Group Therapy

In addition to primary therapist sessions, our students receive an additional 12-15 hours of the following groups, conducted by our licensed clinicians each week:

  • Specialty groups (adoption, grief and loss, trauma, body image, social skills, depression in teens, etc.)
  • Substance abuse/addictions groups
  • Experiential groups (equine therapy, relationship processing groups)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Specialty Groups Offer Unique Focus

The Solstice environment is an incredibly warm and welcoming environment, but all of our young girls enter with unique experiences and needs. This is why we have developed an innovative therapeutic approach offering various group therapy options. In this way our students can participate in  the group therapy offerings that will specifically help them on their personal journey. Our group therapy helps treat anxiety, trauma, depression in teens, and many more.

Girls are assigned to specialty groups based on clinical indications as reviewed in treatment team meetings. Most girls will rotate through several specialty groups during their stay at Solstice.

Milieu Therapy

Milieu therapy utilizes the social culture of the residential treatment center to create positive changes in our young girls. These changes are achieved through therapeutic use of our young girl’s “community,” which includes their peers, staff, community roles and responsibilities, groups, meetings and so forth. The positive influence of “peer pressure” can promote a powerful and lasting change when combined with the skillful application of other therapeutic interventions.

Comfortable Setting, Collaborative Teamwork

The comfortable setting of Solstice contributes to a safe and open culture, which invites introspection and growth, making change seem less threatening. Within an emotionally safe culture, unhealthy behaviors can be gently challenged, and new options adopted more readily. Our experiential therapy approach allows our girls to grow and become open to positive change in their lives.

Clinical and residential staff must work together seamlessly in the creation and implementation of a therapeutic milieu to create the most lasting positive outcomes in our clients. Staff teams are created, supported and structured in such a way that affords effective teamwork, and provides the therapeutic community within which girls can thrive and blossom.

Substance Abuse/Addictions Groups

Many of our young women struggle with a variety of addictions.  Solstice has a unique integrated approach that goes beyond the traditional “12 Step” approach.

More information about Solstice’s addiction focus can be found here >>.

Relationship-focused, Experiential Equine Therapy

While “talk therapy” has its role in residential treatment care, our experience shows that teen girls respond to a variety of therapeutic approaches to create lasting success.

At Solstice, we create powerful experiences through equine therapy that go beyond talk therapy. These experiences help create connections between problems and solutions in a very powerful and positive way for teenagers.

Team Problem-Solving for Real-Life Practice

At Solstice we take advantage of the therapeutic setting by offering opportunities for our young girls to solve problems together. Every day we have Community Meetings where concerns are voiced and resolution is sought as a team.

These efforts help maintain our supportive, and constructive environment while giving our girls ownership and accountability for working through challenges and relationships. This is just one of the many ways we work to treat anxiety, trauma, and depression in teens.

Developing Emotional Control with DBT

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an empirically supported treatment model aimed at helping clients manage overwhelming emotions, problematic relational patterns, and self-destructive behaviors. DBT was originally developed as the primary approach indicated for treatment of borderline personality disorder and the associated symptoms. It has since been broadened in its application and has been shown to be very effective with a broad range of clients and issues related to emotion regulation difficulties and self-destructive behaviors. DBT treatment focuses on four primary skill sets that address key areas of functioning. These skill sets are:

  1. Distress Tolerance: These skills focus on helping clients learn to manage highly upsetting, distressful situations with resilience and effectiveness. Often, when in distress, clients learn to make choices that lead to rapid avoidance of pain, but unfortunately make matters worse over time. These skills provide alternative coping mechanisms that relieve distress and propel the client towards more healthy responses.
  2. Mindfulness: These skills help clients lean to stay in the present moment, increase awareness, and focus less on painful experiences of the past, or fears of the future. These skills also help clients learn to overcome negative judgments about themselves, others and the world around them.
  3. Emotion Regulation: The goal of emotion regulation skills is to assist clients in modulating emotions so they don’t become overwhelmed by them, and act self-destructively. Clients learn to identify what makes them vulnerable to overwhelming emotions, and structure their lives to build resilience. They earn to identify and express feelings in healthy ways, rather than acting them out destructively.
  4. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Oftentimes overwhelming emotional responses result in hurting those closest to us. These skills are aimed at learning to express feelings and beliefs effectively, setting appropriate limits, and building assertiveness and problem solving skills to assist clients in maintaining caring, quality relationships.

In addition to the above skills, DBT also places a great deal of emphasis on validation. The process of validation assists the client in “accepting” that life is difficult at times, and that their cognitive or emotional responses to this difficulty are valid. This “acceptance” helps the problem seem more manageable, and less “impossible”, thus empowering the client to take productive steps towards resolution.

At Solstice, DBT is integrated significantly into the daily program. In addition to weekly skills training groups led by a licensed and DBT trained clinician, our clients use daily diary cards to track skill use and development.  They also carry with them DBT skills cards that can be used as reminders of skillful responses and options in difficult moments. All staff at Solstice are trained in DBT skills and interventions, enabling them to assist the girls at anytime throughout the day when she may need a reminder, or support in implementation of a DBT skill.

Furthermore, in addition to the traditional DBT Skills group, the weekly experiential group also incorporates interventions and opportunities for girls to learn and practice DBT skills in a creative, experiential manner.

Restore healthy connections with your teen.

Showing the Solstice difference.

Sarah’s story of success shows why Solstice works.

Watch the video

Celebrating Long-term Success

“Solstice got me through one of the hardest times in my life. I had a support group that’s huge,
between the therapists and the mentors, the other girls–all helping each other”
Veronica, finding support for relationships and adoption issues.