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talking about trauma

Addressing the Unspoken: Talking To Your Teen About Their Trauma

Addressing the Unspoken: Talking To Your Teen About Their Trauma 336 321 The Solstice Team

Talking to your teen about trauma can feel overwhelming and difficult. Even if you have not experienced trauma yourself, you can understand how one probably does not want to talk about the things that have hurt them or scarred them in the past. It can cause all of the negative emotions to resurface. Your teen should never feel pressured to talk about their trauma. Some reasons to consider why one may not want to talk about their trauma include:

  • Denial of the trauma: the natural response towards trauma is to try and remove all memory of it and pretend it didn’t happen.
  • Survival: Sometimes individuals think no one will believe them or speaking their truth will come at a cost.
  • The unspeakable nature of trauma: Trauma often represents the violation of all we hold to be dear and sacred therefore individuals do not want to open up about it.  
  • The hostile culture: Naturally, trauma victims will feel cautious about disclosing their trauma history because of the cultural response.

Why You Should Be Talking To Your Teen About Their Trauma

The reasons why it is important to talk to your teen about trauma have recently been put on display by researchers. In a nutshell- Traumatic thoughts and memories that remain “unspeakable” or “unthinkable” for too long often impede our brain’s natural process of recovery after trauma. As a parent you may feel uncomfortable trying to open this conversation with your teen. However, therapy is a great way to open that door. Outwardly talking about trauma memories in this fashion does not make symptoms worse. When it is done with the help of a skilled therapist, PTSD symptoms have been shown to improve. As a parent, here are some tips on how you can give your teen the best support:

  1. Show them love and care.
  2. Let them know you are always there for them so they feel comfortable talking to you.
  3. Find resources available to help your teen cope with their trauma.
  4. Allow them appropriate “breathing room”.
  5. Ask a skilled professional what you can do to meet your teen’s unique needs

Solstice West RTC Can Help

Solstice West RTC  is a program for young girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides three types of therapy: individual, group, and family therapy. Solstice Residential Treatment Center is dedicated to teaching teens how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. Students will leave with the skills they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, and able to manage their emotions. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 866-278-3345.

 

 

depressed teenage daughter

Facts About Your Depressed Teenage Daughter

Facts About Your Depressed Teenage Daughter 4104 2736 The Solstice Team

The onset of depression occurs differently based on the individual. A new study even suggests that males and females and assigned female at birth develop depression differently. Depression is often characterized by low mood, loss of interest and pleasure, and major changes to sleep and appetite. However, it is not limited to these symptoms.  Some of the few differing factors between boys in girls and assigned female at birth include the following:

  • Young people are almost twice as likely as men to develop depression
  • Previous research has found similar rates of depression in both male and female and assigned female at birth genders prior to puberty—though some findings suggest boys may be slightly more likely than girls and assigned female at birth to experience depression.
  • Women will continue to have a higher likelihood of meeting the criteria for depression in their adult years.

If you have a depressed teenage daughter, it is important to note why they may experience depressive symptoms and the factors that contribute to the mental illness. Some things to consider are listed below.

  • One explanation for this difference is the earlier puberty in females and assigned female at birth compared to males. For instance, previous research has shown that early age of first menstrual cycle is associated with greater depressive symptoms.
  • This increased reactivity and stressor responsiveness in adolescent girls and assigned female at birth may result in greater anxiety and depressive symptoms.
  • Female and assigned female at birth adolescents—compared to male adolescents—experience not only a more rapid increase in depressive symptoms at an earlier age but also more depressive symptoms overall.

