Wilderness Treatment Centers Treating Anxiety in Teenagers
How Does Trails Carolina Help Teens with Anxiety?
Trails Carolina is an innovative and holistic treatment center for teenagers with anxiety. We understand how debilitating anxiety can be, so we take a gradual approach for treatment. Our trained staff of professional therapists and education specialists helps create a therapeutic method, which will be unique to your teenager.
Our therapeutic approaches include: wilderness therapy, traditional: individual, family, and group sessions, adventure therapy, equine relational programming, academics, skill building, and family-focused treatment. We believe that, through the expedition experience, students are empowered. Students leverage the power of wilderness therapy in other settings- further building their confidence and the ability to build connections and sustain change.
We also offer exclusive summer camp programs focusing on communication skills, relationship building, trust, increasing self-confidence, and regulating emotions. At Trails Carolina, we know that obtaining the proper tools is necessary for teenagers to live a successful and healthy life.
What are the Causes of Teenage Anxiety?
Teenage anxiety is far greater a problem than just having jitters before a big test. Teen anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions that arise during adolescence, causing teens to feel excessive amounts of worry, fear, or nervousness. It is estimated that anxiety disorders affect one in eight children. Anxiety disorders are thought to fall into these categories: generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety, panic attacks, and PTSD.
Because there are many different forms of anxiety, there are many causes linked to the development of an anxiety disorder. Primary causes of anxiety include:
- Hormonal shifts/imbalance
- Stunted brain development
- Bodily changes
- Separation from parents
- Extreme stress, peer pressure, isolation or bullying, social pressure, drug and alcohol abuse, and mental/physical abuse are primary causes of anxiety in teenagers.
Professionals also believe that anxiety disorders co-occur with other disorders such as depression, ADHD, eating disorders, and other similar conditions.
Anxiety comes from a combination of genetics, stressful life circumstances, and learned behaviors. Adolescents tend to develop anxiety in response to worrying situations in life, watching a parent or guardian respond to a situation with anxiety, improper brain chemistry, genetic components, and various forms of trauma. Middle and high school are prime grounds for the development of anxiety disorders.
Equine Relational Programming Programming Helps Teens Struggling With Anxiety
At Trails Carolina, our equine relational programming program is based in a relationship and neurological approach. Students have the opportunity to experience being in a connected, attuned relationship with a horse. They learn the principles of pressure and release, to request change, within a safe relationship. This causes the horse or student to create connections in their own brain that will help them to remain calm and think, in stressful situations.
Students learn that when things within their relationship get difficult the first thing to do is to regulate themselves and/or help others regulate. They learn think and respond instead of reacting emotionally. This will strengthen our relationships rather than damage them. A healthy relationship is always the goal of this programming.
Trails Equine Unmounted Program is unique in that all our horses either come from a rescue, have little or no training or are here due to emotional behavioral issues. Like our students, our horses live at Trails. They are at Trails until they are able to have good relationships with people and can stay calm and think in stressful situations. They then go on for advanced training, up for adoption or return to their owner. The relatability of the horses to the students is very powerful. They see the changes in the horses due to the relationship work they are doing with them. All the principals we use with our horses are easily transferred to relationship with self and others.
Treatments for Teenage Anxiety
Trails Carolina uses the most up-to-date therapeutic approaches for the treatment of teenage anxiety. Once we gain your child’s trust, we work on building a solid relationship in a safe and friendly environment.
Our therapeutic methods include:
- Wilderness therapy: a combination of nature, developing real-world skills, and building partnerships with other teens along with practical therapy at the base camp.
- Traditional therapy: a mixture of individual, group, and family therapies: educating and helping teenagers navigate through their disorder and learn coping methods.
- Experiential therapy: real-life experiences and life-building skills.
- Equine relational programming: building trust and relationships through animals.
- Adventure therapy: Building inner strength and developing important life skills.
Trails Carolina also believes in an academic approach, as well real-life scenarios to help teenagers build useful life skills. Our wilderness approach gives teens the ability to transfer their skills and experiences to new situations, and help students develop practical, real-life skills.
Symptoms of Teenage Anxiety
Symptoms of teenage anxiety include:
Trembling hands or legs
Uncontrollable urge to cry
Changes in diet and sleep patterns
Feelings of depression or hopelessness
Poor academic performance
Mindfulness Programming Helps Students Gain Sense Of Self
At Trails, we have incorporated evidence-based mindfulness and yoga practices throughout the daily routine and clinical work of all students.
Students at Trails Carolina partake in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) curriculum to expand their capacity to manage stress in a nourishing and non-judgmental way. Core components of the MBSR groups at Trails include grounding techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing, mindful movement, and thought-stopping techniques to help students develop a deeper sense of their body and regain control of their actions and internal processes.
Throughout their time at Trails, students are regularly encouraged to tune into their senses, pause, and strengthen their mental capacity to be still and content without constant distractions. Mindfulness techniques are also shared with all parents of Trails Carolina students as a valuable resource that can be incorporated into parenting and can also be applied as a coping strategy. By educating both parents and students in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Trails Carolina provides families with a common experience that contributes to positive parent-child relationships and improves treatment outcomes.
Along with MBSR, students participate in yoga sessions which helps them learn how to reconnect with their bodies and teaches breath control. For a lot of our students, especially those who struggle with trauma, their own bodies can feel very foreign to them. Yoga can serve as the bridge between the body and the mind.
Help Guide: HelpGuide is an online mental health information guide with over 160 articles discussing various issues within mental health ranging from healthy eating to sleep deprivation. Their website provides tools that parents can utilize to help a child struggling with mental health challenges. They collaborate with Harvard Health Publications in the production of their evidence-based articles.
MedlinePlus: Medline Plus provides information about a variety of topics within mental health. Their website contains the latest news within mental health as well as videos addressing a multitude of health-related topics. They also have a medical encyclopedia with thousands of articles and images related to medical symptoms and challenges.