Trauma-Focused Care

We focus on healing the roots

At Kolob Canyon, We believe it is important to consider past trauma and coping mechanisms when working with students. We focus on healing the roots as well as the causes of a student's problem behaviors rather than just focusing on their behavior alone. Most of our students have experienced some type of trauma, whether large or small. When we understand how traumatic experiences and traumatic stress may impact our students, many things are likely to turn out better. Our clinical team is trained in different components of trauma-focused treatment. Our residential staff are taught about trauma and provided skills to support a student who has a history of trauma. We strongly believe that experiential types of therapy are very helpful with our students, especially as we focus on trauma and all its many aspects through our clinical program. Kolob Canyon is focused on helping those who have experienced trauma.

We use a variety of different methods to help our students heal and move forward:


Adventure Therapy

Adventure therapy promotes growth, development, and enhancement of a student's physical, social, and psychological well-being. Adventure therapy includes many activities supported by traditional therapy.

At Kolob Canyon, Adventure Therapy includes outdoor experiences, school field trips, service projects, and trust-building activities. After each activity, our therapists process the activity to help our students internalize the experience and relate it to their therapeutic goals. We have found that it is critical to begin physically processing trauma before a student can emotionally process trauma. Adventure therapy helps our students do this.

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Equine Therapy

Equine therapy is a clinical modality that involves the interactions between our horses and our students. Our horses provide an excellent way for students to have metaphoric experiences and learn about themselves. Both during the activity and after a student has finished working with a horse.

Their therapist can observe and interact in order to identify behavior patterns and process thoughts and emotions. Kolob Canyon therapists are certified and trained in Natural Lifemanship, a type of equine therapy that emphasizes connection. Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy can help Students and Families:

Improve relationships with self and others 
Improve self-esteem and overall sense of self
Improve communication skills 
Improve self-awareness (physical and emotional)
Improve ability to self-regulate

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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that is designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. EMDR helps students at Kolob Canyon heal as they process difficult, traumatic events and life experiences. 

EMDR employs a body-based technique called bilateral simulation during which a therapist will guide a teen through eye movements, tones, or taps in order to move a memory that has been incorrectly stored to a more functional part of the brain.



Using bilateral sounds and fixed eye positions - brainspotting engages deep parts of the brain to release stored traumatic memories and experiences. Specific eye positions each link to their own “brainspot,” an area of the mind that retains thoughts and emotions. Individuals fixate on troubling brainspots to uncover hidden mental challenges. Brainspotting works with the limbic system to help the body process past trauma while also calming the nervous system when these negative emotions are triggered.


Trauma-Sensitive Yoga

The goal of trauma-sensitive yoga is for trauma survivors to develop a greater sense of the mind-body connection to help ease a student's traumatic experiences and gain a better understanding of and a feeling of safety within their own bodies.

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