How To Help Your Depressed Teenage Daughter

Helpguide.org suggests three tips on how you can help your depressed teenage child cope with their symptoms and get the help they needs. Here’s what the source says:

    1. Encourage Social Interaction. Isolation makes depression worse. You should make communicating with your teen a priority. Set aside time each day to have one-on-one time with your teen. Make efforts to keep your teen connected with friends. Suggest that they get together with their friends or have their friends come over. Surrounding themselves with other kids is a good way to combat social isolation. Getting them involved in sports, clubs, or other activities is a great start to meeting new friends.
    2. Prioritize physical health. Physical and mental health are directly connected. Depression can worsen as a result of inactivity, poor nutrition, and lack of sleep. Establish a healthy and supportive environment at home to encourage your teen to make healthy choices. Get them moving by coming up with creative ways to encourage physical activity. Set limits on screen time and make sure you have expectations of when your teen should be unplugged from their device. Lastly, keep healthy food options available to them.
    3. Know when to seek professional help. This is perhaps the most important part. When your teen’s struggles extend beyond your realm of knowledge or beyond your ability to give them helpful advice. You should reach out to a professional to help guide your teen to a healthier and happier life. You should research the resources available around you and do not hesitate to reach out to professionals.

Solstice Residential Treatment Center can help

Solstice Residential Treatment Center is a program for young girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides three types of therapy: individual, group, and family therapy. Solstice Residential Treatment Center is dedicated to teaching teens how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. Students will leave with the skills they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, and able to manage their emotions. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 866-278-3345

 

secondary trauma

What is Secondary PTSD And How Does It Affect Teens?

What is Secondary PTSD And How Does It Affect Teens? 4696 3456 The Solstice Team

In the digital age, part of staying connected online is exposure to daily accounts of horrific violence across the globe and in our communities that shape our sense of safety and justice.

Although some media outlets protect the names of victims and censor their stories, teens who read these stories are sensitive to their rawness and are more vulnerable to absorbing the shock of their impact than adults who are better able to differentiate immediate from potential threats. Secondary PTSD is the emotional distress that results when an individual hears about the first-hand trauma experiences of another, either a close friend or family member or a stranger in the news.

What is Secondary PTSD?

Direct trauma can be just as impactful as indirect trauma. As many people with secondary PTSD are sensitive to or have taken on the suffering of others, many of the symptoms overlap.

Signs of secondary PTSD include:

  • Hopelessness
  • Preoccupation with the suffering of others
  • Intrusive thoughts about the event
  • Witnessing violence against another person
  • Holding onto family’s trauma
  • Being in a caretaking role for a survivor
  • Anger and cynicism
  • Hypervigilance and Hyperarousal
  • Sleeplessness or nightmares
  • Emotional exhaustion

Effects it has on Teenagers

 

  • Survivor’s guilt is a normal response to loss, even if it is not necessarily logical for someone to feel responsible for another person’s fate. This is especially common among teens who have had friends or parents impacted by a traumatic event. They might question whether the people affected deserved it or wish they could take their place. They might worry about ways they could have prevented the event or changed the outcome, even if they had no control over it.
  • Compassion Fatigue explains the exhaustion that accompanies caretaking. Some teenagers are desensitized to the effects of trauma, having witnessed it so frequently or having been put into a caregiving role. While they may remain empathetic to other people’s suffering on the surface, they may feel numb inside.
  • Mean World Syndrome refers to the phenomenon in which exposure to information in the media cultivates a negative worldview. If teenagers are flooded with stories of natural disasters, climate change, war, sexual violence, and murder, they will grow up fearing that the same things may happen to them. They see the world as a dark and hopeless place, regardless of whether their immediate environment has told them the same stories about the world.
  • Increased anxiety, depression, and lack of stable sense of self.

 

 

 

Ways to Address Secondary Trauma:

Developing an internal locus of control. Trauma affects one’s ability to feel like they can control anything around them. Beliefs may include Everything happens to me or I am a victim of circumstances. Recognizing that they may not be able to control events that occur, but they can control how they respond to them helps build self-esteem and reduce fear of the world.

Establishing sense of safety. Part of developing an internal locus of control is recognize whether the threat is real in their immediate environment or in the present. Seeking out safe spaces, supportive people, and practicing self care is a form of self-protection.

