits of mindfulness are related to its ability to dial down the body’s response to stress. When we are chronically stressed, our response system becomes taxed and burnt out. Mindfulness can teach practitioners to regulate their body’s response to stress. Psychological scientists have found that mindfulness influences two different stress pathways in the brain, changing brain structures and activity in regions associated with attention and emotion regulation. Scientists are also beginning to understand which elements of mindfulness are responsible for its beneficial effects.

There is also promising research that mindfulness can help alleviate depression. Studies have suggested that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is just as effective as medication in preventing depression relapse among adults with a history of recurrent depression, and in reducing depressive symptoms among those with active depression. Practicing mindfulness can also help teens cultivate a sense of self-compassion. Oftentimes, teens experiencing depression may feel like they are failing or that there is something wrong with them because they feel that they can’t engage in the world or be successful the way they believe their peers are. These depressive thoughts can worsen their symptoms, but mindfulness encourages teens to be kinder to themselves. Self-compassion helps teens practice self-kindness, recognize their common humanity with others instead of feeling isolated and ashamed. It encourages teens to not fixate on their perceived faults. Mindfulness can also help teens manage their inner critic and lessen its impact, which may help alleviate some of their depressive symptoms. 

Reacting Vs. Responding

Also related to stress and anxiety, mindfulness teaches students to respond versus react to a situation. Our reaction is often that first impulse. For example, if a teen has a negative stress response, like an emotional or physical outburst that is their reaction. This is why something that seems small to parents, like requesting your teen put their phone away for dinner, can elicit a huge or angry reaction. It could be that your teen is worried that they will be left out if they don’t respond right away to their friends. This worry triggers their stress response and subsequent outburst. They may not have the words in the moment to communicate their worries and instead scream about how they hate you and slam doors. Mindfulness teaches teens to acknowledge and identify their emotions as they come up. If they are practicing meditations, thoughts may come up like “this is boring” or “my back is uncomfortable”, and all those thoughts are acceptable. Mindfulness is not about judging their thoughts or emotions, it is about noticing them and then taking a step back before they respond. 

Teens who practice mindfulness are training their brains to respond instead of reacting in a stressful situation. When they are asked to put away their phone, thoughts may arise like “That’s not fair!” Or “I’m going to be left out!”. But now teens realize that not only are those feelings valid, but they also have the power to choose how they respond to those feelings. By practicing deep breathing, they may take a breath, calm themselves, and then be able to better communicate to you. What started as “I hate you!” can then turn into, “I’m worried I’ll be left out because my friends are making weekend plans right now. Could I have five more minutes to wrap this up?”. They are learning how to acknowledge and communicate their feelings through slowing down and paying attention. 

Solstice East Can Help

At Solstice East, we help our students and families learn to regulate their emotions through the modalities of mindfulness, relationship therapy, equine-assisted psychotherapy, adventure therapies and art-based therapies. We emphasize this teaching by training every member of our staff how to self-regulate, and how to help a teenager develop her own self-regulation skills. We provide our team with opportunities to implement regulation skills in real-life settings to increase their ability to provide attunement, safety and predictability while in-relationship with your daughter.

We believe that a holistic approach is an effective way to help young women truly heal from trauma.  Instead of focusing on one specific “problem” area or issue, we treat the entire person (mind, body and spirit). It is our belief that cutting-edge and evidence-based therapeutic approaches such as EMDR, neurofeedback, somatic experiencing, Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and gender-specific addictions treatment are essential to your daughter’s healing process.

The Solstice mission is to support adolescents, and their families, in developing excellence in relationships, influence, character, and health throughout their life journeys. Through relationship-based programming, we help students restore and rebuild healthy, trusting relationships with their families, peers, teachers, and staff. For more information please call (855) 672-7058.

when does grief become unhealthy

Trauma Treatment Center for Teens: When Grief Becomes Unhealthy

Trauma Treatment Center for Teens: When Grief Becomes Unhealthy 2560 1707 se_admin

Grief–we all feel it at some point in our lives, but for some, it’s experienced far too early on. The first experience of grief can be through the loss of a friendship or the death of a pet or a grandparent. As a trauma treatment center for teens, we know that grief is a natural response to loss, most frequently having to deal with the death of a loved one–but this natural response can run out of control. It can fill an individual with unrelenting sadness and hopelessness, essentially making daily life a struggle. Untreated, this type of grief can ruin a person’s life–which is why it is so critical to understand what is normal and what is not when it comes to grief.

What can cause grief?

When you think of grief, what comes to mind? For most people, they think of losing a loved one–this is the most frequent cause of grief. There are other causes, though. Grief can arise when an individual or a loved one of the individual is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Even the loss of a relationship or friendship can trigger strong feelings of grief.

