All Kinds of News for December 06, 2017
Visitors at Sunrise often hear “DBT is the common language that we speak”. This common verbiage among staff and students is a result of the implementation of intense DBT skills that are a part of everyday life among the milieu at Sunrise. Practicing these skills are key in helping students heal, grow, and prepare to transition to a meaningful life worth living once they return home.
One residential manager shared that knowing DBT skills has been helpful in being able to coach the girls in the moment. “It is even more effective when you have built a relationship with the girls and are able to use the skills with them while they are emotionally dysregulated.” She goes on to share one such experience: “I had a student who really struggled with anxiety and anger. Because I had already worked with her numerous times, I knew that the DBT skill TIPP (temperature change, intense exercise, paced breathing, and progressive relaxation) worked well for her when she was feeling out of control. One October evening, she stormed into the kitchen yelling about how mad she was about her off-campus part time job. She was not getting along with her boss and was trying to advocate for herself but he wouldn't listen and she felt invalidated. She didn't want to go to back.
‘Why do I even try?’ she yelled, ‘I just want to give up. I am so mad; I just want to do something crazy!’ ‘Let's go do something crazy then,’ I replied, ‘Want to go jump in the pool?’ ‘We can't do that; people will think we are crazy!’ ‘Isn't that the point? Come on,’ I said; ‘it will help you clear your mind.’ So we did... in October. It was very cold! As she came out of the water, she took a deep breath. ‘How do you feel?’ I asked, teeth chattering. ‘Better.’ she said, voice calm now. ‘I'm going to call my mom and have her help me come up with a plan for what to do about my boss.’ “
DBT experiences like these are common between Sunrise staff and students. It is this everyday practice that helps students convert the therapeutic skills they are learning to life saving habits they will take with them when they graduate from treatment and transition to a healthy life back home.
About Sunrise RTC
Sunrise is a residential treatment center for adolescent girls ages 13-17 aimed at uncovering the academic, social, and emotional potential of girls who have been held back by emotional or behavioral struggles. Sunrise combines the warmth of a home, the safety and clinical expertise of a residential treatment program, and the community access of a transition program.