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.”
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).
SPECIALIZED CLINICAL TRACKS
Gateway offers over twenty different specialty track groups in our treatment program. Depending on his needs, each student participates in a minimum of five track groups, although many will participate in up to six during their stay at Gateway. Students are placed by their therapist and the treatment team in the track group that most suits their needs at the time. Some of our track group topics include:
- 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, screen addictions, and personal and community responsibility.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- iBalance: The iBalance group addresses all types of students' past behavioral addictions and avoidant coping methods such as excessive screen time, video gaming, pornography, mild experimentation with drugs or alcohol, cutting, sexual preoccupation and eating disorders. Gateway utilizes a holistic evidenced-based, developmental approach integrating aspects of mind-body awareness and research on the brain. The model is individualized for each youth to make certain he connects to concepts that will ensure his increased awareness, self regulation and enhanced healthy coping skills. Gateway clinicians assist each young man to discover how the core beliefs he holds as "real" either support a life of authenticity, acceptance, self responsibility and freedom, or perpetuate sadness, loneliness and thus, a greater need for disconnection, escape and the addictive behavior.
Relationships: The entire continuum of relationships are the focus in this group: How do we start relationships of friendships?, How do we know if someone is interested in a deeper, or more intimate, connection? What do we share with others, and when? Communication and connection with friends, family, and peers are the main talking points. There is also dedicated time for more serious conversations regarding consent and safety in relationships both online and in-person.
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.