Category: Parent Education Center

Exciting Changes Come to CERTS Programs

New CERTS Director of Program and Business Development

After 10 incredible years as Executive Director of Kolob Canyon and Moonridge Academy, Tawny Thomas, LCSW will be passing the baton and transitioning into CERTS Director of Business and Program Development.  Tawny will oversee CERTS marketing and outreach, relationships and program support.  While it was an extremely difficult decision to step back from her two beloved programs and teams, Tawny is excited for a new opportunity and is elated to continue working with our teams while showing the world the magic that happens at CERTS!

New Executive Director at Kolob Canyon and Moonridge Academy

With Tawny’s transition, we are excited to welcome Dr. Jack Hinman as the new Executive Director of Kolob Canyon and Moonridge Academy.  Jack will be coming to CERTS with years of clinical and leadership experience, having helped grow and develop exemplary girl’s programs, including Discovery Ranch for Girls and Sunrise Academy.  Jack says “I am excited to join a great team that has a strong commitment and passion to helping young women and their families reach their potential.” Jack and his family live in Southern Utah and Jack is an avid cyclist and outdoors enthusiast.  We look forward to his joining Kolob and Moonridge in mid August.

New Admissions Counselor at La Europa Academy

  La Europa Academy is pleased to announce that Shea Rodriquez will be joining their Admissions Team as an Admissions Counselor.  Shea comes to La Europa Academy with a considerable amount of admissions and outreach experience. Shea has worked most recently as an Aftercare Counselor and previously as an Outreach Counselor.  Prior to this Shea provided support, training and resources to admissions teams at seven different residential treatment programs. Shea received a Bachelor’s Degree in Marriage and Human Development from Brigham Young University.   

Shea says, “ I am so excited to be back in admissions working alongside the families and professionals that I know and love! I am impressed by the investment La Europa has made in the girls and their talents, and their overall dedication from the team to support them. It will be so fun to work together!”  

When asked what Shea brings to the La Europa team, Robbi O’Kelley, Executive Director shares, “Shea radiates enthusiasm for helping adolescents and their families.  She brings a wealth of experience to our team and we are thrilled to have her on board.” La Europa is excited to welcome Shea and her knowledge, commitment to families and outcome-driven approach to their team.   





Parents with a teen in residential treatment often ask themselves, “I parented this child the same way I parented my other children.  What could I have done differently?”  Often the answer is nothing.  You did the very best you could do with the skills and information you had at the time.  Often a teen experiencing depression, anxiety, suicide ideation, emotional dysregulation, self-harm or trauma needs to be parented in a different way.  Because teens acquire the abilities to become responsible, caring adults and citizens of their society from the people who are most intensely involved with them, parenting  is the most important and challenging job any of us can have.  Despite this, parenting receives little support or recognition in our society.

Even though families at CERTS programs were involved  intensive family therapy, therapists often heard from parents that they wanted direction and desired education to acquire skills to more effectively parent and communicate with their teen.    Parents also indicated that because of their teen’s behavioral issues, depression or emotional dysregulation they had lost the ability to just talk with their teen or simply have fun with them.   With this need for parent education, CERTS has developed 5 different ways to educate and support parents when their teen admits to one of our programs–La Europa Academy,  Kolob Canyon, Moonridge Academy, Mosaic House or Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy.



Parent Seminar Weekends are held at each CERTS Program once per quarter.  Parent Seminars include classes from Clinical Directors, primary therapists and academic team members.  Class topics might include, but are not limited to better communication with your teen, DBT Skills training and parenting skills development.  Parent Seminar weekends always include fun activities with parents and their teens that help to repair their relationship, improve their communication skills and practice new skills.


Parents are provided with 3 live webinars per month drawing on a large variety of topics.  Webinars are presented primarily by CERTS clinical team members including primary therapists, Advisors and Clinical Directors.   Academic team members also present occasionally on academic topics.  In addition CERTS records all webinars and uploads them to our private CERTS Parent Education Channel so that parents can view webinars on-demand.


