• Residential Treatment Program for Teens 14-17

Trauma

Overcoming Trauma: Could We Actually Remove Memories of Fear?

Overcoming Trauma: Could We Actually Remove Memories of Fear? 1280 853 Solstice RTC

So far, the ability to erase unpleasant memories–like in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind–is only in movies, but research shows that we may be one step closer. The power to lessen the negativity of difficult memories could be the key to overcoming trauma–and there are treatments that do that, but none that fully erase the memory of fear so far.

A recent study may have found a way to wipe memories from the brain, though. This could show us the possibility of a future where we have the power to weaken or strengthen certain memories while leaving other important or useful ones unchanged.

Overcoming trauma by understanding our relationship with sound

overcoming traumaThink about it. Many of those struggling with PTSD have sound triggers. One example is an engine backfiring getting mistaken as a gunshot for those who have been in war-torn areas.

They’ve used mice to conduct experiments on whether they can manipulate memories through understanding sound and fear pathways.

They studied the mice’s brains to look into the connection between the part of the brain that processes a specific sound and the area related to emotional memories–the amygdala.

The researchers took the mice and played them two sounds: one high-pitched, one low-pitched. For the high-pitched tone, the mice would receive a shock to their feet. Later, when they would play the high-pitched sound alone, the mice would become afraid.

They found that there were different pathways in the brains of the mice for the low-pitched tone vs the high-pitched tone. The “high-pitch” pathway had a significantly stronger connection.

To conduct “fear extinction,” they played the high-pitched tones without the shock over and over until the mice had lost their fear of the sound–for the moment. The pathway remained stronger than the others, suggesting that the fear will eventually return.

“Fear extinction” is the basis of exposure therapy for overcoming trauma, but these findings show that it doesn’t actually eradicate the pathway connection, which means a relapse is possible.

But the research team used another technique called optogenetics and found promising results.

A long way from erasing memories

Optogenetics involves inserting a virus into specific neurons of the brain in order to introduce genes which produce proteins that respond to light–allowing researchers to control those neurons. In this study, they inserted the virus into the neurons associated with the “high-pitch” pathways.

They exposed the neurons to low-frequency light which weakened the connection between the neurons and the result were mice that weren’t afraid of the sound anymore. Not just temporarily, but for good.

While this is promising work, it’s been agreed that we’re not advanced enough in the research yet to even begin trying to test this on humans. What it has given us is a deeper understanding of a common practice for overcoming trauma and the possibility of a future in trauma treatment.

If your child is struggling with overcoming trauma, 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 and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, anxiety, overcoming trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. Dealing with these issues can get confusing and overwhelming fast–but we’re here to help guide you.

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 and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about overcoming trauma at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

 

teens struggling with trauma

Helping Teens Struggling With Trauma Through EMDR

Helping Teens Struggling With Trauma Through EMDR 1800 2400 Solstice RTC

EMDR: A Unique Technique Helping Girls and assigned female at birth – girls and assigned female at birth Heal From Trauma

Healing symptoms of trauma using eye movement may sound like something out of a science fiction novel, but it’s actually a very effective technique for some teens struggling with trauma. At Solstice, we utilize Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, to help teens who could benefit from the technique. EMDR

What is EMDR and how does it help teens struggling with trauma?

Through EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), we utilize eye movement to move traumatic memories that are stuck and deeply engrained within the body to a more functional state. Here are a few ways EMDR helps teens:

  • Transform negative core beliefs into positive beliefs:

When someone is traumatized, their memory gets stuck in that moment. That trauma causes them to carry negative core beliefs about themselves. Those negative beliefs begin to frame the way they view themselves and the world. EMDR takes those negative beliefs and transforms them into positive beliefs.

For example, if the traumatic event left the student believing a negative core belief like “I am disgusting”. Through EMDR, we would replace “I am disgusting” with something like “I am worthwhile”.

  • See that their trauma is not their fault:

As EMDR progresses, clients begin to develop more realistic beliefs about their trauma as the trauma moves from a stuck state to a more functional state. In the functional state, trauma doesn’t drive behavior or symptoms.

  • Overcome anxiety:

One of the ways we utilize EMDR is called future template.  Many of our students struggle with anxiety. For those students, we’ll utilize EMDR to help them frame future events which they may have a lot of anxiety about. For example, if a student fears public speaking, EMDR will help them envision the moment they are speaking in public. Instead of being anxious in that moment, they imagine feeling confident. We’ll utilize eye movement to help solidify a different belief about public speaking.