Selecting positive media. If exposure to negative media cultivates a negative worldview, choosing media with inspirational content can shape a more optimistic view of the world that empowers them to heal from fears associated with secondary trauma. Positive media challenges negative belief systems and allows them to recognize that there is a balance between good and bad in the world, but it is up to them to choose what they want to see.

How Solstice Can Help

Solstice RTC is a residential treatment program for teen girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides three types of therapy: individual, group, and family therapy. Solstice Residential Treatment Center is dedicated to teaching teens how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. Students will leave with the skills they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, and able to manage their emotions.

Contact us at 866-278-3345. We can help your family today!

 

Effects of Childhood Trauma

Lingering Physiological Effects of Childhood Trauma

Lingering Physiological Effects of Childhood Trauma 0 0 The Solstice Team

It is commonly accepted that an accumulation of multiple adverse childhood experiences makes adults more likely to continue to face negative experiences. However, a recent study conducted by the University of Missouri revealed that adults who have experienced childhood trauma still experience the physical effects years later. Especially as children’s brains are still developing rapidly, experiencing traumatic events leaves them vulnerable to rewiring of circuits and underdevelopment of neural connectivity. The narratives we adopt about our traumatic experiences are deeply ingrained in our brain’s stress response system which makes it difficult for adults to recover from the lingering effects of childhood trauma.

Understanding Effects of Childhood Trauma On Development

It is hard for us to recall our earliest memories before the age of seven. While we are more likely to remember significant events or vague schemas of a vacation or a childhood friend, most people suffer from childhood amnesia, which refers to our brain’s inability to store early memories into long-term memories due to its stage in development.

Ironically, the first seven years of our lives are also the most formative in developing a sense of self, our perspective of the world, coping skills, and attachment styles. It is when the majority of our language learning takes place and how we learn to orient ourselves in space and time.

For children who have experienced early childhood trauma during this critical stage of personal growth, their development may be profoundly altered by adoption of negative beliefs about themselves, their relationships, and their outlook on like. Physiologically, their ability to self regulate may be impacted by hyperarousal and persistent anxiety.

While the type of traumatic events adults face may be different than trauma children experience at home, developmental trauma refers to the effect of early adverse experiences on the brain’s ability to develop executive functioning skills that help build resilience and protect one’s safety later in life. The lower parts of our brain are dedicated to survival, while upper parts of our brain that develop during childhood involve emotion regulation, moral judgment, and problem solving. Interrupting one’s brain development during survival mode can trigger survival responses to stressors as an adult if they don’t have the skills to self-regulate.

Biological Resilience

According to University of Missouri postdoctoral fellow Yang Li, “our model indicates some people are biologically more resilient than others to PTSD. Normally, the body’s stress response system is regulated by two hormones: cortisol, which floods the body in response to a stressful event, and oxytocin, which brings cortisol levels back down once the stressor has passed.”

They found that people with a dissociative form of PTSD were more likely to have significant changes in cortisol and oxytocin that impact their ability to respond to stress appropriately. These biological markers may contribute to their disrupted sense of of self and their surroundings.

The study concludes that hormone levels may be key to understanding why some people are more likely to experience a traumatic response to certain events and some people may be more resilient or unaffected. It also suggests that we should focus more on regulating physiological causes and symptoms of stress before addressing stressful situations so that people are better prepared to make sense of their experiences.

Li notes that “PTSD might surface in response to a specific event in adulthood, but what we are seeing suggests that in many cases, the real root of the problem is in the damage caused during childhood.”

Lasting Effects

Due to childhood amnesia, many symptoms of early traumatic stress are internalized or are hard to process properly. Teenagers may struggle to understand that their overwhelming emotions are stemming from something deeper than typical hormone shifts or stressful everyday situations.

Effects of traumatic stress depend on the individual; however, regardless of how it appears, it is usually considered a risk factor for later problems in adulthood.