At some CERTS Programs, parents are provided one-on-one parent coaching with their primary therapist.  Parents are able to ask specific questions and receive individualized instruction and assistance.  As part of the parent coaching component, parents are often provided with their own homework to do.


Parents and families receive weekly family therapy if their student is admitted to Kolob Canyon, La Europa, and Moonridge Academy.  Family therapy is provided by a student’s primary therapist.  At Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy, students can receive family therapy as needed through their community therapist.  Family therapy is a way for families to do necessary clinical work and heal together


Starting in the Fall of 2018, CERTS  will begin offering a Parent Retreat.  Parent Retreats will be held twice per year–once in the early Spring and once in the Fall.  This retreat will be a one day intensive where parents learn new skills without the distraction of their teens.   Parents not only learn valuable new skills, but also receive the close support of other parents also going through the process of residential treatment.

In addition to these formal components, parents can also receive ongoing support from other parents on the CERTS Facebook Parent Support Group.  CERTS is committed to educating and supporting our parents through each step of the treatment process.  Call today to find out how CERTS can serve you as a parent.


Social Media Use and Addiction

The reality is that teens are going to use Social Media.  They are probably going to use it every single day–whether it be Instagram, Snap Chat, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or playing video games.  Teens aren’t the only ones using it either–parents use it, businesses use it, schools use it, even political candidates use it.  Social Media is part of our culture and there is no escaping it.  Social Media Addiction takes the every day use of social media to another level though.  It is a behavioral disorder in which teens become so preoccupied with and obsessed with social media that it distracts them from everyday life and results in negative consequences.

When a teen is struggling with social media addiction, the level of use is so extreme that it negatively affects their daily responsibilities and their interpersonal and familial relationships.  In an article published by Clear Recovery Center they list 7 signs your teen is addicted to social media:

1. They Check Their Phone First Thing in the Morning

If the very thing your teen reaches for in the morning is their phone, they may be struggling with social media addiction. Especially if the reason they reach for their phone is to check various social media platforms. Teens that experience social media addiction become consumed with checking how many likes a photo received, if a comment they posted on Twitter was re-tweeted, or to check what other friends have posted. If your teen seems unable to get out of bed before checking their social media platforms, this may be a sign of addiction.

2. Frequent and Recurrent Page Visits Throughout the Day

While it isn’t abnormal for a teen to have several accounts on various social media platforms, it is abnormal if they check the platforms obsessively. You can learn a lot about someone’s social media habits by determining how frequently and recurrently they visit each page. Someone who checks their social media many times throughout the day may be struggling with social media addiction. If your teen seems preoccupied by their phone and seem to be checking it obsessively, this may be a sign of addiction.

3. Unable to Enjoy Activities Without “Sharing It”

If your teen seems unable to enjoy meals and times spent with friends and family without “sharing it” on various social media platforms, they may be struggling with social media addiction. Teens that seem to post their whereabouts and daily activities obsessively may have an unhealthy relationship with social media. Normal users are able to enjoy everyday life activities without sharing every moment over the Internet. Teens with social media addiction often “check-in” to various locations over Facebook and other social media platforms, this is again abnormal behavior. While there is nothing wrong with sharing your life with others on social media, it becomes a problem when it is constant. Parents should have access to viewing their teen’s social media accounts to see how frequently their child is engaging with the internet word.

4. Friends Use it as Primary Way to Reach Your Teen

One of the ways parents are able to identify that their teen is addicted to social media is when their child’s friends use social media as a primary way to reach them. If your child’s friends know that the best way to get in contact with them is through their social media accounts, this a sign of possible social media addiction. Normal use of social media should be minimal use throughout the day. If a teen is using social media minimally, then it wouldn’t be the primary way to be reached.