  • Relieves somatic representations of trauma:  

EMDR focuses on the memory that lives in the body. Somatic representations of trauma often occur because of this. These may look like chronic headaches or stomach aches that take place without medical reason.

EMDR often eliminates these somatic representations. It does this by moving memories to a functional place. They are no longer held within a specific place within the body, which is causing the physical symptoms in the first place.  

Solstice 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 trauma, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. Dealing with these issues can get confusing and overwhelming fast–but we’re here to help guide you.

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 and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

Learn more by calling (866) 278-3345

 

coping with loss

Coping with Loss Shows Itself in Different Ways for Teenagers

Coping with Loss Shows Itself in Different Ways for Teenagers 2431 2560 Solstice RTC

Here’s a fact that many parents forget: coping with loss as a teenager is much different than dealing with it as an adult. It’s relatively common to have lost at least one close person in your life or experienced something mildly traumatic by the time you reach your mid-twenties. Many teens work through it fine, but some struggle.

Those that struggle usually were never taught how to deal with grief or loss, causing them to lash out in unhealthy ways. Coping with loss is an essential skill in life. Teaching your child how to effectively work through grief and loss will help their in the future when she’s inevitably faced with that difficult moment.

How coping with loss is different in teens

Coping with loss shows itself in different ways for teens than it does for older folks. Understanding these differences can greatly help a parent in helping their teen cope with a loss in their life.

Teens are more likely to experience sudden or traumatic losses. Almost three-quarters of all deaths between the ages of 12 and 19 are caused by accidents, homicide, and suicide. That means that it’s not incredibly rare for a teen to experience a loss. Even losses that would be considered “natural” tend to feel more unexpected than it would for an adult.

Leaning towards isolating in the face of trauma. During the adolescent years, it’s pretty natural for teens to drift away from their parents—but this also makes it harder for them to seek out support from their parents when they’re hurting. If a student has passed away at your teen’s school, it’s good to just take a moment to have a calm, private conversation about whether they knew the person or not.

Fear of what others may think. The teenage years are filled with insecurity and a yearning to fit in. Because of this, in the face of coping with loss, they may try to act as if they aren’t affected by it. They may be afraid to be considered “the girl or child assigned female at birth whose mom died.” As a parent or guardian, it’s good to continue to watch for any signs of struggle with loss.

They may try to cover it up by acting out. One of the most common ways of coping with loss in teens is to act out. They start experimenting with drugs, alcohol, or begin skipping school. These “delinquent” behaviors act as a way for them to try to cope with or forget about the trauma they’re going through. Teens usually turn to acting out when they haven’t been guided towards a healthier way of coping with loss.

Solstice is here for your daughter

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, issues with coping with loss, 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 people 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 teens in coping with loss at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

 

ptsd treatment for girls

The Critical Components of PTSD Treatment for Girls

The Critical Components of PTSD Treatment for Girls 1280 853 Solstice RTC

Specifically in residential PTSD treatment for girls, there are many important components needed in order to ensure the best results. It’s not just about the PTSD-specific therapies being offered, it’s also about the setting, staff, and feeling the whole program provides.

What makes residential PTSD treatment for girls and assigned female at birth effective

  • Nurturing Environment: In residential PTSD treatment for girls, the environment has to be kind and nurturing. This is what a fully therapeutic setting does. It’s immersive and provides the level of care girls and assigned female at birth struggling with trauma need. Developing an environment that inspires personal growth and confidence is essential to the healing process.
  • Supportive Setting: Support is one of the most important components of successful PTSD treatment for girls. It’s not just about the staff being supportive, it’s the whole community–including the individual’s own family. There’s a system of support that needs to be built into the fabric of the program, otherwise the feeling of safety and warmth won’t be there.
  • Caring, Trained Staff: The staff need to be passionate about helping adolescents work through their issues and reach success. Alongside that, they also need to be appropriately trained to deal with situations that arise with struggling girls.
  • Comprehensive Therapy: The whole reason residential treatment exists is because traditional therapy alone wasn’t making much progress. To reach the best results in PTSD treatment for girls, many different therapies need to be utilized. No individual is the same, which is why a comprehensive therapeutic model accommodates to each girl’s specific needs. These therapies can be anything from EMDR therapy to equine therapy to family therapy to experiential therapy.
  • Relationship Building: Most girls and assigned female at birth struggling with a mental health issue also struggle with forming and maintaining relationships. They struggle with trusting others, opening up, and learning what a positive bond versus a negative bond looks like. Relationships are the foundation of our lives. Without a support system of family and friends, life can be pretty difficult. This is why it’s so important to include relationship building as an essential pillar in residential PTSD treatment for girls.

