Completion is the antithesis of avoidance. Strength and empowerment come from facing and completing challenges, and as one mindfully addresses the source of struggles, he gains experience, confidence, and emotional endurance.
WayPoint Academy utilizes a highly specialized, therapeutic approach in treating young men whose lives have been overtaken by anxiety. We provide individualized care that transcends the generalist approach, for we recognize the devastating impact anxiety causes teens and their families.
Life is profoundly difficult for youth afflicted with severe anxiety, such as panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety, phobias, or post-traumatic stress disorder. A primary problem for virtually all individuals affected with severe anxiety is that they increasingly cling to avoidance as a sole means of coping. This pervasive pattern contributes to a chronic inability to complete tasks and goals. Tasks perceived as too challenging,” boring” or not immediately gratifying are avoided, as are long term goals that require multiple steps to achieve. Ultimately, this avoidant pattern becomes the predominant way of dealing with problems, emotions, relationships, and addressing difficulties associated with one’s specific form of anxiety.
Habitual avoidance results in limited emotional resiliency and fosters a distorted view of one’s abilities and self-worth. Although avoidance “protects” an individual from perceived failure, embarrassment, or rejection, it also prevents one from experiencing success. The culmination of repeated incompletions metastasizes into faulty identity development. Now, what was only an anxiety disorder is dwarfed by a bigger problem: an under-developed identity, based on a defective foundation—with no clear direction, few positive life experiences to draw from, and limited emotional endurance to withstand future challenges.
WayPoint has developed the Mindful Completion Model (MCM), an innovative approach designed to reverse the debilitating effects of anxiety by replacing avoidance with acts of purposeful completion. Mindfulness involves being and remaining in the moment with intent and purpose as opposed to retreating from experiences and fears. The Mindful Completion process actively challenges long standing beliefs based on negative experiences through strategically designed events in the here and now.
At WayPoint we don’t simply remove the stressors students have historically struggled with and then process the past during therapy. Instead, we supportively expose our students at optimal times to the very stressors that have controlled their lives. Strength and empowerment come from facing and completing challenges, and as one mindfully addresses the source of struggles, he gains experience, confidence, and emotional endurance.
Therapeutic goals for completion are strategically designed by the treatment team to address individual needs. For instance, a young man with social anxiety may have (as one of his therapeutic objectives) the opportunity to visit a crowded mall and practice relaxation techniques, while having lunch with his therapist and fellow students. Therapeutic goals are individualized; however, certain life skills apply to all students, like personal etiquette, study habits, and cooperative group dynamics.
Skill development occurs through the 8 Elements of the Mindful Completion Model. Our model targets not only therapeutic tools, tasks, and personal responsibilities, but addresses practical life skills that promote satisfaction and enjoyment. Examples include: learning to cook, ski, or snowboard; orienteering with a map and compass; canyoneering in Utah’s Escalante National Monument; organic gardening, geo-caching with family, small engine repair, and many others. The combination of these required and designed completions serves as the individual treatment plan.
Some elements of the Mindful Completion Model are based on years of replicated studies, while others make use of new scientific findings. The blending together of these is the heart of WayPoint’s innovative approach in treating young men with anxiety. Click on the image for descriptions of the 8 elements.