5. First Choice in How Your Teen Spends Their Free Time

Teens generally have highly structured schedules, especially during the school year. Most teachers don’t allow cell phones to be used during class, and most teens participate in extracurricular activities and complete homework assignments in the afternoons and evening. Downtime should be spent with friends, family and engaging in healthy and positive activities. If your child chooses to spend all their free time on their social media accounts, this may be a sign of teen social media addiction. When trying to determine whether or not someone is struggling with addiction, the frequency and duration of time spent on social media accounts should be considered.

6. Losing Interest in Regular Activities and Neglecting Responsibilities

As previously stated, most teens have highly structured daily lives. Most teens are active in school, sports and other extracurricular activities. If your teen has lost interest in regular activities and is neglecting daily responsibilities, but still makes time for social media interactions, they may be addicted to social media addiction. One of the main determining factors regarding whether or not someone is suffering from an addiction is if daily responsibilities are being neglected. Addictions are often all consuming. If a teen is addicted to social media, they may display a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, exhibit poor academic performance, and neglect daily responsibilities. It is important for parents to be able to identify any significant changes in their child’s behavior and determine how their child is spending their time. If most of their time is spent on various social media platforms, they may be suffering from social media addiction.

7. Strained Interpersonal and Familial Relationships

Similar to all other addictions, teen social media addiction is significantly correlated with strained interpersonal and familial relationships. The original purpose of social media was to connect people. Social media has become one of the most popular ways for people to keep in touch. While this seems like a positive thing, there is a dark side associated with personal relationships and social media use. Social media addictions have been found to a have a profoundly negative impact on real-life personal relationships. Teens with social media addiction become so obsessed with their online presence that they neglect real-life relationships. It is imperative that parents establish rules, time-limits and boundaries for time spent online is the main way to keep personal relationships intact.


Fortunately,  Ana Homayoun shared in an article published in the New York Times in January 2018, there are ways to manage use and help kids develop better tendencies, and much of it requires a delicate balance of parental modeling and involvement.

Make a Plan:  Taking the time to discuss appropriate use, establish guidelines and come up with a family agreement before kids get a phone is ideal, because it can be harder to put rules in place afterward. Family agreements can include rules about when and how the phone may be used, and potential consequences for broken rules. Agreements are more likely to be successful if they are followed consistently and revisited frequently as kids grow older and new apps become available.

Monitor Use:  For parents of teens who have smartphones, making the effort to understand how, where and why kids are spending time on their phone is critical.  It can be helpful to think about imbalances over a span of time rather than on a single evening or weekend. After all, binge-watching a television series on a smartphone while feeling sick or heartbroken isn’t the same as lying about phone use over an extended period of time. An app like Moment can help track usage and display the time spent in each app.

Take a Time Out:  Apple’s Family Sharing and Google Play have settings to help parents monitor use, and most phone carriers have their own parental control options. Devices like Circle and apps like OurPact give parents the ability to automate access, disable access to certain apps after a certain hour and build in structured time off to promote rest. The psychologist Larry Rosen, who has researched technology and the brain and is a co-author of “The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World,” said one of the most important steps is to remove the phone from the bedroom at night.

Be a Role Model:  Of course, parents trying to set healthy guidelines for smartphone use may themselves be struggling with similar issues: The 2015 Pew survey found that 46 percent of American adults believed they could not live without their smartphones. Teens aren’t the only ones we need to worry about when it comes to smartphone addiction — adults should consider their habits as well.


Trauma in Teens

A traumatic experience is any event in life that causes a threat to our safety and potentially places our own life or the lives of others at risk.  When a child or a teenager experiences a traumatic event they often have high levels of emotional, psychological, and physical distress that can disrupt their ability to function normally in day to day life.   Studies have shown that psychological or emotional trauma can be stored in our brains just like physical trauma can be stored in our bodies.  Teen trauma is not rare. In a recent study, 61 percent of teens (ages 13 to 17) had been exposed to at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. 19 percent had experienced three or more such events.

