Each girl is assigned to a licensed psychotherapist who manages her treatment. She will meet with her therapist for a minimum of two sessions each week for private, individual psychotherapy. The therapist is also available to meet for “incidental” therapy when a girl requests additional time to talk or if she is struggling.
Individual therapy provides an opportunity for the girl and the therapist to focus on her unique needs. The goals of individual therapy are to increase a girl’s awareness and capacity for self-observation and to develop insight into her cognition, emotions, and core beliefs. Her increased insight will help her understand how she can use her strengths to make healthy choices of thought, feeling, or action and to better manage discomfort or distress.
A very important aspect of successful therapy is the relationship a girl has with her therapist. If she feels accepted, safe, and secure, she will be able to open up and look at herself. Because the therapists’ offices are in the home, they have the unique opportunity to participate with the girls in their daily activities. This gives the therapist first-hand observation of each girl’s behavior and presents opportunity for creating a knowledgeable, supportive alliance with the young women.
Our experience shows us that lasting change occurs when the whole family is engaged in a coordinated process of growth. Girls who are struggling are more likely to make necessary changes if they feel that the entire family system is cooperatively changing. Parents can walk hand-in-hand with their daughters through the treatment process through participation in family therapy. These weekly sessions are conducted by phone, Skype conferencing, or face-to-face sessions when parents are visiting. Family sessions are focused on helping families resolve conflict, improve family communication and problem solving, and restore trusting relationships. These sessions give parents and daughters the opportunity to work through difficult issues, align goals and efforts, provide support to each other, and develop strategies for a successful transition home
At Uinta, lasting change takes place because we invite the entire family to work in a unified way to grow and make changes. Uinta has been a leader is involving parents in the treatment process by allowing immediate and frequent family contact, implementing a family systems approach, and encouraging family participation in on-campus training and family weekends.
As soon as a young woman arrives at Uinta, she is encouraged to have frequent phone and mail contact with her family. Families can visit their daughter every month. When families are visiting, they may participate in face-to-face family therapy or parent training sessions. As a girl progresses through treatment, home visits provide an opportunity for the entire family to practice new skills, establish new patterns, and spend quality time together.
Twice a year, families can participate directly in the Uinta experience during our family weekends. During the family weekends, parents and daughters participate in educational presentations, parent instruction, group therapy, and experiential therapy. These three-day weekends allow parents to connect with other parents and engage in the therapeutic process with their daughters at a deeper level. The connection and support fostered during the family weekend is a key element in maintaining momentum during the healthy struggle of treatment.
Because of the powerful influence that the peer group wields during adolescence, group therapy is a powerful tool for growth and change at Uinta Academy. Most of our young women have struggled to form a healthy identity and find their place with their peers. The power of group therapy lies in the unique opportunity for girls to receive perspectives, support, encouragement, and feedback from other young women in a safe and accepting environment. Process groups also give girls an opportunity to deepen their level of self-awareness and how they communicate and relate to others. Rather than focus on individual differences, the girls are encouraged to support each other in a way that promotes growth. While processing issues in group, the girls learn how to identify and communicate their feelings in a manner that presents their “true self” and promotes healthy acceptance and relationships.
Uinta Academy offers the largest selection of groups in residential treatment. These groups were carefully selected to address issues that young women experience.