Even subtle losses in life can trigger a sense of grief. For example, a young adult may feel grief after moving away from home, graduating from college, or even experiencing a career change. Whatever their loss, that grief is a personal thing. If that person, animal, relationship, or circumstance they lost was significant to them, it is normal to grieve that loss. There is no reason to feel ashamed of those feelings of grief. Sometimes people experiencing what they consider to be “smaller” losses may feel like they do not have the same right to grieve as people who have suffered larger tragedies. But the reality is that whatever your loss, you are allowed to have your feelings. 

For adolescents, grief can be much different than in adults. Adults have had the time and experience to build up defenses and coping methods for grief–teenagers haven’t. In our trauma treatment center for teens, we know this can make the trauma of grief much more potent and unstable, which is why we treat it.

Dealing with Grief

Children and teens may experience grief differently than adults. They may be crying one moment, then enjoying an activity the next. But just as grief affects adults in different ways, each young person will have their own way of processing their grief. They may use distractions to keep from feeling overwhelmed, or they may experience episodes of depression, anxiety, or even outbursts of anger. 

When it comes to processing feelings of grief, encourage your teen to express their feelings. Emotions may feel tangled or confused, but give your daughter the space she needs to express whatever emotions may come up. Remind her that there is no right or wrong way to grieve a loss. She may have questions, so do your best to answer her questions honestly and clearly. You may not have all the answers, and that is OK. What matters the most is that your daughter knows that you are there for her during this difficult time. 

It can also be helpful to participate in the rituals that can provide comfort or closure. In the circumstance of a death, memorial services, funerals, or other traditions can help your daughter by being in the presence of other people who knew their loved one. These traditions can be a way to honor the person that they have lost. 

Grief can feel very lonely, even if they have loved ones around. Sharing their sorrow with others who have experienced similar losses can help. A support group can be a beneficial tool to support your teen in their grief. The pain of grief can cause them to want to withdraw from others and isolate. But having the face-to-face support of other people is vital to healing from loss. 

It is also important to remind your daughter that dealing with grief will take time. Healing happens gradually and it cannot be forced or hurried. There is no “normal” timeline for healing from grief. For some people, they may feel better after a few weeks or months. For others, it may take years to begin to process that grief. Whatever she is experiencing with grief, help your daughter be patient with herself and the process. 

The difference between normal and harmful grief

As said before, grief is a normal, human response to loss. We feel grief when we’ve lost opportunities, relationships, friendships, and loved ones. It’s when that grief runs free with an uncontrollable force that it becomes an issue. 

Grief is something that is difficult to understand until you experience it. You can describe grief to someone, but experiencing it first hand is something completely different. This is why grief can be so challenging, and potentially traumatizing, for young adults. These big emotions can be devastating if they are not equipped with the proper coping methods. Grief can easily go from normal to extremely destructive. Teens who are experiencing harmful grief may experience symptoms such as:

  • Sleep disturbance: Teens who are experiencing harmful grief may experience sleep disturbances. This can manifest as lack of sleep or insomnia. Or excessive sleep, using sleep to avoid dealing with the pain of their emotions. 
  • Anger: Even if the loss was nobody’s fault, they may feel angry and resentful. If they lost a loved one, they may be angry with themself, the doctors, or even the person who died for abandoning them. They may feel the need to blame someone for the injustice that was done to them.
  • Guilt: They may feel responsible somehow, or guilty about whatever emotions they are feeling in their grief or what they think they should have or should not have done or said.
  • Fear: A significant loss can trigger a host of worries and fears. They may feel anxious, helpless, or insecure. They may even have panic attacks. The death of a loved one can trigger fears about their own mortality, of facing life without that person, or the responsibilities they now face alone.
  • Isolation: Teens experiencing grief may begin to isolate themselves from family or friends. It could be because they don’t believe that anyone else can understand what they are going through. It could be because their peers feel awkward around them because they don’t know how to talk about their loss. It could also be that the feelings of grief feel too overwhelming and they feel that talking to other people about it is too painful. 

There may also be physical symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, lowered immunity, weight loss or gain, and aches and pains. When the symptoms of their grief begin to get in the way of daily life and throw an individual into a deep, deep depression, help should be sought out. 

If you believe your daughter is struggling with grief, trauma, or any other mental health issue, it’s critical to seek out help as soon as possible. Early intervention and treatment is the key to success in these cases–don’t wait until it’s too late.

How a Trauma Treatment Center Can Help

Young women who are dealing with harmful grief may benefit from a residential treatment program that specializes in dealing with trauma. A residential treatment center provides a unique combination of therapeutic techniques stemming from both traditional and holistic mental health treatments that are gender and age-specific. Here they will work with clinical professionals who can help them build the coping mechanisms they need to move through their grief and process it in a healthy way. 

