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June 23, 2016

Treatment Philosophy

therapeutic boarding schoolMGA’s treatment philosophy is built into everything we do. The program is designed to provide daily opportunities for growth and change through the implementation of purposeful programming. All staff members who have direct contact with our residents receive specific training in appropriately recognizing and responding to certain behaviors. External boundaries and limits are imposed until the resident internalizes them and is able to demonstrate the skills necessary to function on a more independent level.

Change occurs through courage and perseverance. Every day residents are provided the opportunities to make decisions that impact them both in the short term and long run. Through continuous feedback, the residents learn from both their successes and shortcomings. Staff provide therapeutic interventions and an environment that promote safety and support the learning process.

Level System

Resident’s levels are determined on a day to day basis based upon behaviors displayed. The following levels are used:

  • Red
    • The resident is not following the basic expectations of the program and/ or the resident has engaged in multiple infractions
    • May participate in house activities (except for those activities that are part of the overall program schedule, e.g., unconditional rec, weekly outing)
    • Bedtime is 9:30 pm
    • No access to personal food or snack
    • May not spend personal money
    • No TV / movies after dinner
  • Yellow
    • The resident is meeting basic expectations, there may be minor infractions which are addressed through specific consequences to that behavior
    • Eligible for on grounds activities (after Green Level selection)
    • Bedtime is 10:00 pm
    • May have personal food or snack
    • May spend personal money
  • Green
    • the resident is exceeding basic expectations, going above and beyond the standards
    • First pick of activities (in house, on campus, and off grounds – following higher stage and level residents)
    • Bedtime is 10:30 pm
    • May have personal food or snack

MGA has five (5) treatment stages that reflect a resident’s growth and develop as she progresses in her treatment program.

Once a stage is obtained, a resident cannot move back to a lower stage. It is felt that once the resident has obtained the knowledge, skills, and abilities to obtain a stage, while she may choose not to make positive decisions or may display negative behaviors, the acquired knowledge, skills, and abilities continues to exist. The resident would be consequenced for the specific actions and her color level would be adjusted to reflect her behaviors.

Each Treatment Stage has five (5) sub-areas which are: Social, Emotional, Physical/Environment, Academic, and Treatment Specific to the individual (which may also fall in one or more of the other categories).

In order to advance in the Treatment Stages, the resident must petition each time to both peers and staff. The resident is encouraged to discuss this step with her primary therapist and individual counselor prior to completing. Petitions are presented during Progress Group. The resident is to speak to her progress in the identified 5 sub-areas (Social, Emotional, Physical/Environment, Academic, and Treatment Specific). The process of petitioning provides residents with a learning experience on how to express themselves in a group setting and encourages them to focus on the progress they have made and the next steps they should take. It also affords residents the opportunity to learn how to give constructive feedback.

Stage I = Orientation

A period of adjusting to the new program and staff. Usually lasts two weeks.

Weekly allowance = $3

  • Social
    • Learn the names of staff
    • Learn the names of peers
    • Remain either with a staff member or a Peer Mentor (except when changing, in bedroom, or using the bathroom)
    • Commitment areas are in common areas
    • Contact parents / caregivers (unless otherwise indicated) / Set up Approved Contact List
  • Emotional
    • Express thoughts and feelings about admission into program
    • Identify emotional struggles
  • Physical / Environment
    • Learn the program rules and expectations
    • Complete the resident Inventory Log
    • Set up bedroom
    • Attend program activities
    • Complete daily hygiene
  • Academic
    • Cooperate with academic testing
    • Attend school as scheduled
    • Learn classroom expectations
    • Learn educators’ names
  • Treatment
    • Meet with your primary therapist
    • Meet with assigned individual counselor
    • Cooperate with admissions assessments
    • Review Handbook, including Resident Rights
    • Assist in the development of the Initial Treatment Plan
    • Attend group sessions

Stage II = Familiarization

The period of developing trust and forming relationships.

