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Mental Illness

emotional intelligence

How Emotional Intelligence Can be a Protective Factor for Teens with Emotional Issues

How Emotional Intelligence Can be a Protective Factor for Teens with Emotional Issues 3872 2592 srtc_admin

While being able to identify negative emotions doesn’t always mean you are able to avoid them, research suggests that teenagers who can describe their negative emotions in details are more resilient when negative emotions arise. Emotional intelligence, or being more aware and understanding of your feelings, is associated with better emotion regulation. This may mean they’re more in touch with physical sensations associated with feelings and are better at noticing when they begin to feel overwhelmed, but it also means they have developed the skills necessary to process these emotions and move forward. Developing emotional intelligence can help teens reduce suffering associated with their emotional issues. 

What is Emotional Intelligence?

  • The ability to recognize your emotions
  • Understanding why you’re experiencing those emotions
  • Managing your emotions and reactions to emotional experiences
  • Being able to choose a different mood or feeling when you dislike the way you feel
  • Understanding how others might feel and why
  • Showing empathy towards others

While these are all important life skills, teenagers are still developing parts of their brains that allow them to develop this awareness. However, the emotional side of their brain has developed substantially in the past few years with their undeveloped rational side of their brain struggling the balance. This explains why many teenagers may claim to be very “in touch with their feelings,” but struggle to control the emotions they feel when they are affecting them negatively. 

According to the study, which aimed to investigate whether emotional intelligence was a result of depression or a protective factor against it, teens who struggle to differentiate between types of negative emotions are at a higher risk of experiencing symptoms of depression following stressful life events. 

How is it Beneficial?

 “Adolescents who use more granular terms such as ‘I feel annoyed,’ or ‘I feel frustrated,’ or ‘I feel ashamed’ — instead of simply saying ‘I feel bad’ — are better protected against developing increased depressive symptoms after experiencing a stressful life event,” explains Lisa Starr, a professor at the University of Rochester. “Emotions convey a lot of information. They communicate information about the person’s motivational state, level of arousal, emotional valence, and appraisals of the threatening experience. Basically, you need to know the way you feel in order to change the way you feel.”

Some outcomes of increased emotional intelligence may include:

  • Increased confidence
  • Healthier coping skills
  • More resilience
  • Healthier relationships
  • Improved social skills
  • More assertiveness
  • Better problem-solving and decision-making abilities
  • Less impulsivity

Solstice Can Help

Solstice West RTC  is a residential treatment 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 to allow girls to explore themselves in a variety of ways. Through groups on various topics, girls learn to become more aware of their emotions and to express them appropriately to others. 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. 

For more information about our how Solstice helps teen girls build emotional intelligence, call 866-278-3345. We can help your family today!


Teenage Mood Swings Can Be a Warning of Greater Issues

Teenage Mood Swings Can Be a Warning of Greater Issues 150 150 Solstice RTC

Teenagers are known for going from talking a mile a minute to slamming their bedroom doors and taking vows of silence the next. It can be just as confusing for your child as it feels to be on the receiving end of their sudden changes in mood and attitudes. Some degree of mood swings in teenagers in normal, as they experience a sudden influx of hormones and are struggling to navigate the bridge between childhood and the adult world, but teenage mood swings can be a warning sign for bigger issues. 

Why Are Teens so Moody?

There are multiple reasons teens are prone to moodiness and none of them occur in isolation. 

  • Puberty involves a lot of biological changes, both physically and neurologically. Being unfamiliar with these intense bursts of hormones can feel overwhelming. Hormone imbalances can lead to 
  • Lack of emotional awareness. A common theme in teens is being able to admit their emotions are all over the place, but not really being able to explain what they’re feeling or where it’s coming from. Teen’s emotional brains develop at a more rapid pace than parts of their brain responsible for decision making. 
  • Changing social norms. Middle school is hard. High school is hard. Teens place a higher value on peer acceptance and feel pressure to conform to certain standards. In childhood, relationships aren’t based around social rules, at least not on a conscious level. However, as teens get older, they are more likely to struggle with trying to fit in, which can be an impossible task when trying to fit a certain mold.
  • Higher levels of stress. Adolescence is a period of a series of major life changes, often all at once. It is not surprising that teens are just as stressed out as adults, if not more. According to a recent survey, over a third of teens report that their stress levels have a significant impact on feelings of depression and exhaustion. 
  • Sleep deprivation. Teens need more sleep than any other age group and between school, extracurriculars, and socializing, they also get less sleep than other age groups. While they may not be pulling all-nighters all the time, over time, getting less sleep than their bodies need can lead to exhaustion and moodiness.

