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Teen Identity Conflict Resolution

teen identity conflict issuesLava Heights Academy is a residential treatment center that provides therapeutic support through integrated arts, experiential therapy, outstanding academics, and positive peer culture. We serve both boys and girls, ages 12 to 18. Our vision is to utilize the power of integrated arts to help our students find themselves through creative expression. We help struggling teenagers develop their artistic potential and discover an appreciation for their own unique gifts. We teach our students the necessary life skills to overcome the complications that arise out of teen identity conflict. We combine a unique therapeutic approach with a performing arts academy program that meets the specific needs related to forming an identity. We also offer a challenging academic curriculum to round out a powerful experiential therapeutic program.

Self-discovery and healing through the spirit of integrated art


Healthy and Acceptable Resolution of Self-Identity

At Lava Heights Academy one of our main goals is to help troubled teens to arrive at a healthy and personally acceptable resolution of their identity. Moreover, the goal is to help the student to effectively deal with the internal and external conflicts that come with false identity projection. We place an emphasis on helping the troubled teenager to become comfortable with their true identity (core beliefs), align their projected identity with their core beliefs, thus becoming authentic, genuine, and comfortable with who they really are. Our purpose is to help struggling teens align their true identity with their beliefs and values. We accomplish our goals through a sophisticated integrated arts program. Adolescence is a time of dramatic physiological and emotional upheaval. Adolescence is the end of childhood and the training ground for adulthood. It is a time of trial and error, turmoil and disappointment, and most of all a time of self-discovery. Teenagers navigating through adolescence are looking for autonomy but painfully discover their dependence upon their parents and other adult figures. Adolescence is a time filled with conflict and turmoil. Adolescents are seeking independence and freedom, but sometimes they are ill-prepared to meet the demands and responsibilities of independence. Sometimes their need for identity (acceptance) brings forth confusion that lead to risky behaviors, causing all kinds of emotional problems.

Troubled Teen Identity Conflict

teen identity conflictThe troubled teen’s attempt at independence is filled with poor decisions, resembling self-destruction. Troubled teens often state that they feel misunderstood and inadequate, and they attempt to resolve their inner conflict by creating an identity to gain attention. If they are uncomfortable with who they are (feeling unheard, limited, and unimportant) troubled teens tend to project a false identity. The tendency of troubled teens to project a false identity seems to complicate an already complicated set of problems. Parents feel helpless and their attempts to help often backfire. The troubled teen pushes back against his or her parents (as well as other adults) and focuses their energy in getting their needs met through peers. Often, as a means to gain acceptance from their peers they present a false identity that is not in alignment with who they really are. Problems abound. Adolescence is a time for young people to develop their own sense of autonomy, but if they see themselves as inadequate, they may act out through inappropriate disingenuous ways. They are constantly trying, testing, and redefining themselves, but fall short of resolving their inner conflict. Adolescents includes the rejection of their parents values and authority, replacing it with the need for acceptance from their peers. Their “peer culture” is where they seek fulfillment through the projection of a false identity, which makes matters worse.

Finding a Healthy and Authentic Identity

At Lava Heights we help those with teen identity conflict find a healthy and authentic identity. We help our students to overcome their internal and external conflicts and help them find the strength to be themselves. The goal is to reintroduce them with their true identity. Our purpose is to utilize the spirit of the arts as a powerful therapeutic approach to help struggling teens align their true identity with pro-social beliefs and values. As students become comfortable with their true identity we help them to understand how they show up in the world, and how they impact their own lives and the lives of those around them. Therapeutic interventions are presented in an effort to help our students avoid the behavior that is causing them turmoil and inner conflict; replacing it with empowerment, confidence, and comfort with their true identity.

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