Outdoor Teen & Adolescent Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment Center

SUWS of the Carolinas, is a life-changing wilderness-based treatment center for children, adolescents, and teens struggling with borderline personality disorder.

At our outdoor treatment center for troubled teens, we blend traditional clinical treatment modalities with wilderness therapy to empower adolescents and teens to overcome their mood disorders and find lasting recovery.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Learn More About Borderline Personality Disorder

SUWS of the Carolinas is a therapeutic wilderness treatment center that focuses on short-term, high impact clinical intervention and assessment for adolescents, ages 10 to 17, who are struggling with borderline personality disorder. Located in Western North Carolina, our treatment center uses the outdoors as an alternative to conventional therapy environments, while also engaging students with traditional therapeutic methods.

Our unique outdoor treatment center removes modern distractions, simplifies choices, and teaches valuable lessons. As a result, our students begin to accept responsibility for personal decisions, address individual and family issues, and become invested in their own personal growth.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a type of mental health disorder that is marked by instability in one’s self-image, emotion regulation, and within personal relationships. The presence of borderline personality disorder in children and adolescents can cause symptoms such as intense mood swings, impulsive behaviors, and engagement in self-harming behaviors. Additionally, young people with BPD may have a distorted self-image, having feelings of worthlessness, and may just feel flawed in general. At our leading wilderness treatment center, our expert staff has had years of experience treating children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with a myriad of mental health concerns, such as borderline personality disorder. Our outdoor approach to treatment, combined with our highly structured therapy, allows our students to identify their limiting beliefs and destructive behavioral habits.

Helping a Loved One

Helping a Loved One or Family Member with the Treatment Process

Finding a treatment center for an adult with borderline personality disorder can be difficult, but because of the controversy surrounding diagnosing this disorder in adolescents, finding a treatment program for your son or daughter can be even harder. This means that it may take a lot of research on your part to find a treatment center that will meet all of your child’s specific therapy needs. It may be helpful to consult with your child’s primary care physician because they may be able to provide you with local resources for mental health professionals. Your research sparked by the question “does my child have borderline personality disorder?” may have you overwhelmed. However, your research can be aided with a phone call to the expert admissions staff at our treatment center who can talk you through your concerns.

In addition to getting your child appropriate treatment, there are a number of ways in which you can be an active participant in their recovery process. Your child’s therapist can provide you with specific examples. Finally, ensure your child that you will be there to support them throughout the entire treatment process and make sure that they know you love them no matter what.

Why Choose SUWS

Why Consider Treatment at SUWS of the Carolinas

Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental health condition that can quickly damage many areas of a child or adolescents life, especially if they are not getting the professional treatment they need. The presence of BPD can prevent a child or adolescent from developing close relationships with their peers and may lead to excessive conflict with family members. Borderline personality disorder can also cause a young person to have difficulties at school and they may frequently be reprimanded for engagement in inappropriate or aggressive behavior. Additionally, it is common for children and adolescents with BPD to engage in self-harming behaviors, which can lead to frequent hospitalizations.

While these are only a few, of the many, negative consequences that can develop in a young person with borderline personality, you can clearly see that this disorder can be extremely detrimental to your child’s overall wellbeing. This is why therapy at a borderline personality disorder treatment center should be sought as soon as possible.

Types of Treatment

Types of Treatment Offered at SUWS of the Carolinas

At SUWS of the Carolinas we provide four different treatment tracks (Approach, Phoenix Outdoor, Seasons, and SUWS), which are designed to meet the distinct needs of all of our students, including those with borderline personality disorder. Each track varies according to age, maturity level, presenting challenges, as well as social and adaptive development of our students. All tracks have a strong therapeutic foundation of evidence-based treatment practices and a holistic approach to health and wellness. These four distinct tracks include:

  • Approach: For adolescents, ages 14-17, who are struggling with autism spectrum disorders, social issues, social avoidance, technology addiction, and more.
  • Phoenix Outdoor: For adolescents, ages 14-17, with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.
  • Seasons: For pre-teens, ages 10-13, who are battling ADD/ADHD, defiance, entitlement, and poor social skills.
  • SUWS: For adolescents, ages 14-17, who are struggling with anxiety, depression, emotion regulation, learning differences, and trauma.