When to Reach out for Support

While most teens go through “phases” where their mood changes frequently, variability between extreme emotions usually decreases over time. Adults still experience the full range of emotions, but not quite as rapidly and they report having a greater sense of control over their emotions. For some people, this emotional roller coaster isn’t limited to adolescence. It is difficult to diagnose mood disorders, like bipolar, in adolescence because there are so many different factors that affect their mood swings. The biggest indicator that their mood swings may be a warning sign for something greater depends on how it impacts their daily functioning. 

Finding appropriate help depends on possible reasons for mood swings. In addition to bipolar disorder, they are also common in teens struggling with depression, ADHD, and post-traumatic stress.

Mood swings are associated with:

  • Difficulty managing intense emotions, like anger or hopelessness
  • Increased impulsivity and risky behaviors
  • More interpersonal conflict
  • Longer-lasting periods of intense emotions, such as days or weeks
  • Unstable sense of self

Solstice Can Help

Solstice RTC is a residential treatment program for young girls ages 14-18 who struggle with mental health issues, such as mood swings, anxiety, depression, trauma, and relationship struggles. We are 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. We can help your family today!

For more information about mood swings in teens, call 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 srtc_admin

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 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!

Moving Forward at a Residential Treatment Facility for Teen Girls

Moving Forward at a Residential Treatment Facility for Teen Girls 150 150 Solstice RTC

When your daughter is struggling, it’s hard to know what to do among all the options available. The first try is usually traditional therapy. When this doesn’t result in improvement, many parents are lost on what to do. At this point, a residential treatment facility for teen girls may be the answer.

What is a residential treatment facility for teens?

A residential treatment facility is a specialized program that helps young people work through mental illness, substance abuse, and other behavioral issues. These facilities are specifically designed to deal with the issues of a certain age group. By temporarily living outside of their homes, teens in these treatment programs are able to be properly supervised and treated by professionals.

How does residential treatment differ from traditional therapy?

For a lot of struggling teens, traditional therapy is enough, but there’s a lot that need a step further. At a residential treatment facility for teen girls, your child is given a greater intervention that’ll help steer them in a healthier direction. Some of the aspects of a residential treatment center include:

Safe Environment. The point of these programs is to create a sanctuary where your child can make mistakes and work through issues. To do this, your child rarely has an unsupervised moment in order to provide the greatest safety.

Trained Staff. The staff in a residential treatment facility for teen girls are trained specifically to deal with the age and gender concentration of the program. These staff are thoroughly taught how to handle and subdue dangerous situations.

Comprehensive Therapy. In these programs, they use a combination of many different therapies in order to give your child the best treatment possible. This can include individual, group, family, equine, and many other therapies. Aside from that, when your child comes through the door, an individualized treatment plan is created to help your child through their own specific problems.

Solstice as a residential treatment facility for teen girls

Solstice RTC is a residential treatment facility for teen girls, ages 14-18, struggling with issues such as trauma, depression, anxiety, and other behavioral issues. Through the use of many different therapeutic techniques, we strive to give our girls the most effective care we can provide.

To learn more about Solstice’s residential treatment facility for teen girls, please call (866) 278-3345 today!

Is your daughter not sleeping enough? Five Signs of Sleep Deprivation In Teens

Is your daughter not sleeping enough? Five Signs of Sleep Deprivation In Teens 150 150 Solstice RTC

Does your teen constantly complain about not getting enough sleep? Does she stay up past midnight trying to get homework completed? If so, she’s probably sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation in teens can affect pretty much every aspect of your teen’s life. If your teen isn’t getting enough sleep she’s at a higher risk of behavioral, academic, and emotional issues.

How do I know if my teen isn’t catching enough zzzs?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell when your teen has actually gone to bed. She might stay up into the early hours of the morning on her phone or watching TV in her room with the door closed. What are some of the symptoms of sleep deprivation in teens? Here are some signs of sleep deprivation to look out for: 

