• Residential Treatment Program for Teens 14-18

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Our Executive Director’s Clinical Acumen

Our Executive Director’s Clinical Acumen 1000 362 The Solstice Team

At Solstice West, we believe there is particular strength in leadership when it is coupled with deep clinical expertise and interdisciplinary collaboration. In fact, it is the driving force behind our success in guiding individuals toward lasting recovery and personal growth.

Jane Peterson, MSW, LCSW, Executive Director

Jane Peterson isn’t just an Executive Director; she’s a seasoned clinician with over 30 years of experience in residential treatment. She has a deep understanding of human behavior, particularly the impact of trauma on individuals and families. This allows her to guide the program with sensitivity and create a supportive environment for both staff and residents.

Her clinical insight infuses every aspect of Solstice West’s culture, from program development, to academics, to staff training. She champions a trauma-informed approach that prioritizes open communication, active listening, and building trust. This translates into a more cohesive and effective team, ultimately benefiting every resident who walks through our doors.

Jane’s knowledge and experience with diverse therapeutic approaches like EMDR, DBT, CBT, and mindfulness informs her program development and oversight. She can confidently guide therapeutic decisions, ensuring a comprehensive and tailored approach to each resident’s needs.

Jane’s particular interest is in working with individuals who feel misunderstood, such as those with ADHD, autism, or learning disorders. Her compassion and dedication to inclusivity translate into leadership decisions that ensure all residents feel seen and supported.

 

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What truly sets Jane apart is her unwavering commitment to long-term change. She understands that recovery is a journey, not a destination. That’s why Solstice West equips residents with the tools and life skills they need to thrive beyond the program. Jane finds immense reward in witnessing residents overcome challenges, build meaningful relationships, and discover a newfound sense of self-direction and happiness.

We invite you to learn more about Jane’s leadership and the incredible work happening at Solstice West, especially if you’re passionate about:

  • Bridging the gap between clinical expertise and effective leadership
  • Implementing trauma-informed care in residential treatment settings
  • Empowering individuals to achieve lasting recovery and build fulfilling lives

Staff Spotlight: Blake

Staff Spotlight: Blake 1600 918 The Solstice Team

“I’ve worked in the therapeutic field for over 30 years, and I love that at Solstice, we work so intentionally with families. You see incredible results.”

—Blake Taylor MCoun, CMHC

Blake has been an invaluable member of our team since joining in 2010. His journey has been marked by a deep commitment to helping others and a passion for making a positive impact on young lives.

Blake Taylor MCoun, CMHCPrimary Therapist

Blake Taylor MCoun, CMHC
Primary Therapist

Blake’s favorite part about working at Solstice West is “watching kids grow, change, and figure out who they want to be. To see what directions they want to take. Adolescence is an exciting time for just about anyone, but I feel like I get to see kids making really pivotal decisions and watch them work to implement those decisions. It’s really fun to watch.”

Before specializing in adolescent treatment, Blake’s career encompassed diverse roles, including college counseling, juvenile detention, and county mental health services. Blake’s expertise lies in working with students facing a wide array of challenges, including anxiety, depression, trauma, social skills issues, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Blake shares, “It’s an amazing thing to watch a kid come in, and they’re in pain, and their life isn’t going well… and to see them make the decision and turn it around. Then years later, they’re saying, ‘It’s stuck. I’m still doing it.’ That’s an amazing thing.”

He adeptly employs various therapeutic modalities, such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) to tailor his approach to each individual’s needs.

With additional training in trauma modalities like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) and Brainspotting, Blake brings a well-rounded and holistic perspective to his work. Recognizing that kids especially are products of their environment, he works to bring a genuine warmth and sense of humor to create a safe and nurturing environment for our students to heal and grow.

Outside of work, Blake cherishes time with his family, residing in Syracuse alongside his loving wife and three children. As a devoted book enthusiast, he takes pleasure in collecting “dusty old books” and indulging in reading adventures.

We are incredibly fortunate to have Blake as part of our team, and his impact extends far beyond his current practice at Solstice West. Many of his former clients continue to share updates and successes, reflecting the lasting positive influence he leaves on their lives.

Welcoming Our Academic Director

Welcoming Our Academic Director 1000 362 The Solstice Team

We’re excited to announce Jamie Murphy as Academic Director of Solstice RTC!

We are thrilled to announce that Jamie Murphy is returning to the role of Academic Director, bringing her exceptional leadership and expertise back to the helm of the academic team. With her many years of dedication to our team and our students, we are confident in the bright future ahead under her guidance.

 

Jamie Murphy,
Academic Director & Science Teacher

Refocusing on our mission, EnRICH!

Developing Excellence in Relationships, Influence, Character, and Health.

Our leadership’s focus on revitalizing our EnRICH mission has spurred Jamie to embed these core values within our academic staff, curriculum, and overall departmental ethos. Jamie’s deep-seated passion for education and dedication to nurturing meaningful relationships will greatly support the growth and prosperity of both our students and faculty.