As one of the leading trauma treatment programs for girls, programming is designed around a relationship-based approach to healing from trauma. While your daughter is attending Solstice East she will build relationships with peers and staff members. We have found that these relationships are essential to helping your daughter heal from her trauma and build a strong and empowered identity.

Solstice East supports a therapeutic culture where acceptance, change, and growth is recognized and embraced. Our approach employs the guidance of The Hero’s Journey and its themes, providing a foundation for our students to advance victoriously and grow closer to internal harmony. Solstice East students embark on a therapeutic journey that teaches inner growth and understanding and fosters positive relationships. Our groundbreaking approach allows our students to heal while compiling skills and practices to best serve them throughout their life journey.

Solstice East for Your Daughter

Solstice East is a trauma treatment center for teens–specifically for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls are often grappling with depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. In our trauma treatment center for teens, we strive to help students develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness.

For more information about how our trauma treatment center for teens at Solstice East can help your daughter, please contact us at 828-484-9946.

ptsd in children and teens

PTSD In Teenagers: How You Can Help Your Daughter

PTSD In Teenagers: How You Can Help Your Daughter 640 426 se_admin

Childhood trauma can have a profound impact on adolescent’s development, resulting in negative effects on physical growth, psychological development, mental health, and in severe cases, it can be the catalyst for developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Experiencing childhood trauma has become more widespread with many research studies claiming that over 50% of teens have been exposed to trauma at some point in their lives.

A 2013 research study of 6,483 teens found that 61% of teens had been exposed to at least one potentially traumatic event in their lifetime, including interpersonal violence such as rape, physical abuse, or domestic violence, injuries, natural disasters, or the death of a close family member. Of these teens, 19% had experienced 3 or more of these traumatic events, and nearly 5% had experienced PTSD under the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. Another study indicates that that as many as 16% of adolescents exposed to trauma may develop PTSD.

Research has shown that PTSD can increase vulnerability to psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, as well as several physical problems such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, and cancer, and cognitive problems such as brain development and emotional attachment. Because of the potential damages of PTSD, it’s essential to understand the causes of PTSD, recognize its symptoms and impacts, and get your teen treatment as soon as possible to aid in her recovery.

Causes of PTSD in teens

Post-traumatic stress disorder is defined as a condition brought on by exposure to a traumatic event. As discussed, the majority of children will experience some type of traumatic event in their lifetime, but children with PTSD don’t bounce back from this trauma. Instead, they develop harmful behavioral patterns that can be debilitative without treatment.

There are many risk factors associated with the likelihood of developing PTSD as a teenager. Research indicates that the two groups of adolescents that are most likely to have been exposed to trauma in their lifetime are those who did not have both biological parents in the home and those who had pre-existing mental and behavioral disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.

In a study that found 4.5% of teens had experienced PTSD in their lifetimes, there were many risk factors. One of the greatest risk factors was being a female; females had a 7.3 percent lifetime prevalence of PTSD compared to only 2.2 percent of males. Another risk factor included interpersonal violence as PTSD was found in 39% of teens who had been raped and 25% of teens who had been physically abused by a caregiver. Lastly, those who had underlying mood disorders such as anxiety and depression were also more likely to be at risk for developing PTSD.

Beyond risk factors, there are many known causes for developing PTSD in children and adolescents. The causes can be broken up into two categories: interpersonal traumas and non-interpersonal traumas. Interpersonal trauma includes events such as violent assaults, rape, physical or sexual abuse, school or neighborhood shootings, and military combat.

A 2020 study indicates the link between interpersonal traumas and PTSD can be explained by social information processing theory. Those who have experienced violent trauma are predisposed to hostile attribution bias which increases the perception of threats and causes heightened stress reactivity. Simply put, those who experience violence are more likely to perceive violence in all settings which can cause them to relive their traumas and be fearful of various environments.

The other type of trauma that can result in PTSD is non-interpersonal trauma and this includes events such as car accidents, natural disasters, being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, and going through the death of a loved one. A 2019 study conducted on the impacts of a 2008 earthquake found that up to 10% of children exposed to the earthquake had developed PTSD, and that their PTSD symptoms were heightened around the anniversary of the earthquake each year.

Even though PTSD can develop through various types of trauma, there are some similar symptoms you can look for if you’re concerned your daughter is struggling with post traumatic stress disorder.

