• Residential Treatment Center for Teens 14-17

trauma

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.

childhood trauma

Why We Screen Every Student for Childhood Trauma

Why We Screen Every Student for Childhood Trauma 2560 1707 se_admin

This year, California’s Surgeon General, Nadine Burke Harris, announced that she wanted to screen every student for Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma before entering school. Through her career, she recognized that there was a strong association between the adversity and trauma her patients experienced and their school functioning. Residential treatment centers acknowledge that addressing childhood trauma is key to helping students thrive in and out of the classroom.

Adverse Childhood Experiences

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began a study on youth trauma in the late 1990’s, known as Adverse Childhood Experiences, that specified ten categories of stressful or traumatic childhood events. This study showed that sustained stress caused biochemical changes in the brain and increased the risk of developing physical and mental health issues.

“It could be it shows up in tummy aches. Or it’s impulse control and behavior, and we offer a care plan,” explains Burke Harris. “Instead of reacting harshly and punitively, every educator is trained in recognizing these things. Instead of suspending and expelling or saying, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ we say, ‘What happened to you?'”

Examples of childhood trauma:

 

  • Being bullied or socially rejected
  • Divorce of parents
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Adoption
  • Abuse
  • Family history of mental illness or substance abuse

 

 

Assessment Services

When we acknowledge how traumatic events can lead to seeking unhealthy coping mechanisms, we are better able to address the root issues that teens may be experiencing. As trauma can be difficult to disclose to others and, often, can be difficult for teens to recognize, we conduct comprehensive, ongoing assessments that screen every teen for childhood trauma. This includes catastrophic events, considered Big-T Traumas, and experiences that have impacted their relationships and self-esteem called little-t traumas. While we have specific support groups for teens who have experienced traumatic events, our approach is aligned with trauma-informed care for every student. 

Trauma-Focused Therapy

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.

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.

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.

 

talk therapy

Alternates to Talk Therapy for Anxious Teens

Alternates to Talk Therapy for Anxious Teens 5184 3456 se_admin

In the middle of a panic attack, teens may experience overwhelming physical sensations that make it difficult to breathe, let alone gather their thoughts and talk about their experiences. Sometimes anxious teens don’t want to talk about how they’re feeling because they worry their fears may sound irrational or their thoughts are racing so fast, it can be difficult to pinpoint what is really going on. Talk therapy is not always effective when teens are experiencing intense emotions or struggle with self-awareness. Mindfulness and movement can be valuable alternatives to talk therapy for anxious teens.

Difficulty Understanding Emotions

Many teens have a difficult time managing their emotions as it is hard to understand what they are feeling. Adolescence is a period of significant changes—physically, emotionally, socially, and neurologically. The brain develops at such a rapid pace that areas responsible for emotions are flooded with activity. When these areas are hyperactive, teens with anxiety often go into fight-or-flight mode, which makes it hard to connect with areas that help with reasoning and decision-making that are still developing.

When teens develop a larger emotional vocabulary, they are better able to articulate what they feel, explore possible causes, and accept their emotional experience for what it is. Accepting their feelings gives them more room to change how they feel than labeling these feelings as “bad” or “wrong.”

Listening to Somatic Experiences 

Often, physical sensations of anxiety are so overwhelming that teens find it easier to name butterflies in their stomach than specific fears they may be worried about. Teens with anxiety may feel sick more often, even if there doesn’t seem to be a medical explanation for their ongoing symptoms. 

Many teens believe that emotions and physical sensations are separate, but they tend to inform each other. Acknowledging this connection allows teens to try self-soothing techniques that take care of their physical body in order to manage anxious thoughts, which can be easier than identifying and challenging anxious beliefs.

The Value of Experiential Learning

Teens learn more from experience than they do from lectures. We believe that teens don’t need to talk about their feelings in order to effectively process them if they’re not ready, if they don’t want to, or if it doesn’t feel right.

Some alternates to Talk Therapy include:

  • Journaling, which allows teens to explore their anxious thoughts without sharing them with others
  • Drawing, which encourages teens to express their emotions without using words
  • Practicing grounding meditation or doing a body scan to check in with physical anxiety
  • Practicing yoga helps teens link movement with their breath
  • Neurophysiological tools, like Brainspotting and Neurofeedback
  • Equine Assisted Therapy helps address social anxiety
  • Adventure activities and other physical activities help teens build confidence

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  828-484-9946 to learn more about experiential therapy.