If you believe your child is having issues with trauma or other mental health challenges, it is critical to seek out a professional. Hoping the problem will remedy itself with time often does not turn out well–not just for your daughter, but for the whole family.

Solstice RTC is here for your daughter

Solstice RTC is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, 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 people with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about our PTSD treatment for girls and assigned female at birth at Solstice RTC, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

 

trauma focused cbt

Beating Trauma with Trauma Focused CBT

Beating Trauma with Trauma Focused CBT 2560 1707 Solstice RTC

Trauma is a part of life. It comes in many different shapes and sizes, from national tragedies to personal hardships – and, whatever the cause, can leave a trail of pain in its wake. Trauma knows no age restrictions either: as a matter of fact, studies estimate that up to 43% of children experience trauma, with 3%-15% of girls and assigned female at birth consequently developing symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Trauma focused CBT is often utilized to help treat PTSD. 

If left untreated, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can cause a child to experience mood swings, become isolated, and constantly relive the experience. In extreme cases, it can even lead to severe problems such as substance use, dangerous behaviors, and poor school performance. As a parent of a child with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, it can sometimes be hard to know what to do. One moment, your child can seem normal; the next, they becomes a complete stranger. And, what’s worse, sometimes the origin of this trauma isn’t obvious. 

Fortunately, there is good news. Although Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be difficult, there are ways to treat and overcome it. There are numerous approaches – all of which are available at residential treatment centers for trauma – including, among others, EMDR, neurofeedback, somatic experiencing, Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, and Trauma-Focused CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).

Ways Trauma-Focused CBT Can Help Your Daughter

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most effective approaches at helping children who are coping with trauma. One of the benefits of Trauma Focused CBT is its unique focus on helping the entire family deal with the aftereffects of trauma. As a holistic approach, Trauma Focused CBT doesn’t merely attempt to cure the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; instead, its primary purpose is to help heal the mind, body, and spirit. Where only too many approaches are content with brushing the problem under the rug, Trauma Focused CBT centers on the underlying problem. By helping your child overcome the root of the problem, Trauma Focused CBT offers one of the most comprehensive solutions to dealing with trauma.

At the heart of Trauma Focused CBT is building an environment in which your child can feel safe. With the aid of the therapy, a child receives the necessary support to be able to discuss their traumatic experience. Openly talking about the issue allows therapists to guide the struggling children toward reevaluating the misconstrued beliefs that stem from the trauma.

Moreover, Trauma Focused CBT works in conjunction with the family. By utilizing a relationship-based approach (one that forms bonds between the child, the parent, and the therapist), Trauma Focused CBT allows a “therapeutic alliance” to be formed. The trust and respect shown on all sides of the balance are vital elements of the healing process both for the struggling child and for the adults affected by their children’s troubles.

It is also important to note that Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is more than a theoretical approach; in fact, it is a hands-on journey to a healthy future. The skills learned in Trauma Focused CBT last a lifetime.

Solstice RTC can help

If your teen girl is struggling with emotional or behavioral difficulties due to a trauma-related issue, Solstice can help their find success.

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

emdr therapy

Beating Back the Monsters with EMDR Therapy

Beating Back the Monsters with EMDR Therapy 2560 1707 Solstice RTC

When something traumatic happens to you, sometimes it stays in your mind, vivid as the day it happened years later. It can manifest in dreams and reality, making life more difficult. Moving forward with trauma, anxiety, or depression can seem nearly impossible for some people. There’s hope, though. As more studies confirm its effectiveness, EMDR therapy has become a more accepted and used technique for those struggling with trauma, depression, or anxiety.

What is EMDR therapy?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, but that’s a mouthful so it’s referred to as EMDR therapy. It’s a psychotherapy that allows a person to rework through a disruptive life experience and alleviate the distress associated with it. Many studies have shown it to be extremely successful with not just single-trauma victims, but multi-trauma victims.

How does it work?

It’s fair to ask how moving your eyes back and forth can ease anxiety, depression, and trauma, but the truth is that researchers are still searching for a full explanation.

Some outcomes in studies have suggested that the eye movement mimics that of REM sleep, allowing the brain to fully process negative memories instead of having them stuck on repeat in the person’s mind. Though the true understanding is unknown, the evidence for the effectiveness of EMDR therapy is there in hard research. It’s hard to ignore something that can be so beneficial to so many suffering people. 