Symptoms and impacts of PTSD on teens

For teens struggling with PTSD, they often feel like they are unable to escape the impact of the trauma they have experienced. Constant reminders of the trauma they went through can make it extremely challenging to go through day-to-day life, especially if they are unable to express what they are feeling to trusted adults. Here are some common symptoms to look for in teens experiencing PTSD:

  • Avoidance of situations – Teens with PTSD will often avoid situations, environments, and people that could cause them to remember the trauma they’ve experienced. They may also avoid talking about what happened so they don’t have to be reminded of it.
  • Reliving the trauma – Those experiencing PTSD will often have intense nightmares, flashbacks, or disturbing mental images about the trauma. Wanting to avoid the nightmares can also lead to a disruption in their sleeping patterns or cause insomnia
  • Anxiety – People with PTSD can experience extreme anxiety or nervousness. This can take the form of being easily startled, on edge, jumpy, irritable, or tense. This can be brought on by high levels of stress and cortisol in the body.
  • Developmental Regression – Some children who experience PTSD may regress to earlier, more childlike behaviors. This can include wetting the bed, becoming overly clingy to parents, developing separation anxiety, or even forgetting how to speak.
  • Emotional numbness – Teens struggling with past trauma, often feel numb and detached from the people and events in their lives. This detachment can also cause teens to view the world more negatively and hinder their ability to trust anyone. Research indicates this is because the brain overproduces some hormones that numb the senses during stress.
  • Acting impulsively – Teens with PTSD are likely to display self-destructive behavior and guilt. This could be in the form of substance use and abuse, engaging in sexual behavior, or engaging in situations that could put themselves and others in harm’s way.

In addition to the symptoms teens may display, there are many physical, mental, social and emotional impacts that adolescents with PTSD can experience. Due to the hypervigilance, change in sleeping patterns, and increased stress that individuals with PTSD experience, they can also experience negative physical health impacts. Common effects include back pain, migraines, stomachaches, muscle tension, and other body aches. A 2015 study found that childhood trauma can even cause long term changes in their body’s immune functioning which can cause potentially life threatening conditions such as type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

PTSD in adolescents can also have extremely adverse impacts socially and emotionally. A 2017 study found that those who had experienced PTSD and trauma were likely to misidentify sad and angry faces as fearful. Understanding and recognizing facial expressions is crucial for social functioning and communicating emotions, so this impairment can hurt an individual’s ability to connect with others and can be indicative of low empathy and impaired affective bonding.

Sometimes PTSD can occur in a particularly severe form called Complex PTSD. This type of PTSD is most commonly found in those who have experienced repeated sexual abuse in childhood. A study on Complex PTSD found that in combination with reliving the trauma, these individuals undergo massive personality changes that cause them to struggle with relationships and prohibit them from trusting, developing intimacy, and cultivating a positive sense of self worth.

For children and teens struggling with PTSD, early and consistent intervention can make a world of difference in their healing journey.

How you can help support your daughter through her PTSD

There are many options for treatment if your daughter is experiencing PTSD, and certain types of talk therapy, such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, have been proven to significantly reduce the symptoms of PTSD. There are also many steps you can take at home to help your daughter along her recovery journey. Try these strategies to help your teen with PTSD:

Research the causes and effects of PTSD – It can help to gather as much information as possible about PTSD to determine the root of the cause in your daughter. The more information you have, the more able you will be to provide her with the best course of treatment.

Learn to recognize PTSD episodes – One of the scariest impacts of PTSD on teens is reliving a flashback of the event, in which they feel like they are experiencing the trauma all over again. Knowing what to look for during these episodes can help you understand what is going on, what to expect, and what you can do to help in the moment.

Let them know they are not alone – As many as 16% of girls will experience some sort of PTSD in their lives and it can be helpful to know others have experienced this to help reduce alienation from others. Seeking out a PTSD support group can provide an opportunity to connect with others who have experienced similar situations.

Learn triggers – Many PTSD episodes are triggered by events, images, and sounds that remind teens of the original trauma they experienced. By knowing these triggers, you can help your teens avoid the kinds of situations that might cause a PTSD episode.

If your teen is struggling with childhood trauma and PTSD, a residential program like Solstice East, can provide her the holistic and restorative therapy she needs to heal.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls ages 14-17 that specializes in treating trauma. We utilize cutting edge neurological research to help us better understand the impact of trauma on the developing brain and to implement the most effective methods for its treatment. We believe that a holistic approach is an effective way to help young women truly heal from trauma.

Instead of focusing on one specific problem area or issue, we treat the entire person mind, body, and spirit. We believe that evidence based therapeutic techniques such as EMDR, neurofeedback, somatic experiencing, Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and gender specific treatment are essential to your daughter’s healing process.For more information about how Solstice East can help, please call 828-484-9946.

