• Residential Treatment Center for Young Women 14-17

Therapeutic Programming at Solstice East

At Solstice East, we specialize in treating young women 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 Foundation – 3 Pillars

As one of the best troubled youth programs, the Solstice clinical program is based on the following 3 pillars, which form a solid foundation for positive growth and development. Many years have been spent refining this dynamic approach to the healing process for young women.

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Relationship Based

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.

Adventure Therapy - PaddleboardingLakeView


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 girls 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.

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Principle Driven

The process of internal growth and change is facilitated by a succession of interventions aimed at helping our girls become young women of character. The process of developing and clarifying a positive value system, and learning to allow these values to drive their choices and behavior is a powerful process of growth. It is this process that drives internal growth, and once solidified, remains constant and growing long after graduation and into adulthood. We help teens instill positive values and principles throughout their journey at Solstice East. Through service activities and the development of friendships with peers, 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:

Somatic Experiencing

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 “Student Life” section of this website, under Health and Fitness.

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 girls 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.

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