Weekly allowance = $3

  • Social
    • Demonstrate positive peer interactions with limited infractions
    • Demonstrate positive adult interactions with limited infractions
    • May make commitment area in bedroom
    • Maintain contact with parents / caregivers (unless otherwise indicated) – possible addition of more family members
    • Provide feedback to peers
    • Participate in Kids Give Back
  • Emotional
    • Able to identify and express thoughts and feelings
    • Can identify positive coping skills
    • Refrain from using inappropriate language / tones for self expression
    • Connect thoughts with feelings
    • Learn use of “I” statements
  • Physical / Environment
    • Complete chores as assigned
    • Assist with GI
    • Assist with lunch / dinner preparation
    • Demonstrate respect for environment
    • Attend unconditional recreational activities
  • Academic
    • Attend school as scheduled
    • Adhere to classroom expectations
    • Follow homework expectations
    • Demonstrate respect for educators and other residents
  • Treatment
    • Meet with primary therapist as scheduled
    • Meet with assigned individual counselor
    • Assist in formulation of Master Treatment Plan and Treatment Plan Reviews
    • Attend ITT meetings as scheduled

Stage III = Association

A period of time when the resident is fully adjusted and demonstrating some growth on her identified treatment issues.

Weekly allowance = $5

  • Social
    • Demonstrate positive social interactions with minor issues
    • Consistently demonstrate positive community behaviors
    • Maintain consistent contact with parents / caregivers (unless otherwise indicated) – possible addition of more extended family members
    • Provide feedback to peers
    • Assist with plans for Kids Give Back and participate
  • Emotional
    • Demonstrate the ability to appropriately manage emotions
    • Consistently use “I” statements to express self
    • Role model for peers identification of emotions
  • Physical
    • Complete chores as assigned
    • Assist with GI
    • Assist with lunch / dinner preparation
    • Demonstrate respect for environment
    • Actively participate in unconditional recreational activities
  • Academic
    • Attend school as scheduled
    • Adhere to classroom expectations
    • Follow homework expectations
    • Demonstrate respect for educators and other residents
  • Treatment
    • Meet with primary therapist as scheduled
    • Meet with assigned individual counselor
    • Assist in formulation of Master Treatment Plan and Treatment Plan Review
    • Participate in ITT meetings as scheduled
    • Participate in group sessions

Stage IV = Reintroduction

A period of time when the resident has shown a significant degree of progress in some of the identified treatment areas.

Weekly allowance = $7

Phone call time increased to 20 minutes

  • Social
    • Maintain consistent contact with parents / caregivers (unless otherwise indicated) – possible addition of more extended family members
    • Serve as a Peer Mentor
    • Can participate in Academy Counsel
    • Plan a Kids Give Back activity
  • Emotional
    • Effective use “I” statements
    • Demonstrate effective emotional regulation
  • Physical
    • Complete chores as assigned
    • Assist with GI
    • Assist with lunch / dinner preparation
    • Demonstrate respect for environment
    • Identify an improvement project for the campus and assist in implementation
  • Academic
    • Actively engage in academic studies
    • Continued demonstrated respect for educators and other residents
    • Eligible for on-grounds employment
  • Treatment
    • Meet with primary therapist as scheduled
    • Meet with assigned individual counselor
    • Assist in formulation of Master Treatment Plan and Treatment Plan Review
    • Participate in ITT meetings as scheduled
    • Begin exploration of discharge needs

Stage V = Integration

A period of time when the resident is approaching discharge from the program. She has demonstrated significant progress is most identified areas and is ready to transfer her learning to new environments.

Weekly allowance = $10

Phone call time increased to 25 minutes

  • Social
    • Maintain consistent contact with parents / caregivers (unless otherwise indicated) – possible addition of more extended family members and approved friends
    • Serve as a Peer Mentor
    • Conduct Peer Mediation when requested
    • Serve as a member of the Academy Counsel
    • Assist in facilitation of peer groups
    • Access to personal cell phone (with parental /guardian permission)
  • Emotional
    • Effective use “I” statements
    • Demonstrate effective emotional regulation
  • Physical
    • Complete chores as assigned
    • Assist with GI
    • Assist with lunch / dinner preparation
    • Demonstrate respect for environment
    • Identify an improvement project for the campus and facilitate the implementation
    • Assist in the planning of unconditional recreational activities
  • Academic
    • Continue with academic pursuits
    • Continued demonstrated respect for educators and other residents
    • Eligible for off grounds employment
  • Treatment
    • Meet with primary therapist as scheduled
    • Meet with assigned individual counselor
    • Assist in formulation of Master Treatment Plan and Treatment Plan Review
    • Participate in ITT meetings as scheduled
    • Identify continued needs post discharge