Therapy

Each boy brings an entirely different set of experiences that have shaped his patterns and behaviors — so far.  But the brain is amazingly pliable: it changes with relationships, experience and circumstances all the time.

 

Individualized. intentional.

Therapy at Gateway is designed to address each boy as an individual. What are his strengths? His deficits? What factors contribute to his unique mix of confidence, frustration, behaviors and beliefs?



Drawing on years of experience using multiple clinical techniques and supportive interventions, our highly credentialed therapists design sophisticated therapy plans that specifically address each boy’s needs – and those of his family. By tailoring treatment individually and intentionally we create a space where healing begins.


ROOTED IN RELATIONSHIP

We believe by facilitating a positive relationship in the security of the therapeutic environment, a boy grows in self-awareness and confidence. He becomes aware of his needs, motivations and behavioral patterns. Learns to make thoughtful and positive choices. And builds resilience to handle challenges as they come.

But therapy at Gateway extends well beyond a clinical setting. To be emotionally healthy is to live in healthy relationship with peers, family, and community. Relational therapy isn’t a theory: it’s life.

That’s why therapy at Gateway is reinforced in the classroom, in the outdoors, in the community and in one-on-one interactions.  Every touchpoint offers an opportunity to practice and solidify healthy relationships. Every interaction becomes an opportunity for healing and growth. Every interaction is an intervention.


INSPIRE TO REWIRE

The latest studies in neuroplasticity reveal that wherever we focus the brain’s attention is where it is actively making and reinforcing connections.  We know our brains constantly form new pathways that help us make sense of ourselves and the world around us.

So when a boy tries out new healthier choices, or learns a new coping skill or sees a new behavior modeled, his brain makes new connections  —figuratively and neurologically. He grows. Changes. Heals.


“ We don’t have to just accept the development patterns of adolescent brains.  We can actually shape and change them.” 

—from “What’s Wrong with the Teenage Mind?”  Wall Street Journal, 1.28.12 



HALLMARKS OF THERAPY AT GATEWAY
  • Clinically sophisticated
  • Individualized. Brain-based.
  • Focused on relationships and healthy choices
  • Augments resilience and developmental assets

PUTTING ASSETS in place

Gateway helps boys tap into the unique talents and strengths they already have in place in order to promote developmental assets such as resilience, clear and positive identity, emotional and moral competence, and belief in the future. These are the “developmental nutrients” that can help a boy sustain positive attitudes and protect him from making unhealthy choices or engaging in negative and risky behaviors. 

The Search Institute is a leading innovator in discovering what children and adolescents need to succeed in their families, schools, and communities has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development, ranging from external assets such as parental involvement, caring adults and community connection to internal assets like values, commitment to learning and social competencies. With these 40 Developmental Assets in place, adolescents grow up healthy, caring and responsible. For more, read the fascinating Positive Youth Development So Far” white paper from The Search Institute here (downloadable pdf). 


SIX SPECIALIZED CLINICAL TRACKS

Gateway offers six specialty tracks in our treatment program. Depending on his needs, each student participates in a minimum of three:

  • Adolescent Male Development:  Gender-specific interventions assist Gateway's young men to examine cultural and internal influences of fear, insecurity, and frustration that lead to acting out. Youth develop emotional coping skills to identify and express feelings and solve problems. They also explore issues related to social competency, healthy relationships, positive identity and sexual development, self-destructive behavior patterns, alcohol and drug abuse, and personal and community responsibility.
  • Trauma Resolution:  Students overwhelmed by unresolved traumatic life events such as abuse or neglect, the loss of a parent or sibling, life-changing accidents, high conflict family situations, and other challenging circumstances attend this therapy track where they can process and resolve trauma-based thoughts and feelings in a safe, supportive environment. Through the use of multiple modalities (i.e., sensory integration, structured attunement interventions, cognitive-behavior therapy skills, literature and other media), students learn and practice tools that allow them to grieve the loss of control associated with their experiences, manage lingering anxiety, and regain a sense of mastery over their lives and self identity. Students are also taught to identify and challenge past destructive coping strategies, and replace them with more effective ones.
  • Anxiety and Depression:  Rational-emotive, sensory, and occupational therapy interventions assist youth to identify and understand the activating events, beliefs, and emotional consequences related to their anxiety and depressive symptoms. Each youth is also assisted to develop and implement Dialectic Behavioral Therapy and mindfulness practices, relaxation, self-calming and self-regulation techniques to facilitate normalization of their emotional state and increased feelings of self-confidence.
  • Adoption:  The young men in this track have the unique challenge in life of balancing curiosity of their birth story and staying connected with their adoptive family. This group is used to explore the effects of adoption, issues of attachment, identity formation, and feelings of loss and rejection. Students engage in a variety of activities including mapping out a family tree with both his birth and adoptive families, writing letters to address unresolved adoption loss, expressing unspoken needs and feelings, giving support to peers, and learning how to address the adoption issues with their adoptive families. The book 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge is used as a tool to create conversations about adoption as well as help the boys find words to attach to thoughts and feelings they may have been ignoring or avoiding expression.
  • Brainworks:  Students in this group have problems in relating to others because of neurocognitive deficits in their ability to process energy and information. As a result they often struggle to develop reciprocal, emotionally connected (“attuned”) relationships, have poor social communication and/or rigid and reactionary thinking patterns. This group is used to address these deficits by helping them enhance their basic social and conversational skills (i.e., eye contact, voice tone, body language, non-verbal cues and clues, manners etc.), develop their sense of body boundaries, recognize and regulate their feelings, improve self advocacy, and increase flexible thinking and healthy problem solving.  Students in this group also learn proper grooming and hygiene, skills to ease transitions and change, and improve organization and time management.
  • Addictions:  The addictions track addresses drugs and alcohol as well as other addictive behaviors such as computer, gaming, pornography, cutting, sexual preoccupation and eating disorders. Gateway utilizes a holistic evidenced-based, developmental approach integrating aspects of AA, rational recovery, The Four Agreements, and core beliefs models. The model is individualized for each youth to make certain he connects to concepts that will ensure his sobriety. Gateway clinicians assist each young man to discover how the core beliefs he holds as "real" either support a life of authenticity, sobriety, acceptance and freedom, or perpetuate sadness, loneliness and the distortions of addiction. Relapse prevention strategies are developed, tested and refined. And mentoring and sponsoring are established.

On-Site Psychiatrist

At the helm of the therapy team is our on-site Board-Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Dr. Arden Weintraub, M.D. Dr. Weintraub, (who prefers to be called "Arden") has spent his career helping youth overcome anxiety, depression, ADHD, oppositional behaviors, and family problems. Arden works at Gateway three to four days a week—much more psychiatric time than most residential treatment programs offer. He not only meets individually with the students and consults with parents but also meets weekly with the therapists in clinical staffings.

 

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