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July 6, 2016

The Therapeutic Program of MGA

shutterstock_312038426MGA implements evidence based therapeutic interventions using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to address specific treatment issues (ex: depression, anxiety, avoidance behaviors, self esteem, etc.).

Each girl is provided an Individualized Treatment Plan designed specifically based upon her needs, with input from the resident and from her parents/guardians and previous therapists. The plan is reviewed on a monthly basis at Interdisciplinary Treatment Team (ITT) meetings with the resident and other involved people invited to participate and give input.

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

The therapeutic milieu is designed to support what is occurring in therapy. MGA implements levels and stages. Residents’ privileges are directly related to the behaviors they display. Residents who demonstrate investment in their treatment programs and the willingness to grow and develop earn more responsibilities and privileges. Residents’ levels are determined on a day to day basis based upon behaviors displayed.

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 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 provided consequences for the specific actions and her daily level would be adjusted to reflect her behaviors.

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. Residents will not get “lost in the crowd” or be able to “slide under the radar” because numbers are kept low in the houses.

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.

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
One to one counseling with a focus on relationship building, communication patterns, self expression

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

Educational Services – daily
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

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.