• Residential Treatment Program for Teens 14-17


girls bullying girls

Girl-to-Girl Bullying: Learning to Support Each Other

Girl-to-Girl 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 who bully tend to be more cerebral. With access to technology and social media, it has become easier than ever for girls to bully one another.

Bullying and Girls

While there are many different reasons for girls to bully, some of these girls 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 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 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 succeeds, that means that there is one less opportunity available. This may stem from the fact that historically, there were less opportunities for women in schools or in the workplace. But we now know that when women succeed it opens the door for other women to succeed as well. 

Learning to Support Each Other

Creating an environment where young women 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 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 can learn to support one another is by watching their role models. Girls often look to the women 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 to follow. There are countless opportunities every day to help girls 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.

symptoms of cyberbullying and ptsd

Cyberbullying Linked to Symptoms of PTSD

Cyberbullying Linked to Symptoms of PTSD 2560 1707 srtc_admin

A recent study, linking cyberbullying to symptoms of PTSD, found that more than a third of the cyberbullies were not involved in traditional bullying, whereas a huge majority of the cyberbully victims were involved in traditional bullying. This suggests that the anonymity provided to perpetrators online may constitute a new platform for bullying to occur. Based on the wide reach that cyberbullying and cancel culture can have, teens are more likely to report elevated levels of hypervigilance and avoiding social media platforms associated with incidents of cyberbullying, which are classic signs of PTSD.

What is Cyberbullying?

With the rise of technology, cyberbullying can happen anywhere, at any time. Teens are not protected by class changes, eating lunch in the bathroom, or going home early. As most teens have cell phones, cruel messages or unflattering photos can be sent or passed around during the school day and whenever teens walk out the front door. It may not involve physical violence like other forms of bullying, but the effect can be more widespread as online activity is permanent and often public. The prevalence of cyberbullying among teens is thought to be between 10% and 40% and to pose specific risks because it can be done day and night, in various contexts, is rapid, anonymous, and reaches a wide audience.

Examples of cyberbullying may include:

  • Sending mean emails, texts, or direct messages 
  • Harassing someone from an anonymous number or account
  • Posting hurtful things about someone on social media
  • Spreading rumors or gossip about someone online
  • Making fun of someone in an online chat that includes multiple people
  • Creating a fake online profile to contact others
  • Sharing embarrassing photos or videos of other people without their permission

What is the Impact of Cyberbullying on a Teen’s Identity and Social Relationships?

While the intent behind cyberbullying is similar to the intent behind traditional bullying, researchers have found that there may be protective factors against the effects of cyberbullying due to its anonymity, even though it is a double-edged sword. Another recent study, published in the Journal of Adolescence, found that intrapersonal emotional competence showed buffering effects against cyberbullying because the ability to handle one’s own emotions is known to have a positive impact on our mental health, but interpersonal emotional competence showed the opposite effect. Because the ability to understand emotional states in others may encourage individuals to dwell on the bully’s intentions.

The biggest impact of cyberbullying is the toll it takes on one’s social life and technology use, while bullying is more likely to target one’s self-esteem. The mediating factor may be the public display of relational aggression that leaves cyberbullying victims more vulnerable and feeling exposed.

Teens who have been cyberbullied are more likely to:

  • Struggle with trusting others
  • Become withdrawn
  • Either spend excessive time online or avoid social media altogether
  • Become jumpy whenever they receive a notification
  • Avoid conversations about their friendships or online activity
  • Refuse to go to school

Healing from the Trauma of Cyberbullying

While most cyberbullying comes in the form of verbal abuse, gaslighting, and harassment, it can be just as emotionally painful as physical acts or threats of violence. As it is less understood by parents and professionals who may not have grown up with social media technology, it can be difficult to offer support to your daughter who is affected by cyberbullying if you don’t understand the phenomena. 

Some suggestions may include:

  • Ask questions, but respect space. It can feel embarrassing to share other people’s negative online comments with others out of fear of judgment or “being exposed.” When asking about your child’s experience, the details and names may not matter. In fact, they may bring up more anxiety and shame. However, it may be helpful to ask general questions about what the process of “being canceled” looks like, how certain sites respond to reported comments or anonymous users, or how celebrities have used their social media platforms to address online “haters”. By focusing on the general experience of cyberbullying, your daughter may offer insight into youth Internet culture that can help guide ways to support her in her personal experience with it.
  • Don’t blame her for her online activity. Cyberbullying isn’t always direct backlash for inappropriate or hurtful comments made online or controversial opinions. Many parents’ gut instinct is to ask whether their child values their digital privacy or if they give out too much personal information online. While these conversations are important, it is becoming more socially acceptable for teens to put that level of information out there. Besides, the immediate crisis should be how she feels targeted or rejected, not how or if she played a role.
  • Encourage her to unplug from technology for a while. This might seem like one of the most obvious solutions, but it can be difficult to follow through with when a significant proportion of a teen’s social life occurs through online activity. While it may feel punitive to take away their phone for something out of their control, encouraging them to self-monitor their screen time or temporarily deactivate certain accounts can help them take space from triggering messages before they decide if and how they might want to respond.
  • Offer positive affirmations on and offline. After experiencing cyberbullying, many teenage girls take mean comments to heart and overgeneralize that all of her friends (or followers) feel the same way about her. It is critical to her self-esteem to remind her of her positive attributes and help her reflect on the things she appreciates about herself. If you are also on social media, hyping her up in her comments or flooding her tagged photos on Instagram may be seen as “embarrassing,” but heart reacting her pictures and tagging her in uplifting quotes and articles may fill her feed with positive information.

