Therapeutic Programming at Solstice East
Our Clinical Foundation: 3 Pillars
At Solstice East, we specialize in treating adolescents in a residential treatment setting who struggle with a wide array of issues including trauma, loss, attachment, and the often-accompanying addictive patterns of behavior and thought. These are highly complex problems and require very specialized approaches to initiate and complete the healing process.
Our clinical approach is Relationship Based, Experiential, and Principle Driven. Many years have been spent refining this dynamic approach to the healing process for our students.
This philosophy is based on the idea that the “therapeutic alliance” is the factor that contributes most to positive change in the therapeutic process. This “alliance” is referring to healthy, trusting relationships. This begins with employing the right people, and training them effectively in the process of fostering and maintaining these relationships with our clients and families.
It is in this caring, safe, therapeutic culture that healing and growth are most effectively facilitated. Additionally, students rebuild their relationships with family members and create trusting, healthy friendships with fellow peers. As students progress through the program, they are supported by their peers who may be struggling with similar challenges. This peer support is an important element of the healing journey at Solstice East.
Experiential therapy is a process of growing through experience or learning by reflecting upon what you have done. More simply put, we provide many experiences that may not immediately appear to be therapeutic, but can become some of the most powerful change processes that adolescents can experience. Some of what makes experiential therapy potentially so powerful is that it is a “backdoor” approach, thus often eliminating or reducing resistance that many adolescents will present to avoid change.
Examples of our experiential therapy include equine therapy, recreation, and adventure therapy. Along with this, we offer other experiential groups and activities during family seminars. Even our off campus “fun days” have a strong experiential component that can be potent therapeutic experiences.
The process of internal growth and change is facilitated by a succession of clinical interventions aimed at helping our students become young adults of character. We focus on helping our students develop and clarify a positive value system. Learning to allow these values to drive their choices and behavior is a powerful process of growth for our students.
It is this process that drives internal growth, and once solidified, remains constant and growing long after graduation and into adulthood. We help young adults instill positive values and principles throughout their journey at Solstice East. This principle driven process is emboldened through service activities and the development of friendships with peers, where students are able to put positive values and principles into action.
Among many other approaches, our clinicians have received specialized, intensive training in trauma-focused interventions including:
Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Treating the Whole Person
One of the aspects that sets us apart from other programs for troubled teens is our philosophy. The Solstice East philosophy also includes a belief in a holistic approach. This approach focuses on treating the whole person, not just the “identified problem” or “problem behavior.”
It isn’t focused on symptom reduction, but on getting to the core of the issues, and building a strong foundation. For instance, we view addictive behaviors, whether they are self-harming, substance abuse, or based on unhealthy relationships, as being symptoms of more core issues. The primary goal of therapy is to access those core issues so genuine healing can occur. This is why our troubled youth programs have changed so many lives.
In addition, a holistic approach accounts for the fact that our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational selves are all bound together. This “mind-body” philosophy is supported by continuous research that our mental and physical health is intertwined. That being said, a deficiency in one area will impact the other. For more information on this, please refer to our Health and Fitness page.
Our therapeutic program acknowledges the fact that to create lasting, effective change, a holistic approach to health is necessary. This belief is the foundation that drives all of the components of the Solstice program.
Developing Healthy Relationships
The relationship-based focus emphasizes the critical role of “people” and “relationships” in the healing process. Decades of research and experience further validate our philosophy of “people before programs”. The relationships students build and strengthen with their peers, Solstice East staff members, and their family, can create a lasting impact on their healing process.
Principle Driven Internal Motivations
Being principle-guided in our interventions places emphasis on the learning and internalization of values and principles in the students we work with each day. This emphasis is much more impactful than a focus on consequences and/or rewards to motivate behavior change.
Learn by Doing
Therapeutic residential treatment centers for teens are significantly more effective when done experientially compared to traditional talk therapy. This is especially true with teens that are often initially defiant to change. Because experiential therapy is active, participants can engage in a variety of activities, and learn by doing and experiencing rather than just by talking or listening.
Our clinical model integrates leading therapeutic approaches including milieu, individual, group, and family therapy.