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accept your past

Overcoming Shame: How to Accept Your Past

Overcoming Shame: How to Accept Your Past 1920 2560 srtc_admin

Shame is a complicated emotion and one we all have dealt with at one time or another. Shame comes from feeling powerless and frustrated. For people who experience shame linked to trauma, it is a continued shock at the realization that this terrible thing actually happened to them. Sometimes, people living with shame are unable to break free from the spiral of negative emotions. It becomes something that is ingrained in their day to day life. If you feel like shame is taking over your life, it may be time to seek out strategies for dealing with those emotions

Overcoming Shame

Shame is uncomfortable and it is understandable that many people would rather ignore or hide their shame rather than confront it. But it is important to deal with your feelings of shame in order to overcome them and accept your past. Here are a few tips for working through those feelings of shame:

  1. Practice Self-Affirmation: Oftentimes, people dealing with shame also struggle with being compassionate with themselves. Shame may also manifest as doubt, where you believe, “I can’t do that” or “I don’t deserve that”. When this is your constant internal dialogue it is easy to get stuck in those feelings of doubt and shame. Instead, try shifting your narrative: I am worthy and deserving” or “My feelings are valid”. Practicing these affirmations can help the positive voice drown out the one rooted in shame. 
  2. Bring Your Feelings Into the Light: Shame thrives in secrecy and darkness, but the less you talk about your shame, the more power it has over you. Getting beyond shame means acknowledging it and sharing your experiences with the people you trust. Talking through those feelings of shame helps you gain perspective about the situation. 
  3. Meditation and Mindfulness: A mindfulness practice encourages you to slow down and be in the moment. When you feel drawn into those thoughts of shame, mindfulness allows you to take a step back and notice those feelings without judgment. Being in the moment allows you to respond to those emotions rather than reacting to them. 
  4. Seek Out Help: Talking through your feelings and experiences with friends and family can be helpful. But to truly process and work through those feelings of shame, especially when they are tied to trauma, working with a mental health professional is crucial. Unresolved shame can lead to feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. Talking about the emotional pain you feel is a powerful step in the healing process. A therapist can help you create a treatment plan and strategies for dealing with those emotions as they come up in the future. 

Solstice RTC Can Help

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

With a road map influenced by the archetypal Hero’s Journey, each student walks a unique and very personal path towards discovering the hero within. Students and families progress through the stages of this journey at their own pace. Although the journey is their own, they do not travel it alone. This journey is about people, discovery, growth and mastery. For more information please call (801) 406-7450.

blame and shame in relationships

How to Navigate Family Conflict Without Blame

How to Navigate Family Conflict Without Blame 2560 1437 srtc_admin

Conflict happens in every family. And while it is completely normal, it is important to deal with conflict in a healthy way. If you find that your conversations around family issues lead to yelling or slamming doors, it may be time to evaluate your communication methods. Talking in circles or playing the blame game fuels tension and the focus becomes who is right instead of finding a solution to the problem.

Communicating Without Blame

Good communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship. When you are able to communicate effectively, you build trust and feel supported. 

  • Use “I” Statements: An “I” statement is a style of communication that focuses on the feelings or beliefs of the speaker rather than thoughts and characteristics that the speaker attributes to the listener. For example, if your teen isn’t cleaning their room after you’ve asked them multiple times, instead of saying “You still haven’t cleaned your room. You’re so irresponsible!” You can try, “I feel disrespected when I have to ask you multiple times to clean your room.”. 
  • Take Responsibility: It’s easy to feel defensive during an argument. Despite feeling frustrated in the moment, in most conflicts, there is fault on both sides. Instead of putting all the blame on the other person, take a moment to think about how your actions or behaviors may have contributed to the conflict. Admitting that you may have played a role in the problem helps the other person feel like they’re not just being attacked for their mistakes. 
  • Approach Conflict with a Problem Solving Attitude: Instead of focusing on how you are right and your teen is wrong during conflict, think about how you can come up with a solution that will make both parties feel heard and supported. When we get caught up in who is right, it leaves no room for moving forward towards a solution.
  • Take a Break: Not every conflict is going to be solved in the moment. If emotions are getting high and one person is placing blame on the other, take a break. You can have an understanding in your family if at any time a conflict becomes counterproductive, you are always welcome to take a break to de-escalate and come back to the conversation when everyone feels more calm and ready to find a solution. 
  • Seek Help: While it would be nice to be able to solve all of our problems on your own, there may be times when you need to seek outside help. If your family is unable to resolve conflict and you find yourselves in the cycle of arguments and blame, a family therapist can help. A trained mental health professional can help your family identify areas of conflict and work with you to build healthy communication skills to work through those issues in the future. 

