November 7, 2016

The Power of ‘Adopt a Horse’ For Students Who Struggle with Attachment

It was late one afternoon, and Jimmy, a student in the equine therapy program at Heritage, was spending time with his adopted horse, Scout. He was teaching Scout to be comfortable with the body clippers. He had been working on this task for weeks—little by little gaining Scout’s trust. He was showing a great deal of patience and concern for his horse. He wanted his horse to feel safe, and to be comfortable with the task. As time went by, Scout let him get closer to him with the clippers turned on. Then he let him touch him on the […]
October 17, 2016
Diabetes concept glucose meter in hand and healthy organic food

Care for Diabetics in a Residential Treatment Center

Heritage, a residential treatment center, often receives inquiries and applications for student with diabetes. As a center with a dedicated medical building and staff, we are one of few treatment centers for adolescents that can accommodate diabetic students. Below is a summary of the methodology used to care for these students. Heritage medical staffs work to empower students diagnosed with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus in self-care and diet management.  At the Heritage Medical Center, we believe in a holistic approach to diabetes management that incorporates student’s physical and mental health.  We believe that as a student progresses in their mental […]
October 1, 2016

Tips for Connecting With Your Introverted Teen

General introversion is just one of many teen challenges we aim to help with at Heritage, and we know what a struggle it can be for many adolescents. It’s common for outsiders to mistake introversion as something more sinister or negative, but in reality it’s often just a personality type that may, in some cases, be at higher risk of struggles with depression. Our residential treatment center programs at Heritage are tailored to the individual needs of our students, and we’re experienced with kids who struggle with introversion as part of their challenges. For you as a parent, however, there […]
August 31, 2016
a bat, softball and helmet on the infield

Teens: Choose Your Team Wisely

Choosing the most talented and skilled players is a recipe for a winning team, right? Maybe sometimes, but not always. A recent experience taught me how choosing the right players is more important than choosing the “best” players. At our school, where students live for about 12 months, the teams are typically divided by the homes they live on. One year we decided that, to make the teams more even, it would be best to hold a draft for our softball season. Four students were selected to be team captains and participate in the draft. James (name has been changed), […]
July 25, 2016
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Three Simple Parenting Approaches

Many parents are presently bombarded with thousands of parenting programs. While there are many successful programs it is often hard for a parent to find a program that fits the needs of their family and one that can be remembered in the moment parenting skills are needed. I have met with many parents during my years as a therapist who have lost confidence in these programs because of their complexity and how complicated they are to implement. I have searched for parenting strategies that are simple to learn and easy for a parent to recall in crucial parenting moments. Here […]
July 16, 2016
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Helping Teens Process Their Feelings After Trauma

Very often at Heritage, a school for troubled teens, we see students who’ve faced trauma act out. No one is immune to traumatic events, from witnessing violence to being abused, anyone can suffer from trauma.   The good news is that teens are resilient, and with the right help, they can – and will — heal. It’s good to remember that the experience of a traumatic event is unique to the child going through it.  Their view of what happened is encoded in the brain according to the senses recording the event.  Their perception of what happened is unique to their […]
June 21, 2016
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Step 1: Develop a Relationship with Your Teen

Is your son or daughter unresponsive to your efforts to connect, discipline, coerce or persuade? Do you find it frustrating when they ignore house rules or direction? You might even have suggested that they go play a sport that they used to love only to have your idea fall on deaf ears. Why do teens shut down or turn off the efforts of family members or other authority figures? Sometimes the answer is outside of our control but much of the time the reason is because your relationship isn’t where it needs to be. Yes, the answer might be that […]
June 1, 2016
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Using Horses to Help Teens Manage Their Moods

Approximately 14.3 percent of youth in the United States struggle with mood disorders (youth.gov). These disorders can lead to a variety of other behaviors—acting out, substance abuse, trouble in school, promiscuity, self-harming behaviors, withdrawing, violence, and more. Having a teenager who struggles with any type of mood disorder can take a real toll on parents. Many people may not know that finding help for their struggling teen may be as simple as putting them in touch with one of nature’s best and most natural therapists—the horse. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of mood disorders and bipolar […]
May 30, 2016
Respect and pray on nature background

With Humility Comes Clarity

I received an email from a parent and the following words impacted me: “Our daughter made it through the weekend without any major incidents, largely because Tirae was there.” Something akin to a sneak attack ensued with my emotions. I knew Leeann and had a great relationship with her. At first I felt warm and fuzzy about the email. As I reread that sentence, my smile vanished and I felt uneasy; what I initially took as praise slowly turned into a cold knot in the pit of my stomach. I searched for Kristi, one of the therapists who work with […]
May 17, 2016
Kanarra creek slot canyon trail in Zion national park

Using Nature as Therapy

For as long as history has been recorded, human beings have felt a deep connection to the land and world around them. This connection has been a normal part of children’s lives as they grow, and many of us can remember running through fields and catching fireflies or exploring a nearby creek. For some of us summer vacation meant a return to nature and escaping a stifling classroom. Unfortunately, this has been changing over the last couple of decades. Climate controlled homes, video games, electronics, phones, computers and other factors play into this. Some students who come to Heritage come […]

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