Areas of Expertise: Trauma and Attachment Disorders
Is your teen suffering from the effects of trauma? Are the symptoms of their mental health condition(s) challenging their ability to thrive socially, academically, or otherwise? Helping a teen who has experienced trauma can be scary and exhausting. Our recovery-oriented program provides a range of treatment services, all of which contribute to an individualized care plan for your teen.
Our team works carefully to understand the source and impact of any psychological trauma a resident has experienced.
What conditions are treated by Sheppard Pratt’s trauma program at The LifeLaunch?
- Attachment disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD)
Who is the trauma program for?
The LifeLaunch is for teens age 12-17 whose mental health has been affected by trauma and who would benefit from a higher level of care than is available at the outpatient level. Our goal is to stabilize teens with acute need so they can successfully progress on to lower levels of care and return to their homes and communities.
Because The LifeLaunch provides evaluations when necessary, it is also appropriate for teens who have symptoms that may be caused by trauma, but need diagnostic clarification. Our treatment team will be able to determine the appropriate next steps for every resident once a diagnosis is made.
What does The LifeLaunch’s trauma program offer?
To treat the myriad needs of young people affected by trauma, our multidisciplinary teams have many therapies and clinical approaches at their disposal.
These may include:
- Individual psychotherapy and psychodynamic therapy
- Psychiatric medications (pharmacotherapy)
- Group psychotherapy
- Family therapy
- Expressive and rehabilitative therapies, including art therapy and occupational therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and skill building
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and skill building
- Mindfulness practices such as yoga and meditation
What is different about the residential trauma program at The LifeLaunch?
The LifeLaunch offers highly individualized programming tailored to the needs and symptoms of each resident. Because of the residential nature of the program, treatment is continuous 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, giving our team of experts time to observe evolving behaviors and the efficacy of treatment mechanisms. The LifeLaunch offers the kind of intensive clinician focus that cannot be replicated in outpatient treatment, with a goal of identifying patterns and changing behavior. Our multidisciplinary team provides a holistic perspective on each resident, and our low clinician-to-resident ratio ensures that every teen in our care gets meaningful one-on-one time with our highly trained therapists.
In addition to the trauma specific programming, residents at The LifeLaunch also participate in a broad array of programming for overall improved mental health.
- Additional forms of recreational therapy
- Academic support
- And access to the full continuum of care across Sheppard Pratt, an organization renowned worldwide for its mental health and social services—including specialized expertise in autism spectrum disorder, trauma, eating disorders, mood disorders, and neurological disorders
Why do our treatments work?
Trauma can encompass a wide range of experiences, and it can have different effects on different individuals.
CBT works by stopping negative thought patterns and emotions, helping patients identify and address problematic responses to stressful situations. With this clarity, patients can work to replace negative thoughts with more constructive ones, preventing physical and emotional trauma responses.
DBT is a form of CBT and a method of treatment that validates a resident’s feelings while also helping them learn new life skills. It provides specific skills like mindfulness and emotional regulation, which have been shown to decrease symptoms of PTSD like anxiety and depression. These skills can be used right away to help a teen cope.
In combination with techniques like CBT and DBT, our clinicians will often use psychodynamic therapy with residents, a type of therapy that involves examining a person’s past in order to address their present situation. This work helps a resident become aware of emotions of feelings that may have been repressed, so that those unresolved problems can be dealt with. Becoming aware of these subconscious emotions can provide insight into behaviors and defense mechanisms that may be self-destructive.
Recreational therapies are also particularly powerful for teens. These can include art therapy, music therapy, yoga therapy, and more. These modalities help teens explore and understand their emotions and build confidence. They foster creative expression and aid in developing supportive relationships by helping teens open up to their clinicians and peers.