Welcoming Jamie Ahern Back To Aspiro’s Clinical Team

Welcoming back Jamie Ahern to Aspiro's Clinical Team

As we launch into 2019 Aspiro is excited to welcome Jamie Ahern back to the Clinical Team!

Jamie is a warm and inviting therapist with a passion for helping young people in the outdoors. He has been a therapist for 8 years and is trained in a number of therapeutic modalities including CBT, DBT, EMDR, and Motivational Interviewing. Jamie has worked as a wilderness guide, as a community mental health therapist, and as a wilderness therapist. Jamie is committed to helping clients facilitate lasting change through the therapeutic connection he forms and the research-backed interventions he utilizes.

Jamie believes in the healing power of the outdoors as well as the many opportunities for growth that can be found through adventure. He is an avid outdoorsman and can be found fly fishing, hunting, mountain biking, hiking or skiing whenever he gets the chance. Jamie says that some of the most profound moments of his life have come from these experiences and have brought him great emotional insight and healing.

“My outdoor adventures have taught me how to do extraordinarily difficult things and through them I have learned how to challenge myself, how to focus, and how to push myself physically. This has taught me that I can do things outside of my comfort zone; things I didn’t think I was able to do. This has helped me to really challenge myself both personally and professionally and has led to an increased desire to find new skills, attend more trainings, and to create applications to my work that I may not have otherwise seen,” says Jamie.

In addition, Jamie shares that outdoor adventure not only motivates him but is also the medicine he needs to keep himself level. He also finds that the outdoor community keeps him grounded and connected. Engaging in outdoor adventure is how he met many of his friends, including his wife. He loves to share this enthusiasm with his students and help them find their own healthy outlets, gain an understanding of the power of nature, and discover the close connections with self and others that can be found there.

Jamie’s outlook on the outdoors and his personal experiences align perfectly with Aspiro’s philosophy that “#AdventureHeals”. Dr. Carl Smoot, Director of Clinical Assessment, attests to this by saying, “We are excited to have Jamie back on our team. He does a great job of combining his love for facilitating positive change in his students with his passion for the outdoors. Jamie has truly lived a life in which he can personally claim that outdoor adventure has changed him in profound ways. He has found healing on his personal journey through adventure, and sets a great example for his students so they can learn to do the same. His positive energy, sense of humor, fun-loving personality and clinical expertise are an exciting addition to our clinical team.”

Please feel free to e-mail Jamie directly at [email protected] or contact the admissions department [email protected] with any question.

Troubled Teens and Self-Identity: Causes, Problems, and Common Behaviors

While there are a variety of ways that teens experience identity formation, some experiences can become very harmful to the individual. In the sections below, we discuss the causes and more serious issues in teenage identity issues & development and how parents can help.

Common Causes Contributing to Unhealthy Teen Identity Development

The importance of identity development for teens is huge. When a teen is developing their identity they are learning what makes them unique while also feeling the need to fit in. For teens who feel excluded from others due to their cultural, ethnic, gender, or sexual identity, this process can lead teens to begin participating in harmful behavior.

Other factors that prevent the formation of a secure and positive self-identity include:

  • Lack of attachment to parents
  • Low self-esteem
  • Absence or negative influence of adults
  • Lack of acceptance in a positive peer group

Common Problems and Behaviors Surrounding Unhealthy Teenage Identity Issues

The causes above make a teen more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drugs, substance addiction, and promiscuity. These teens are also more likely to perform poorly in school, have low self-esteem, and to act compulsively. This is due to the fact that during this time teens are still developing cognitively which makes their thinking process more impulsive than adults. Therefore, the simple encouragement from peers can be enough to persuade a teen to engage in risky behavior without much thought. The result of a teen’s participation in rebellious or promiscuous behavior can result in the teen feeling even worse about themselves and can create a downward spiral of unhealthy patterns and behavior.

15 of the common behaviors and warning signs of a teen struggling with their identity (R.C. Savin-Williams, Conceiving or Misconceiving the Self: Issues in Adolescent Self-Esteem) include:

  1. Distorted or unrealistic perception of oneself
  2. Lack of congruent behaviors and values in different settings
  3. Self-worth relies on opinions of others
  4. Poor academic performance or failure.
  5. Promiscuous behavior
  6. Low self-esteem
  7. Putting down others (i.e., teasing, name-calling, or gossiping)
  8. Dramatic or out of context behaviors
  9. Glances around to monitor others
  10. Putting self down
  11. Keeps his or her own views or opinions to self
  12. Intense emotions of anger or sadness
  13. Change in peers and/or avoids positive friendships
  14. Disregarding rules and limits
  15. Use of illegal substances

If your teen displays several of the above behaviors, they are likely struggling to form their identity. The next step parents can take to encourage healthier patterns is to ensure their teen is getting the support he or she needs at home.

