Why WayPoint? › Mindful Completion Model
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.
WayPoint clinicians draw from specific methodologies designed to treat anxiety disorders. These are: a) Formalized Assessment b) the Cognitive/Behavioral Model, c) the Mindfulness Model, d) the Exposure Model, e) the Experiential Model and f) Psychopharmacological Approaches.
The essence of WayPoint Academy’s specialized psychotherapeutic approach is in finding the right model for each individual student and matching it with the right intervention. Our Mindful Completion Model is designed to provide a host of therapeutic assignments and tasks that are designed to increase distress tolerance and emotional resiliency.
Nutritional deficiencies are proven to be a risk factor for depression. Such risk factors include: excessive consumption of sucrose (sugar/high fructose), excessive amounts of magnesium or vanadium, amino acids imbalance, excessive consumption of caffeine, and deficiencies of folic acid, vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and potassium or biotin.
Adolescents are notorious for their poor eating habits and are the highest consumer group of junk food. The Mindful Completion Model provides education, task completion, and promotes a mind-body-food connection. WayPoint students are directly involved in meal planning and preparation. Each student will acquire a greater understanding of nutrition, its many benefits, and will address physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being derived from food choices. Areas for completion include: maintaining a community garden, growing the food they eat, and implementing dietary approaches which clean toxins from the system.
Revolutionary science provides powerful insight into the neurophysiology of how exercise affects mood, anxiety, and learning. Research demonstrates that through systematic, strategic exercise, one can keep the brain at peak performance. Moreover, research shows that fitness has a direct effect on scholastic performance. Recent research in neurophysiology found that “exercise unleashes a cascade of petrochemicals and growth factors (insulin-like growth factor GF-1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that can reverse this process (i.e. cognitive impairment due to stress), by physically bolstering the brain’s infrastructure.” In summary, when it comes to youth who suffer from anxiety and depressive disorders, fitness is more important than sports.
At WayPoint, cardiovascular exercise is implemented five or more days per week. Following breakfast, students participate in 50 minutes of exercise. Each student wears a heart monitor and the results are recorded, assuring that cardiovascular efforts reach clinical thresholds. Consistent completion of exercise at targeted heart-rates becomes a building block toward self-esteem and identity formation.
WayPoint provides a fully accredited, on site, high school curriculum with small class sizes and certified, endorsed faculty. WayPoint’s education philosophy meets individual student needs and provides a positive environment for learning, based on completion practices.
Because WayPoint teachers understand that avoidance and failure to complete tasks are central to adolescents’ struggles with anxiety, they and members of the therapeutic staff utilize a strategic, comprehensive approach for completing educational goals.
WayPoint’s Life Skills component provides students with practical skills to lead independent and productive lives. These skills offer real-world applications and are diverse in nature and range of difficulty (i.e. knot tying to table etiquette). Skills acquisition serves a crucial role within the Mindful Completion Model, as our students challenge negative personal beliefs while promoting confidence, successful outcomes, and independence.
Executive function is the coordinated use of specific skills for the purpose of completing a specific goal. Emerging research reveals that traditional IQ tests are weak predictors of academic success—and are very poor predictors of success in careers and relationships. Executive function is a far better predictor of these variables.
Executive skills cover a broad range of capabilities: initiating tasks, planning, organizing, strategizing, goal directed persistence, flexibility, metacognition, paying attention to/remembering details, and time management. Until recently, it was not known whether problems with executive functioning come before or after the onset of anxiety or depression, i.e. whether they are a cause or a symptom. However, recent studies support the idea that poor executive functioning is a symptom of depression and anxiety, rather than a cause.
Because of the tremendous role Executive Functioning plays in completion, developing and implementing strategies that improve these skills is a key component of the Mindful Completion Model. WayPoint has developed a unique and innovative method utilizing a culinary program as means of assessing and strengthening executive skills. Students will learn how to prepare meals of progressing complexity that will assess, challenge, and strengthen executive skills. The secondary benefit of this program is increased independence and awareness of nutrition.
The community provides a setting where newly learned behaviors are field tested. Conversely, maladaptive and destructive behaviors are redirected toward positive patterns and, in extreme cases, not tolerated whatsoever.
The therapeutic milieu at WayPoint Academy consists of the following elements: code of conduct, citizenship, community jobs and chores, and community meetings.
Recreation, service, and adventure are strategically woven into the Mindful Completion Model. Activities such as geo-caching, trekking, canyoneering, canoeing, and other activities are important aspects in the comprehensive services we provide. Our location provides world class recreation, and we host seasonally driven activities in spectacular settings. Such activities are conducted during modules or classes taught by experienced instructors. Our classes help students achieve specific levels of proficiency. Like other WayPoint activities, therapies, and interventions, these recreational modules provide students with a platform for completion. These activities enhance self-confidence and self-esteem, thereby contributing to symptom relief and identity development.
A core value at WayPoint is the concept that by helping others, we ultimately help ourselves. To reflect this value, our students are given unique opportunities to assist aging veterans and underprivileged children, as well nurture animals and birds at a local wildlife rescue center. Additionally, students will participate in service projects for the National Forest Service and national parks.