Category: Eva Carlston Academy reviews

How Animal-Assisted Therapy is Beneficial for Teens

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It may seem like a modern alternative treatment tool, but animal-assisted therapy has been around for centuries. Eva Carlston Academy reviews below the various benefits of this therapy for teens going through challenges.

In the late 1800s, the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, saw the recovery benefits that small animals provided to people – the animals helped ease anxiety in both adults in children.

Into the 20th century, Sigmund Freud had his own dog, Jofi, participate in psychoanalysis sessions, in part because patients felt more comfortable at first talking through the dog and not directly to Freud.

By the late 1980s, societies were formed that specialized in providing and supporting animal-assisted therapy. There are a variety of companies that provide animal-assisted therapy certification programs.

Many categorize animal-assisted therapy as thinking outside of the medical box. That may be true, but if animals and humans have co-existed for 50,000 years and domestication began around 15,000 years ago, there is no doubt that animal-assisted therapy treatments for teens can be beneficial.

Animal-Assisted Therapy Explained

Animal therapy runs the gamut. While the most common forms used are domesticated dogs and cats in various ways, farm animals such as horses and pigs, as well as marine animals are also used in therapy.
It can be used in tandem with other forms of therapy, such as PT or cognitive behavioral therapy.

There are different levels of therapy and treatment as well. Dogs may visit those of all ages in a hospital. People of all ages could utilize equine therapy on a ranch designed to focus on therapeutic sessions.

Nursing homes, daycares, mental health facilities, and more also use animal therapies regularly. Many of the dogs, cats, and the like involved are trained to perform their specific duty within a therapy session.

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How Animal-Assisted Therapy is Helpful for Teens

Many teens get the same benefits from pet-centered therapy as other age groups. It is designed to bolster well-being and health, and therapies have been shown to do everything from improving mental outlook and cognitive abilities, to easing anxiety and lowering blood pressure.

Doctors and other professionals working with teens who are coping with mental health conditions are increasingly augmenting sessions with animal-assisted therapy techniques.

Pet companionship has been shown consistently to reduce loneliness in teens and offer social support many teens may lack.

On a basic level, animal companionship also help teens who are coping with extreme loss, such as a death of a friend or family, and subsequent grief.

Since many teens with mental health challenges cope with daily anxiety and depression, pet therapies have been shown to raise levels of compassion and empathy. Therapies also trigger the need for and importance of instilling responsibility in teens.

A large number of students have shown other benefits for teens. Animal-assisted therapy often reduces worry or feelings of fear, offers motivation and focus, and may also decrease the levels at which people perceive pain.

Its Benefits May Have Ancient Roots

Several purveyors of experimental therapies subscribe to the Biophilia Hypothesis.

The theory is that people generally have a strong interest in animals and easily attach to them because at one time, man’s survival was somewhat dependent on animals offering signs that a certain area is unsafe.

That’s a good dog!

The Impact of Divorce on Teen Mental Health

According to the CDC, the current rate of divorce in the USA is about 2.3 per 1000. Out of the number of divorced couples, several are likely to include families with one or more teenagers. Eva Carlston Academy reviews that while teens are stereotyped as being apathetic, they are directly affected by divorce and there are serious impacts on their mental health.

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Negative Effects of Divorce

Divorce can have many negative effects on all parties involved but teenagers are especially vulnerable. Experiencing parents who are going through a divorce affects all aspects of a teen’s life, from their mood, relationships with others, and how they perform in school.

Depression And Anxiety

Teenagers who are dealing with their parent’s relationship in turmoil have reported more feelings of depression and anxiety. This stems from feeling a loss of control over the situation and having to deal with parents who may be arguing, angry, or abusive while going through a separation or divorce.

Divorce essentially means that the teenager is losing the family structure in their life, so feelings of anger and sadness can build up and lead to depressive episodes and anxiousness over how to cope.

More Conflict with Interpersonal Relationships

Most teenagers are not likely to reach out for help. Instead, many will lash out or withdraw from friends and family. It can be especially hard to feel a connection with others when all they’re seeing at home is a breakdown of a relationship.

Self-Abusive Behavior

Eva Carlston Academy states that teens who are experiencing divorce are more likely to engage in self-abusive behavior or try riskier things that could potentially put them in danger. This includes experimenting with drugs and alcohol, dangerous sexual activity, and engaging in suicidal ideation and thoughts.

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Coping Mechanisms

While divorce can be difficult, there are also a lot of resources to help teenagers better process a divorce.

