Treatment Approaches at The Wave

Treatment Approaches at The Wave

THE WAVE CLINIC > Treatment Approaches at The Wave

The Wave Young Adults is the first dedicated residential care facility within South East Asia to provide a treatment focus for teenagers, young adults, and their families.

Our experiential and creative programs for mental health, behavioural concerns, eating disorders and addictions are designed to build a strong foundation that can lead to a lifetime of wellness and recovery. 

At the Wave Clinic, we adopt a holistic approach, with treatment plans tailored to each young person’s specific needs, and an equally weighted focus on full recovery and positive growth.

We specialise in a range of therapeutic interventions to offer the most effective combinations of treatment and support, to guarantee deep transformational healing, and a life-changing experience. These include:

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a specially adapted version of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), which combines behavioural science with Zen Buddhist techniques of acceptance and mindfulness.

This talking therapy treatment is designed specifically for those who feel emotions very intensely and is particularly relevant for our teenagers and young adults with C-PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder or Eating Disorders.

DBT skills groups and assignments are a key feature in The WavED programs and focus on four key coping skills: core mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.

Read more about Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Enhanced Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT-E)

CBT-E is a highly individualised treatment developed to tackle the psychopathology of eating disorders, and can be used for all types of eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.

The emphasis is on the present, goal setting and understanding how our thoughts, emotions and behaviours are connected. Dysfunctional thinking patterns become the intervention point, from which our young people can start to develop different ways of thinking that increase positive feelings and healthy, helpful behaviours.

CBT-E offers many advantages for teenagers and young adults suffering from an eating disorder, compared to other treatments, especially that it is a collaborative treatment, making it more acceptable to young people who may be opposed to treatment.

Read more about Enhanced Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT-E)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy approach designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories. It uses a combination of memory recall and therapy with guided bilateral eye movements to stimulate the brain in ways that help it to work through any unhealed memories and resume its natural healing process.  

EMDR is one of the key approaches we use in our Wave programs when working with young people dealing with complex and developmental trauma, C-PTSD, attachment issues, dissociation and/or self-regulation.

Studies have found that the benefits of EMDR treatment persist over time, with young people less likely to experience a relapse in the years following treatment.

Read more about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE®)

TRE® is a groundbreaking series of exercises that safely activate the body’s natural reflex mechanism of shaking/vibrating, to release deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma, and calm down the nervous system.

TRE® is offered at The Wave as part of our specialised trauma treatment in both group and individual sessions (based on clinical assessment). We are currently the only adolescent facility offering this cutting-edge approach to treating trauma.

Studies have shown that most young people feel confident in using the practice after just a few sessions and can incorporate it into a weekly, self-care routine. In this way, they can regularly identify and release tensions before they become much larger problems.

Read more about Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE®)

Internal Family Systems (IFS)

IFS is a powerfully transformative, evidence-based approach, that can be used to treat a wide variety of mental health conditions and their symptoms.

During IFS sessions at The Wave, we work with our young people to help them understand their inner world and relate to themselves in a more loving and harmonious way. We use various simple yet effective exercises and techniques, many of which are linked to effective breathing control to promote relaxation and mental clarity.

As a therapy, IFS is inspiring and non-invasive, offering young people concrete steps to achieve greater control over impulsive or automatic reactions, transform a critical internal voice into a supportive one, and reduce/eliminate negative feelings towards themselves.

Read more about Internal Family Systems (IFS)

Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO-DBT)

Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO-DBT) is an exciting, innovative treatment that targets a range of disorders characterised by excessive self-control – often referred to as overcontrol (OC).

It combines the foundations of neuroscience, together with the evidence-based principles of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), mindfulness, personality and developmental theory.

The approach is particularly useful in areas of treatment resistance, where standard CBT/DBT has been ineffective, or in young people who find connection with treatment difficult to sustain. The treatment models flexibility, an area that can be challenging for young people with internal and external ideas of perfectionism and a strong critical self.

RO-DBT is an evidence-based and effective treatment supported by over 20 years of clinical research.

Read more about Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO-DBT)



Naltrexone belongs to a group of medications that are used to prevent some of the usual feelings and experiences that accompany drug and alcohol use and some maladaptive behaviours. It comes in tablet form, injections and implants, and is only available by prescription under the guidance of specialist medical teams.

Naltrexone at The Wave is offered only as part of a long-term treatment plan for young people who have completed at least 12 weeks of our primary residential programs. Naltrexone in young people is used in conjunction with comprehensive treatment plans, including psychotherapy, family therapy and psychiatric management of co-occurring conditions. 

As a specialist centre for the treatment of teenagers and young adults, we believe that Naltrexone can be incredibly useful in the long-term treatment of some young people.

Read more about Naltrexone Implants

Art Therapy

Art therapy is just one of the family of ‘expressive and creative arts therapies’ used at The Wave, where our teenagers and young adults can enjoy weekly scheduled activities in creative, therapeutic mediums.

Art therapy offers our young people a safe form of emotional expression and communication, unrestricted by language and/or communication difficulties. The art offers a bridge between their inner world and the outside world, free of the confines of meeting certain levels of cognitive functioning.

The main aim of our art therapy sessions is to enable positive growth, through engagement with the art materials and the therapist, in a safe and creative space. It has proven effective in reaching even the toughest of teens!

Read more about Art Therapy

There’s Always Hope

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