  • Avoiding situations that make them recall the traumatic event
  • Experiencing nightmares or flashbacks about the trauma
  • Seeking out or ending up in similar situations or relationships
  • Insecure or avoidant attachment
  • Feeling restless or on edge, ready to jump into fight-or flight
  • Acting impulsively or aggressively
  • Feeling nervous or anxious frequently
  • Experiencing emotional numbness
  • Having trouble focusing at school
  • Using negative coping skills, such as drug and alcohol use, self-harm and other self-destructive behaviors

How We Can Help

Solstice West is a residential treatment center that creates a supportive space for teenage girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 to process their trauma and grow emotionally. We take a relationship-based approach to healing from personal trauma that encourages friendship, peer support, and mentorship through group therapy and teamwork. Our treatment model incorporates adventure therapy, fitness, artistic expression, and community service to encourage normal adolescent experiences, social skills, independent living skills, and playfulness that are often restricted when experiencing significant traumatic stress.

 

my child is addicted to instagram

Is Your Daughter’s Addiction to Instagram Likes Affecting Her Ability to Feel Well-Liked?

Is Your Daughter’s Addiction to Instagram Likes Affecting Her Ability to Feel Well-Liked? 6000 4000 The Solstice Team

Instagram just proposed that they would start hiding likes from other viewers in an attempt to empower users to use it as a platform of self-expression rather than self-comparison. Younger generations are more drawn to social media apps like Instagram where they can interact with celebrities, businesses, and influencers than websites like Facebook, where they share personal updates with friends and family. When you feel child is addicted to Instagram, it changes how you should react as a family.

As posts reach a wider audience and their feed is updated more frequently, it is not uncommon if your child has become addicted to scrolling through Instagram. For teens struggling with self-esteem and connection, Instagram provides the illusion of validation through likes and comments; but, the more teens post and put themselves out there online, the less connected they often feel offline.

Isn’t everyone addicted to their phone?

With smartphones, we carry access to the whole world in our hands. According to a recent New York Times article, “most people check their smartphones 150 times per day, or every six minutes.” Each time we pick up our phone, we get sucked into a vortex of selfies, articles, emails, and endless scrolling. Teens spend an average of nine hours a day staring at a screen and most of them are worried they spend too much time on their phones. Like all addictions, technology convinces us that we need it and we can’t live without the identities we’ve built online. Although technology gives us access to more information, improves productivity, and helps us to connect with others, it can have a significant impact on our self-esteem, relationships, and digital safety.

Potential Harm caused by Instagram

Social media is just another form of media that can offer fake news, unrealistic role models, and awareness of violence in society. The difference between social media and other news outlets is that it is run by users and largely unregulated, unless you are a high-profile personality. Most teens that use Instagram as a cry for help or to target others go under the radar. A child addicted to Instagram can roll into other problems in their social development.

The biggest problem with social media is that people feel pressure to present false, idealistic versions of themselves. Most accounts are used to glamorize your life, which can be an immediate boost to your self-esteem, but forces you to keep up appearances. While more influencers are becoming vulnerable about having bad days or using Photoshop, teenagers often compare themselves to the good parts of other people’s lives without realizing a picture may hide a thousand words.

Hiding likes may not protect teenagers from cyberbullying or censor the type of information they are exposed to, but it can help teenagers form an identity outside of likes. Constantly comparing yourself to others and receiving messages about what your life should look like, if only you could afford these products or have these experiences, takes a toll on one’s self-esteem and self-concept. Teens feel pressure to be the person they want to be online and look for approval from others by giving into buying products and going places “for the gram.” The lack of censorship of smaller accounts can contribute to receiving hateful comments or spreading screenshots of personal information that can tear apart the unstable sense of self-esteem teens build online.

Benefits of using Instagram

It’s impossible to make your child avoid using Instagram altogether. Most teens have smartphones and communicate with their friends more often through social media than over text.

