At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we design all of our teen treatment plans according to the underlying premise that mental and physical health are inextricably bound, and as such, the best treatment approaches are those which recognize and address these connections. In this sense, our treatment approach is a truly holistic one, drawing upon and implementing a wide range of therapeutic techniques and services, in order to address and support the wholeness and well-being of teens. One of the holistic treatment approaches we offer at Paradigm Treatment Centers is our Teen Somatic Experiencing Therapy.
Teen Somatic Experiencing is a therapeutic approach which addresses the effects produced chronic stress or trauma in the body as well as in an array of Mental Health symptoms. One of the central premises of this treatment examines how the stress-induced “Flight or Fright” state causes direct mental, physical, and emotional symptoms. While this high-adrenaline state is only meant to be experienced in short, intense doses, sometimes following trauma or chronic stress, teens can become “stuck” in this flight or fright mode, which causes undue stress on the body, as it continues to experience prolonged and intense physical effects. In this regard, teens experiencing a traumatic event can lead to consistent physical and mental symptoms over months or even years following the incident. Some examples of negative symptoms that teens might experience include things such as; disrupted hormonal levels, autoimmune conditions, elevate heart rate, disrupted digestive system, headaches, stomach aches, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and more.
In treating teen mental health conditions, we recognize that some of the physical symptoms might have old causes that are deeply “held” in the body and which can be difficult to treat. The premise of Teen Somatic Experiencing is that if given the space and opportunity to do so, the body and mind will heal themselves, and return to a state of equilibrium. Therefore, in order for teens to heal from trauma and the accompanying symptoms, there are sometimes old “blockages” which must first be removed, in order for teens to experience healing. Throughout Teen Somatic Experiencing symptoms, therapists lead teens to discuss and reflect upon aspects of their experience, while also observing what kind of physical symptoms they might feel, as a result of that subject matter. While these symptoms might at first appear as very subtle to the teens, they often end up being doorways to deeper points of stress, which have long been unknowingly held in the body. Therefore, as therapists lead teens to process (mentally and physically) how these old stressors are being stored, teens can release that stress from the body, thereby creating the environment necessary for them to heal physically, emotionally, and mentally from these traumatic experiences.
The manner in which this stress may release from the body can vary in intensity, ranging from a subtle inclination to stretch the neck or lean over, to a more overt reaction, such as crying or sometimes even laughing. These releases of stress often help profoundly further the other therapeutic work teens are doing, serving as a “breakthrough” both with regard to reduced stress and anxiety, as well as an improved ability to engage in all aspects of their treatment process. Teen Somatic Experiencing is a research-based clinical approach that has been proven successful in treating stress-related conditions, especially such as PTSD, Teen Anxiety, Teen Depression, and other Teen Mood Disorders.