Common Reactions to Trauma

Every young person is different, but  according to The Better Health Channel common symptoms of distress include:

  • strong emotions such as sadness, anger, anxiety and guilt
  • overreacting to minor irritations
  • repetitively thinking about the traumatic event and talking about it often
  • disturbed sleeping patterns
  • withdrawing from family and friends
  • wanting to spend more time alone
  • being very protective of family and friends
  • returning to younger ways of behaving including giving up responsibilities or a sudden return to rebellious behaviour
  • increased need for independence
  • self-absorption and caring only about what is immediately important
  • loss of interest in school, friends, hobbies, and life in general
  • pessimistic outlook on life, being cynical and distrusting of others
  • depression and feelings of hopelessness
  • difficulties with short-term memory, concentration and problem solving.
After a traumatic event or series of events some teens find it difficult to know how to respond to the feelings they are experiencing.  Some parents have expressed that their teen’s behavior is no longer making sense and seems to be completely out of character.  Their behavior can become reckless or harmful to themselves.  They might seem depressed or anxious.  Some teens might even begin abusing substances following a traumatic event.

Common Therapy Approaches

In an article, Dr. Suzanne M. Dillman shares two types of therapy approaches to assist a teen in coping with trauma.  Both types of therapy are provided at CERTS Programs.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is grounded in the idea that an individual must correct and change incorrect thoughts and increase knowledge and skills. Common elements of cognitive behavioral therapy trauma therapy include:

  • Teaching individuals how to breathe in order to manage anxiety and stress
  • Educating individuals on normal reactions to trauma
  • Exposure therapy
  • Identifying and evaluating negative, incorrect, and irrational thoughts and replacing them with more accurate and less negative thoughts

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Therapists who perform EMDR first receive specialized training from an association such as the EMDR Institute or the EMDR International Association.  An EMDR session follows a preset sequence of 8 steps, or phases. Treatment involves the person in therapy mentally focusing on the traumatic experience or negative thought while visually tracking a moving light or the therapist’s moving finger. Auditory tones may also be used in some cases. Debate regarding whether eye movements are truly necessary exists within the field of psychology, but the treatment has been shown to be highly effective for the alleviation and elimination of symptoms of trauma and other distress.


Education Benefits of International Travel

Not all education can and should happen within the classroom. Sometimes, traveling is the best form of education, as students can get a number of personal and educational benefits from travel. From learning about other cultures first-hand to seeing where historical events took place with their own eyes, educational travel gives students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of art, science, history, and culture in ways they never have before. But the benefits of student travel go far beyond the actual subjects taught during the trip.  A wonderful article by shared 10 ways that that students traveling domestically and abroad benefit from their journeys.                                                

Neuroscience of Dance


At La Europa Academy, one of the expressive therapies provided each week is dance movement.  Students involved in this type of expressive therapy, find that they are able to process feelings of depression, anxiety and trauma in a more effective manner as they are moving their bodies.  A recent article in Psychology Today demonstrates the effectiveness of the changes our brain goes through as we dance whether it be through a formal dance experience or through dance movement therapy.  The article shares:

The neuroscience of dance is a relatively new, but rapidly growing, field of research. In recent months, a variety of new studies and an article-based dissertation on the neuroscience of dance have been published. These findings help us better understand why we dance and how dancing engages and changes the human brain.

On May 11, Hanna Poikonen(link is external) of the Cognitive Brain Research Unit at the University of Helsinki is defending her doctoral dissertation, “Dance on Cortex – ERPs and Phase Synchrony in Dancers and Musicians during a Contemporary Dance Piece(link is external).” This paper adds fresh insights to the burgeoning “neuroscience of dance” field of study and presents potentially game-changing methods of research that may have clinical applications.

For her dissertation, Poikonen developed novel ways to study various brain functions outside of a laboratory. By using event-related potentials (ERPs) and EEG, she was able to monitor how professional dancers’ brains differ from both the average layperson and well-trained musicians.

