We are a Christian therapeutic boarding school serving girls ages 12-17. Through different types of therapy, Trauma Informed Care, and a spiritual emphasis, we provide a safe, structured atmosphere where growth and positive improvement can flourish. We provide first-class care, education, and experience that is sure to be life-changing.
Here at Kansas City Girls Academy, spiritual growth, and discipleship are at the heart of what we do. We believe that a successful student is one who is strong in Christ, and has character and integrity. Through chapel services, pastoral counseling, and the Christ-centered communal structure of the program, we simply provide a structured, positive atmosphere where they can thrive. We believe one of the best ways we honor Christ is to provide a program of excellence in all areas. From participating in chapel or counseling to sweeping the floor or taking out the garbage, our students know that all activities done with a good attitude and excellence are a reflection of the heart and are all important.
Many of the greatest moments of breakthrough happen not only in counseling or family weekends, but also when one of our students is doing the dishes, mopping the floor, or doing her schoolwork. Through the everyday structure and tasks of the program, our students are able to see God’s faithfulness to be their source of joy, happiness, and self-worth. Also, it is normally in the everyday tasks of the program where we see the negative behavioral issues arise, and through seasoned and dedicated staff, these behaviors are confronted with compassion and love, and they are pointed and shown a higher standard of living.
We know that parents play a vital role in the success of their daughter while she is here. Parents of our students are given the highest possible involvement. We have parent weekends every other month that offer training visitation, and family activities. We realize that God designed parents to look after and give direction to their daughters, and we leverage this God-ordained design as much as possible. We also realize that the parents will know much more about their daughter’s past behaviors and patterns, and we work closely with our parents to provide a unified front against their negative behaviors, making it a team effort.
We understand that struggling teens often have a hard time knowing what is truly reality around them, and why they are struggling. While we do know trauma occurs, and this is addressed and given attention, we understand that many teenagers have a tendency to disregard the responsibility to own their negative behaviors and the consequences that come with them. The parent-counselor united team helps the student see the connection between their negative thinking, patterns, and their behaviors, and continually points to a healthier way of life, by trusting God and obeying His Word.
When the student gets closer to graduating, the counselor and parents work closely to develop a customized game plan to see our girls succeed immediately after, and long after they have graduated the program. They will learn tools to help them cope with their struggles, and how to overcome them with Christ and have a healthy social life.
Our students meet regularly to discuss problems in a group setting that may be something they all tend to struggle with. It is in this group setting that our girls see that they are not alone, and they begin to see the power of healing by learning to discuss some of their struggles openly, and in a healthy fashion. This format also allows for our more senior students to offer hope and encouragement to our more beginner students.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.”
Two-thirds of children have experienced a traumatic event by age 16. Most of our students have, and they act out because of it. Some examples of traumatic events are:
We establish solution-focused therapy techniques to help each student overcome their unique life-controlling problems. This approach allows us to address lifelong problems in a comparatively short program. Our trained staff work with students to develop regular goals. These goals are agreed upon by the student and are intended to illuminate problem areas and help them find practical alternative solutions to problem areas in their lives.
As a result of trauma, adolescents tend to react in a cycle of hyper-alertness and hyper-avoidance to perceived threats. They may act out by being aggressive or by taking risks. They can also “act in” by giving up control to a peer group. Our Trauma-Informed Care recognizes the full spectrum of responses to trauma and creates an environment where teens feel safe to recover.
Trauma-informed care is a consistent form of care that is therapeutic in nature. The techniques we use help address the girl’s threat bias. We prioritize building healthy relationships with each student —” connection before correction”— where girls can feel emotionally safe. They feel reassured that they belong, have significance, and are being heard.
We do have parameters about acceptable behaviors, and those are mostly about physical safety. We strive to help students share control in all areas of their lives. In school, teachers help students feel safe in the classroom and offer a variety of ways to learn and achieve their academic goals. We have a gentle routine that helps teach teens to learn to choose and form relaxing habits. Day by day, Trauma-Informed Care helps teens move from needing external controls to having autonomy over their own choices.
Does your girl need help managing the effects of trauma? Call us today.