EMDR therapy

The Power of Using EMDR Therapy for Processing Trauma

The Power of Using EMDR Therapy for Processing Trauma 2560 1707 se_admin

When we hear the word “therapy” many people’s minds go to laying on a couch and talking through their feelings. The reality is that there are many different forms of therapy from family therapy to Cognitive Behavior Therapy. For teens processing trauma, whether that is from being bullied in school or experiencing physical harm, some therapies may be more effective than others. And while it can be difficult to find the right therapy for your teen who has experienced trauma, one practice that can be incredibly beneficial is EMDR.

What is EMDR?

EMDR or Eye Motion Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. EMDR works by stimulating the brain in ways that lead it to process unprocessed or unhealed memories, leading to a natural restoration and adaptive resolution, decreased emotional charge and linkage to positive memory networks.

During an EMDR session, your therapist will move their finger back and forth in front of your face and ask you to track the motion with your eyes. At the same time, the therapist will ask you to recall a traumatic event. This will include the emotions and body sensations that go along with it. Gradually, your therapist will guide you to shift your thoughts to more pleasant ones, they may use finger movements, hand or toe tapping, or musical tones. 

People who use the technique believe that EMDR can weaken the effect of negative emotions. Before and after each EMDR treatment, your therapist will ask you to rate your level of distress. The hope is that your traumatic memories will become less disabling.

How Can EMDR Help Teens with Trauma

EMDR can help teens who have experienced trauma address and work through those memories, sensations, and emotions and resume normal, adaptive, and healthy processing. An experience that may have triggered a negative response may no longer affect them the way it used to after EMDR treatment. The hope is that those difficult experiences will likely become less upsetting.

Another benefit of EMDR is that it is rooted in mindfulness and nonjudgmental awareness that can lead to transformative healing. It is about becoming aware of the reactions around a traumatic memory and learning how to redirect those thought patterns. After a successful course of EMDR therapy, trauma survivors can learn to approach situations with equanimity and flexibility, yet appropriate caution.

Solstice East Can Help

The Solstice mission is to support adolescents, and their families, in developing excellence in relationships, influence, character, and health throughout their life journeys. Through relationship-based programming, we help students restore and rebuild healthy, trusting relationships with their families, peers, teachers, and staff. 

We believe that a holistic approach is an effective way to help young women truly heal from trauma.  Instead of focusing on one specific “problem” area or issue, we treat the entire person (mind, body and spirit). It is our belief that cutting-edge and evidence-based therapeutic approaches such as EMDR, neurofeedback, somatic experiencing, Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and gender-specific addictions treatment are essential to your daughter’s healing process. For more information please call (828) 471-0221.

dialectical behavioral therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Used in Experiential Groups

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Used in Experiential Groups 1696 2560 se_admin

It’s no surprise that teens often struggle with actively participating in group therapy sessions, as it is difficult for them to talk about their feelings. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a successful model, often used in group therapy, that offers a variety of strategies to help teens cope. Students are encouraged to use diary cards to remind them of how they’ve used these skills throughout the week, however, it is harder to remember to apply them in the moment. Solstice East offers a weekly Experiential DBT group that is focused on team-building initiatives to encourage teens to practice these skills in action.

What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a type of therapy used to help clients manage self-destructive behaviors, problematic relational patterns, and overwhelming emotions. It is based on the concept that a person’s actions make sense within the context of their personal experiences without necessarily agreeing that they are the best approach to solving the problem. Each area includes a number of skills that help teens come up with an action plan when facing a difficult situation.

  • Emotion Regulation. Students learn to determine when and why they develop overwhelming emotions and how to better manage those emotions.
  • Distress Tolerance. These skills focus on managing highly upsetting, distressful situations with effectiveness and resilience. 
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness. These skills help students express their beliefs and feelings effectively.  We teach students how to set limits, be assertive, and problem-solve to develop meaningful relationships.
  • Mindfulness. Students learn to stay “in the moment”, become more aware, and focus less on the negatives and more on the positives.  

 

 

Specialty Group Options

“Typically, our specialty groups are centered around discussion topics and students are divided into groups based on their individual needs. While this personalized approach is beneficial for teens, students who struggle with learning differences and social communication benefit from a more hands-on approach that helps them understand the value of psychoeducation in their everyday lives,” explains Adventure Therapy Specialist Dan Horseman. 

For this reason, some of our specialty groups are more interactive to encourage students to engage. We also integrate elements of group therapy into off-campus outings and adventure activities by encouraging teens to reflect on their experiences. Group therapy helps students build trust with each other and develop closer bonds.

Examples of specialty groups offered at Solstice East include:

  • Adoption
  • Grief and loss
  • Trauma
  • Body image
  • Depression
  • Substance Abuse
  • Equine Therapy
  • Relationship Processing Groups
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy

DBT Experiential Group For Every Student

Experiential Specialty Groups involve every team and multiple therapists, which gives teens the opportunity to focus on broader themes, like communication, teamwork, group dynamics, and leadership. 