Solstice RTC Can Help

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

Family therapy interventions are at the heart of our clinical program. We firmly believe in the strong nature and immense importance of family relationships. Research studies on the effectiveness of residential treatment indicate that the most significant factor in creating positive long-term outcomes for the child is parental involvement in the treatment process. Parental involvement is defined not only by the parents being actively involved in the child’s treatment but being actively involved in their own treatment and growth process. For more information please call (866) 278-3345.

how to deal with family stress during the holidays

Dealing with Family Trauma During the Holidays

Dealing with Family Trauma During the Holidays 2560 1709 srtc_admin

When we think of the holidays we may think of twinkling lights, family traditions, and general merriment. But the reality is that for many people, the holidays are fraught with difficult emotions and memories. This holiday season, think about what might make you go through the holidays feeling stronger and more confident. Even little changes can make a difference in the way we deal with trauma and stress during this time of year. 

Identify Triggers: Think about how the holiday season impacts you. What helps and what hurts? The holidays are full of nostalgia and memories that can be both positive and negative. It can be helpful to go into the holidays with a clear understanding of what situations or topics may have a negative affect on your mental health. 

Healthy Coping Skills: With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season many people lose sight of what keeps them physically healthy and mentally grounded throughout the rest of the year. Making the time to go for a walk or engage in a mindfulness practice can make a big difference in how you handle holiday stress. 

Have Realistic Expectations: The holidays can come with a lot of pressure and expectations of how things “should” be. Remember that those happy holidays that we see in commercials and movies are not most people’s reality. Most families have issues, whether that is stress or trauma. Having unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment. Instead, know that the holidays will not be perfect and that’s completely normal. 

Set Boundaries: The holidays are a busy time for everyone, and with the pressure of family, friends, and work obligations it is also a time when it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It can be helpful to discern what you “need” to do and what you “want” to do. For example, do you need to attend every gathering you’re invited to? Not if it causes you stress or is triggering. Do you need to attend your family dinner even though you know it will devolve into arguments? No, you do not. Try thinking about what you want to do. What brings you joy during the holidays? Maybe it’s baking cookies or visiting your grandparents. Those are the things to make time for. 

Reach Out: Dealing with family stress and trauma at any time of the year can be challenging, but it’s especially challenging during the holidays. In those times when you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that you will not stay in this place forever. Allow your mind and body to process the grief that you may experience. Have people in your life, whether friends, family, or mental health professionals, who you can reach out to when those heavy emotions emerge. It is especially important to have a support system in place during the holidays. 

Solstice RTC Can Help

The core of our programming is based on healing damaged relationships and restoring healthy connections within the family system. In addition to weekly family therapy sessions by phone or video-conference, we also invite families to come to participate in face-to-face family therapy sessions. Weekend visits with their children are encouraged.

We also conduct onsite, multi-day, family seminars which includes all families who are currently enrolled in our program. These intensive, multi-family experiences are conducted 4 times a year and provide powerful, experiential, and therapeutic experiences. Oftentimes families will highlight these events as significant turning points in their lives. For more information please call (801) 406-7450.

handling family conflict

Family Conflict: How To Come Together Instead of Falling Apart

Family Conflict: How To Come Together Instead of Falling Apart 2560 1707 srtc_admin

Conflict in families can become more pronounced as children transition into adolescence, as teens crave independence and don’t necessarily want to run to their parents with every problem they are facing. What may have started off as an innocuous conversation about a homework assignment or an outfit choice can quickly turn into a heated argument, leaving all family members hurt and confused.

While some conflict during the teen years is healthy and normal, it can be stressful when it feels like constant conflicts are getting out of hand. There are many conflict management strategies that you and your teen can use to help solve problems together.


Ways Teens and Families Can Work Together to Resolve Conflict

Finding appropriate ways to work together as a family to resolve conflict can strengthen your relationship with your child as well as reduce family stress levels. Learning how to healthily manage conflict can also help your teen develop key relationship skills they will need as they transition into adulthood.

To set yourself up for success in working together with your teen, it can be helpful to readjust your mindset and perspective so you can identify the source of the conflict. Before addressing a conflict head-on, try perspective-taking by thinking back to what it was like when you were a teenager. While perspective-taking allows you to relate better to your teen, keep in mind that your teen might not be able to reciprocate as teenage brain development can hinder them from understanding the risks and consequences of a situation.