 


About Aspiro Adventure

Aspiro Adventure’s Wilderness Adventure Therapy program was uniquely crafted to assist students and their families in creating lasting, life-long emotional changes through compassionate, intentional, research-backed, and safe outdoor adventure therapy programs. The professionals at Aspiro Adventure understand individuals don’t come with instructions, and every student is unique, capable, and amazing in their own right. Aspiro Adventure focuses on helping adolescents, young adults, and their families through difficulties that occur when various behavioral, cognitive, or developmental issues are present. Research shows that engaging individuals on a personal level with strategic and intentional activities will aid in developing the tools and skills necessary to engage life in a healthy and positive way.

Aspiro is happy to welcome Ian Ferguson, RN, to our team!

About Ian

Ian Graduated Cum Laude from Westminster College with a BSN.  He was introduced to the power of psychiatric nursing on rotations at University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute. During his tenure at UNI Ian discovered a passion for this field. He was then selected for a Post-Baccalaureate Nurse Residency Program at the VA hospital in Salt Lake City where he had a well-rounded experience working in every department of the hospital, including more time with psychiatric medicine.

Ian has 6 core emergency nursing certifications; BLS (Basic Life Support), ACLS (Advanced Life Support), PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support), TNCC (Trauma Nursing Core Course), ENPC Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course, and NRP (Neonatal Resuscitation Program).

Ian’s passion for nursing developed after his three-week-old son stopped breathing for over 4 minutes. After almost losing his son Ian reflected on the supportive, caring nurses in the hospital, and the impactful role they played in helping his family through a difficult time. He was then inspired to become a nurse to make such a difference for others.

Ian has been working in trauma and emergency nursing over last 2 years and enjoys helping people in times of crisis. Ian says, “Seeing the impact and changes that come from great medical care and intervention are what make my job so enjoyable, making it feel like it’s not really a job at all.”

When he isn’t working, Ian loves spending time with his wife and children outdoors; hiking, camping, boating, mountain biking, baseball, football, and soccer. He is an avid skier, snowboarder, rock climber, and mountain biker, which gives him great enthusiasm about Aspiro’s Adventure Therapy approach to treatment. Ian has found much confidence and satisfaction through adventure, as well as peace and healing in the outdoors.

“I absolutely love my job,” says Ian. “I love being able to make a difference in the lives of the patients I work with and I am excited to be a part of the Aspiro team and vision.” 

Please help me in welcoming Ian to our team.

With Gratitude and Appreciation –

 

Shannon Weaver, LCSW
Associate Director of Marketing & Outreach

How Parents Can Help Their Angry Teen

teenage anger outbursts

teenage anger outbursts

While parenting a defiant or angry teen is extremely draining for parents, there are several key steps parents can take to help ease the contention and strain within the home. Teenagers lack the emotional maturity and stability and therefore significantly rely on their parents to give them the help and direction they need. It is essential that parents do the best they can to love and support their teen while still keeping in mind that they cannot control their teen’s emotions or actions. The best thing parents can do is provide their teen with proper support within the home and seek appropriate external treatment to help the teen learn how to manage his or her emotions. For the next two weeks on the Aspiro blog, we will provide parents with strategies that can help manage a teen’s anger outburst.

 

Create Boundaries and Expectations for Your Teen

Defiant and angry teens need clear rules that are tied to a clear consequence when he or she breaks the rule. Establish these rules and expectations during a calm time.  Have a conversation with your teen so they know what to expect when the said rules are broken. Explain to your teen that these rules are to help keep him or her safe and free from harm. Express your love for your child.. Even angry teens want to know that their parents love and care about them.

Talk to Your Teen

Parents of angry teens may find it difficult to talk and communicate with their teen through the outburst and contention. During times of peace or once a teen has calmed down from their outburst, parents should try and talk to their teen about what is really bothering them. If the teen is willing to speak or share, do not judge or try and correct your teen. Simply listen to him or her without becoming angry.

Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle

Encourage a healthy lifestyle of physical exercise, healthy eating, and proper sleep. Creating a healthy lifestyle routine for your teen helps fosters good behavior in children and teens. This includes setting regular mealtimes and bedtimes, a set time to check-in with your teen, and regular exercise. Most of all, make sure your teen gets enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can increase stress, mood swings, irritability, and can also cause problems with weight, memory, concentration, and decision-making. All teens should get between 8-10 hours of sleep. Many parents find it helpful to achieve this having teens turn in their electronics two hours before bedtime to eliminate distractions.

Limit Technology Use

Parents should not just limit technology at bedtime. The overuse of technology or screen time is unhealthy for any teen. Too much screen time can not only adversely affect your teen’s sleep, it can also lead to irritability. Parents must monitor their teen’s technology use to ensure they are not consuming violent tv shows, video games, movies, and music as they increase the likelihood of outbursts and violent behavior.

 

Do you know a teen struggling with anger management?

Click here to download the FREE “Anger in Teens” white paper today

10 Signs Your Teen’s Anger Is Out of Control

If a parent is concerned about the level of anger and defiance a teen is exhibiting, the first step is understanding what behaviors are normal for teens and which behaviors may indicate a more serious issue. If your teen is exhibiting one or more of the following behaviors, they likely have anger issues that require external help.

  1. Physical Aggression or Violence
  2. Excessive arguing with parents, teachers, and peers
  3. Regular emotional outbursts
  4. Irrational thinking and behavior
  5. Bullying
  6. Verbal threats
  7. Cruel behaviors to people or animals
  8. Criminal activity
  9. Destroying property
  10. Self-harm

Any of the above behaviors are a red flag that your teen’s anger issues require professional treatment, in addition to parental support. If your teen’s anger extends beyond normal response to outside stressors and exhibits one or more of the above behaviors, the next step is to lay a parenting plan in place and consult with his or her physician.

Do you know a teen struggling with anger management?

Click here to download the FREE “Anger in Teens” white paper today

Causes and Contributing Factors to Anger in Teens

There are many factors that can contribute to anger issues and defiance in teens. Every teen’s emotional regulation skill set, capacity and maturity is different. Some teens simply need more help in learning how to healthily manage their emotions and cope with stress. Other teens experience intense anger as a symptoms of a mental health issue, traumatizing life experience, or simply from the stress and pressures of adolescence. Some of these common triggers of severe anger in teens include:

 

  • Low self-esteem
  • Victim of bullying
  • Conflict within the family
  • Traumatic event
  • Death of a loved one
  • Adoption issues
  • Substance Abuse
  • Divorce
  • Abuse
  • Grief

In addition to the above list, an unresolved issue such as depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder can contribute to anger issues in teens. These disorders often impact social skills, self control, and impulse control which results in a teen being more prone to having angry outbursts.

 

Do you know a teen struggling with anger management?

Click here to download the FREE “Anger in Teens” white paper today

Anger in Teens: A Phase or a Problem?

The behavior of teens with anger and defiance issues exhibit extend far beyond the typical eye-rolling, slammed doors, and arguments between teen and their parent. Anger is a normal part of adolescence and can be a healthy emotional response to outside stressors. Anger is a secondary emotion for teens as it often masks other underlying issues including sadness, hurt, fear, and shame. When these underlying emotions become too much, a teen will often respond by lashing out. Because adolescence can be stressful, most teens will lash out from time to time. However, for teens with anger issues, emotional outbreaks are a regular occurrence.

Teens with serious anger issues are consumed with anger. These individuals can be defiant and may turn to violence, self harm, risky behavior, and illegal activity as a way to cope with their strong emotions. They may lash out with anger in response to outside stressors or an untreated or undiagnosed mental disorder. In the upcoming blog posts this month on the Aspiro blog, we will define common causes a teen defiance and the behaviors and patterns that fall outside of normal, starting with the causes and contributing factors of electronic addiction in teens.

 

Do you know a teen struggling with anger management?

Click here to download the FREE “Anger in Teens” white paper today

FREE WHITE PAPER: Wilderness Therapy: Help For Parents of Angry Teens

angry teens

The teenage years are a challenging time for any parent. Teenagers can be notoriously moody, reckless, and unpredictable. However, for parents of teens with defiance anger issues, these years can be especially difficult. Many parents of angry teens worry about their son or daughter’s whereabouts or may fear when they will have their next episode or bout of rage. While many troubled teens with anger issues require professional treatment, there are several steps parents can take to help manage their teen’s anger. With proper support and treatment from both inside and outside the home, teens can learn new ways to manage their anger and find success and happiness in life.