One of the main takeaways from her research is that expert dancers display enhanced theta (4-8 Hz) synchronization when watching a dance piece. Previous research has found that theta brain waves are associated with syncing-up deeper brain areas (such as the hippocampus, basal ganglia, and cerebellum) with the cerebral cortex. “Studies of professional dancers and musicians have highlighted the importance of multimodal interaction and motor-related brain regions in cerebral processing of dance and music,” Poikonen said in a statement. “The dancers’ brains reacted more quickly to changes in the music. The change was apparent in the brain as a reflex before the dancer is even aware of it at a conscious level. I also found that dancers displayed stronger synchronization at the low theta frequency. Theta synchronization is linked to emotion and memory processes which are central to all interpersonal interaction and self-understanding.”

Dance has been a universal aspect of the human experience for millennia and is part of our collective DNA. Our bodies and brains have evolved to dance in synchronized unison. And, dancing on a regular basis seems to change the way we think and interact with one another.

In a 2017 article, “A Dancer’s Brain Develops in a Unique Way(link is external),“ Poikonen writes:

“In dance, the basic elements of humanity combine in a natural way. It combines creative act, fine-tuned movement and collaboration, much like playing music. The movement involves the whole body, like in sports. . . Studies on producing music and movement show how during cooperation, the brains of two people become attuned to the same frequency. This is apparent in how the low-frequency brain waves of the participants become synchronised.

Brain synchronization enables seamless cooperation, and is necessary for creating both harmonic music and movement. The ability to become attuned to another person’s brain frequency is essential for the function of any empathetic community.”

Call Us Today

At La Europa Academy, we can help your daughter cope with the effects of ADHD, depression, eating disorders, anxiety and other issues through fine arts-based residential treatment programs. La Europa Academy is a clinically sophisticated, 36-bed, a fine arts-based residential treatment center that specializes in using the arts to help girls ages 13-17 heal and work through the emotional pain. La Europa blends the best of traditional treatment (DBT, specialized groups, small caseloads, outstanding family systems work, etc.) with a focus on the arts including dance movement therapy that allows us to build on our girl’s strengths. Contact us today to speak with our admissions director.

Adventure Therapy Provides Positive Therapeutic Outcomes

Adventure Therapy is a form of experiential therapy that allows participants to take calculated risks and explore personal issues in a safe, supportive environment under the guidance and support of trained and certified therapists.  Adventure Therapy often is done in the outdoors and includes activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, rappelling, camping, mountain biking, rafting and skiing.  While on the surface these activities are fun, they also allow a teen participating in these activities to process emotional issues, addictions, depression, trauma and many other clinical issues.   Spending time in nature has therapeutic benefits in and of itself.  Simply getting outside and getting one’s body moving allows for natural endorphins in our body that help us to boost our spirits and help individuals to view the world more positively.


Adventure Therapy can open doors to healing that other types of talk therapy can not do alone.  While a teen is participating in adventure activities, they are often challenged in ways that help them face situations in their everyday life.  With the feelings elicited during an Adventure Therapy activity, teens can go back to a more traditional talk therapy session and discuss how the experience might be similar to something they are facing.  Problem solving skills used in an Adventure Therapy session can also be processed to help a teen use those same problems solving skills in their daily life.  During adventure activities, therapists can help a teen provide invaluable information regarding patterns of behavior and emotional triggers that increase self-awareness.  Adventure Therapy is a valuable way to help students process deep trauma.  Because trauma can be stored in our body, research done by leading trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk, MD has shown that moving our bodies in a positive way can help us process deep emotional wounds.  Dr. van der Kolk discusses the benefits of Adventure and Outdoor Therapy in his book “The Body Keeps the Score:  Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma.”  At CERTS Programs we often hear therapists say that they best clinical work they do with a teen is when they are hiking, camping, skiing, or mountain climbing with their client.