Fully accredited, the academics at Solstice stand as a cornerstone of our operations. Accredited by COGNIA and recognized by the education boards of Utah, California, and Washington, our classrooms uphold the highest standards. Our ability to partner with school districts in these states has been influential for families and referral partners alike.

Our tight-knit team of licensed teachers bring an authentic zeal for teaching, driven by a genuine desire to make a positive difference in the lives of their students.

At Solstice West, our teachers collaborate closely with clinical experts and the complete treatment team—including parents, educational consultants, therapists, and future schools—to craft comprehensive academic and transition plans. This meticulous approach ensures a seamless progression to the next stage of education or post-secondary endeavors, supported by weekly meetings to track and discuss each student’s advancements.

Some Updates from Jamie

“We’re just now getting set up to do concurrent enrollment classes, which I’m really excited about. That will allow a student to take a class that will count towards high school credit and college credit at the same time.

We are also doing something that the kids are going to be really excited about, where before they weren’t allowed to have their MP3 players and music in school, we’re now going to allow it—with certain parameters, of course. I find that it helps students more than it hinders their learning. There’s so many of our kids with ADHD and just having that music to be able to kind of tune out the other noise is so helpful. “

 

We want to take this opportunity to thank Angela for her invaluable contributions during her time with us. We wish her all the best on her future endeavors!

Looking ahead, we are excited to have Jamie Murphy back as Academic Director, whose leadership will continue to advance our standards of excellence.

Join us in welcoming Jamie back into this leadership role!

ADHD in teens

How does ADHD in teens affect social skills?

How does ADHD in teens affect social skills? 2560 1707 The Solstice Team

Ever since ADHD emerged as a medical diagnosis in the late 1970s, thousands of children and teens have been diagnosed. As the years passed more research has emerged on how to help treat those affected and has given parents guides to help children navigate life. With some coaching and mild interventions, your child should be able to have a healthy and successful life.

Symptoms of ADHD in teens

Can include:

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity 
  • These symptoms can be combined as well 
  • Because of these symptoms, children can also struggle with social skills and have difficulty making friends

My child is struggling socially. How can I help? 

As parents, it can be difficult to see your child struggle to make friends. Encouraging positive social behavior and helping to educate others on your child’s condition can help your child feel more comfortable. Some helpful actions can include: 

  • Give immediate and frequent feedback on inappropriate behavior and missed social cues
  • Focus on areas where your child is struggling with and role play social situations
  • Encourage your child to interact with a smaller group of peers to limit social anxiety
  • Reward improved social skills 

Benefits of therapy programs teaching social skills:

At residential programs like Solstice West, your child will learn how to interact with peers on a deeper level. Intensive therapy groups such as processing groups will give your child’s peers a chance to talk to your child about how their behavior is affecting the group as a whole. The milieu based therapeutic approach allows your child to learn social cues through experience with support staff guiding her. This way they can experience social interactions and have support if they begins to feel overwhelmed or confused. If you as parents have specific concerns you can talk you your therapist and treatment team to come up with a specialized plan to work on certain issues. 

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 The Solstice Team

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 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 to allow girls and assigned female at birth to explore themselves in a variety of ways. Through groups on various topics, girls and assigned female at birth learn to become more aware of their emotions and to express them appropriately to others. 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. 

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

Year in Review-2015

Year in Review-2015 150 150 The Solstice Team

It has been an amazing year for Solstice! We have seen so much growth, healing and improvements, both in our program and in our residents. Here are just a few of the amazing things that have happened at Solstice this year!

New building

We waited patiently for many months as our new school and administration building was built. It was fully worth the wait! We are loving the custom-built classrooms, our state of the art computer lab and spacious therapy offices, as well as the abundance of new green-space throughout our campus.

Graduates

We are elated about the 17 graduates we had from our program this year! Each of these girls and assigned female at birth worked hard in both therapy and school to become successful, confident young women.

Ribbon Cutting Party

Along with our new school, Solstice threw a summer party for an official ribbon cutting! Between the dunk tank, horse rides for the staffs’ children, a lip-syncing battle and food provided by the Waffle Wagon, residents, staff and their families all had a great time celebrating our new building.

San Juan trip

In May, Solstice partnered with Breakwater Expeditions to offer our first parent-child adventure therapy trip. Four Solstice families joined with a few Solstice staff to kayak the San Juan Islands. They traveled approximately 33 miles by kayak and then spent a day in Seattle to enjoy time together and practice their newly learned skills.

Employees of the year

At the end of each year we recognize an employee of the year. This year we couldn’t choose just one and our employees of the year were Recreation Director, Stacey Rosenberg, and Summer Team Director, Lacey King. We are proud to have Stacey and Lacey as part of the Solstice team!