 

  1. Anger in Teens: A Phase or a Problem?
  2. Causes and Contributing Factors to Anger in Teens
  3. 10 Signs Your Teen’s Anger Is Out of Control
  4. How Parents Can Help Their Angry Teen
  5. Wilderness Therapy as Treatment for Anger in Teens
  6. How Parents Can Support Their Teen Through Treatment

 

This white paper was sponsored by Aspiro Adventure, the pioneer of Wilderness Adventure Therapy. Aspiro Adventure offers safe, effective, and clinically-sophisticated treatment options for adolescents and young adults.

 

Click here to download the FREE “Anger in Teens” white paper today

Trauma in Adolescence: Help Your Teen Heal

A traumatic event can cause a teen to experience extreme amounts of emotional, physical, and psychological stress. Teens facing trauma may struggle to open up as they process and come to terms with the event. They may worry about how and why the event happened, their involvement in the event, and how it changed them. Parents of teens facing trauma can help by being patient and understanding with their son or daughter.

While there are many steps parents can take to help their teen facing trauma, some circumstances require more intensive treatment. A credible wilderness adventure therapy program, such as Aspiro Adventure, offers teens an individualized and research-backed treatment plan in a safe environment. With the proper support and care, teens facing trauma can heal and develop greater confidence in themselves and in the future.

To learn more about teens facing trauma and how you can help, download our free white paper.


About Aspiro Adventure

Aspiro Adventure’s Wilderness Adventure Therapy program was uniquely crafted to assist students and their families in creating lasting, life-long emotional changes through compassionate, intentional, research backed, and safe outdoor adventure therapy programs. The professionals at Aspiro Adventure understand individuals don’t come with instructions, and every student is unique, capable, and amazing in their own right. Aspiro Adventure focuses on helping adolescents, young adults, and their families through difficulties that occur when various behavioral, cognitive, or developmental issues are present. Research shows that engaging individuals on a personal level with strategic and intentional activities will aid in developing the tools and skills necessary to engage life in a healthy and positive way.

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Wilderness Therapy For Teens Facing Trauma – Individualized Care and Lasting Recovery

wilderness therapy for trauma

wilderness therapy for trauma

As a teen completes various activities, a credible wilderness therapy will have trained and experienced therapists on staff who give them verbal encouragement and validation along the way. These program facilitators are always there to guide the teen as they process and debrief their experiences. This process helps a teen in trauma internalize what they have learned.

A credible wilderness therapy program will also combine both group and individual therapy to provide students with a variety of settings to talk about what they learned and to generalize their skills. The clinical team and field staff of a credible wilderness therapy program will always meet the student where they are and provide them with and personalized treatment and therapy plan.

Wilderness Therapy Focuses on Lasting Recovery for Teens Facing Trauma

A credible wilderness therapy program will focus on creating lasting peace for teens recovering from trauma. Rather than focusing on traditional therapy methods, wilderness therapy focuses on building on a teen’s strengths and focusing on building their positive attributes. Aspiro Adventure’s researched-backed approach is based on Martin Seligman’s work in the field of positive psychology that is based on doing what makes people happy and healthy, as opposed to what makes them anxious or depressed. Aspiro focuses on skill building, personal strengths, and self-efficacy to promote long-term outcomes rather than just talking out and processing the traumatic event.

Treatment for Teens Facing Trauma

No matter what kind of treatment program you select for your teen in trauma, doing your research is vital in selecting the best treatment program for your son or daughter. A reputable treatment program will help provide resources, client testimonials, and research. Whether you choose a more traditional form of therapy or an individualized form of therapy like wilderness therapy, it’s important you are making an informed decision.

To learn more about teens facing trauma and how you can help, download our free white paper today!


About Aspiro Adventure

Aspiro Adventure’s Wilderness Adventure Therapy program was uniquely crafted to assist students and their families in creating lasting, life-long emotional changes through compassionate, intentional, research-backed, and safe outdoor adventure therapy programs. The professionals at Aspiro Adventure understand individuals don’t come with instructions, and every student is unique, capable, and amazing in their own right. Aspiro Adventure focuses on helping adolescents, young adults, and their families through difficulties that occur when various behavioral, cognitive, or developmental issues are present. Research shows that engaging individuals on a personal level with strategic and intentional activities will aid in developing the tools and skills necessary to engage life in a healthy and positive way.

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