  • Teens are directly involved and are not passive observers
  • Teens receive therapeutic benefits through processing of experiences
  • Activities are chosen for a teen that teach lessons that then applicable to past experiences and future challenges
  • The experience becomes meaningful because the teen is able to reflect similarities in their day-to-day life
  • Activities enhance personal growth and clinical progress
  • Activities are chosen that teach independence, life skills, team-building and problem-solving skills


Kolob Canyon and Moonridge Academy both provide extensive Adventure Therapy as part of their clinical programs.  Weekly Adventure Therapy occurs each Wednesday.  Additionally a 3-day Adventure Trip is executed on a monthly basis.  Often group therapy involves adventure activities in the form of ropes course work or interactive games.  Therapists are involved in all Adventure Therapy activities.  Call the Admissions Director  at Kolob Canyon or Moonridge Academy for more detailed information.




Age-Appropriate Therapy for Young Girls

When it comes to residential treatment programs, younger girls between 11 and 14 need specialized care. Placing young girls amongst older teenagers can expose them to the behaviors, attitudes and addictions of the older girls. At Moonridge Academy, we combine the clinical sophistication of other CERTS treatment centers with programs that are age-appropriate for younger children.
Age-appropriate therapy includes the following:

Play Therapy

According to the Association for Play Therapy, “Play therapy is the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process where trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help patients prevent or resolve psychological difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.” Play therapy is a way of helping a child on their unique developmental level. Play therapy works best when used in a safe relationship between the therapist and client, where the child can freely and naturally express positive and negative feelings. This is good supportive therapy for behavioral problems, like anger management, grief and loss, crisis and trauma and divorce and abandonment. It’s also useful for disorders like anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism, academic and social developmental issues and physical and learning disorders.

Sand Tray Therapy

This is a form of expressive therapy that allows children to emphasize what they are feeling at the moment. The patient can use figurines and a sandbox to recreate relationships and scenes in a way that allows her to reveal deep thoughts and feelings. Sand tray therapy was developed in the 1920s by British pediatrician, Margaret Lowenfeld, who found that this method served as a means of communication between a scene builder and an observer. It allows the observer insight into the builder’s inner world.

Equine Therapy and Horseback Riding

Equine therapy is a great way to get in touch with thoughts and feelings. Rather than using the mind to address problems, girls will use their bodies and hearts to feel and react in the moment. Horses know how to sense emotions and will react accordingly. If someone is aggressive or angry, the horse may become stubborn. If someone is anxious, the horse may also get nervous. But when the animal is approached by a calm, open person, it is more likely to respond in a kind, loving way. Observing the horse’s responses promotes self-awareness and helps people see themselves in a more realistic way.

Call Us to Learn More

At Moonridge Academy, we can help your young daughter cope with the effects of ADHD, depression, eating disorders, anxiety and other issues through residential treatment programs. Our programs are structured around DBT treatment, while also combining traditional talk therapy with experiential therapies like equine assisted psychotherapy, to achieve a resilient, more influential change. Contact us to learn more.

Benefits of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Equine assisted therapy is beneficial for girls.

At Kolob Canyon, we believe in the power of equine assisted psychotherapy. This form of therapy has been proven to be effective for a wide range of mental health disorders, including addiction, depression, anxiety and trauma. It allows girls to interact with horses and find a new way to connect with them, process emotions and explore problematic behaviors and relationship patterns.

The benefits of equine assisted therapy include:

Identifying and coping with feelings

People who struggle with addictions, trauma and other mental health issues often engage in these behaviors to avoid difficult feelings. They might use drugs or engage in compulsive behaviors like sex, eating, drinking or gambling to numb sadness, anger, fear and even joy. In order for therapy to be successful, the first step is learning to identify emotions, experience them and cope with feelings without trying to escape. Equine therapy is a great way to get in touch with thoughts and feelings. Rather than using the mind to address problems, girls will use their bodies and hearts to feel and react in the moment. Horses know how to sense emotions and will react accordingly. If someone is aggressive or angry, the horse may become stubborn. If someone is anxious, the horse may also get nervous. But when the animal is approached by a calm, open person, it is more likely to respond in a kind, loving way. Observing the horse’s responses promotes self-awareness and helps people see themselves in a more realistic way.

