The Adolescent Day Program provides a safe therapeutic milieu in which the adolescent and family will learn to better understand one another and their particular situations, and move toward their goals. Key features of the milieu are:
- a distinct, contained physical facility in which most activities occur
- clearly defined roles, responsibilities and expectations for all participants
- opportunity for safe self-expression
- structured activities
- individual, family and group support
- decision-making governed by respect for individual needs and feelings
Parents are a key component of the treatment process. Treatment focuses on enhancing individual strengths in relationships, self care and management, and goal attainment. Medication is prescribed and monitored by the psychiatrist as necessary to enhance treatment and only with the parent’s approval.
The Adolescent Day Program works with the adolescent and family toward the following goals:
- improve the mental health of the adolescent
- improve the parent’s knowledge and understanding of the adolescent, and their relationship with the adolescent
- improve the adolescent’s ability to function at home and in the community
- improve family functioning
Each adolescent and family establishes personal treatment goals which fit with the program goals. Individualized treatment plans are developed on the basis of their goals. The following are among the treatment opportunities offered:
Large Group Psychotherapy:
Adolescent development occurs within a peer group context. Group psychotherapy frequently is the treatment of choice for adolescents with mental health disorders. In the group venue the adolescents learn to express themselves and interact with others in a constructive way. The group therapists create and maintain a therapeutic milieu within which therapeutic factors can be active.
Multiple Family Therapy (MFT) Group:
All adolescents and parents are required to attend the family therapy group. Facilitated by the clinicians, the group is an opportunity for families to support and learn from one another. The group experience contributes to achieving individual and family goals as well as reducing the sense of isolation, developing a sense of community, and instilling hope.
Individual Family Therapy:
Individual family therapy sessions are scheduled according to the treatment plans. Families review their goals, evaluate their progress and have an opportunity to address issues not addressed in the multiple family therapy group.
Small Group Therapy:
This is a small group of 6-7 adolescents which meets weekly. Each adolescent sets therapy and academic goals and receives feedback on their progress from their peers, therapists and teachers. Short-term goals set in this small group help the adolescent to progress toward the discharge goals.
This small group consists of modules on such topics as human sexuality, gender issues, alcohol and drug awareness, etc.
Personal Development Group:
This small group may include any of the following topics/issues depending on the group needs: anger management, stress management, self-esteem, communication, and problem solving.
Multiple Purpose Group:
This weekly small group consists of a variety of different group activities, flexible to the needs of the group. It may involve recreational activities, arts and crafts, or social skills development.
Experiential Learning Group:
This weekly small group is planned and implemented by the Adolescent Day Program teachers. The focus is on development of life skills and involves such topics as resume writing, budgeting, cooking, etc.