Treatment Centers Helping Teens With Attachment Issues
How Does Trails Carolina Help Teens with Attachment Issues?
Trails Carolina is an innovative and holistic treatment center for teenagers with attachment issues. We understand both the complexity and difficulty in treating attachment issues. Adolescent-parent attachment has profound effects on cognitive, social, and emotional functioning. Secure attachment is associated with less engagement in high risk behaviors, fewer mental health problems, and enhanced social skills and coping strategies.
Teenagers suffering from attachment issues have a difficult time relating to traditional therapy methods. Because these children lack the capacity for genuine relationships, relationship-based processes such as traditional therapy and parenting methods often are ineffective.
Trails Carolina offers a comprehensive approach by implementing wilderness therapy as an exceptional form of treatment. We also concentrate on implementing proper coping mechanisms for times of frustration, fear, anger or grief. Trails also offers behavioral modification techniques as well as group milieu for treatment of attachment issues.
What are the Causes of Attachment Issues in Teens?
It is not exactly known why some adolescents develop attachment issues and others do not. However, professionals have hypothesized that when a child’s needs are ignored or are met with physically abusive responses from caregivers that child learns to expect hostility or rejection.
There are several risk factors as causes of the development of attachment issues. These risk factors include:
- Living in an orphanage
- Inexperienced parents
- Frequent changes in caregivers
- Institutional care, extreme neglect
- Prolonged hospitalization
- Physical, sexual, or verbal abuse
- Extreme poverty
- Removed from neglectful or abusive home
- Parents with mental illness, drug abuse, or anger management problems
- Mother who has post-partum depression.
The social survival network that is first and foremost in importance is the attachment bond with one or more primary care providers. To facilitate this, humans have instinctual patterns leading to survival that involve social mechanisms. Without attachment, survival is very much in doubt for one of natures most helpless creatures at birth. Humans are hardwired to give and receive love and care. When that most basic need is not met, adolescents develop extremely negative responses, almost immediately.
Transitioning Success and Progress Back Home
Throughout their time at wilderness therapy, Trails students continuously transition from a wilderness therapy setting to base camp. These transitions help students learn to smoothly transfer newly acquired skills and behavior patterns from one environment to another.
It’s common for other therapeutic programs to get students into a sort of rhythm within a certain setting with specific people. The skills and changes being made in those sorts of stagnant environments can make students completely dependent on staying in one type of setting with their one group of individuals. This can delay growth and progress.
Within our program at Trails, we move students through different situations with different professional staff members in order to challenge their skills, assess, and continually build new ones. This leads to better outcomes.
Our specifically designed programming around transitions works closely with families to develop a plan for after students graduate from Trails. This plan for the tomorrow helps instill confidence in students and families that they will be able to smoothly transition skills and changes made at Trails back into the real world.
Learn more about transitions at Trails here.
Treatments for Attachment Issues in Teens
Treating teenagers with attachment issues must be done gradually and carefully. Trails Carolina focuses on adaptive methods as a form of treatment. We focus on the emotional experience of the individual, and make sure they are learning in a safe and healthy environment. We provide a consistent and corrective emotional experience to challenge the maladaptive internal working models that he or she developed.
Teens dealing with attachment issues often are unable to self-soothe and constantly feel alone and abandoned. Trails Carolina introduces teens to wilderness therapy, where they will work alongside other teens and trained instructors to make their way through the elements of nature. This experience creates a support system environment where the teen must work with and trust others.
We also treat with behavior modification and group milieu. Teenagers work in a group setting where, for the first time, they see the impact their behavior has on others. Once this is addressed, we delicately introduce social learning techniques and proper coping mechanisms that they can use when they reenter the world.
What are Symptoms of Attachment Issues in Teens?
Symptoms of attachment issues in teenagers include:
- Unresponsive or resistant to comforting
- Shuns relationships with everyone
- Unable to socialize
- Seeks attention from anyone
- Displays inappropriate childish behavior
- Frequently asks for help doing things
- Violates social boundaries
- Manipulative and controlling in a relationship
- Blames others for their mistakes or challenges
- Destructive, defiant behavior
- Substance abuse
- Lacking remorse
Trails Carolina’s Academic Programming Helps Teens Struggling with Attachment Issues Thrive
At Trails, we’ve developed an academic program that’s approachable, yet challenging. We reintroduce education to the student within a new paradigm. Inside our program, they have clinical support that wasn’t available to them before and allows the student to demonstrate where they’ve disconnected with learning and process it.
It’s important to include academics because it’s such a large part of an adolescent’s life. This is why we offer multiple credits–so that our students don’t fall behind when they return to a traditional school. While they may be a little out of sync, they certainly are able to slip back into a traditional setting more easily than if there were no academic credits available.
Some of the benefits of Trails academic programming include:
- AdvancEd accredited, authentic academics
- A blend of traditional and experiential instruction
- A true mountain classroom experience
- Small class sizes
- Learning is seamlessly embedded into their daily lives, so they’re learning all the time
- Rekindle the drive to become lifelong learners
- Discovering curiosity
Many wilderness therapy programs will only focus on learning in the field. At Trails, we believe that there is value in hands-on learning out in nature. However, we also have a traditional classroom environment on our base camp. This traditional classroom setting ensures that you child’s individual academic needs are addressed.
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Your Little Professor: Your Little Professor is a resource for parents focused on a variety of challenges faced by families with a child who struggles with attachment issues. Their website contains information about symptoms and treatment options for attachment issues and other behavioral/ emotional health issues. It also provides information about helping teens find success in school and in their social life.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP): AACAP is a non profit organization comprised of psychiatrists and other therapeutic professionals who actively research and advocate for individuals struggling with mental health challenges. This organization promotes awareness and acceptance of mental health challenges, providing public information about research and facts about a variety of diagnoses, including attachment issues.