  • They are feeling stressed out all the time: If your teen gets stressed over simple tasks, that may be a sign they are not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation makes it hard for people to deal with daily challenges and annoyances, like doing chores or homework.
  • Having issues with memory: During deep sleep, your nerve cells make connections that help boost memory. If your teen has to choose between studying late at night before an exam and sleep, they should choose sleep every time. Getting enough sleep will help them do better on that test than an extra hour or two of studying will.
  • Poor decision making: If your teen is getting involved in risky behavior like substance use or cheating on tests, sleep deprivation may be to blame. In the brain, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for judgment and controlling impulsive behavior. The less sleep your teen gets, the more impulsive they will likely be.
  • Unable to Concentrate: Another sign of sleep deprivation in teens is an inability to concentrate. If your teen can’t concentrate in school or when you’re trying to talk to them about something, it may be because they haven’t been getting enough sleep.
  • Mood Swings: Is your daughter go from zero to sixty mood-wise on a regular basis? The reason for her mood swings might be sleep deprivation. Children who sleep less than the amount they’re supposed to are 25 percent more likely to misbehave.

If it’s not just sleep deprivation in teens

If your teen daughter’s behavioral struggles are caused by something more than sleep deprivation in teens, consider Solstice. Solstice is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties like trauma, depression, anxiety, and disordered eating.

For more information about Solstice, please call  (866) 278-3345.

Being a great role model: Mentoring youth in a positive way

Being a great role model: Mentoring youth in a positive way 150 150 Solstice RTC

January is National Mentor Month. For many young people, having a mentor in their life can greatly improve their overall motivation and self esteem. If someone is there who pushes you to be productive and work hard, you’re more likely to do well. For teen girls especially, having a role model to look up to can reshape the way they see the world and their overall behavior in an extremely positive way. But how can you forge such a strong bond with your own daughter? For girls struggling with trauma or other emotional and behavioral difficulties, being able to trust someone to such an intense degree can be hard. However, mentoring youth who have such difficulties is definitely do-able.

Building trust and strong bonds by mentoring youth

For many young people, having an inspiring mentor can help them grow as individuals both personally and professionally. Mentoring youth doesn’t have to entail a huge time commitment or a great amount of resources. Here’s a few tips on how to work on creating an effective mentoring relationship with your teen daughter: 

mentoring youth

Image source: Flickr user- gareth1953

  • Don’t force the connection: If your daughter doesn’t want to build a relationship with you, she won’t. In order for the mentorship to actually work, the bond between the two of you has to be 100 percent genuine. That means, both parties have to agree to spending time together.
  • Practice what you preach: If you’re teaching your daughter about the right way to do something, make sure it’s actually something you are doing yourself. For example, if you’re teaching her how to live a healthier lifestyle, try being healthy yourself. She won’t believe anything you say if you don’t carry out those actions in your own life.
  • Be a positive coach: Positive coaching is when a mentor helps a young person achieve specific goals for the purpose of growth. Studies have shown that positive coaching can help young people better deal with stress and achieve their goals.
  • Be open with your daughter: In order for your daughter to truly trust you, you need to open up to her about your own life experiences. You have to be willing to be vulnerable in order for your daughter to open up to you about her own thoughts and feelings.

Solstice rebuilds relationships

Solstice, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18, can help your struggling daughter reach her fullest potential. We believe in fostering positive, trusting relationships between teen girls, their families, and other loved ones. 

For more information about Solstice, please call (866) 278-3345.

Study Links Child Trauma to Future Issues

Study Links Child Trauma to Future Issues 150 150 Solstice RTC

According to a study conducted by the National Center for PTSD, almost 50 percent of adolescents have witnessed or experienced a type of trauma. Out of those 50 percent exposed to child trauma, about 5 percent of them will develop PTSD. Trauma is dangerous and destructive, especially if left ignored. 

What can child trauma lead to?

The experience of child trauma can lead to many things. According to the American Psychological Association, most children display short-term distress after a traumatic event, but a substantial minority end up suffering from psychological pain. This psychological pain from child trauma can be depression, anxiety, PTSD, and many more. If untreated, this psychological pain can mutate into something debilitating and life-crippling. 

When to seek professional help

Everyone reacts to traumatic events differently. It’s normal for the first couple of weeks to be rocky, but when symptoms become chronic, it’s time to seek out a professional. Hoping time will heal is wishful thinking and doesn’t always work. Signs that your child may need treatment include:

  • Frequent dangerous, reckless behavior
  • Substance abuse
  • Continuously depressed or anxious
  • Seem to show no progress in recovery
  • Pushing others away, not communicating their emotions

If you’re truly worried for your child because of their behavior, it’s important to contact a professional for help.

Solstice RTC can help

Solstice RTC is a residential treatment center for older teen girls struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, or coping with child trauma. We help families heal and girls take their lives back. Through comprehensive therapies and a healthy environment, we create the perfect place for your daughter to regain control and work towards a brighter future.  