Additionally, the treatment curriculum offered at SUWS of the Carolinas is designed to support the growth of each student and is based on a level system. Each level carries a specific intention, measurable objectives, and can be individualized for each student’s needs. The admissions process will help you determine which track is the right fit for your child.

Throughout the duration of therapy, all students will go on multi-day wilderness expeditions where they will participate in daily challenging experiences and activities. After each wilderness expedition students will then spend a week at our base camp, which is used as an extension of the treatment process. Some of the evidence-based therapeutic methods used in the treatment of borderline personality disorder may include the following:

Medication management: Currently there is no medication that has been specifically designed to treat borderline personality disorder, however research has shown that there are some medications that will be able to reduce some of the symptoms of this disorder. The use of medication in your child’s treatment plan will be a mutual decision between you and your child’s psychiatrist, whom they will meet with on an as needed basis. Additionally, our psychiatrist is available at base camp every other week in the fall, winter, and spring, as well as every week in the summer. We also have a registered nurse on staff and all of our field staff are trained in medication administration.

Individual therapy: Each student at SUWS of the Carolinas receives individual counseling sessions up to two times a week, where they will be able to meet one-on-one with a licensed mental health professional. Individual therapy can be extremely effective in helping to reduce the symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder and often focuses on things such as emotion regulation, how to maintain healthier relationships, and stress management.

Group therapy: During therapy, process groups are held on a daily basis, while therapy groups are held one to two times each week. Some of the topics covered in group include, but are not limited to: communication skills, bullying, mindfulness, social skills, anxiety, and emotion regulation.

Family therapy: Throughout the duration of a student’s stay, parents will engage in weekly calls with a SUWS therapist where they will be updated on their child’s progress, will be involved in treatment planning, and will be able to discuss any specific concerns they may have surrounding their child’s borderline personality disorder. A a part of therapy, our treatment center provides family members with a two-day workshop, which is built on the “Love and Logic” model and is rooted in psychoeducation. Finally, there are a number of family webinars available online, which are provided to further support and involve parents in the therapeutic process.

Experiential therapy: In addition to traditional therapeutic methods SUWS of the Carolinas offers a number of other highlights and benefits, both at base camp and in the wilderness. Some of the activities our students can participate in include:

  • Fire starting
  • Therapy certified dogs
  • Yoga
  • Expressive arts
  • Ropes course
  • Backpacking
  • Trap building
  • Trail navigation
  • Tree identifying

Continuing Care

Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment

Once a student has completed their treatment process at SUWS of the Carolinas they will participate in a three day graduation process, where students and their families will come together in an emotional reunion and will participate in final closing sessions before reintegrating back into a complete family unit.

During the graduation process parents will be reunited with their children and will spend a night in the wilderness, where they will practice establishing new behavior patterns while still under the supervision of the SUWS of the Carolinas staff. On the last day of graduation, a ceremony honoring the accomplishments of each graduate, will be held prior to their departure.

As part of the treatment process here at SUWS of the Carolinas, we also provide each student and their family with transitional planning to help determine the most appropriate placement, upon graduation from our treatment center. SUWS therapists will coordinate aftercare planning and discharge with parents, referring professionals, and the family transition specialist, as needed.

Many of our students will go on to attend a longer-term residential treatment center, while others will return home upon graduation. Our therapists and other mental health professionals will work diligently to make the transition to the next phase of treatment is as smooth as possible, while also maintaining skills the student learned at our treatment center.

At SUWS of the Carolinas, we are devoted to providing the highest level of care possible for children and adolescents who are struggling with the distressing symptoms of borderline personality disorder and the resulting consequences. Our highly recommended wilderness treatment center will provide your child with life-changing outdoor therapy, opening up the possibility for a brighter future.

Our son’s ability to communicate and handle the situations of every day life has drastically improved. We thank SUWS for equipping him with the cognitive tools to live a normal life!

– Anonymous Parent