At Uinta, we approach treatment by taking into account that each girl is a unique individual with a distinct set of skills, strengths, and characteristics. We can help her recognize and utilize these to overcome her personal challenges. This strength-based approach empowers young women to take control of their own treatment.
If a girl believes that she has the control to manage her own life, she will have the strength and confidence to make positive changes and abandon victimhood. Developing a girl’s internal locus of control, fostering self responsibility and accountability, and restoring empowerment are key elements to Uinta’s treatment approach.
Uinta Academy creates a comprehensive, cohesive treatment plan for each girl by looking at the whole person, not just the difficulties that she is experiencing. The treatment plan assesses and brings together the cognitive, emotional, psychological, and social aspects of her life. By using a variety of research-validated approaches that support women’s mental health, we ensure that each girl is provided with the type and level of treatment that is best suited to meet her unique needs.
Your daughter lives in a network of interconnected systems that encompass herself, her family, peers, school, and community. Problems in any of these systems may have impeded her success. The integrated therapy approach at Uinta creates a whole cohesive treatment plan that coordinates all of these systems in order to support her healing. We believe that the normalized, family-style environment at Uinta is an important tool in assessing where a girl may have challenges. The strengths that she displays in some areas of her life may be used to facilitate change in other areas of her life.
A treatment team member from every system (clinical, academic, residential, medical and recreational) meets every week to discuss each girl and coordinate efforts in her behalf. We also engage the family system through weekly family therapy, monthly visits, and other on-campus events. Uinta’s integrated approach has demonstrated extensive improvements in family cohesiveness and functioning and decreased mental health and social problems in adolescents.
Clinical Excellence and Experience
Every member of the clinical team at Uinta Academy has extensive training and experience in a number of treatment modalities. The Uinta team consists of licensed professionals from all over the U.S. who have a myriad of treatment experiences. This robust clinical care includes the following modalities:
- Mindfulness - This is the foundation for the other skills taught in DBT because it helps individuals accept and tolerate the powerful emotions they may feel when challenging their habits or exposing themselves to upsetting situations. Mindfulness is the capacity to pay attention to the present moment with awareness of emotions and thinking errors.
- Distress Tolerance – The goal is for the individual to become capable of calmly recognizing negative situations and their impact, rather than becoming overwhelmed or hiding from them. This allows the individual to make wise decisions about how and whether to take action, rather than falling into intense, desperate, or destructive emotional reactions.
- Emotion Regulation – Rather than becoming angry, intently frustrated, depressed, or anxious, the goal is for individuals to identify and label emotions; identify obstacles to changing emotions, reduce vulnerability to the emotional state; increase positive emotional events; increase mindfulness to current emotions; take opposite action and apply distress tolerance techniques.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness – Interpersonal response patterns taught in a DBT skills training group help the individual with assertiveness, coping with interpersonal conflict and problem solving. The skills taught are intended to maximize the chances that a person’s goals in a specific situation will be met, while at the same time not damaging either the relationship or the person’s self-respect.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, mixed in different ways with commitment and behavior-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. The core conception of ACT is that a person’s psychological suffering is usually caused by experiential avoidance, cognitive entanglement, and resulting psychological rigidity that leads to a failure to take needed behavioral steps in accord with core values. ACT views the core of many problems to be due to the concepts represented in the acronym, FEAR:
- Fusion with your thoughts
- Evaluation of experience
- Avoidance of your experience
- Reason-giving for your behavior
- Accept your reactions and be present
- Choose a valued direction
- Take action.
- Admitting that one cannot control one’s addiction or compulsion
- Recognizing a higher power that can give strength
- Examining past errors with the help of a sponsor
- Making amends for these errors
- Learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior
- Helping others who suffer from the same addictions or compulsion
Experiential Therapy applies to a range of action and movement based forms of psychotherapy and uses activities such as role-playing, outdoor activities, expressive arts, animal-assisted experiences and trust-based activities. During experiential therapy sessions, an individual has the opportunity to experience successes, identify obstacles, develop improved self-esteem and take greater responsibility for her actions. After the activity, the individual has the opportunity to process her emotions and receive specific feedback related to her decisions, actions and reactions. For individuals who have already participated in more traditional forms of psychotherapy (primarily talk therapy in an office setting), experiential therapy can be particularly effective due to its ability to take the individual’s focus off the therapy itself and encourage her to function “in the moment.”
The journey wasn’t always an easy one, but today she is a happy and healthy young woman with a bright future ahead.