As you prepare for conversations with your teen, try to remain flexible on the smaller issues; your child will be more willing to listen to the bigger issues if they feels like they are not being criticized at every turn. It’s also important to gauge your own emotions before attempting to engage in conversation. If you are angry or upset that is likely to come across in your discussion and could result in further hurt feelings.

During conflict resolution conversations, eliminate all distractions and create an environment where both parties can truly listen to what the other is saying. Be sure to allow space for your teen to speak and share their perspective so they knows that their voice and stance on the issue matters as well. To effectively communicate your feelings, let their know why you want their to do or not do something. For example, “I feel worried about your safety when I don’t know where you are”. Conveying that your main concern is for their well-being will let their know that you care about their and what happens to her.

After both sides have shared their perspectives, be prepared to negotiate and arrive at a compromise. Compromising teaches teens important problem-solving skills and allows them to feel like they have truly been part of the resolution process. If despite your best efforts, conflicts persist, you could consider alternative options like Solstice RTC.

Solstice RTC Can Help

Solstice RTC is a leading residential treatment program for young girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-17 that has been specifically designed to help families resolve conflicts and strengthen connections. We specialize in helping teens who struggle with anxiety, depression, trauma, and relationships by utilizing a unique blend of therapeutic techniques based on traditional and holistic methods.

Our mission is to support teenage girls and assigned female at birth and their families in creating strong, lasting relationships. The core of our programming focuses on healing damaged relationships and restoring healthy connections within the family system. For more information about how Solstice RTC can help strengthen your family bonds and assist your child with building and maintaining healthy relationships, please call (866) 278-3345.

teen borderline personality disorder treatment

Borderline Personality Disorder In Teens: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

Borderline Personality Disorder In Teens: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment 2560 1707 srtc_admin

According to the National Institute of Mental Health: “Borderline personality disorder is an illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. These symptoms often result in impulsive actions and problems in relationships.”

Teens with borderline personality disorder may experience an intense fear of abandonment or instability. They may also have difficulty spending time alone, but their impulsive actions and mood swings push others away. Borderline personality disorder usually begins in early adulthood, and while it can seem to be worse during early adulthood it may gradually get better with age. 

Signs and symptoms of BPD may include:

  • A pattern of unsuitable and intense relationships
  • Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that includes shifting goals and values, and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don’t exist at all.
  • Periods of stress-related paranoia or loss of contact with reality
  • Impulsive and risky behavior
  • Suicidal threats or behavior or self injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection. 
  • Mood swings which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame, or anxiety
  • Ongoing feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate or intense anger

Treatment Options

If you are concerned that your child is showing signs of borderline personality disorder, the first step is to meet with a mental health professional. A clinician will be able to provide a formal diagnosis for your teen as well as create a treatment plan. Treatment can help teens learn skills to manage their condition. A mental health professional may also suggest seeking treatment for any other mental health disorders that often occur in tandem with borderline personality disorder such as depression or substance abuse. 

Psychotherapy is a fundamental treatment approach for borderline personality disorder. The goals of psychotherapy are to help teens learn to manage emotions that feel uncomfortable, reduce impulsivity, work on improving relationships, and learn about borderline personality disorder. One type of psychotherapy is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT includes group and individual therapy designed specifically to treat borderline personality disorder. DBT uses a skills-based approach to teach teens how to manage their emotions, tolerate distress and improve relationships.

Learning to manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors takes time. There may be times when their symptoms are better or worse, but treatment can improve their ability to function and helps teens feel better about themselves. There may be a time when your teen needs more intensive care, and a residential treatment center can provide the medical and emotional support they need. 

Solstice RTC Can Help

Our goal is to equip our students with the tools needed to lead happy, successful lives. We provide a nurturing and welcoming environment for teenage students, and help them recognize that they are on the cusp of something wonderful: the chance to heal from their past and become the best version of themselves.

Our therapy for teens acknowledges the fact that to create lasting, effective change, a holistic approach to health is necessary. This fact underlies and drives all the components of the Solstice program. Solstice RTC is committed to hiring the most qualified, professional, caring staff that is dedicated to helping the students we serve. Our staff also undergoes specific, regular training to continue their own personal and professional development which is essential to the life-creating work we do. For more information, contact us today at (866) 278-3345.

teens addicted to cell phones

Why Are Teens Addicted to Cell Phones?

