Blog

Summer Programming – Outpatient Mental Health Groups

Every day, there are families in our community struggling with their child’s mental health disorder or serious behavioral concerns. Although our society is more educated today about mental health issues than ever before, the stigma of having a diagnosis still exists. This stigma often keeps parents silent about their child’s struggles.

 

At the Achievement Center, our experienced staff provide support to children and families challenged with mental health concerns. We offer a variety of mental health services to help families build strong relationships and equip them with skills to better manage their child’s behaviors. Listening to each family’s concerns and helping them problem solve together, helps to create more open communication and builds a stronger foundation for their success.

Group therapy includes traditional opportunities for members to talk and share their experiences. Group therapy also includes interactive and engaging activities that require group members to practice new skills. Groups may use props, art materials, instruments and technology to help process and learn.

Each group therapy session is led by 1-2 facilitators, depending on group size. All facilitators are experienced therapists and most are licensed professional counselors. All staff who lead groups are encouraging facilitators, with special creativity, energy, and skills aimed at ensuring an effective progression of group process and individual progress.

This summer, we are introducing new groups for children facing various mental health related challenges. BrainWise and Interpersonal Effectiveness are the new offerings in addition to our previously offered group, Music Therapy.  We are excited to be offering such a variety of groups to support our local community and look forward to welcoming new faces! Below, you will find descriptions on each of the group offerings.

1) BrainWise –  Target Population: Children age 6-11 who need to learn social and emotional regulation skills, goal setting and decision-making skills, and managing impulsivity. Overview: It’s been used for mood disorders, ADHD, conduct/behavioral disorders, anxiety disorders, and even in prevention services. Certain behaviors are expected during different developmental stages of life. The BrainWise program recognizes how students think and works with (not against) the mental and emotional realities common in children. A key characteristic of the BrainWise program is that it centers on a teaching method that doesn’t tell students what to do, but instead asks questions that help them think about what should be done and why.

2) Interpersonal Effectiveness – Target Population: Children age 9-12 with an ASD diagnosis or a child without said diagnosis displaying social impairment. Overview: This group will explore communication skills and building appropriate relationships, as well as appropriate expression of feelings and emotions.

3) Music Therapy – Target Population: Children age 6-11 and children age 12 and up. Overview: Music Therapy is an evidenced-based, data-driven field that uses components of music to reach non-musical, clinical goals. It focuses on increasing appropriate emotional expression, identifying emotions accurately in others, and identifying emotional triggers to develop effective coping skills. This is often facilitated through interventions like active music-making, lyric analysis, songwriting, and music-guided relaxation techniques. Developing rapport with the therapists and group members is an essential component to an individual’s progress so consistent attendance is encouraged.

The group format allows for maximum benefit for its participants as both individual and interpersonal goals can be addressed simultaneously. By working together, group members not only improve symptoms and concerns associated with their diagnosis or struggles; they also learn to build trust with each other and to share their feelings and successes. The group process therefore builds self-esteem, social-connections, and hope for a better future.

For more information about the Achievement Center or to register for services, please call the Intake and Client Services Department at 814.459.2755.