Solstice RTC Can Help

Solstice Residential Treatment Center is a program for young girls 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 young women 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!

bullying and self esteem

How Does Bullying Affect Self-Esteem in Teens?

How Does Bullying Affect Self-Esteem in Teens? 2560 1707 srtc_admin

Sometimes it can feel like bullying has become more and more prevalent in teens. Consistent torment by peers can take a toll on teens particularly in the way they view themselves or on their self-esteem. Studies show that teens who are repeatedly bullied have lower reports of self esteem and higher rates of depression and anxiety. However, parents can have an important role in decreasing the effect of bullying. One study from the University of Missouri says that if teens feel a sense of belonging, either with their family or peers, the less likely they will be a victim or even engage in bullying behaviors. 

Self Esteem and Bullying

Engaging with your daughter, asking open ended questions about her day can help parents create and maintain a connection that can make your teen feel more secure.  This relationship can be an important source of support for your daughter. If she experiences bullying she is more likely to come to you if there is a secure and open relationship in place.  

Another factor in how self-esteem is affected by bullying is a decrease in social and communication skills. As parents, it’s important to encourage these behaviors with specific praises focusing on behavior such as “Wow you did a really good job talking to your teacher today” or “I really like how good of a friend you are”. If your daughter is feeling down and being hard on herself, expressing out loud some positive traits that you see in her can be really helpful for combating negative self-talk. Keeping up a positive commentary of how much your child means to you can also be beneficial even if they don’t reciprocate. Remember, they always hear you even if they don’t show it. 

Finding Help at Solstice West

If your daughter is struggling with low self esteem and bullying, Solstice West can help. We are a residential treatment center with a focus on helping young women struggling with mental health challenges related to trauma. Learn more about our program by calling out admissions team at 866-278-3345.

LGBTQ teens and bullying

Family Support Reduces Risk of Bullying Among LGBTQ Teens

Family Support Reduces Risk of Bullying Among LGBTQ Teens 2560 1922 srtc_admin

Adolescence is an especially critical time for LGBTQ teens who show higher rates of suicide attempts or thoughts, substance abuse, and depression, and higher rates of being bullied. Those who lack support from family or friends are even more likely to struggle with their mental health. One of the biggest fears teens have is not whether they will be rejected by their peers at school, but rather how supportive their family will be if they ask for help. While these may seem like separate issues, family support reduces the risk and impact of bullying among teens. 

The Role of Family Acceptance

In a study investigating protective factors against bullying, researchers found that LGBTQ teens were more than 25% less likely to be frequently bullied at school if they were from supportive family backgrounds. As people develop their sense of self and beliefs about relationships early in life, family support during adolescence helps teens build their sense of identity, self-esteem, and control.

Most people who struggle with low self-esteem have had experiences where they have felt isolated from others and rejected by others. This contributes to feeling insecure about accomplishments and being scared of failure in terms of reaching their goals and meeting other people’s expectations. 

While parent support may not necessarily be able to prevent bullying at school, it has a positive impact on a teen’s self-esteem, which influences how they may respond to being bullied or rejected by classmates. Teens who feel confident about who they are and what they like to do are less likely to let other people’s opinions shake their self-esteem and resilience.

How Family Relationships Affect Peer Relationships (and vice versa)

Positive relationships with parents cultivate self-esteem in children, which leads to more positive relationships with peers in adolescence and young adulthood. Young adults who have struggled to connect with others through childhood are more at risk of being bullied, which reinforces low self-esteem. 

A study at Northwestern University found that LGBTQ youth who have a strong network of support from their peers and their significant other not only showed lower levels of distress but also experienced increased support from their family over the course of adolescence. This demonstrates that support can have a domino effect. When teens feel more supported in their lives, they are also more likely to trust others and attempt to expand their circle.

Increasing Family Support for LGBTQ teens

Families recognize that creating success may involve making changes on their end to support a healthier relationship with their child. The relationships that teens develop with their parents are often their most long-lasting relationships, regardless of how often they see each other through adulthood. For this reason, rebuilding family relationships is an important part of helping teens make lasting changes in their lives. 

As a lack of communication and misunderstanding between parents and their children are the main sources of family conflict, one of the goals of family therapy is to help families improve their communication styles by facilitating interactions in various settings.