We don’t believe technology use should be restricted, but we encourage girls and assigned female at birth to learn how to use social media to empower themselves rather than to self-destruct.

  • Helps teens stay in touch with friends
  • Provides a way to bond over content in person or to discover you have shared interests with your peers
  • Easier than communicating in person for teens with social anxiety
  • Can be easier to reach out for support to a wider audience than to text a specific person. You never know who might respond and how supportive they might be.
  • Likes are a stamp of approval and support, even if they are easy to obsess over
  • Encourages teens to share their achievements and creativity
  • Can be a good distraction from overwhelming emotions
  • Many accounts are filled with positive messages about self-esteem and embracing who you are

It’s all about choosing who you follow and who you let follow your account. Maybe hiding likes will help get back to the real purpose of social media: forming positive connections.

Solstice West can help

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. Many of them struggle with technology addiction that has taken a blow to their self-esteem and they have difficulty maintaining in-person relationships due to self-doubt, people-pleasing, and insecurity.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves offline and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

 

help for a defiant teenage daughter

Overcoming the Power Struggle: Help For A Defiant Teenage Daughter

Overcoming the Power Struggle: Help For A Defiant Teenage Daughter 6000 4000 The Solstice Team

Finding help for a defiant teenage child can be a difficult process. With hormonal changes, it can feel like a constant power struggle. When your teen is constantly going against you or striking an argument, it is important that you don’t fuel the fire. You should understand that your teenager may be very vulnerable, dealing with school stress, and/or the pressure to fit in. These stresses can build up and cause teenagers to be defiant. Defiance in teenagers can reveal itself in a number of ways. Some of these ways can include:

  • Back-talking
  • Eye-rolling
  • Purposefully not listening
  • Disregarding rules
  • Missing curfew
  • Lying
  • Disrespectfulness

Getting Your Defiant Teenage Child Under Control

While you may feel alone and helpless at times, rest assured knowing that there are ways you can help your teen transition from their defiant behavior to respectful behavior. Your approach to this task has a critical role in determining whether or not they respond in a positive way. Here are some methods that can help you get your defiant teenage child under control:

    1. Develop self-respect. This is the first step in trying to improve your teen’s sense of respect—develop your own self-respect. Know your bottom line and stand firmly in it. Set clear expectations of how you want to be treated and hold your teen accountable. Setting limits from the beginning establishes a solid foundation to build upon.
    2. Emphasize alternative actions. A lot of times defiant teens may think their behavior or attitude is going to solve their frustrations or problems. This is simply not the case. Make sure your teen knows that yelling, eye-rolling, and being disrespectful is no way to reach a positive outcome. Teach your teen to problem solve in a more effective manner.
    3. Plan ahead. It is important that you are always equipped and prepared to handle defiant behaviors. Being overly reactive and responding in an angry outburst will only make matters worse. Come up with a plan to address the situation in a meaningful way that is seeking the best interest of your teen.
    4. Ask for help. Rest assured knowing you are not the first parent to have to deal with defiant teenage behaviors. Do not hesitate to ask for help. Seek out community resources or family and friends to help enforce expectations for your teen or to give advice when you need it. Talking to someone can be extremely helpful.

Solstice Residential Treatment Center can help

Solstice Residential Treatment Center is a program for young girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides three types of therapy: individual, group, and family therapy. Solstice Residential Treatment Center is dedicated to teaching teens how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. Students will leave with the skills they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, and able to manage their emotions. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 866-278-3345

 

how does mindfulness reduce stress

How Does Mindfulness Reduce Stress? 7 Outcomes of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

How Does Mindfulness Reduce Stress? 7 Outcomes of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 5956 3971 The Solstice Team

In a 2014 national survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 31 percent of adolescents aged 13 to 17 said that their stress increased in the previous year, and 42 percent said they were not doing enough to manage their stress. Many teens turn to external sources for support, such as friends, family, hobbies, or professionals, however they are less likely to turn inwards and look for their own insight. Mindfulness empowers individuals to use skills they already have to be more intentional about their interactions. When feeling overwhelmed, mindfulness can help reduce physiological symptoms of anxiety, identify sources of stress, break down tasks into simpler objectives, and set goals to achieve tasks without sacrificing mental health.