For more information about how Solstice RTC can help your daughter with child trauma, contact us today at (801)815-8700.

Suicidal Ideation in Teens: Knowing the Signs

Suicidal Ideation in Teens: Knowing the Signs 150 150 Solstice RTC

Being a teen girl is hard. Their bodies are changing at a rapid rate, they have to deal with new emotional behavior and withstand enormous amounts of peer pressure. During this time in their lives, some teen girls begin to show signs of depression and sometimes suicidal ideation.

What is suicidal ideation?

suicidal ideation

Photo Source: Solstice RTC

Suicidal ideation, also known as suicidal thoughts, exist in two forms – active and passive. Active suicidal ideation means that the person is actively planning their death. In passive suicidal ideation, the person has thoughts of death but no plan to kill themselves. Most people experiencing this struggle don’t follow through with committing suicide. However, it’s considered a risk factor for suicide and must be taken very seriously.

Risk factors and causes

Suicidal ideation, according to researchers, is caused by a combination of risk factors that come together to influence suicidal thoughts. These risk factors and causes can include:

  • Environmental factors: Being caught in a stressful situation such as expulsion, the death of a parent or moving to another place can cause suicidal ideation in teens.
  • Genetic factors: Psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia, are passed down to teens through the genes of family members. These disorders are known to cause suicidal ideation in those suffering from them. Substance abuse is also genetically linked, which also causes suicidal ideation.
  • Physical factors: Lower levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin have been found in people with suicidal ideation. Additionally, people with terminal diseases may experience suicidal ideation.
  • Exposure to suicidal behavior of loved ones: Seeing the suicidal behavior in a familiar setting may influence some people to experience suicidal ideation themselves.
  • Not being able to cope: People with poor coping skills might turn to suicidal ideation as a way out of whatever struggle they are dealing with.


Watching out for symptoms of suicidal ideation in your teen is important in preventing them from taking further steps towards suicide. Symptoms can include:

  • Talking about death excessively
  • Desire for isolation
  • Sense of calm or happiness after a period of depression
  • Changes in sleeping and eating habits
  • Feelings of helplessness and desperation

Getting help

If your teen is experiencing suicidal ideation, sending them to a residential treatment center is a great option.

Solstice RTC  is a residential treatment center that provides a therapeutic holistic approach for teen girls ages 14 to 18. Instead of treating specific problem areas such as suicidal ideation, Solstice treats the entire individual.

For more information on how Solstice RTC can help combat suicidal ideation and other mental health issues, please call us today at (866) 278-3345.

Tips for Helping Your Daughter with Teen Depression

Tips for Helping Your Daughter with Teen Depression 150 150 Solstice RTC
teen depression

Photo Source: Flickr User – Kiran Foster

Teen depression can be hard on not just the individual it’s happening to, but also the people around them. Depression can affect anyone, but studies show that adolescent girls are twice as likely to develop teen depression than adolescent boys, which many researchers think is due to societal pressures.

Signs your daughter is depressed

Teen depression can be scary, overwhelming and hard to diagnose. It’s important to pay attention to the various signs of teen depression in order to seek out treatment as soon as possible.

From Mayo Clinic, a few signs your daughter might be depressed include:

  • Crying for no apparent reason
  • Frustration over small issues
  • Lack of interest in normally enjoyed activities
  • Exaggerated self-blame
  • Frequent thoughts of suicide
  • Insomnia/disruptions in sleep
  • Risky behavior
  • Self-harm
  • Change in appetite

Tips to help your daughter with teen depression

  • Pay attention: Make sure you’re taking an interest in your child’s life and what they’re doing. Life can get overwhelming and sometimes it becomes easy to ignore the signs of teen depression.
  • Talk and listen: Sit down and let your daughter know you’re there to listen without judgement and help if need be. Saying out loud that you’re there to support her can go a long way.
  • Be persistent, but not pushy: If your teen ignores or rejects the first time you try to let them know you’re there for them, try again later. It may take a few times, but be patient, it takes a lot for a teenager to talk about how they’re feeling.

Getting help

If your daughter is struggling with teen depression and regular therapies aren’t effective, Solstice RTC might be the right fit. At Solstice RTC, we help girls ages 14 to 17, that have difficulty with issues such as trauma, anxiety, depression and many others. Through comprehensive, research-based therapies, we treat each individual with the utmost care.

For more information about how Solstice RTC treats teen depression, call us today at (866) 278-3345.