“We’ll choose experiential activities and pair them with a topic, like healthy boundaries, and give students the opportunity to practice those boundaries in a structured way,” describes Horseman. “We start with psychoeducation about the topic for all the teams and then break up into team-building initiatives. Then, we debrief with students and point out what we have noticed, celebrating successes and encouraging students to practice certain skills.” 

Many students who have made progress in their daily lives are pushed out of their comfort zone whenever they participate in these experiential activities. When deeper patterns in how they respond to situations and how they feel about themselves are revealed, it gives them insight into topics they may want to work through in sessions. Lessons are then integrated into weekly off-campus activities, community service, and adventure camping trips to provide a context for students to apply these skills in real-life settings.

Solstice East Can Help 

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and addictive behaviors. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!

Contact us at  828-759-5909 to learn more about experiential therapy.

neurofeedback

Can Neurofeedback Training Increase Self-Esteem?

Can Neurofeedback Training Increase Self-Esteem? 2500 2500 se_admin

Excessive self-blame and low self-esteem may be precursors to depression rather than a result of depression. In an earlier study, a team of researchers at King’s College London found evidence that people with a history of depression have lower connectivity between two particular areas of their brain when recalling feelings of guilt. Based on these findings, the team decided to take the study a step further to see if fMRI neurofeedback could retrain their brains and increase their self-esteem.

What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is a computer-aided technique that impacts brainwave activity, resulting in significant changes across memory, cognition, and focus. This science-backed method is designed to train the most important organ in our body – the brain.

In a way, neurofeedback is like a video game or a form of exercise for the brain. By wearing a specially-designed helmet which tracks brain activity and a display for live feedback, teens can control different images using their brain. Teens can train their focus just as if they were training a muscle. The secret is getting the brain to produce the ‘right’ kind of waves. 

What Symptoms Does Neurofeedback Treat?

  • Attention problems
  • Impulse Control
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger Control
  • Sleep
  • Stress
  • Memory Loss
  • Trauma flashbacks

How Does Neurofeedback Work? 

Biofeedback instruments quantify how a child’s body reacts to certain stimuli. For instance, video games used in neurofeedback won’t let a child progress unless she changes a behavior at the moment. As you repeat those trainings, the brain learns how to keep itself in that calmer place. You’ll still react to strong events, but you teach your brain to be calmer. Teens learn to become better observers of their own lives and more aware of their needs. 

How Can It Affect Self Esteem?

In a previous study, the researchers found that people with depression have lower connectivity between the right anterior superior temporal (ATL) and the anterior subgenual cingulate (SCC) regions of the brain, which relates to the interpretation of social behavior. During their most recent study, they asked participants to recall a memory of a situation in which they had felt guilt towards other people. They repeated the task for feelings of injustice. 

Participants could see fMRI neurofeedback of their ATL-SCC connectivity activity in real time in the form of a digital thermometer. They were asked to try and increase the level of the thermometer by changing their feelings as they recalled the event. Researchers found that the thermometer level went up only if the ATL-SCC connectivity increased.

Following the experiment, participants repeated psychological questionnaires and reported feeling an increase in self-esteem and control over these situations. This suggests that neurofeedback can be an effective tool in changing how teens respond to situations and how they feel about themselves. 

Solstice East Can Help 

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!

If your teen is struggling with low self-esteem and traditional forms of challenging their beliefs through therapy have not been effective, contact us at  828-484-9946 to learn more about how we use neurofeedback to help teens change their beliefs about themselves. 

daughter who has experienced trauma

What to Say To Your Daughter Who Has Experienced Trauma

What to Say To Your Daughter Who Has Experienced Trauma 2560 1706 se_admin

According to the Center for Disease Control, two in five women in the United States experience some form of sexual trauma in their lifetime. Although these statistics make it seem relatively common, everyone experiences it differently, which makes it difficult to make generalizations about how to talk to survivors. #MeToo is a powerful statement, but it is not always reassuring for young girls who have experienced trauma. Starting conversations about PTSD can be hard for both parents and their daughters. Parents can use these strategies to help their daughter who has experienced trauma feel validated and supported. 

Wait For Your Daughter Who Has Experienced Trauma to Reach Out

Between 60 and 90% of teens who have experienced trauma seek help informally from friends and family members. The most common barrier to reaching out for help is the perception that it is a personal issue and that their experience is too unique for others to understand. As they may not know what kind of support to ask for, they are often hesitant about sharing their experiences with others and sounding like a victim. It can be frustrating to take a step back and wait for them to approach you, but inserting yourself into the situation can make them feel more overwhelmed.

