Provo Canyon School
At Provo Canyon School, children and adolescents receive an education and psychotherapeutic treatment in a residential setting. Many students at Provo Canyon School struggle with anxiety, depression, or both.
In May of 2018, the journal Neuropsychology Review released new findings regarding the effectiveness of certain treatment modalities on adolescents with depression. The study comes out of Australia, where researchers from the University of Melbourne and Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth, reviewed 23 reports of research that had examined the link between cognitive functioning and depression in youth.
The researchers found that participants with depression between the ages of 12 and 25 showed a higher rate of significant cognitive challenges as compared to peers without depression. Difficulties included verbal and visual recall, verbal reasoning, and sustained attention. Challenges were more severe for those who were taking antidepressant medications.
Data revealed that troubles with concentration made it difficult for young people with depression to participate effectively in traditional talk therapy, which requires the client to focus on and remember a discussion. Researchers believe that such experiences can lower a client’s sense of self-worth, which in turn worsens depression. They urge practitioners to tell young patients with depression how common these difficulties are and to remind them that their trouble concentrating is not a character flaw, but rather a symptom that can improve with treatment.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Provo Canyon School offers residential therapeutic treatment and education for children in grades three through 12. Provo Canyon School provides targeted treatment for a variety of mental and behavioral diagnoses, including oppositional defiant disorder.
Oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD, leads a child or adolescent to appear abnormally contrary and disobedient. While some degree of disobedience manifests naturally as a part of child development, a young person with oppositional defiant disorder will show these tendencies more intensely or more frequently than peers of a similar age and developmental stage. The seemingly anti-social behaviors of a child with ODD will cause the child to have difficulty in at least one major aspect of his or her life.
The child with ODD frequently argues with authority figures and refuses to comply with requests. Many adults caring for a child with ODD will describe the child as having a tendency to act against a request even before the request has been made.
Children with ODD often act out of spite. Often annoyed or upset by other people, the child with ODD will deliberately attempt to annoy others as well. The child is also likely to blame others for his or her own misbehavior.
A child with ODD will rarely be bothered by his or her own behavior. It usually falls to the caregiver to seek out treatment that can help the child to make more adaptive choices.
At Provo Canyon School, students aged eight to 18 receive targeted clinical treatment for a wide variety of emotional, behavioral, and cognitive issues. To meet the needs of each individual student, Provo Canyon School uses a variety of therapeutic methodologies and tools, including biofeedback and neurofeedback.
Also known as EEG biofeedback, neurofeedback helps clients develop an understanding and ultimately increased control over their own brain patterns. It is a non-invasive and painless procedure that begins with the placement of specialized sensors on the scalp and ears. These sensors transmit information to a device that creates a visual representation of brain waves, which the professional conducting the test can then show to the client.
The display also features a computerized character, the speed and brightness of which corresponds to particular mental states. Brain waves in a desirable frequency will cause the character to travel faster and look more vivid, whereas less desirable frequencies will impede the character’s performance. In learning to control the character and succeed at the game, the client learns how to control his or her brain waves.
Thus far, clients and therapists have used EEG biofeedback to achieve positive changes in a variety of diagnoses, including anxiety and depression, in addition to attachment disorder and conduct disorder. Clients often begin to see progress in 10 sessions and meet initial goals in 20 sessions, though certain cases and diagnoses may require more or less time.
Utah Native American Cultural Institute
An intensive psychiatric treatment center for youth ages 8 to 17, Provo Canyon School examines its students’ needs and strengths to provide them with the counseling and support services that will help them thrive. Provo Canyon School also contributes to local organizations such as the Utah Native American Cultural Institute.
The Utah Native American Cultural Institute exists to preserve the history and culture of the five Native American tribes of Utah. Each of these five tribes, the Goshute, Navajo, Paiute, Shoshone, and Ute, has a distinct heritage with its own sacred places and traditions.
As the first organization dedicated to the preservation of the diverse Native American traditions, the Utah Native American Cultural Institute hopes to raise the funds to build a cultural center. This center will include an art gallery, conference rooms, an educational theater, a round dance hall, powwow grounds, and a trading post. It will also host a recording studio and native radio station to help broadcast information about the culture of the five tribes.