At Equinox, the term “trauma” is used to describe a wide variety of challenging experiences. As one of the top trauma treatment centers, cutting-edge neurological research has helped us to better understand the impact of trauma on a developing brain and has driven a greater understanding of the most effective methods that can be implemented in its treatment.
Historically, the word trauma was used only to describe catastrophic events such as natural disaster, an automobile accident that caused significant bodily harm, or severe forms of physical or sexual abuse. Today, we refer to those as “Big-T Traumas.” In recent years, we have come to understand that trauma creates a significant neurobiological impact on the brain—regardless of the “intensity” of the trauma experienced. In other words, smaller traumas—those we would refer to as “little-t traumas”—create the same neurological changes in the brain as do Big-T Traumas. Our deeper experience with trauma allows us to be one of the leading trauma treatment centers for struggling teen boys. A few examples of little-t traumas are: being bullied, divorce of parents, death of a loved one, adoption, or even feeling socially unaccepted or judged due to growing up with a learning disability. These little-t traumas can impact an individual’s social, emotional and spiritual development every bit as much as the larger, more catastrophic events considered Big-T Traumas. At Equinox, we provide services that are aimed toward healing both Big-T and little-t traumas.
While many of our students at Equinox have experienced horrifically painful events in their life, at least an equal number are simply hard-wired to experience greater sensitivity to the world around them. This sensitivity resulted in more significant blows to their development and self-esteem when they were bullied by peers, misunderstood by their teachers due to an undiagnosed learning disorder, or other experiences consituting little-t traumas. These types of situations cause them to experience a heightened level of emotional dysregulation at a higher frequency than their same-aged peers. This often leads to seeking any number of unhealthy coping mechanisms in attempt to gain relief from their dysregulated state.
At Equinox we believe that a holistic approach is the only way to help young men truly heal from trauma. We treat the entire person (mind, body and spirit). It is our belief that cutting-edge and evidence-based therapeutic approaches such as EMDR, neurofeedback, somatic experiencing, Trauma-Focused Adventure Therapy, Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP), group therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and gender-specific addictions treatment are essential to your son’s healing process. Of equal importance is his ability to experience empowerment in our academic, residential, and adventure-based programming. Of absolute greatest importance, however, are the relationships that your son builds while at Equinox. We have found that these relationships are essential to helping him heal from his trauma and build a strong and empowered identity. We use the power of these meaningful connections through therapeutic techniques such as group therapy. This deep understanding of what helps boys heal from trauma is one of the many aspects that separates us from other traditional trauma treatment centers.