Core Issue Model

Part of what keeps students stuck in repetitive, destructive behaviors is deeply internalized, negative beliefs about themselves. These beliefs are a result of the student's interpretation of external experiences. At La Europa, all our therapists are working to uncover the core messages that keep our young women from accessing their strength and competence. As these beliefs are brought to the surface, they can be challenged and changed. Core issues are explored in individual, group, art, recreation, family therapy and level work assignments.

The Core Issue Model helps students identify triggers (environmental, emotional, physical or mental) that lead to ineffective coping methods. It helps students see how thoughts and feelingswork together to create behavior.

Many of our young women engage in behaviors that appear to provide relief from internal stress. This might include substance use, food-related behaviors (restricting, over-exercising, purging), computer use, sexual acting out or self-harming. The Core Issue Model starts with the assumption that ineffective coping strategies do have a specific pay-off that keeps a person engaged in the behavior seeking that pay-off. Unfortunately, behaviors that initially provide temporary relief become compulsive behaviors that cause the student further pain and shame. In spite of the pay-off, the behavior is not a long-term, effective coping strategy.

At La Europa, we help girls understand the negative cycles of behavior in which they are engaged and what is driving them to engage in the behavior. We focus on helping each student identify and practice a wide variety of tools for getting out of the cycle.

Does this sound like your daughter?