Better communication skills

Girls who struggle with addiction and other behavioral issues tend to be emotionally underdeveloped. They might have difficulty relating or getting close to other people, but it is possible for them to form close bonds with horses and other animals. By working with horses, people realize their conscious and unconscious interaction patterns. Horses are excellent communicators and learning to understand their behavior helps people learn how others function in the world. Simple exercises like haltering, leading and grooming teach people how to approach others with respect and awareness.

Setting boundaries

Working with a horse can quickly expose someone’s inefficient thought and behavior patterns. During an equine therapy session, metaphors can be drawn between a girl’s interaction with the horse and the patterns in her own life. This can address issues like detachment and enmeshment (unclear boundaries in a relationship). The lesson can be as simple as learning how much physical space the horse needs to be comfortable.

Overcoming fears

Horses are large animals, which can bring up fears, past trauma, feelings of inadequacy or lack of control. Regardless of the horse, people often fear that the horse won’t like them, won’t choose them or could hurt them. Rather than giving into old habits (getting defensive or escaping) people learn to tolerate and process the emotion. In this safe environment, clients learn to face fears and build confidence in their ability to overcome challenges.

Call Us Today

At the CERTS Group, we can help your daughter cope with the effects of ADHD, depression, eating disorders, anxiety and other issues through residential treatment programs. Our programs are structured around DBT treatment, while also combining traditional talk therapy with experiential therapies like equine assisted psychotherapy, to achieve a resilient, more influential change. Contact us to learn more.

Benefits of Fine-Arts Based Residential Treatment

Fine arts-based treatment is helpful for behavioral issues.

Fine-arts based residential treatment blends traditional therapy (DBT, specialized groups) with a focus on the arts like dance, yoga, piano, ceramics, photography, painting and more. The arts allow girls to access and release pain in a powerful, creative and safe way, and there are various other benefits to fine-arts based residential treatment.

  • Safety: Art therapy provides safe, confidential space for girls to express themselves. Whether this is through writing a story, painting a picture or composing a song, the arts channel otherwise negative emotions and turn them into something beautiful.
  • Accessibility: Almost everyone is capable of creative expression, regardless of their age, ability or circumstance.
  • Based on strengths: The creative process is all about creating, changing, building and doing. This automatically taps into girls’ strengths, showing them what they are good at and the beauty they are capable of creating.
  • Positivity: Being creative and making art is enjoyable and can positively shift a client’s mood. It’s a great way to escape negative emotions and learn to appreciate the positive things in life.
  • Empowerment: Art allows girls to practice change in small ways. They can prove to themselves that they have the strengths and skills to make bigger changes beyond art as well.
  • Mindfulness: Creating art, whether it’s a painting, drawing or sculpture, requires you to be present and live in the moment. Learning mindfulness is a great way to focus on the here and now and not stress about the past or future.

Call Us Today

At La Europa Academy, we can help your daughter cope with the effects of ADHD, depression, eating disorders, anxiety and other issues through fine arts-based residential treatment programs. La Europa Academy is a clinically sophisticated, 36-bed, a fine arts-based residential treatment center that specializes in using the arts to help girls ages 13-17 heal and work through the emotional pain. La Europa blends the best of traditional treatment (DBT, specialized groups, small caseloads, outstanding family systems work, etc.) with a focus on the arts (dance, photography, ceramics, watercolors, piano, yoga, guitar, etc.) that allows us to build on our girl’s strengths. Contact us today to speak with our admissions director.