All Kinds of News for February 08, 2017
Elevations RTC, a residential treatment center for teens ages 13-18, offers students weekly winter sports with a variety of therapeutic benefits. Every week this winter, a group at Elevations heads up to a world class ski resort near campus to learn or hone their snowboarding and skiing skills on the mountain. During the winter ski program, students ride in groups based on similar ability levels.
Beginners take a lesson with a ski or snowboard instructor while advanced skiers or riders can cruise the mountain, perfecting their turns and diving into deep powder. Therapists and teachers join forces with the recreation staff to provide the best possible experience for students. The skiing and snowboarding program connects to the clinical program at Elevations RTC through a number of different therapeutic concepts.
“Learning to ski or ride is difficult for anyone and requires a fair amount of tolerance for frustration,” says Jonathan Griffith, Director of Recreation and Experiential Education at Elevations RTC. “Our students often struggle with small amounts of frustration and repeatedly falling can definitely set them off. Through careful progressive skill building, our students can learn how to push passed the frustration and build competence as well as confidence. Not only is their physical strength and coordination growing, they are also building a foundation for emotional resiliency. Gains achieved on the ski hill transfer to gains at school, on the dorms, and in therapy.”
Confidence gained by learning to ski or snowboard provides a foundation for boosting social confidence, as well. Students can relate to each other as they go through the steps to improve, with feelings of enthusiasm and empathy. Each group rides together, requiring students to pay attention to both themselves and their peers. That mutual responsibility builds positive social relationships within the group which continues back on campus.
“As students develop their skiing or snowboarding skills they will often be hypercritical of themselves,” comments Griffith. “Those moments provide staff and peers an opportunity to challenge those negative self-perceptions by pointing out some obvious gains in skill as well as normalizing the struggle. Students often have prior negative thoughts about themselves and seeing success in skiing or snowboarding creates an opportunity for transforming those preconceived notions.”
Progress in skiing and snowboarding, like therapy, rarely sticks without continued practice. Every weekend this winter, Elevations students will continue to practice skiing and snowboarding, outwardly reveling in our winter grandeur and simultaneously exercising treatment goals.
About Elevations RTCElevations RTC is a unique residential treatment center that works with both young men and women ages 13 - 18. Elevations offers guidance, support and relief to young men and women struggling with issues like trauma, depression, mood disorders, behavioral problems, and substance use. Elevations RTC is located in Utah and provides specialized, clinically intensive programs for troubled teens. For more information, please call 1-866-952-7930.