Let Them Take the Lead

Many parents struggle with knowing the right thing to do or say to their daughter who has experienced trauma. They want their daughter to feel comfortable trusting them with details and coming to them for advice, but their daughter may not be ready to speak openly about what they’ve been dealing with. When they do reach out, their thoughts are often scattered and they may disclose things in pieces. Be patient. The most important thing to say is “I believe you.” 

Thank Them 

Acknowledge that sometimes it can feel just as painful to share their experience with others as it can to hold it in. There is a lot of fear associated with being judged, invalidated, or blamed for a situation. It is an honor to be trusted as a safe person to go to and process their experience. 

Give Them the Power to Take Action 

Teens are more likely to avoid the subject if they feel like it is someone else’s goal to talk about it, not theirs. Our trauma-informed model offers a variety of treatment modalities to heal the effects of trauma that allows teens to explore what works for them. Our treatment team collaborates with students to come up with individualized treatment plans based on their needs. The healing process begins when they are ready. We take a relationship-based approach to building trust, confidence, and empowerment that emphasizes community support. Your daughter is not alone.

Solstice East Can Help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 who are reclaiming their sense of self after experiencing traumatic events, depression, and addictive behaviors. We help young women heal from emotional pain by reintegrating healthy habits into their lives. Students learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate with others. Through adventure activities and creative expression, we encourage girls to explore their passions and strengths and empower them to make healthy choices.

For more information about how we help girls cope with trauma, call 828-484-9946.

 

borderline personality disorder

Reframing Borderline Personality Disorder as Childhood Trauma

Reframing Borderline Personality Disorder as Childhood Trauma 4500 3000 se_admin

We need to start talking about borderline personality disorder for what it really is: a complex response to trauma. While traumatic experiences don’t necessarily trigger signs of a borderline personality, up to 60% of people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder have co-occuring PTSD. It is understood as a combination of genetic factors and early childhood experiences that influence attachment styles, coping mechanisms, and interpersonal relationships. Reframing Borderline Personality Disorder as Childhood Trauma helps psychologists understand underlying causes and frees teens from the label of fundamental problems with their personality.

Defining Characteristics of a Borderline Personality:

  • Unstable self-image
  • Instability in relationships
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Intense emotions
  • Impulsive behaviors

Environmental Factors:

One of the reasons Borderline traits are considered a personality issue is that most people diagnosed with the disorder do not respond to medication, which suggests that it is more environmental than biological in nature. While Borderline traits persist over an extended period of time, they tend to intensify when triggered by stress or traumatic events.

The relationship between traumatic events and Borderline is unclear. While Borderline may be a response to trauma, people with these traits are also more vulnerable to abuse. Between 40 and 86 percent of BPD sufferers report sexual abuse, up to 75 percent say they were emotionally abused, up to 73 percent report physical abuse, and between 17 and 25 percent experienced severe emotional neglect. Following these experiences, they have developed belief systems about their self-worth and an unstable view of relationships based on hurt and manipulation.

Deconstructing Borderline

The similarities between complex PTSD and BPD are numerous. Patients with both conditions have difficulty regulating their emotions; they experience persistent feelings of emptiness, shame, and guilt; and they have a significantly elevated risk of suicide. In some ways, some signs of borderline mimic signs of autism in relation to inconsistent social skills and reactions to an intense world.

When you take away judgments of character associated with a borderline personality, the disorder is characterized by:

  • History of developmental trauma or reactive attachment
  • Rigid processing
  • Sensory sensitivity
  • Slower nonverbal processing

Problems with a Personality Disorder Label

Labeling people with BPD as having a personality disorder can escalate their poor self-esteem. “Personality disorder” translates in many people’s minds as a personality flaw, and this can lead to or intensify an ingrained sense of worthlessness and self-loathing.

This means people with BPD may view themselves more negatively, but can also lead other people – including those closest to them – to do the same. 

Taking a Trauma-Informed Approach

When reframed as childhood trauma, psychologists are better prepared to address underlying issues and come up with concrete solutions. The “personality label” reinforces learned helplessness and treatment-resistance. Using a trauma-informed approach, psychologists look at teens’ individual strengths and needs to find a way to connect with them. The goal of treatment becomes learning how to establish healthy relationships based on personal values and fears.

Solstice East Can Help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, trauma, and addictive behaviors. Many of the girls we work with have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and have internalized hopelessness in relationships based on this diagnosis. Our relationship-based program focuses on helping young women heal unhealthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives.

