Residential Services

Who We Serve

We’re proud and honored to provide the best mental healthcare and substance abuse treatment to teens in Native America. Our staff and treatment team live in the very communities that we serve, and therefore a great deal of empathy and understanding is brought to each customized treatment plan. Being a teenager comes with its own challenges, but often Native American teens especially find themselves poorly understood. Our knowledge, experience and respect of the cultural traditions that make growing up Native so unique help us to usher in a successful recovery for every client, every time.

Our Approach

At Butterfly Healing Center, we take a person-centered, holistic approach to treatment that zeroes in on the whole client: their mind, their body, and their spirit. For teens who have found their lived experiences ignored or misunderstood at other treatment centers (both residential and outpatient), we hold space for the exploration of spiritual and cultural traditions important to Native American families and communities.

A focus on the importance of traditions, when melded with Western medicine, brings about transformation and change for both the client and his or her loved ones and community. Experiential, trauma-informed therapy is implemented in a unique way for each client, taking each one-of-a-kind lived experience into account to build the best path toward success.

The Seven Challenges

At Butterfly Healing Center, we use aspects of the Seven Challenges program when treating substance abuse. A comprehensive counseling program for young people, it’s designed with motivation in mind and drives teens to make positive changes while supporting them and empowering them.

Individual Therapy

Integral to each and every treatment plan is a focus on individual therapy. A licensed professional begins with an assessment of the problem and then creates a plan that will best assist the teen on their journey to recovery and healing. The privacy and confidentiality of individual therapy allows those suffering from mental health disorders and/or addiction a feeling of freedom to truly open up, focus on current and past problems, and move away from unhealthy patterns and behaviors. As the client builds a relationship with his or her therapist, they will work together on developing a model for health and honest relationships. Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills are taught and incorporated into sessions as well.

Group Therapy

Group therapy sessions, facilitated by a licensed professional, are key to the recovery process for Butterfly Healing Center residents. During sessions, the residents focus on a variety of topics, including healthy relationships, healthy communication, safety, substance abuse, life as a Native American teen, and the challenges that come with recovery and change. Group therapy is one of the most important ways that residents come to the realization that they aren’t alone in their struggles and that many others are going through similar strains and have similar triggers. Group therapy also helps residents grow in confidence about opening up to other people and being honest about issues they are currently facing as well as past issues and future possibilities.

Family Therapy

At Butterfly Healing Center, we believe in the importance of family work alongside individual therapy. We recognize that mental health disorders and addiction in teens affects the family as a whole. Butterfly Healing Center supports and encourages the participation of the families of residents, and families are given the opportunity to engage actively in the recovery and healing process. Licensed clinicians work with families and discuss topics like forgiveness, enabling behaviors, past traumas and blocks in communication. In addition to opening the floor for residents to share honestly with their families about their struggles and experiences, family therapy sessions also keep loved ones abreast on progress at the center.

Arts and Culture

Self-expression is an important way to connect with the inner self at one’s own pace. Making artwork based on personal experiences and struggles and sharing it with fellow residents, staff and loved ones is a challenge that’s rewarded with improved confidence.  Opening up about mental health disorders, trauma, or substance abuse is hard, and doing so through art and fiction is a good way to break into openness and honesty. An added bonus? Art and writing skills learned during residential treatment transfer well into community reintegration and can easily be pursued in a healthy way in recovery.

Our residents explore the world of art and self-expression through regular on-campus programming, as well as field trips to places such as Meow Wolf and the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A form of individual talk therapy, CBT aims to help clients reframe and irrational thoughts, as well as reduce negative thinking and behavioral patterns that are prevalent in addiction and substance abuse. CBT also introduces ways to cope in a healthy manner, as well as redirects negative behaviors triggered by life stress.  Success in CBT leads to residents being empowered to view challenging scenarios in a clear way and respond effectively. In addition to improving the quality of life and empowering those with addiction, CBT is also helpful for those with anxiety and depression, which are both seen quite often in individuals who struggle with addiction to alcohol and drugs.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

A form of individual talk therapy, DBT teaches residents at Butterfly Healing Center various mindfulness techniques. These techniques empower the clients to develop skills that will help them regulate their emotions and navigate stressful and triggering situations in a calmer manner. During DBT sessions, residents learn more about their triggers and why they react to them in the ways that they do, and in addition they learn healthy ways to manage the stress that these triggers can cause. Learning to accept change is one of the ultimate goals of this form of therapy, and makes a positive impact on the lives of those who are engaging in high-risk behavior like substance abuse.

Experiential Programming

At Butterfly Healing Center, we believe in the power of nature to heal, connect, and restore. Our experiential programming includes activities and group programming on-site, as well as the opportunity to explore surrounding area. Our residents regularly spend time hiking in the mountains and forests around Taos, fishing in the Rio Grande, and traversing the high desert just outside our doors. Led by staff trained in Wilderness First-Aid, our experiential programming empowers our clients to connect with themselves, the land, and each other.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Cultures throughout the world practice meditation in order to increase mindfulness, reach greater understanding and find clarity in their thoughts. At Butterfly Healing Center, we understand the power that meditation and mindfulness have and the positive impact it can bring to teens struggling with substance abuse and addictions. Residents at the center are encouraged to practice meditation daily, and in so doing, often connect more deeply to their spiritual side. Success at meditation is something that can happen daily both in and out of residency, and on the pathway to sobriety and recovery. It is a healthy way to train the mind and an excellent way for clients to get in touch with their inner thoughts and nurture themselves. It also reduces the anxiety that so often comes along with addiction.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a counseling style that helps elicit a person’s desire and motivation for making a positive change.  The client and therapist work as partners, allowing the client to explore and resolve their ambivalence toward change, and reinforce their reasons for change. Everyone possesses the skills to change. MI empowers clients by helping them to identify the conditions needed to make the desired change, while evoking hope and confidence. MI techniques are highly successful for those who are ambivalent about making a lifestyle change, such as starting an exercise program, reducing alcohol intake or changing any unhealthy habit.


Seeking Safety