Mindfulness vs Meditation

“Mindfulness is not a magic panacea, it’s not going to fix everyone’s problems,” USC researcher Nicholas Barr claims, “But if you talk to anyone who has practiced for some time in a serious way, you just notice a difference.” Many people are unclear about what constitutes mindfulness. Meditation is seen as a practice of stillness and silent contemplation used in Buddhist and Yogic lineages, however mindfulness has been adapted to be integrated into aspects of everyday life. Mindfulness encourages you to be here now and to notice thoughts that arise throughout your day that either help you meet your goals or get in the way of doing what you want. We often go through life on autopilot without realizing how detached we are from our experiences. While it can be hard to step back and see the bigger picture, it is a reminder that everything we do affects the way we feel and the way we interact with our social environment.

The University of California – Berkeley, describes mindfulness as “a way of being aware of each moment in our feelings, thoughts, surrounding environment, and bodily sensations. It’s a way to pay attention to ourselves and not judge, but accept what’s going on.” General mindfulness lessons include paying attention, living in the moment, and practicing radical acceptance. Examples of exercises include body scans, walking, or a formal sitting meditation focusing on your breath and awareness of thoughts.

7 Outcomes of Mindfulness

  • Reduces negative emotions. Increases energy and mood while decreasing restlessness and overwhelming emotions. Lowers physiological stress responses.
  • Sets intentions. Focuses on defining and strengthening personal values and belief systems. Instead of setting achievable goals, breaks things down into how you approach those goals and their desired outcomes. Goals are then redefined towards personal development and self-actualization.
  • Builds self-esteem. Strengthening one’s belief system strengthens identity and confidence.
  • Builds compassion for self and empathy for others. One common technique known as loving-kindness meditation reduces suffering by acknowledging suffering in others and remembering that it is a universal experience. By focusing on the moment, it relieves responsibility of the past and pressure of future expectations and allows people to show themselves kindness in the moment.
  • Cultivates positive emotions. By focusing on cultivating positive intentions and healthy ways of relating to your social environment, mindfulness can increase levels of dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin while increasing alpha brain waves and neural connectivity. Mindfulness helps manifest self-regulation and pleasurable experiences.
  • Encourages openness to new experiences and ability to be present. Focuses finding a balance between grounding and receiving. Limits judgment and fear of experiences. Opens space for reflection and fully immersing yourself in your sensory experience.
  • Increases resiliency. Mindfulness practices are associated with recovery from substance use and trauma in redefining memories, reducing cravings, and making meaning of the healing process. People who experience chronic stress can learn skills to manage stressful situations and emotional responses when they arise.

Solstice can help

Solstice is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth struggle with managing stress and related mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, ADHD and trauma, when they come to us. Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We offer mindfulness, yoga and physical activity to encourage students to be fully present in their experiences and deepen their connection between their mind and their body.

 

childhood PTSD

Study Shows Childhood PTSD Caused When Children Ruminate Over Trauma

Study Shows Childhood PTSD Caused When Children Ruminate Over Trauma 4096 2732 The Solstice Team

Children with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may face challenges from many different angles. You are not expected to know everything about PTSD. However, educating yourself on its breadth of causes and effects can help you be a better advocate for your child. Childhood PTSD can develop from a variety of events or situations. It is important that you recognize when your child needs help coping with their emotions and managing the stress that could come from certain situations.

A recent study shows that childhood PTSD can likely develop from children having a tough time processing their trauma and perceive their symptoms as something much worse. While one may experience a traumatic event and work through it, others may have the previous scenario occur. They go on to develop PTSD because they could not cope with the trauma they felt and they got overwhelmed by their own symptoms. If this is the case the PTSD could affect them for months, years, and even into adulthood.

