Wellness can only be established and maintained if all the pieces of the wellness puzzle are carefully tended.
The WAY Center is founded on the fundamental, evidence-based principle, that every adolescent needs a pediatrician, specifically trained in adolescent healthcare, to serve as their care manager.
Our pediatricians recognize the complexity of adolescent healthcare, and are trained to offer services in:
When an adolescent is experiencing debilitating anxiety, excruciating depression, or sudden suicidality, they are in a state of crisis, and that crisis NEEDS to be managed, IMMEDIATELY.
With safety and pain-management as our first priority, The WAY Center pediatricians are trained to help alleviate immediate suffering, while coordinating a long term plan of care.
Due to its window of development, the adolescent brain has a unique vulnerability to addiction. The adolescent's reward center that pumps out dopamine, that “feel good” sensation they get, is really well-developed. But the part of the brain that tempers the dopamine response is immature and underdeveloped. When faced with feel-good, dopamine-inducing substances, the teenage brain can very quickly, and very intensely, start seeking more. This is especially true for teens with a genetic predisposition for addiction, or for those looking to self-medicate their personal pain or suffering.
The Way Center's pediatricians are trained to use the latest evidence-based practices to help support adolescents in safely and humanely detoxing, and finding a path to longterm recovery.
With lifelong wellness as our ultimate goal, The WAY Center's pediatricians are trained to identify problems and challenges BEFORE they become emergencies. Through routine screening processes, parent education, and timely access to the very best mental health resources, we offer families the opportunity to intervene early, and avoid unnecessary pain, suffering and crises.
Food has tremendous power – it can be used as fuel…a source of nourishment that supports and repairs our bodies and minds – or it can be the source of toxins and chemicals that deplete and cause harm.
Just like a house is only as good as the materials used to build it, so too, our bodies can only be as healthy as the building blocks used to build it. Our bodies derive value from the following components, or building blocks, of food:
Macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates and fat
Micronutrients – vitamins and minerals
Phytochemicals – beneficial chemicals produced by plants
It is important to understand that all foods are not created equal. If we don’t have the right building blocks in our diet, the structure we are building cannot be strong and resilient.
At the WAY Center, we believe that food is nature's medicine, and, oftentimes, long term wellness can be restored and / or established naturally.
NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS & COUNSELING
Can an adolescent's mood, behavior, attention, or lack of energy be attributed to the foods they are eating? Or perhaps, to the foods they aren't eating?
Through an interview, examination and customized blood work, we strive to empower adolescents with an understanding their bodies, how they react to foods, and how to fulfill their own nutritional needs.
INDIVIDUAL THERAPY & GROUP THERAPY
Different individuals have different levels of sensitivity to stress, anxiety and depression. Some of us have a biological vulnerability to emotions, where a low threshold can compromise our ability to function in life. This can exhibit as a high level of sensitivity or a high level of reactivity.
Oftentimes, undesirable behaviors that we, as parents, view as rebelliousness or defiance, are simply our teens choosing a path of least discomfort.
Behavioral therapy explores ways to help teens develop their brains and emotional muscles so that they can decrease their sensitivity and / or reactivity.
We work with teens to choose situations where they feel a LITTLE uncomfortable, as practice. We teach them how to focus and be mindful and present in the moment and sit with their feelings of distress, and we teach them to challenge their own, negative thoughts.
By practicing these skills of mindfulness and distress tolerance, we help teens increase their threshold for discomfort, so that eventually, they are able to allow themselves to experience this discomfort, without crisis.
The tool of resilience in the face of difficulty, adversity and discomfort, is perhaps the greatest gift we can hope to give our teens, in an effort to establish lifelong wellness.