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Clinical Services

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy occurs at least twice weekly, or more often if indicated, with a master’s level or licensed clinician. Clinicians most often utilize a behavioral and cognitive behavioral approach. Emphasis is placed on teaching the child/adolescent age appropriate coping skills and then in assisting the adolescent in applying the skills learned, first in the milieu environment, and then in the community during facility sponsored outings and ultimately transitional passes with family members. All therapeutic approaches are geared toward assisting the child/adolescent to function in a less restrictive environment. For children presenting with past trauma, the evidenced based treatment modality of Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is most often utilized. We also offer family therapy and other programming to involve family members.

Group Therapy

Licensed or master’s level primary clinicians facilitate twice weekly process groups with their individual caseloads. Clinicians utilize a number of different formats, each providing a mechanism for feedback, support, guidance, insight and the development of socially appropriate behavior. Clinicians focus on assisting the residents to share issues and feelings that relate back to their individualized treatment plans. Self-esteem, stress management, anger management, coping skills and conflict resolution are also taught.

In addition to twice weekly process groups, each resident is provided with additional groups, which are specific to their primary presenting problems. Additional groups include:

  • Anger Management
  • Trauma
  • Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Creative Therapy
  • Boundaries group for adolescents who are sexually reactive

Independent Living Skills Training

SandyPines utilizes a standard curriculum developed by Daniel Memorial titled “Moving Out and Making It,” as a guide in facilitating independent living skills training. This service is provided to all individuals whose estimated length of stay exceeds 60 days. The curriculum educates the residents (13 and older for children in the custody of the State and 16 and older for children in the custody of their parent/guardian) on such topics as emergency and safety skills, education planning, job seeking skills, job maintenance skills, legal awareness skills, personal appearance, money management, food management, transportation, health, community skills and housing. The independent living skills facilitator also brings real life experience to the classroom by inviting guest speakers from various disciplines in the work force to address the group, provide education on careers and facilitate “mock interviews” in the child’s chosen area of interest.

Animal Assisted Therapy

The research on the benefits of utilizing AAT in the healing of medical conditions has recently begun to extend to include the benefits to adolescents with mental health issues. Specific areas where research on the positive effects of AAT is emerging include: Reactive Attachment Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depressive Disorder, Anxiety, Sexual Trauma Survivors, Aggressive Behavior, and Self Injurious Behavior. The animals have a soothing effect on residents, stimulating them to express emotion. Gulf Coast Treatment Center partners with a private provider for this service. A provider comes to the facility on a weekly basis with trained animals to work with our residents and provide play and comfort.

Substance Abuse

All residents age 17 and older are assessed with the SASSI assessment tool. Treatment is facilitated for those residents who are dually diagnosed, as Evidence Based research indicates improved outcomes for integrated treatment. Treatment focuses on the stages of change, origins and triggers for use, and relapse prevention planning. Gulf Coast Treatment Center utilizes the Stages of Change Model developed by Prochaska and DiClemente in assessing and starting “where the resident is,” in reference to their feelings regarding their use. We also employ motivational interviewing techniques, which is an evidenced based model. Therapy modalities utilized include education/prevention, and cognitive behavioral therapy with incorporation of the Seven Challenges curriculum. This therapy would be in addition to individual/family therapy with the residents’ assigned primary therapist. 

Activities Therapy

The activities staff provides a variety of therapeutic activities and experiences to all residents. These experiences are age appropriate and may range from project groups and physical activity groups to more process oriented groups. In these groups, the resident is given the opportunity to explore their interests, talents, and sense of self. They learn a wide range of interpersonal and social skills. The resident is allowed to express their feelings through a variety of artistic, creative, and expressive activities in a supportive and safe environment. As we believe activity is an integral part of normal living and the agent through which human beings learn and grow – activity groups require involvement thus teaching a sense of self as a contributing participant.

Behavioral Analysis

Gulf Coast Treatment Center contracts with a Certified Behavior Analyst (CBA) who works with the staff and residents in affecting positive behavior change for all our residents. The CBA may also provide individualized services for any resident referred by our treatment team due to a lack of overall progress in the program. The CBA may also work in partnership with the resident’s assigned primary therapist in assisting the family to develop a behavioral program for use in the home environment upon discharge from the facility.