Pointing out PTSD

As a parent, it is important that you observe your child and pick up on any abnormal cues that could indicate PTSD. While everyone handles trauma differently, there are some common warning signs that should prompt you to get help. These 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

If you recognize these signs in your child it is important that you take the next steps in getting them help. Remember PTSD is treatable. There are a variety of therapies and measures one can take to move past and overcome the impacts of PTSD. You should seek professional support to evaluate the situation and create a plan to get your child on the path towards recovery.

Solstice RTC Can Help

Solstice RTC is a residential treatment program for teen girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides three types of therapy: individual, group, and family therapy. Solstice Residential Treatment Center is dedicated to teaching teens how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. Students will leave with the skills they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, and able to manage their emotions. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 866-278-3345.

 

teen refusing to go to school

Have A Teen Refusing To Go To School? Here’s Some Tips

Have A Teen Refusing To Go To School? Here’s Some Tips 5548 3699 The Solstice Team

When your teen refuses to go to school, it can cause a power struggle in your home. You may find yourself in a constant battle with them. Rest assured knowing your teen is not the first teen to engage in school refusal. Recognize that there are many underlying reasons why your teen may refuse to go to school. Here are some things to consider:

  • The pressure that comes from school may be overwhelming. Juggling academics, a social life, sports, and hobbies may become too much for your teen and not going to school to face this anxiety may be their best coping mechanism.
  • Problems at school. Perhaps your teen is being bullied or feeling isolated. If one does not feel like they fit in anywhere, they are more likely to avoid going to the place where they are reminded of that.
  • Depression, drug abuse, and/or eating disorders. There could be mental or physical symptoms that are contributing to your teens desire to stay away from school. If this could be a possibility, have them evaluated by a medical professional.

Defining School Refusal

School refusal is not to be confused with school phobia. Experts note that there is a difference between the two concepts. School phobia is fear-based. This can be linked to a fear of a specific situation or object at school. School refusal is a sign of broader anxiety- this could be separation anxiety, general anxiety, or social anxiety.

School refusal is considered an urgent situation. Therapists tend to treat school refusal as a crisis. Once you seek professional help, they will immediately work to develop a plan to address the issue at hand.

Resources for School Refusal

Ultimately, you may not have the magic key in helping your teen get in a better mindset about school. However, there are ways you can support them in trying to cope with their emotions. Help for teen refusing to go to school goes beyond the home, but that does not mean you cannot help the situation at all. Here are some ideas on how you can be supportive for your teen:

  1. Start the conversation. Ask your teen why they feel like going to school is not an option for them.
  2. Ask them how you can help. Maybe your teen needs specific help addressing a situation that is bothering them. This can also be where you determine what resources they need.
  3. Provide them with resources. As a parent, it is your job to guide them to places where they can get help immediately.

Solstice RTC can help

Solstice RTC is a program for young girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides three types of therapy: individual, group, and family therapy. Solstice RTC is dedicated to teaching teens how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. Students will leave with the skills they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, and able to manage their emotions. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 866-278-3345.

 

psychological trauma treatment

Relationship-Based Support as the Foundation of Treatment for Teens Struggling with Psychological Trauma

Relationship-Based Support as the Foundation of Treatment for Teens Struggling with Psychological Trauma 640 426 The Solstice Team

Although life is inevitably full of stressful experiences, transitions and loss, teenagers are particularly sensitive to experiencing social, emotional, and cognitive problems in response to these experiences as early experiences shape their worldview. While these adverse childhood experiences are not uncommon, individuals with higher cumulative adverse childhood experiences are at risk for higher levels of traumatic stress and developing unhealthy coping skills. For these teens, psychological trauma treatment can be a crucial next steps towards getting the help they need.

Teenagers are at a critical transitional point in their life where they are exploring who they are and who they want to be as an independent adult. Teenagers who have experienced a lot of pain in their adolescence have learned to be more sensitive and often cynical of the world and are vulnerable to feelings of hopelessness for the future.