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!

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.

healthy living and PTSD

Mind and Body: Healthy Living and PTSD

Mind and Body: Healthy Living and PTSD 5760 3840 se_admin

Healthy Living and PTSD are interconnected during the treatment process. While one is working to cope with the symptoms of PTSD, healthy living should also be made a priority. Research from PsychCentral talks about how “the nervous system and brain do not operate separately from the physical body. When we are hurt emotionally and mentally, leveraging the power of lifestyle change should be an important part of the treatment process and effective recovery.”

Making the choice to lead a healthy lifestyle can be challenging because one may not know where to start. After all, starting is the hardest part. Addressing both diet and exercise should be included in pursuing healthy living habits. If your young adult has PTSD, you know how the symptoms can be sometimes overwhelming to cope with. Coming up with a plan to get on a healthy track is important so that things do not worsen for you loved one. Here are two very critical components in ensuring a healthier lifestyle:

Food and Fuel

Diet plays a huge role in one’s overall mental health and wellbeing. Did you know nutrition affects the structure and function of the brain? Studies show that a diet high in sugar and processed carbs can increase one’s risk of depression. Individuals should prioritize eating foods like fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, and fish which have a beneficial impact on mood and body.

Get Moving for More Benefits

Exercise offers many benefits towards the brain and functioning of the nervous system. Studies show that there are lower anxiety and depression rates in those who exercise regularly. Given that these are common mental health issues associated with PTSD, exercising is an important way to help prevent and cope. Yoga and/or aerobic activity offers limitless benefits towards ones physical and emotional wellbeing.

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 (855) 672-7058.

how to help your teenager through divorce

Managing the Split: How to Help Your Teenager Through Divorce

Managing the Split: How to Help Your Teenager Through Divorce 3000 2000 se_admin

Divorce is a decision that affects the whole family. Teenagers experience many hormonal changes, developmental shifts, and may feel like they are riding an emotional rollercoaster through their adolescent years. When divorce is added to the mix, this can bring about even more hardships for teenagers. They may feel in the middle of it all and unsure how to cope with the changes onset by divorce in the family. Some of these changes can include the following:

  • Changing schools
  • Moving homes
  • Switching back and forth from one parent to another
  • Coping with parent’s unpleasant feelings towards one another
  • Maintaining relationships with both parents

Dealing with divorce yourself can feel overwhelming and quite chaotic at times. Knowing how to help your teenager through divorce is important. The impacts of divorce can grow to affect them socially and academically if their feelings are left unattended. Talk to your teen and make a conscious effort to make this process as painless as possible.

Dial Down the Impacts of Divorce

It’s true, divorce is never easy for anyone. However, there is hope at the end of the tunnel. As a parent, there are ways you can work with your teen to ease the negative effects of divorce on your teen’s life. Here’s some ways how:

 

  • Prioritize peace: When two parents are unable to get along, engage in constant bickering, and refuse to cooperate with each other, this can cause stress for teens. They may feel like they are the problem. It is important that you keep in mind your teen and their feelings. It is never a good idea to talk down about someone they love. Keep peace a priority to make this transition as smooth as possible.
  • Seek outside support: Divorce is an experience that can reveal a teen’s strengths and coping mechanisms. However, figuring out these strengths or learning ways to cope may not come quickly. Your teen should feel supported by family and friends—these are great resources for them to talk to about their feelings. Understand that you may not be the best person for advice and encourage them to spend time with loved ones.
  • Be Fair: Do not expect your teen to take sides. Your child is entitled to love both parents and remain neutral. Make sure your teen feels free to hang out with the other parent without you getting angry or upset. Teens often want to be fair and give parent’s equal attention—understand this and let your teen feel open to making their own decisions.