Contact us at (855) 672-7058 to learn more about borderline personality disorder. We can help your family today!

roberto-delgado-webb-washV-MnHRA

Rebuilding a Relationship with Yourself After Trauma

Rebuilding a Relationship with Yourself After Trauma 3729 4661 se_admin

All relationships mirror the relationship you have with yourself. This goes both ways. Teens learn to take care of themselves the way they’ve been taken care of and are better prepared to trust others, forgive others, and respect others if they are able to treat themselves the same way. According to the novel, the Perks of Being a Wallflower, “we accept the love we think we deserve.” While traumatic events can take a significant toll on the body’s ability to manage stress, the hardest part to overcome is the effect it has on relationship and identity issues. Helping teens rebuild a relationship with themselves after trauma is key to developing healthy relationships and coping mechanisms.

The Hidden Effects of Trauma

Addiction specialist Gabor Mate explains “trauma is not about what happened to you, but the disconnection from yourself that happened as a result of whatever the stressor was.” The defense mechanisms that teens develop to cope with childhood trauma result from teens trying to create a false self whose value depends on what other think of them as a form of self-protection. However, this method reinforces the self-sacrifice, self-doubt, and self-sabotage that many teens recovering from trauma experience rather than addressing it. 

When teens are struggling with trauma, it affects multiple areas of their lives. It is not just about the memories of traumatic events; it is about the messages they’ve internalized about why those events happened and how they shape their sense of self. Teens are more likely to develop PTSD than older people based on difficulties with self-awareness, emotion regulation, decision-making, and identity formation during this transitional phase of their lives.

Traumatic stress refers to overwhelming feelings of terror, fixation on a traumatic event, and perpetual fear of retraumatization in the aftermath, but it is associated with other underlying issues:

  • Helplessness
  • Loss of trust
  • Deep-rooted guilt and shame
  • Doubting one’s memories
  • Cynical worldview
  • Fear of perceived abandonment
  • Taking too much responsibility for events that have occurred
  • Internalizing that they deserved the experience
  • Difficulty separating current self from traumatized self

How Trauma Effects One’s Sense of Identity

For teens, adolescence is all about determining who they are, who they want to be, where they fit in and where they don’t, as they establish a sense of identity that is separate from their parents. They begin to pay more attention to how other people view them and often value other people’s opinions more than their own. 

Some examples of identity issues in adolescence may include:

  • Becoming attached to their online self, where they are in control of how they are portrayed by others
  • Acting out to fit in through risky behaviors
  • Adopting other people’s personalities either for approval or a way to feel “normal”
  • Rebelling against authority figures by expressing mistrust
  • Basing their sense of identity around group membership
  • Trying on different personalities, either through exploring different interests or friend groups

Helping Teens Re-establish a Healthy Sense of Self 

  • Discuss what they think their basic needs are. Many teens with PTSD are stuck in “survival mode, ” however, they struggle to meet their basic needs. If they experience nightmares, they may be afraid of going to sleep. Or they may sleep too much to escape from reality. Anxiety may take away their appetite or they may crave unhealthy foods. Many teens struggle with suicidal ideation and don’t believe their basic needs deserve to be met. Other people may consider physical safety, boundaries, and trust should be their basic needs and feel a sense of injustice that they may have been taken away from them. Self-care is a difficult concept during early recovery.
  • Encourage them to separate themselves from the events that have happened to them. Remind them that events that occurred and the way they’ve responded to them are not their fault. Teens are empowered to take back control of their lives when they recognize that past experiences may shape who they are, but do not have to shape their future. As they understand that it is not uncommon for them to feel distant from things they used to enjoy or people they used to be close with, they can begin to move forward and use those things as motivation.
  • Talk about their inner child. Although they are still young, trauma can make teens grow up quickly. They may feel like they’ve lost their innocence or missed out on opportunities to be a kid. While it can be hard to recognize and validate their own needs, thinking about their needs as if they were someone else’s, particularly a younger child, helps them show more compassion towards themselves in the moment. 
  • Help them create personal goals. Many teens feel like their old goals are no longer relevant or no longer possible if they are struggling to cope with trauma. While it is important to validate the pain of their experiences, it is helpful to recognize how this may shape new goals in their relationship with themselves or how they want to help or educate others. Self-discovery and re-connection knows no limits, but setting smaller goals can help teens be more intentional about what values are still important to them and how they can apply them in their lives.

 

Solstice East Can Help 

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 who are reclaiming their sense of self after experiencing traumatic events, depression, and addictive behaviors. We help young women heal from emotional pain by reintegrating healthy habits into their lives. Students learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate with others. Through adventure activities and creative expression, we encourage girls to explore their passions and strengths and empower them to make healthy choices. As a relationship-based program, we emphasize rebuilding family relationships and developing close bonds with mentors, staff, and peers.

For more information about how we help girls cope with trauma, call 828-484-9946.