Why Are Teens Addicted to Cell Phones? 2560 1707 srtc_admin

Parents of teens today are very familiar with the sight of their teen’s face bathed in the blue light coming from a cell phone, computer, or television screen. Technology today is everywhere, and many teens have near constant access to it. And while parents may worry about the amount of time their teen spends on their cell phone, when does the amount of time begin to become a real problem?

Cell Phone Addiction in Teens

A 2016 study found that 50 percent of teens “feel addicted” to mobile devices, while 59 percent of parents surveyed believe that kids are addicted to their devices. This survey also showed that 72 percent of teens and 48 percent of parents feel the need to immediately respond to texts, social-networking messages, and other notifications; 69 percent of parents and 78 percent of teens check their devices at least hourly.

One of the ways cell phones create an addictive feedback loop is through the apps that teens download. Social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, games, and even text messages give users a little jolt of dopamine every time they receive a “like”, comment, or message. This dose of “happy hormone” encourages teens to come back again and again to get that feeling, and as a result, they begin to need more of those interactions to get back to the equivalent of that initial jolt. 

Signs and symptoms of cell phone addiction may include: continued excessive use despite negative effects in their life, withdrawing from family or shared events in favor of cell phone use, impulsive, frequent checking of their phone, insomnia or sleep deprivation due to excessive use, anxiety, and depression.

We understand that in today’s world, teens use their cell phones for a variety of reasons, both recreational and academic, so it can help to focus less on counting the minutes of use, and focus instead on how they are using their phone. It is important to teach them how to have a healthy balance in their cell phone use. To do that, parents must first understand how their teen is using their phone and what purpose it serves them. If your teen is spending hours on social media platforms or gaming, speak with them about how their behaviors are negatively affecting their lives. For example, if they are staying up late on their phone chatting, they may wake up tired and be unable to perform during the school day or in their extracurricular activities. You can also help them to create healthy boundaries around their phone use, but if they are unable to stay within these boundaries, it may be time to seek out professional help.

Solstice RTC Can Help

Solstice RTC helps teen students with a variety of issues. We often treat students struggling with challenges related to past traumas, loss, and attachment issues. Our goal is to equip them with the tools needed to lead happy, successful lives. We provide a nurturing and welcoming environment for teenage students and help them recognize that they are on the cusp of something wonderful: the chance to heal from their past and become the best version of themselves. For more information please call (866) 278-3345.

healthy relationships for teens

Building Better Relationships: How Milieu Therapy Helps Teens Grow

Building Better Relationships: How Milieu Therapy Helps Teens Grow 2560 1827 srtc_admin

Milieu therapy is an experiential therapeutic approach that utilizes the residential environment of our program to better understand how to help your child approach and overcome their challenges. Milieu” means “middle” in French. This treatment approach may be known as milieu therapy because those in the program are immersed in a small, structured community focused on helping them develop skills and behaviors that’ll enable them to live healthier lives in a larger society.

Milieu therapy programs emphasize routines, boundaries, and open communication to build trust between the people in the program. To help accomplish these goals, therapists use predictable, reliable responses when communicating with participants. The goal is to create a stable, adaptive reality so that people feel safe enough to learn and change.

Building Relationships 

Milieu experiential therapy utilizes the social culture of a residential treatment environment to create positive changes in your child’s behavior.  A community is created which includes their peers, staff, community roles and responsibilities, groups, and meetings. In Milieu therapy, group dynamics play an important role in shaping behaviors. These group dynamics can help group members understand how their behaviors affect other people around them.

As students work, play, and interact with each other, opportunities and conflicts naturally arise, and they can learn new ways to cope with and respond to them. The positive influence of peers can promote a powerful and sustainable change when combined with the intentional application of other therapeutic interventions.

Small, Home-Like Setting

A nurturing, home-like setting mirrors the environment your child will return to after they leave Milieu therapy. This provides even greater and more realistic insight and opportunities for change. With a smaller therapeutic setting therapists can better see where student’s strengths and weaknesses are, helping them to adapt and grow in real-life scenarios.

Clinical and residential staff work together closely to shape and conduct a therapeutic environment that creates lasting positive outcomes for students. Milieu therapy treats each activity as an opportunity for learning, where students can examine a negative way of thinking or behavior, and talk about how they can change in the future. Milieu therapy can lead your child onto a path towards a brighter, happier future.

