Our Supportive Environment
Our students come from a variety of backgrounds, and we work hard to ensure that we have a variety of supports in place to meet their needs. We believe that our students deserve an environment with clear expectations and open communication.
With treatment focusing heavily on DBT, each resident receives individual therapy from a licensed clinician at least once a week. During their stays, residents also participate in regular family therapy, and participate in group therapy daily.
Our students each work on their own goals, and it is also true that many of our residents are dealing with similar issues and benefit from learning the same skills and building on the same strengths. We focus heavily on decreasing life-threatening behaviors, improving self-esteem, reducing post-traumatic stress symptoms, engaging in respectful behavior, and fostering self-sufficiency.
We also make treatment innovative, and at times, fun! We offer incentives, and our staff models positive behavior to encourage our residents to work towards their goals. In addition to just feeling good about meeting their own goals, our residents can earn rewards such as “DBT Dollars” that they can use to purchase items in our DBT store and earn off-campus outings. Residents can also earn time in the Incentive Room where they can come and relax away from the units in the afternoons and evenings, spending time playing PS4 as a reward or just relaxing with their peers. Additionally, residents work hard to be selected as one of nine members of the DBT Honors program, a sought-after co-ed group of residents who gain extra privileges for being committed to their treatment.
While at our school, we prepare our residents for their return to the community and help them develop their independent living skills. Our occupational therapists and residential counselors routinely work with our adolescents on these skills throughout their stay. Students practice cooking skills, laundry, household chores, and more, and also learn budgeting and grocery shopping during outings in the community.
We also encourage our students to learn functional skills and responsibility through our work program or by volunteering and earning student service learning hours. Residents can apply for “jobs” such as recycling, car detail, maintenance, and more, and earn money to be used during community outings. We also have residents that volunteer at the Sheppard Pratt gift shop or off-campus at the local food bank. These residents must complete an application and interview and get “hired” for these jobs and volunteer roles.