Havenwood Academy's Research Based

Therapeutic Methods

Havenwood Academy utilizes the latest research backed modalities in treating trauma. We often pull from leading researchers like Bruce Perry, Dan Siegel and Bessel van Der Kolk. We strive to bring trauma healing into all aspects of life, not just in our therapy sessions. This often means utilizing Bruce Perry’s 5 R’s of Trauma Healing - Relational (safe), Relevant (developmentally matched to the individual), Repetitive, Rewarding and Rhythmic (resonant with neural patterns). This could look like an impromptu dance group, yoga session or playing a girl’s favorite song while we walk around and let the nervous system calm back down.

All of our methods, systems and interactions are trauma informed, and carried out with connection, attunement, and care. Every treatment plan is specifically and carefully designed to best treat an individual’s struggles.

Our Treatment Team consisting of our Clinical Director, Therapists, Program Director and Educational Director. We meet weekly to review each young woman’s progress and the effectiveness of her therapy. The combination of all of Havenwood Academy’s therapeutic methods has been shown to create positive, long-term results.


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. DBT teaches people how to live in the moment, cope healthily with stress, regulate emotions, and improve relationships with others. It is one of the methods that is often used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

View The Research Here


Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TB-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents suffering from early childhood trauma.  Research demonstrates that TF-CBT can successfully treat a broad array of emotional and behavioral struggles that are the result of early traumatic trauma experiences.

View The Research Here

Placement Specific Therapies

Being placed in a program is often, in and of itself, traumatic to both young women and their families. We utilize a number of therapeutic approaches to address this traumatic experience helping to clear the way to move rapidly towards treating the underlying conditions.


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy that enables people to reprocess and heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  Studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can much more rapidly experience the benefits of psychotherapy that might have taken years to achieve using other methods. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.

View The Research Here

Equine Therapy

Havenwood Academy’s Equine Director is trained in the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EGALA) program and has designed a unique equine therapy model for treating trauma and attachment issues.  Many of the benefits of equine therapy are likely due to the nature of the animals with which the young woman is interacting. Horses are non-judgmental, have no preconceived expectations or motives, and because they are by nature prey animals, they are constantly monitoring their environment and are highly effective at mirroring attitudes and behaviors of the young women with whom they are working.  This gives our young women a unique and effective opportunity to identify and correct their tendencies to engage in self-defeating and otherwise negative thoughts and behaviors.

View The Research Here


Brainspotting is a powerful, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing and releasing core sources of emotional pain, trauma and a variety of other challenging symptoms. Brainspotting reveals a client’s unprocessed traumas through fixed eye positions. Specific eye positions each link to their own “brainspot,” an area of the mind that retains thoughts and emotions. Clients fixate on troubling brainspots to uncover hidden mental challenges.

Therapy Sessions

Individual Therapy

Each young woman participates in individual therapy at least once a week where they meet with a licensed mental health clinician who provides a safe and supportive, yet challenging, environment for them to process their thoughts, feelings and experiences.  Each clinician is trained in all Havenwood's therapeutic methods and will utilize them to best support healing.

Family Therapy

Havenwood Academy’s goal from the first day in the Program is the reunification of each young woman with her family.  As a result, each young woman and her family will participate in critical weekly family therapy sessions.  These sessions are designed to address unhealthy family dynamics and to lay the groundwork for lifelong and healthy family relationships.

Equine Therapy

Equine therapy occurs once a week and involves a small group of young women under the direction of our Equine Director.  There are some ancillary programs that Havenwood Academy has developed including horsemanship, riding at the appropriate time and even involving mini horses.  These sessions are regularly scheduled throughout a young woman’s participation in the Program.

Group Therapy

SMART Recovery

This group is designed to help young women who may be struggling with addictions and/or addictive-type behavior.

Emotional Resilience

This group is designed to help young women develop higher levels of emotional resilience so they can manage the difficulties they have faced and will continue to face throughout life.


This group is designed to reinforce the DBT techniques and skills that the young women are learning in their individual sessions.