Family Involvement in Residential Treatment may include:

  • Letter writing
  • 90-minute family therapy sessions weekly by phone or video conference
  • Face-to-face therapy sessions
  • Therapy assignments or readings for parents
  • Weekend visits on or off-campus
  • Multi-day family seminars every quarter
  • Home visits once approved

Solstice West Can Help 

Solstice RTC is a residential treatment center for young girls ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, addictive behaviors, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides individual, group, and family therapy to help students heal and improve from every angle. Fitness, nutrition, and academics also play an important role in this program. Solstice gives young women the skills and support they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, healthy, and capable of self-managing. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 801-919-8858 to learn more about our family programming.

bullying in teens

Bullying is a Big Deal: The Lasting Effects of Bullying in Teens

Bullying is a Big Deal: The Lasting Effects of Bullying in Teens 640 426 srtc_admin

Bullying goes beyond temporary or short-lived emotional pain. Bullying has serious effects on one’s health. Did you know bullying can cause physical changes in the brain and result in an increased chance of mental illness? It is scary to think that as many as 30 percent of young people are bullied on a regular basis. Researchers predict that the prevention of high school bullying could result in lifetime benefits of more than 1 million dollars per individual. Putting an end to bullying in teens requires learning about its effects and engaging the whole community in the mission.

Chronic Bullying in Teens

Chronic bullying is the term that refers to bullying that occurs repeatedly overtime. Studies showed that adolescents who experienced chronic bullying were linked to changes in brain volume and changes in anxiety levels at age 19. This finding is what connected the effects of bullying with mental health issues.

How You Can Help

Here are three ways you can help address bullying within your own home:

  1. Look for signs. You should watch for signs in your child that he or she may be being bullied. Don’t expect them to tell you. Ripped clothing, marks on skin, dread going to school, decreased appetite, crying, general anxiety and depression, or nightmares could be signs indicating issues with peers at school. From here, don’t tell them to toughen up. Create a conversation. Learn about the situation and grasp an understanding of what is going on. Don’t encourage your child to fight back, instead assure them that you will help them work through the situation.
  2. Work on coping skills. Teach your teen how to overcome bullying without feeling weak or defeated. Practice at home. Give them scenarios where they practice walking away or using assertive behaviors for coping with bullies. Also talk to them about resources they can seek out when they are worried about bullies.
  3. Set social boundaries. Cyberbullying is at an all-time high with the growing access and popularity of social media. Educate yourself and your child on how to properly use social media. Don’t forward emails or threatening messages. Don’t post inappropriate photos or comments. These are all things that should be addressed.

Solstice West RTC Can Help

Solstice West RTC is a program for young girls ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, addictive behaviors, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides individual, group, and family therapy to help students heal and improve from every angle. Fitness, nutrition, and academics also play an important role in this program. Solstice gives young women the skills and help they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, healthy, and capable of self-managing. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 801-919-8858




Teen Bullying: ’13 Reasons Why’ Brings Up Important Topics

Teen Bullying: ’13 Reasons Why’ Brings Up Important Topics 1280 848 Solstice RTC

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or are one of the few who don’t have a Netflix subscription, you’ve probably heard of the show 13 Reasons Why. This show covers many topics considered fairly “taboo” in the sense of what’s portrayed on television. The overarching theme seems to be around teen bullying and what it can really push a person to do.

How 13 Reasons Why sheds light on teen bullying

While 13 Reasons Why has sparked massive debates about the possible glorification of suicide in the show, it has also sparked conversations about mental health–a subject not commonly the center of attention.

teen bullyingOne of the main focuses in the show is the effect teen bullying had on the main character, Hannah Baker. Hannah is a teen girl that commits suicide, but before committing the act, she recorded 13 tapes outlining why she decided to take her own life. Many of the reasons have to do with teen bullying.

It shows how seemingly “little” things peers do to one another, whether they thought it was a big deal or not, can impact an individual intensely. Hannah was the victim of many forms of bullying.

She experienced teen bullying in and out of school. Rumors were spread about her by her peers, whether they were true or not. She was harassed online. Many students go through this in today’s world, which is why it has resonated with so many–controversy aside.

Creators of the show have argued that they wanted to show the possible devastating effect we can have on someone. In one interview, a mother mentioned how she felt about the show, “Some of it, I’m worried, is glamorizing of suicide, but if Zoe [her daughter] is talking to me about it, it makes me feel better.”

It is almost impossible to keep teens from getting exposed to viral things online–which is why it’s important to have an open channel of communication, like the mother mentioned before. Discussing the show allows you to talk about not just some mixed messages it could be sending, but also about the effects of teen bullying and other mental health struggles.

If you believe your daughter is struggling with a mental health issue, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for guidance.

Solstice is here for your daughter

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls often grapple with depression, issues with teen bullying, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems 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 strive to empower teenage women with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about how we help with teen bullying at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.


Fewer than 25 Percent of Teen Bullying Victims Get Treatment

Fewer than 25 Percent of Teen Bullying Victims Get Treatment 2560 1707 Solstice RTC

According to a study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, less than a quarter of victims of teen bullying get the necessary help they need. This is alarming because almost a third of all adolescents are bullied at some point. Teen bullying can lead to serious issues Being the victim of or partaking in…