Talking with a health professional or therapist. Divorce can result in many bottled-up emotions but having a professional to help work through their feelings can be beneficial to many teenagers. They often will not feel comfortable opening up to their family or friends but having an outlet is vital to healing and overcoming their fear and anxiety.

Find an outlet for stress. Whether it’s journaling, sports, or just finding something that brings joy, overcoming divorce for teenagers means finding a way for them to process their feelings in a healthy way.

When To Seek Help

If a teenager is not responding to treatments such as therapy or stress-reducing activities, it may be time to seek additional help. This is often recommended when a teen is becoming more reclusive or withdrawn.

There are many resources to help teenagers that are experiencing a divorce in their family. If a teen is feeling depressed or suicidal, they can call 988, which is the suicide and crisis lifeline. There are often counselors who can help teenagers at school or within certain national organizations, which are found on the National Institute of Mental Health website.

How a Mental Health Crisis Can Affect Siblings

When teens experience mental health issues, many members of the family may become negatively affected, especially siblings close in age.

Behaviors such as stealing, bullying, dramatic outbursts, lying, and demanding silence or even displaying negative symptoms of their mental health issues or addiction can all negatively affect siblings of the afflicted teen. Although siblings may seem fine on the outside, those witnessing these behaviors are likely under serious stress.

In the following article, Eva Carlston Academy reviews how teens with mental health challenges can affect their siblings and what families can do to be proactive about these situations.

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Impact of Mental Health on Siblings

A teen in crisis can impact siblings in a variety of ways, almost as much as mental health and addiction impacts the teen themselves. Because mental health issues deserve so much care and attention from parents, they can sometimes take parental attention away from siblings. This can result in a sibling feeling left out, forgotten, or even abandoned.

How a mental health crisis affects siblings largely depends upon how old the siblings are when they witness the events. Young children who see violent or aggressive behaviors or exacerbations of mental illness in any negative form are at risk of developing severe anxiety and stress. The younger child may even feel unloved by the teen in crisis.

Children who are exposed to difficult situations within the family will likely require a lot more attention, reassurance, and empathy from parents than children who have never witnessed these types of events. Just the same as a teen experiencing mental health problems, siblings too can experience negative health and emotional consequences from these situations.

Children who have siblings working through addiction or mental health are 63% more likely to report having depressive episodes (at least two weeks) in their lifetime. Sometimes the siblings of teens can take on a bigger sense of responsibility and even begin caring for, protecting, or feeling responsible for the teen experiencing issues.

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Be Proactive

There are a few ways parents can ensure they care for not only the child in crisis, but for their other children as well, such as making sure each child feels loved and heard. This can be accomplished by enrolling children in regular therapy sessions, or even routinely checking in, and having honest discussions about how they feel.

Ways to support other children in the home are to have routine and structure in the family. For example, it helps when children are able to know what to expect when times get hard, and more importantly, that they feel safe. Parents can also involve their children in activities that take place in a setting outside of the home, not only to get them involved in the community but to have a positive, uplifting experience away from a negative environment, especially during crisis episodes.


When one person in a family experiences mental health issues, everyone must act as a team to ensure the happiness and health of all family members. This can be done by getting parents to focus more on family as a whole, especially on siblings who require just as much care and attention as the person in crisis.

Sometimes mental health issues can take precedence over other matters, but learning how to have structure, involve children in activities away from negative behaviors and making sure siblings feel important are all great ways to be proactive.

How Body Image Can Impact Mental Health in Teens

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Some consider being a teenager as “the golden years” of life. Though this can be true for many of us, there is also the very palpable reality that the teenage years can be some of the roughest ones to go through.

In this modern day and age, Eva Carlston Academy reviews how the issue of poor body image has been proven detrimental to strong mental health and healthy self-image, and other factors like social media aggravate these effects even further.

An Impressionable Age

A research study was done in 2018 regarding the concept analysis of impressionable tendencies in adolescents recently found that the most impressionable ages in mental development are from 12 to 24 – a majority or all of these years are spent in school. However, it is to be noted the most sensitive years are the ages 12 to 18.

During this time in an individual’s life, they are more vulnerable and sensitive to environmental stressors and other facts they’re constantly exposed to – this includes feedback from friends, family, social media, television, etc.

Suppose a teen is consistently exposed to positive affirmation, from uplifting comments from family to healthy role models (both physical and otherwise) in magazines, tv, etc. In that case, they are more likely to hold a more confident, constructive self-view. The opposite happens when surrounded by hostile, self-deprecating stimuli and negative comments on the body, personality, and the like.

Social Media

The digital age is something that society will never be able to devolve from but in spite of the countless benefits and progressions we’ve made, it is to be argued that the consequences are nothing short of detrimental.

Influencers on apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter live up to their namesake by posting pictures of their lifestyle, with a number of these posts paid for by brands and companies attempting to reach the young demographic. When teens see these posts, they feel compelled to model their lives around these idealized ways of existing.

The problem? These lives don’t exist, not even through the eyes of the influencer posting them. Each photo is meticulously planned and edited until not a single hair is out of place, though the picture is meant to look effortless. Adolescents, however, either don’t know this or unaware of the power of editing, and believe that these perfect bodies and luxury lifestyles are realistically attainable.

Exposure to these catalysts have impressionable minds leaning into “constant comparison thinking”, in which individuals instantly find attributes they “fall short” in. This constant yearning for the unattainable can lead to teens falling into eating disorders, drug use, and other dangerous behaviors to be looked at as worthy.

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Correlation With Body Image + Mental Health

Some argue that teens can grow from poor self-esteem and body image issues in a positive, way, stating that lifestyle changes borne from negative self-image can lead to self-love and acceptance. Unfortunately, change kickstarted by self-hate, only leads to additional self-hate, even when weight goals are reached, or popularity is won.

A harrowing study done by researchers in 2019 revealed that, in a group of 309 teenaged people, around 58% of them claimed that their desire for a different body shape stemmed from their desire “to look good”, followed by “to gain approval from the opposite sex”, “to make friends”, and “to be more popular” respectively.

The last reason, coming in at only 3%, was “to be healthy”- which was the only reason that put the teens individual wellbeing in primary importance. Until a healthy self-image is grown from personal betterness, it won’t last, and thus continues the pandemic of poor mental health in this nations teens.

Understanding and Combating the Stigma Around Mental Health Issues

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Nothing exacerbates mental health issues more than the feeling of exclusion from the rest of society. Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding emotional, mental, and behavioral disorders creates just such a problem for most sufferers. Can this debilitating stigma ever be eradicated?

Fortunately, major strides toward combating stigma have been taken through the growing prominence of self-help groups, social services, and increased representation in film and other media. However, certain social media trends and negative film portrayals continue to push negative stereotypes.

Change cannot occur without understanding the problem. To this end, Eva Carlston Academy reviews how it’s vital to discuss the origins of mental health stigmas, as well as the pros and cons of current efforts to combat them.

Causes and Effects of Mental Health Stigma

Not unlike frequently discussed social issues such as racism and homophobia, a great deal of mental health stigma stems from fear. The American Psychiatric Association notes that many consider those with mental health issues either incompetent or unpredictable, which grows into the belief that they are unsafe.

Stigma most prevalently impacts those who struggle with substance use disorders. A 2016 study showed that roughly 75% of people perceive addicts negatively. This likely occurs because many believe addicts at fault for their own mental health struggles. Depressive disorders are viewed more kindly yet are not altogether exempt from stereotypes and misunderstandings.

This results in mental health patients battling numerous societal issues on top of their internal struggles. They may find it more difficult than most people to find housing or employment if they choose to be open about their diagnosis. Hiding it, however, leads to increased feelings of worthlessness.

Moreover, those attempting to hide their disorders may do so in part by ceasing treatment. In this way, the stigma against mental health disorders only serves to worsen these already troublesome conditions.

Combating Stigma on a Personal Level

Those wishing to overcome mental health stigma have a long road ahead of them. Issues that mental health sufferers must combat include, but are not limited to:

  • Bullying and verbal harassment, whether in person or online
  • Feelings of isolation from “normal” friends and family
  • Loss of hope for personal and professional success
  • Inadequate health insurance coverage

This last issue, as well as struggles finding housing or employment, can be overcome through numerous social services. Providers of such services may also put the sufferer in contact with relevant support groups to help fight feelings of isolation.

Combining these efforts with proper therapy and treatment may help mental health sufferers to begin fighting their feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness. Fighting stigma alone will only make the sufferer feel more ostracized. Finding a healthy community is integral to reminding mental health sufferers that they are not alone.

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Improving Public Understanding of Mental Health

Despite society’s constant fight to do away with offensive words such as “retarded,” the misuse and overuse of negative mental health terms continues to grow daily. Reddit users frequently reference perceived entitlement as “narcissism,” failing to recognize the irony of an anti-narcissist proudly labeling others with their own uninformed armchair diagnosis.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness further notes that many films and TV shows use the word “psychotic” as an easy insult. For instance, looking at Batman films alone, viewers can see the world negatively used in both The Dark Knight and Batman v Superman.

Furthermore, the APA notes a correlation between increased mental health discrimination around the 2019 release of Joker. That’s three instances of the same problem, all related to just one intellectual property.

When it comes to issues such as race, gender, and sexual orientation, Hollywood strives for inclusion. These efforts must extend to mental health issues as well. Series such as BoJack Horseman and Shameless try to show the negative aspects of mental health issues through a sympathetic lens. Positive inclusion exists, but not strongly enough to balance out the negative.


Social services provide mental health patients with useful resources and support to combat the effects of stereotyping and discrimination. The stigma itself, however, remains largely unchallenged. Without better efforts to promote understanding and compassion, mental health sufferers will continue to feel at odds with a society that refuses to embrace them as they are.

Benefits of Urban Living

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Am I a town mouse, or a country mouse? It’s a question many of us ask ourselves at some point, as we ponder where best to settle and call home.

At different stages in our lives, we want and need different things. Eva Carlston Academy reviews when healing from trauma and depression in particular, rural life can be detrimental. Isolation, a lack of stimulus, and little access to support can be damaging to a successful recovery. That’s why urban living, such as that in Salt Lake City, is beneficial and below, Eva Carlston Academy explains why.

Urban Life Better for Overall Health

Studies published by the National Library of Medicine have shown that rates of depression are significantly higher in rural areas. The availability of mental health services plays a crucial role in recovery and moving to the city has proven to be hugely beneficial for those struggling with their mental health.
City life can be better for physical health, too. Treated drinking water, for example, might be something we take for granted in urban areas but in rural parts of the country, many people depend on drinking untreated water.

Finding a Place in the World

Living in the city means coming across people from all manner of backgrounds. While rural areas tend to be made up of tight-knit communities where very little changes over time, city life introduces us to new ways of thinking and living.

It can be difficult to find purpose in life when rural living has continued in the same way for many generations. But city life makes us see things from a whole new perspective, and can help us to see brand new, exciting opportunities for a life we never thought possible.

Diversity means Opportunity

We learn more from other people and their experiences than we could ever hope to learn from reading books or watching television. Interacting with people from other countries, cultures, and ways of life opens our minds.

Whether it’s making new friends, exploring the art scene, simply walking around an area to take in the local vibe, or enjoying a variety of foods and drinks, living somewhere like Salt Lake City gives people a chance to experience a myriad of new things.

And when we’re introduced to new ideas and experiences, it makes us think differently about our own situation and what we might like to do with our own lives. We can be introduced to things we couldn’t even have imagined.

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Greater Access to Wellness and Other Resources

Rural life has been one that has kept this country going for centuries, there’s no mistaking it. But it doesn’t mean that we must necessarily follow in the footsteps of our mothers and grandmothers.
City life offers its residents more choices, and often simply feeling as though we have choice in our lives can make all the difference.

The wide expanse of space in rural areas sometimes means fewer opportunities and less access to comprehensive mental health care. Living in the city means access to countless new ideas. These include travel (thanks to public transport), a new career (thanks to more job opportunity), and education (thanks to more access to schools, museums, local areas of interest, and so on).

Moving to an area like Salt Lake City can be a truly liberating experience, as residents from out of town can leave behind their old selves and explore who they are, as well as recover from trauma, without anyone needing to know their history, their family, or anything about their past.
For independence, a world open to new experiences, and the chance to explore a future that has to be lived to be believed, urban living wins every time.

Summer Activities for Teen Girls

With the hottest season in full swing and sunlight lasting longer than it will all year, it’s only fitting to want to make the most of the summertime!

This is especially true for teenage girls since this season is the optimal time to hang out with friends, discover new personal styles, and even uncover some hard truths through introspective activities.

Simply put, there’s more to do this summer than spending time doom-scrolling through the same five social media apps and living life behind a screen. At Eva Carlston Academy, students are getting out and hiking twice a week during summer. This kind of activity and those listed below can make all the difference in the quality of life for a teen girl.