Solstice RTC is here to help

EMDR allows us to get past the verbal part of the traumatic memory and touch on imagery, body sensation, emotion, and negative core belief systems.  Without touching on these components of Trauma, it is difficult to redirect the acting out behavior that comes in response to a traumatic event.  It is amazing to witness the girls and assigned female at birth at Solstice move past memories that have become “stuck” and into a “functioning” memory.  Trauma no longer has to control their lives and they feel empowered to view their lives differently. – Jaime Palmer, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Director and Primary Therapist at Solstice RTC

Solstice RTC is a residential treatment center for struggling young women, ages 14-18. Our program is engineered to help our girls and assigned female at birth work through issues, such as anxiety, depression, or trauma. We utilize many different therapeutic techniques, including EMDR therapy, to create a comprehensive treatment for each individual in our program.

For more information about Solstice RTC, please call (866) 278-3345 today!

 

child trauma

Study Links Child Trauma to Future Issues

Study Links Child Trauma to Future Issues 1920 2560 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

childhood trauma

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 and assigned female at birth struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, or coping with child trauma. We help families heal and girls and assigned female at birth take their lives back. Through comprehensive therapies and a healthy environment, we create the perfect place for your child to regain control and work towards a brighter future.  

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

 

teen self harm

Is the Rate of Teen Self-Harm Rising?

Is the Rate of Teen Self-Harm Rising? 2560 1709 Solstice RTC

In a study posted in the US National Library of Medicine, researchers found that the rate of teen self-harm may be increasing. In later studies, only 7 to 13 percent of teens engaged in self-harming behavior; recent studies put it at 33 to 50 percent. 

Though self-injury is considered a non-suicidal behavior, in these studies at least half of teens interviewed reported multiple suicide attempts in the past. Self-harm is obviously a great threat to adolescents, making it extremely important for those struggling with it to get treatment as soon as possible. 

Who is at risk?

Self-harm is much more likely to begin in the adolescent years. Girls and assigned female at birth – girls and assigned female at birth are more likely than boys to self-harm. Adolescents who engage in this type of behavior often report doing it because it offers a sense of relief from painful emotions or to escape a feeling of numbness. Those who struggle with eating disorders, depression, or drug/alcohol abuse are at a higher risk of teen self-harm.

Combating teen self-harm

Those that self-harm often can’t find a healthy way to express their emotions, they need guidance and support. Hoping a teen will grow out of self-harm is not safe or effective. Seeking out professional treatment is one of the best ways to help your teen battle self-injury. Through treatment for self-harm, teens have the opportunity to gain healthy and safe coping strategies that they can practice in daily life.

Solstice RTC can help

Solstice RTC is a residential treatment center for struggling teen girls. We help girls and assigned female at birth battling depression, anxiety, trauma, teen self-harm, and many more. Through comprehensive therapy and a strong support system, Solstice RTC helps families reunite. With our program, your child can be lead back onto a path to a brighter and healthier future. 

For more information about how Solstice RTC treats teen self-harm, contact us today at (801)815-8700.

 

PTSD in teens

Treating PTSD in Teens

Treating PTSD in Teens 2560 1707 Solstice RTC

In light of recent horrific traumatic events of the Charleston church shooting, learning how to work through trauma and recognize the symptoms and treatment options for post-traumatic stress disorder is crucial. Untreated PTSD can last throughout a person’s lifetime, damaging relationships and overall well being of people suffering from a traumatic experience.

What causes post-traumatic stress disorder?

PTSD is caused by experiencing or knowing someone who has experienced a traumatic event. This could be something like a tragic, sudden death or a terrible accident. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that damages a person’s “fight or flight” response when experiencing fear. People with PTSD oftentimes feel fearful or anxious even when they are not in danger.

Symptoms of PTSD

  • Flashbacks to the traumatic event
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Being easily startled
  • Loss of interest in things once enjoyable to the person
  • Spontaneous or cued recurrent, involuntary and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic events
  • Inability to trust others
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nightmares

Treatment Options

The most common form of treatment for post traumatic stress disorder is psychotherapy. There are various forms of psychotherapy that can help your teen get through their trauma:

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT): This form of therapy is created specifically for adolescents. In TF-CBT, individuals talk through their traumatic event with a TF-CBT trained therapist. It is one of the most effective treatments for PTSD.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): This form of therapy is used to help reprocess the traumatic event.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT): CPT primarily focuses on challenging and modifying distorted beliefs and thoughts about the trauma.

A combination of these psychotherapy techniques are used to help those struggling with PTSD symptoms. Like any other anxiety or mood disorder, finding the therapist that works best for your teen is crucially important to your teen’s success.

If you need additional help with trauma and PTSD, these resources can help: