Minnesota Girls Academy

Our Therapeutic Program

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Our Therapeutic Program is founded on evidence-based therapeutic interventions, using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to address specific treatment issues (such as depression, anxiety, avoidance behaviors, self esteem, and more).

Each girl is provided an Individualized Treatment Plan, designed for her unique needs with input from the resident as well as her parents/guardians and previous therapists. The plan is reviewed on a monthly basis at Interdisciplinary Treatment Team (ITT) meetings with the resident and others who are involved in the resident’s welfare.

Every resident will not only have an individual therapist (masters level clinician) but also an individual counselor (Youth Counselor) assigned to them.

Treatment Stages

The therapeutic milieu is designed to create a supportive community that reinforces what is occurring in therapy. Evidence is strong that progress is more meaningful and lasting when residents see that their actions have direct consequences, and when they are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves and others within the group.

It’s because of this that MGA uses levels and stages to mark a resident’s progress. Residents earn privileges as a direct result of the behaviors they display and their commitment to growth and recovery. Residents’ levels are determined on a day to day basis.

There are five (5) treatment stages that reflect a resident’s growth and development as she progresses in her treatment program. Once a stage is reached, a resident cannot move back to a lower stage. Our position is that once a resident has obtained the knowledge, skills, and abilities to obtain a stage, she should be treated as someone who is capable of maintaining that level, even if she chooses not to make positive decisions or displays negative behaviors. In such a case, the resident will be provided consequences for the specific actions and her daily level will be adjusted to reflect her behaviors.

A Community For Growth 
and Healing

MGA provides residents with a home-like environment as they receive therapy. The staff to resident ratio is very small, which enables residents to get the individualized attention they need to grow and develop. Low-residency housing means that residents will not get “lost in the crowd” or be able to “slide under the radar.”

Recreational activities are part of the daily programming. Community involvement and the opportunities to “give back” are also part of the weekly program. Group therapy (masters level) is provided twice a week and group counseling is facilitated five times a week. There is weekly individual and family therapy.

MGA implements a daily schedule that involves purposeful programming. Every aspect of the program serves a function that promotes growth and development.

Our Therapeutic Milieu

The therapeutic milieu of MGA is built upon purposeful programming. Residents have a degree of free time, but most of the time is spent engaged in some sort of therapeutic activity (e.g., group, recreation, education, life skills). Staff participate with the residents. Throughout the day, there are transitional meetings during which expectations are established and questions are answered. If a resident engages in negative behavior, she is addressed by staff. If it rises to the level of requiring a consequence, a staff member will met with that resident (away from her peer group) and conduct “follow up counseling.” During a follow-up, the situation is reviewed, a planned is developed on how the resident may handle a similar situation in the future, and the appropriate consequence is given.

The milieu also provides opportunities for positive consequences and recognition. Each week there are recognitions provided, including: Resident of the Week, Treatment Issue Vote, Performance Evaluation Privilege.

Treatment Stages / Level System

The level system (Red, Yellow, Green) is used as the immediate reflection of how a resident is functioning while the treatment stage is about the knowledge, skills, and abilities the resident has acquired over time. Privileges and responsibilities are tied to both. Program designed to reflect our residents’ current behaviors (level) and overall growth and development within their treatment program (stage). Levels can change on a day to day basis. Residents build upon their stages.

Religious Activities

Spiritual/religious opportunities in which different locations will be offered with varied affiliations and denominations. Every attempt will be made to fulfill specific requests. MGA will honor any resident / family’s religious affiliations and will modify the schedule to accommodate any special needs.

MGA Therapeutic Services include the following:

Recreational activities

Assist in the development of physical health, self efficacy, self esteem, social interactions, conflict resolution, development of new skills and interests

Group Therapy – Master Level

Twice a week

Therapies that are issue specific (e.g., anger management, family issues, trauma, loss & grief, etc).

Group Counseling

five times a week

Psychoeducational groups that address peer interactions, decision making, conflict resolution.

Individual Therapy – 
Master level

once a week

One to one therapy that addresses treatment issues / reasons for referral

Individual Counseling

once a week

Psychoeducational groups that address peer interactions, decision making, conflict resolution

Family Therapy – Master level

once a week

Family therapy offered face to face, teleconference, Skype – focus is on prior issues within the family structure and family growth and development

Therapeutic Milieu


Program structure and expectations to aid residents in the development of social skills, cooperation, independent living.

Educational Services


Participation in the MN on-line high school offered while a student is at MGA

Community Services / Involvement

once a week

Opportunities for residents to give back to others, develop interests, and expand their experiences

Please call 888-683-7007 for more information.

Find us

Minnesota Girls Academy
PO Box 74
Bricelyn, MN 56014
[email protected]


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