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“Dear diary” is a phrase that a bulk of people are familiar with. Though teenage-targeted romantic comedies may present the topic of diary-keeping as something girly and almost laughable, journaling is a tool revered by mental health experts for the numerous amounts of benefits.

It’s more than just jotting one’s thoughts down on a page or complaining about strains in relationships with friends and family. Journaling is a way to truly work through individual issues in a safe, productive way (that doesn’t come at the expense of another person).

Journaling allows a teen girl to be truly transparent in an optimum environment. Though it can be as simple as scribbling words down on a page, it can be as intricate or creative as the individual allows themselves to be, making for a truly personal time with each click of a pen. Students at Eva Carlston do art and journaling activities at local parks during the summer.


Summertime is a time for relaxation. For a lot of teenagers, that can mean spending countless hours in bed sleeping, or liking TikTok videos and Instagram posts. Though spending time online is healthy, there are ways to unwind while keeping productive!

Yoga is one of the most popular forms of exercise in society today, and its rising popularity is mainly in part to the number of psychological benefits that coincide with the physical work the workout calls for. A favorite summertime activity at Eva Carlston are the outside yoga sessions.

Practicing yoga, even just once, releases depression-fighting endorphins and naturally formed “happy drugs” like serotonin and dopamine. With regular practice, it can reduce the crippling feeling of anxiety and stress that comes with being a growing teen.

Revisit Your Childhood

Being a teenager brings about feelings of independence and being overjoyed at the fact that the road to freedom is paved with gold. However, it’s still bittersweet, especially when older teens realize that their childhood days are on their last leg.

But it doesn’t necessarily need to be that way- especially since that newfound independence can be used to relive the days of one’s youth.

Spending time with family, whether it be around the house, or on a vacation (camping, anyone?) is a surefire way to heal one’s inner child, offering them peace during a time of chaos.

Being Present

By far one of the best things a teen girl should practice during summertime is the act of mindfulness. Though it may sound simple enough, it’s something that a lot of adults fall short on in their day-to-day lives.

Being present in each connection one makes, and in each action chosen throughout the day will make it easy for a person to know when they’re dedicating too much of their time to something they shouldn’t be (bad relationships, phone overuse, etc.).

Simply taking a moment to ground oneself and listening to what the body is telling you can be enough to make each day this summer has to offer the best one yet.

What Teens Can Learn from Doing Chores

Doing chores around the house may seem simple, but it can significantly impact your kids’ and teenagers’ lives in ways they may not realize until they are older.

Teenagers can learn essential relationship skills from doing chores, such as teamwork, cooperation, communication, and clarity, and feeling a sense of accomplishment upon completing a task. On top of these skills, they can learn important steps in caring for a family and home, like cleaning, organizing, preparing meals, and gardening.

Even though doing chores isn’t most people’s first choice for spending some time, Eva Carlston Academy reviews that by developing a family chore system is one of the several valuable steps to take when creating a happy family that functions well.

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Social and emotional benefits
Doing chores can help a child or teenager feel that their contribution to the family is important. Fostering the desire to feel a sense of accomplishment upon completing even a simple task can help a child or teenager to feel a sense of responsibility and participation.

Over time, the repetition of these tasks and the positive outcomes associated with them can leave a child feeling more competent and self-assured. Not only will doing chores help a child or teenager to feel more confident in their daily life, but it can also teach them important lessons in relationships as well.

Working together with a sibling or as a family unit to complete a task can teach lessons about teamwork and cooperation, as well as ways to communicate clearly with each other. It can also teach valuable lessons about time management and the prioritization of tasks.

According to the Australian parenting website, doing chores can actually help reduce family stress, and may help your household to function better overall.

Other important life lessons

Not only does doing chores help instill positive routines and cycles in a teenager’s life, but it can also help prepare them for adulthood, so they can feel confident to face the world as an adult when it comes time to leave the house.

Doing chores as a child can help teach important skills to help them later in life, like cooking food for their own future family to eat, cleaning and organizing to support a healthy and hygienic home and atmosphere, and growing food in a garden to make for dinner. From learning how to do the dishes to doing laundry, to cleaning the bathroom, a weekly chore list can do wonders.

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Doing chores for teens in therapy

Doing chores is one of the first opportunities for children to learn how to implement positive structure into their life and strive for that feeling of accomplishment associated with completing a task well.
Teens in therapy can implement small changes into their life, which over time can yield big results if followed through with. Many teens in therapy may feel that their lives lack positive structure in their household, and one small change to consider implementing would be developing a chore list to create some structure in daily life.