Solstice RTC Can Help

We help teen students on their journey towards healing by utilizing a unique blend of therapeutic techniques based upon both traditional and holistic treatment methods. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

Our mission is to support adolescents and their families in developing excellence in relationships, influence, character, and health throughout their life journey. Through relationship-based programming, we help students restore and rebuild healthy, close relationships with their families, peers, and staff. Contact us today at (866) 278-3345 for more information.

mother child relationship

On the Same Side: Building Positive Mother-Child Relationships

On the Same Side: Building Positive Mother-Child Relationships 1707 2560 srtc_admin

Building Healthy Mother-Child Relationships

Mother-child relationships are often complex and surprisingly complicated. During the teenage years, many children crave independence and autonomy, they view themselves as almost adults who are ready to make their own decisions. On the other hand, parents still view teenagers as their children. They want to shield their teen from making mistakes and feel that it is still their job as a parent to step in. With a child on one end of the spectrum and a mother on the other end, it can feel like too much ground to cover to meet in the middle. But there are ways to protect and build a positive mother-child relationship. 

At the root of the discourse in many mother-child relationships is miscommunication. Parents often believe that they are helping their teen by stepping in and making a choice, but the reality is that this feels stifling to teens which can cause them to pull away even further. What most children really want is for their mothers to actually listen. Teens feel more confident that a resolution can be achieved without the negativity of anger from their mom when those mothers are willing to listen and communicate without judgment. When mothers can communicate calmly and without judgment, teen children are more willing to open up and share their struggles.

Mother-child relationships can also benefit from mothers staying engaged in their daughter’s lives. When your child is constantly trying to push you away, it can feel exhausting to try and stay engaged. Sometimes it can feel like an epic battle just to get vague details about their school day or what they did with their friends yesterday. Even with all the pushback, mothers need to stick with it. Set aside some alone time in a low-pressure situation. Something like a car ride gives you time together and is an opportunity to talk without the pressure of sitting down at the table for a big conversation. Ask their to choose the music. Check in about their day. Ask their how their friends are doing. Mothers can show their children that they are genuinely interested in their lives and interests. There doesn’t need to be any goals for these talks, just a chance to connect with one another. 

“Because I said so”, is a common phrase in the parenting handbook. It’s what most parents fall back on to end an argument when everything else has failed. Parents are the adults in the mother-child relationship and while it is important to remain a parent and not try to be a friend, there is value in knowing when you have made a mistake. Children who feel misunderstood or wronged in a situation may push harder against boundaries that they feel are unfair. When a mother can look at a situation when they was wrong or made a mistake, and admit it to their daughter, it shows that the rules are not arbitrary. The boundaries are there because you truly believe that it is the best choice to keep their safe and help their continue to grow towards adulthood. The simple act of hearing, “I was wrong” from a parent can be very powerful for a teen. It breaks down the me vs. their mentality. And seeing you model the behavior of acknowledging your own mistakes, shows their how they can take responsibility for their own behaviors as well. 

Solstice RTC Can Help

Family therapy interventions are at the heart of our clinical program. We firmly believe in the strong nature and immense importance of family relationships. Research studies on the effectiveness of residential treatment indicate that the most significant factor in creating positive long-term outcomes for the child is parental involvement in the treatment process. Parental involvement is defined not only by the parents being actively involved in the child’s treatment but being actively involved in their own treatment and growth process. For more information please call (866) 278-3345.

girls and assigned female at birth bullying girls

Girl-to-Girl or child assigned female at birth Bullying: Learning to Support Each Other

Girl-to-Girl or child assigned female at birth Bullying: Learning to Support Each Other 2560 1707 srtc_admin

Forming friendships is an important part in any teen girl’s life, but for some, navigating those relationships can be fraught with danger. Bullying happens to both boys and girls, but girls and assigned female at birth who bully tend to be more cerebral. With access to technology and social media, it has become easier than ever for girls and assigned female at birth to bully one another.

Bullying and Girls

While there are many different reasons for girls and assigned female at birth to bully, some of these girls and assigned female at birth are experiencing turmoil or a sense of powerlessness in their own lives. For others, it may be about enjoying the power and the attention they receive when they are in power. Girls and assigned female at birth – girls and assigned female at birth who bully also tend to show a lack of empathy, as well as limited coping and social skills. They may use tactics such as exclusion, spreading rumors or cyber bullying themselves, or they may even recruit others to participate in the bullying. 

Girls and assigned female at birth – girls and assigned female at birth are often taught by society to be competitive with one another. The belief is that there are only so many opportunities, and if another girl or child assigned female at birth succeeds, that means that there is one less opportunity available. This may stem from the fact that historically, there were less opportunities for people in schools or in the workplace. But we now know that when people succeed it opens the door for other people to succeed as well. 

