We understand that teens who have been traumatized in their early childhood have experienced changes to the structure and functional abilities of their brains. They become hard wired for chaos and which encourages substance abuse. At Kokua, we employ dual diagnosis interventions that rewire the brain back to its earlier safe and homeostatic state.
We believe that the key to healing a brain that has experienced trauma is by creating new, helpful experiences over a long period of time. These experiences create the change back to health.
Along with positive experiences, safe relationships in a nurturing environment are also critical. Experiences that prove that positive relational outcomes can come by trusting adults are particularly brain changing.
For example, showing a teen that if they follow adult instruction they can accomplish a physically and demanding challenge such as a ropes course, learning to ski successfully or mentoring a teen. These types of experiences can help to rewire the brain and are a part of daily life at Kokua.