When a child is brought into the Residential Treatment program at Cathedral Home for Children (CHC), after a thorough review prior to admission, our highly trained staff of counselors know there is a history of trauma with the child. Through programs offered at CHC, we are able to help guide the child in the right direction by restoring hope, strengthening relationships and building futures to foster success. One of the many ways CHC does this is by focusing on the child and their individual needs, identifying areas where growth is needed and therapeutic interventions that may benefit.
Within the first fourteen days of admission, our licensed counselors access the child to identify their individual needs. Through this initial assessment, the clinical treatment team works together to identify which therapeutic group offerings will be the most applicable to the youth and his or her treatment needs. There are over 8 different therapeutic groups the child can be placed in.
The therapeutic groups here at CHC include; Chemical Use/Abuse, Criminal Thinking, Independent Living Skills, Grief and Loss, Substance Abuse, Sexual Abuse Survivors, Emotional Expression, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Anger Management, Social Skills, and Healthy Relationships. To learn more about our therapeutic group offerings, visit our Clinical Therapy Offerings section of our website and click the link below.
There are numerous techniques that CHC uses to help the child understand therapy. Working with the child to re-define and understand the benefits of it is one of the first steps. It is also important for the child to feel comfortable with the idea by approaching the concept in a non-threatening way. Counselors and staff work with the children to understand how therapy can help them cope with what they have been through and to restore hope within themselves. With therapy being so important, CHC really focuses on meeting the child where they are at. In addition to therapeutic groups, the children at CHC are able to partake in additional therapy opportunities of their choice: art therapy, play therapy, experiential therapy and many others. This gives the child a sense of control in their ability to express themselves and helps them to learn healthy ways to process and understand their emotions.
Therapy groups meet once a week and with each group, it is imperative that the environment is one where the children feel safe and comfortable and encouraged to open up. To create this environment, before each therapy group session, the counselors establish group expectations. One primary expectation is that there are no judgements on what a child says or what a child has been through. If the child doesn’t feel safe they are not going to feel compelled to share how they feel with their peers.
Building relationships is at the core of what we do at CHC. The counselors work to build a positive relationship with the client by creating a stable environment, modeling positive behavior, a positive attitude and providing professional care and support. With such an imperative role, there are also many challenges that come with being a counselor in a residential treatment environment. Often times, youth whom have experienced extensive trauma struggle with effective communication and can often do or say things that can be hurtful to others. Rather than taking things personally, our licensed counselors are trained to empathize with the child and to encourage the child to do self-reflection on the causes of their actions. Overall they are there for the child, to create a positive environment and to give them the tools to build healthy relationships, in hopes of guiding them in the right direction.
At Cathedral Home for Children, we also believe that involving the family in the treatment process is an imperative component to the success of our clients. Family therapy, alongside individualized therapy, gives both the caregivers and the child the tools to succeed beyond the child’s stay at Cathedral Home. The first layer of hardship is living in separate environments. With this hardship, empathy from the counselors to the client and their family is essential to building a healthy relationship. Developing the communication skills they need to learn to create a positive relationship with their child can be challenging. The counselors really focus on being supportive by maintaining close communication with the parents and family. For the counselors it is building that relationship with the family and making sure they understand that they are there for them and their child.
There are so many aspects to Cathedral Home for Children that still have to be introduced in this blog. Stay tuned for our next blog coming in the next few weeks. Like always, remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the most up to date information about our organization.