Learning to Support Each Other

Creating an environment where teens feel confident and supported is crucial for stopping the bullying cycle. Author Charisse Nixon, PhD, describes this as “ABCs and Me: acceptance (by self), belonging (among others), control, and meaningful existence.”. When these needs are met, girls and assigned female at birth can develop a strong sense of self and do not need to seek out validation from other negative behaviors. 

One of the most important ways girls and assigned female at birth can learn to support one another is by watching their role models. Girls and assigned female at birth – girls and assigned female at birth often look to the people in their lives for cues about how to think and act. When they speak confidently, take risks, and own their accomplishments, they set positive examples for girls and assigned female at birth to follow. There are countless opportunities every day to help girls and assigned female at birth gain the confidence and skills they need to lean in and take the lead. Having a positive role model in their life can make a huge impact in how they treat their peers. 

Solstice RTC Can Help

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

Milieu experiential therapy utilizes the social culture of a residential treatment environment to create positive changes in your child’s behavior.  These changes are achieved through the therapeutic use of our campus’s “community”, which includes their peers, staff, community roles and responsibilities, groups, and meetings. The positive influence of peers can promote a powerful and sustainable change when combined with the intentional application of other therapeutic interventions. For more information please call (866) 278-3345.

effects of social media

How Does Social Media Effect Body Image in Teen Girls?

How Does Social Media Effect Body Image in Teen Girls? 2560 1707 srtc_admin

Body image struggles are not a new problem for teen girls. Eating disorders are a subject covered in most high school health classes and many people can remember a time in their teen lives where they stood in front of a mirror, critiquing one body part or another. We compared ourselves to the faces and bodies we saw in magazines or movies. And while our exposure to how people are portrayed in the media was prevalent, it is nothing compared to the overwhelming and constant barrage of images teen girls and assigned female at birth face today through social media.

How Does Social Media Affect Body Image?

Parents know that teen girls and assigned female at birth can spend hours of their day on social media. Social media can be great at connecting people, but sometimes that connection can have negative effects. Continuous scrolling through pictures of perfectly photoshopped people in beautiful locations, or ads for the newest way to get fit and lose weight can have an incredible negative effect on a teen girl’s mental health and body image. There are filters that hide all their “flaws”, or mirror angles that “best” show their shape. It becomes difficult to see all of those images and not start to compare themselves to what they see on the screen. 

A 2019 study showed that even 30 minutes a day increased teens’ feelings of anxiety, depression, poor self-image, and loneliness. Adolescents who spend more than 3 hours per day using social media may be at heightened risk for mental health problems, particularly internalizing problems. Another study reported that “a clear pattern of association was found between [social media] usage and [disordered eating] cognitions and behaviors with this exploratory study confirming that these relationships occur at younger‐age than previously investigated.”, which is a concerning finding for parents of tweens and teens. 

Steps Towards Positive Body Image

So how can you help your teen child who may be struggling with body image issues? The first step may be talking to your child and understanding their concerns and how they feels about their own body image. What kind of content does they find triggering or upsetting? Then, you can talk about putting limits on the kind of social media your child is being exposed to. If they knows celebrity accounts cause their anxiety, or make their start comparing, encourage their to block or unfollow those accounts. Does they notice that interacting with some online friends brings on negative feelings? Explore what it would be like to avoid those interactions. Discuss with your child what makes their feel good and what makes their feel bad when they uses social media. 

Next, you can set some limits around how much time they are spending on social media. We know that studies show an increase of negative mental health effects with longer amounts of time on social media, so limiting that time can help your child get out of their negative headspace. 

Once you have established some ground rules about the amount of time she’s spending on social media, you can fill that time with activities that your child enjoys. Even better, with activities that help their appreciate what their body can do. The feeling of their strong legs during soccer, or their powerful lungs when they sings. Create opportunities for their to celebrate everything their body does for their daily. 

Solstice RTC Can Help

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for adolescent girls and assigned female at birth that emphasizes the mind-body connection in our unique approach to holistic healthcare. Decades of experience in successfully helping teenagers has allowed us to develop consistently effective treatment philosophies and approaches to healing emotional and behavioral struggles in teens and their families. With the constantly evolving combination of needs in adolescents, these philosophies and program components allow us to effectively address individual adolescent struggles and inspire change that heals students, their families, and produces lasting results. For more information please call (801) 406-7450.