The first step in identifying effective types of treatment that help teenagers build their self-esteem and reclaim their identity after these negative experiences is understanding how psychological trauma affects their mind and their body.

What is Trauma?

Trauma refers to an emotional response to a significant life event that is considered unusual and distressful and can have long term effects on functioning. Examples of typical traumatic events or experience can include physical or sexual violence, car accidents, natural disasters, or witnessing the injury of someone else. However, recent research suggests that trauma can be grouped into “Big T” and “little t” experiences, with little t events referring to personal traumas, such as loss of relationships, perceived abandonment, neglect, and emotional abuse. These events can have the same neurological impact as “Big T” traumas. Psychological trauma treatment can help teenagers make sense of their experiences and build resiliency.

How is Trauma Different from Grief or Depression?

Psychological trauma often stems from complex and compounded experiences and results in dysregulation in response to specific triggers. Although traumatic responses are appropriate reactions to these intense experiences, many people have difficulty moving on from the experience and often develop other unhealthy coping skills to deal with their emotions. Traumatic experiences in childhood are significant in shaping one’s belief systems and brain development, as teens are learning how to trust their environment and form their individual identities. While parents can try to shelter their children from these experiences, it is important to remember that you cannot prevent these unexpected events from occurring, however learning how they are affected can help you to support them through their healing.

What Does Trauma Look Like?

Psychological Trauma affects every individual differently. Some teens have little difficulty adjusting in the aftermath of a traumatic event, however it is also common for teenagers to be in shock or denial, with repressed emotions showing up either later in life or being expressed through other coping skills, such as substance use, suicidal ideation, and body image issues that are more easily identified and addressed in typical mental treatment settings.

Some symptoms of Traumatic Stress may include:

  • Overwhelming feelings of terror
  • Strong emotions such as depression, anger, anxiety, or hopelessness
  • Helplessness
  • Guilt or Shame associated with the event
  • Fixation on the traumatic event; obsessive thoughts and repetitive conversations
  • Panic attacks or Flashbacks where they feel like they are reliving the experience
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty Sleeping

Treatment Options for Psychological Trauma:

Trauma is often misdiagnosed as an emotional issue as it is hard for teenagers to talk openly about their experiences with parents and professionals, especially as it is difficult for them to process what has happened to them. Teenagers may not understand that their experiences are not normal, know how to set boundaries in relationships, or advocate for their bodily autonomy. However, it is important to teens to address psychological trauma so that they can try to resolve some of the problems it has caused and learn how to regulate their emotions more effectively as they transition into adulthood. While medication may be prescribed to help with mood regulation and difficulty sleeping, many teens benefit from intensive therapy that addresses their belief systems, attachment styles, and identity issues from a holistic perspective that acknowledges the mind-body connection.

Why Choose Solstice West?

Solstice West is a residential treatment center that creates a safe space for teenage girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 to process their trauma and grow emotionally. As a residential program, we offer a supportive environment where teens are sheltered from the stressors of their school and home environment and the community where they may have experienced trauma. Our clinicians are trained in a variety of therapeutic techniques that have been developed to help people heal from trauma, including EMDR, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Focused Assisted Equine Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Somatic Experiencing, and Internal Family Systems Therapy.

Our program’s structure is based off Joseph Campbell’s theory of the Hero’s Journey and personal transformation in which the main character of every story discovers themselves by facing their personal dragons in the form of fears, doubts, and insecurities. We take a relationship-based approach to healing from personal trauma that encourages friendship, peer support, and mentorship through group therapy and teamwork. Our treatment model incorporates adventure therapy, fitness, artistic expression, and community service to encourage normal adolescent experiences, social skills, independent living skills, and playfulness that are often restricted when experiencing significant traumatic stress.


For more information about treatment for psychological trauma at Solstice West, please contact us at 866-278-3345.