People who have been traumatized—whether through sexual assault, emotional or physical assault, traumatic loss, or life-threatening illness/injury— are often strongly affected by these experiences, and often experience coinciding sleep disruption, anxiety, depression, and compulsive behavior (substance use, disordered eating, promiscuity, etc.).
At Red Mountain, we also see less overt forms of trauma resulting from neglect, bullying, grief, witnessing disturbing events, and other adverse childhood experiences. These also tend to have a lasting and wide-reaching effect on an individual’s psyche.
Those who have had these experiences all too often blame themselves for what has happened, and it may take years of treatment before they see that what took place was not their fault. At the same time, it’s important for those who have been traumatized to avoid a permanent “victim status”, which can also stunt their growth into human beings functioning at their full potential.
Even when the original incident took place many years before, survivors of trauma can be “triggered” by people or environments that recall the initial incident and feel that they are reliving the pain and suffering of the past in the present. Post-traumatic stress symptoms can manifest as health problems, irritability, and chronic low self-esteem.
The Red Mountain Approach
Red Mountain is a trauma-informed program. This means we take a holistic approach to working with our students whose lives have been upended by any form of trauma, taking into account physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of treatment.
Some key elements of our approach are:
- Emotional Safety. Trauma survivors feel that the world is no longer safe, and we begin by restoring the sense that our students can trust what is going on in their environment;
- Evidence-Based Practices. Our work is grounded in a deep knowledge of trauma-informed, evidence-based treatment modalities such as brainspotting, EMDR, neurofeedback, and somatic experiencing.
- Compassion & Consistency. Students recovering from trauma require relationships that allow them to build trust. The Red Mountain program provides structure that is consistent, in an environment that is accepting and compassionate. In this setting, our students have restorative experiences that allow them to heal the past.
For many, the ability to work with a skilled therapist in a safe environment is an extremely healing experience. The Red Mountain therapists can tailor treatment to the needs of the individual and the type of trauma they are healing from.
We understand that each student will present a unique set of circumstances requiring a specialized approach. It is also vital that the student help drive the process as they regain their sense of self and step into their emerging adulthood with a sense of resiliency, meaning, purpose, and strength.
From Surviving To Thriving
Our goal is for our students to take back their own power and begin to live whole and complete lives without fear. We want them to move from being victims to survivors and then from surviving to thriving, no longer driven by events in the past, and looking ahead to the future. Our students often report they have made meaning from their past experiences, and this has allowed them to put such experiences into a new context — as proof of their strength and resiliency, rather than proof that they are fundamentally flawed, bad, or have failed in some way.