 

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 (855) 672-7058.

anxiety and PTSD in teen girls

Anxiety and PTSD in Teen Girls: What Parents Need to Know

Anxiety and PTSD in Teen Girls: What Parents Need to Know 4608 3456 se_admin

Anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are two things that can impact everyone. Teen girls may struggle with one or both of these types of disorders. The symptoms they exhibit may vary based off of the individual and the situations surrounding them. Pop singer, Ariana Grande, recently shared an image of her brain scan. Grande suffers from PTSD. Her scan was put next to a brain scan without PTSD to put things into perspective for viewers. Research proves that PTSD can alter the brain. The photos highlight the increased brain activity that occurs in the brain of one who has PTSD.

Identifying Anxiety and PTSD

Anxiety and PTSD in teen girls can have separate and similar effects. As a parent, it is important to recognize when your teen is struggling so that you can get them the help that they need. Common PTSD symptoms in teens include:

  •  Avoiding situations that make them recall the traumatic event
  • Experiencing nightmares or flashbacks about the trauma
  • Playing in a way that repeats or recalls the trauma
  • Acting impulsively or aggressively
  • Feeling nervous or anxious frequently
  • Experiencing emotional numbness
  • Having trouble focusing at school

Anxiety can be a normal reaction to stress. However, there is a point where anxiety can translate into a more severe disorder. Anxiety can reveal itself through emotional, social, and physical changes. Here are some indicators to look for in your teen that can be a warning sign:

  • Avoiding social interactions with usual friends
  • Avoiding extracurricular activities
  • Isolating from peer group
  • Spending increased time alone
  • Frequent headaches, including migraines
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Complaints of not feeling well with no obvious medical cause
  • Changes in eating habits.

The Next Steps

After learning what anxiety and PTSD looks like in teen girls, it is important to make accommodations to help your teen address their struggles. Here are some quick tips on ways to get your teen the help they need:

  1. Educate yourself on what PTSD and anxiety looks like in teens.
  2. Look up resources in your area that may be helpful to your teen.
  3. Confront your teen from a nurturing and caring perspective.
  4. Ask them what you can do to support them.
  5. Emphasize that they are not alone and that there are professionals that can help them learn healthy ways to manage their symptoms

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 (855) 672-7058.

how to help a teen with PTSD

A Parent’s Guide: How To Help A Teen with PTSD

A Parent’s Guide: How To Help A Teen with PTSD 640 525 se_admin

Teens who suffer from PTSD find coping to be extremely difficult. A recent study revealed that memories that come from traumatic events change according to the individual’s perception of the world around them. Naturally, we fill in gaps to make things make sense in our head. The same happens when individuals recount a traumatic event. Events from the past become tailored to meet the individuals understanding of the world and how they believe things happened. This fascinating discovery helps researchers to gain new answers as to how PTSD affects the brain.

Five Ways to Better Days

Teens who struggle with PTSD may respond to trauma through what appears to be “naughty” or “defiant” misbehavior. This is a common misunderstanding. It likely that this can make you, as the parent, feel angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed, but you should not act on these responses. Here are 5 quick tips on how you can help your struggling teen:

  1. Reassurance. We all need reassurance from time to time, but this is especially important for teens with PTSD. You should make an effort to remind them regularly that they are safe and cared for.
  2. Communication. Bottling emotions up is never a good idea. You should open the line of communication between you and your child. Talk about the trauma. Be an active listener.
  3. Expression. You should remind your child that they should express their emotions. This is a healthy and vital part of the healing process. There are many creative ways to express emotions such as: drawing, painting, playing music, writing, etc. Help your teen find something that works for them.
  4. Togetherness. Pay attention and nurture your relationship with your child. Set aside time to do things together as a family. This will help them feel loved and supported.
  5. Boundaries. Set limits. Don’t expect too much from your teen, but also don’t become overprotective. Jumping into the normal routine may not be realistic. Be flexible and adjust but remember it’s nothing permanent. Help them come up with a healing plan.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls ages 14-18 who struggle with addictive behaviors or other mental health issues. Solstice East emphasizes physical fitness and nutrition as a part of integrating healthy habits into the lives of young women. Students will learn how to cope with their emotions, create healthy boundaries, maintain and nurture relationships, and develop skills useful in the real world. This program gives students the opportunity to develop confidence, a greater sense of self-awareness, and the skills they need to lead happy and healthy lives. Let us help your family today!

Contact us at 828-484-9946