Group therapy is a powerful tool for growth and change. In process groups, 5-10 individuals meet face to face to share their struggles and concerns with 1-2 trained group facilitators.

  • Process Group:

    The power of process groups lies in the unique opportunity to receive multiple perspectives, support, encouragement and feedback from other individuals in safe and confidential environment. These interpersonal interactions can provide group members an opportunity to deepen their level of self-awareness and to learn how they relate to others.

    Process groups are typically unstructured. There isn’t a specific topic for each group session, but some of the groups may be focused on a particular theme or the group may be target to specific group of individuals. Residents are welcome to bring any issues to the group that they feel are important and the primary focus of therapy in the group is on the interactions among group members. Residents are encouraged to give support and feedback to others and to work with the reactions and responses that other members’ contributions bring up for them.

    Process Group is the time we set aside to take responsibility for the problems we have shown since the last group and to help a group member(s) resolve their problems.

  • Phase Work:

    Is an opportunity for the teens to spend time on treatment specific work: DBT topic sheets, action steps for their goals, treatment goal interventions, phase workbooks, journaling and/or phase applications. This is not a group activity. Phase work is done independently with staff support as needed.

  • Goals Group:

    Goals are about making behavioral changes that will help adolescents integrate back into the community. Goal’s Group: Each teen picks a milieu goal for the week. Goals must be positive, and something to do. This means goals should not be stated as “sally will not cuss…” An appropriate statement of a goal: “Sally will use positive language to express her feelings”

    Once a goal is chosen the resident must state:

    1. What the goal is.
    2. Why they have the goal, or how setting that goal will help them in their life.
    3. How they plan to work on the goal- give an example of a situation.
    4. How staff will know they are working on that goal.
    5. What will be different for them when they accomplish this goal.

  • Virtues Group:

    The Virtues Project represents a holistic approach and contains proven strategies for awakening virtues, the gifts within. Major components include the simple elements of character honored by all cultures and spiritual traditions 52 basic virtues, "The language of virtues" for drawing out the best in children, proven methods for creating a culture of character and reducing violence and powerful strategies to inspire excellence, respect, kindness, commitment and cooperation in all children. “Virtue of the week” is the same for everyone. Discussions are based on what the virtue means to each individual and how it could make a difference in their life, tips for transforming bully behavior, counseling tools that empower moral choices and one-minute counseling strategies.

  • Girls Circle:

    A structured support group that employs evidence-based principles of a strengths-based approach, motivational interviewing strategies and has a strong focus on positive youth development. The program integrates relational theory, resiliency practices and skills training. It is designed to set a safe, creative environment and provide weeks of age-appropriate themes and activities. Designed to increase positive connection, strengths and competence in girls. It aims to counteract social and interpersonal forces that impede girls’ growth and development by promoting an emotionally safe setting and structure within which girls can develop caring relationships and use authentic voices.

  • Boys Council:

    A strengths-based group approach to promote boys’ and young men’s safe and healthy passage through pre-teen and adolescent years. In this structured environment, boys and young men gain the vital opportunity to address masculine definitions and behaviors and build their capacities to find their innate value and create good lives - individually and collectively. The Council aims to promote boys’ natural strengths and to increase their options about being male in today’s world. The Council challenges myths about how to be a “real boy” or “real man”. It engages boys in activities, dialogue and self-expression to question stereotypical concepts and to increase boys’ emotional, social and cultural literacy by promoting valuable relationships with peers and adults.

  • Thinking For A Change (TFAC):

    TFAC is an integrated cognitive behavioral change program. It incorporates research from cognitive restructuring theory, social skills development and the learning and use of problem solving skills. TFAC is comprised of 25 lessons that build upon each other and contains appendices that can be used to craft an aftercare program to meet ongoing cognitive behavioral needs of your group. Not all lessons can be completed in one session, so a typical delivery cycle may take 30 sessions. Sessions should last between one and two hours. Ideally, the curriculum is delivered two times per week, with a minimum recommended dosage of once per week and a maximum of three times per week. Participants must be granted time to complete mandatory homework between each lesson.


    VOICES is an evidence based curriculum that addresses the unique needs of adolescent girls and young women ages 12 - 24 years old with substance abuse and/or trauma. The program includes modules on self, connecting with others, healthy living and the journey ahead. Also included are topics such as bullying, the pressures of social media, early puberty, gender exploration, human sex trafficking, binge drinking, texting, social media and online or “in real life” (IRL) friends.

  • Hot Topic:

    A group that addresses current social/development issues for the boys and girls. Residents are welcome to bring any issues to the group that they feel are important. The resident signs up to lead a group with an approved topic and prepares materials and activities throughout the week for the group. This is an opportunity for residents to learn and develop leadership skills, responsibility, communication skills, interpersonal skills, flexibility, accountability, problem solving, giving and receiving feedback and organizational skills.

  • Community Meeting:

    Is a chance to assemble and gather residents in the milieu after morning routine or once school is over. Staff provide a check in time with each resident and address personal needs such as phone calls, laundry and hygiene items. Additionally, time is spent on feedback from peers and staff on awareness of behaviors, skill of the day (a collective skill that residents attempt to demonstrate), positives of the day and any additional information residents and staff need to know. At this time, staff also provide the schedule for the day/evening and residents sign up for activities and groups such as LMA (Large Muscle Activity), PIG (Personal Interest Group) and recreation time. 

Treatment phases for our residents.

Northwest Children's Home (NCH) operates on a five-phase system that build on each other. Each individualized treatment plan is designed to meet and address the resident's emotional and developmental needs. Depending upon various factors including investment into the treatment program it may take longer for some residents to successfully complete the treatment.

Phase 1:

Stabilization & Goal Development

  • Develop treatment goals with therapist
  • Complete initial assessment with therapist
  • Participate in Master Treatment Plan Meeting with case manager and therapist
  • Learn about mindfulness and use one mindfulness skill daily for 7days
  • Learn and follow house expectations and milieu treatment plan, with staff support
  • Complete phase bookwork
  • Attend all aspects of treatment i.e. groups, school, daily routine 50%-80% with staff support
  • Fill out Phase 2 application, to be reviewed and taken to team by house therapist
  • Write letter expressing what phase you are applying for, and date your letter.

Phase 2:

Applying past to present(replacing abusive behaviors with healthier coping/exploring coping options)

  • Complete phase work assigned by therapist
  • Identify how your past affects you presently
  • Identify triggers to unhealthy behaviors
  • Use stabilization/mindfulness skills learned in phase one with staff cueing
  • Identify, and practice 2 DBT skills needed to move toward goals
  • Attend all aspects of treatment i.e. groups, school, daily routine 75%-90% with staff support.
  • Complete phase application, to be reviewed and accepted by therapist
  • Write dated letter expressing what phase you are applying for

Phase 3:

Understanding self and developing skills to manage self in stressful situations recognizing your abuse cycle and the effect it has on others.

  • Complete phase work assigned by therapist
  • Use stabilization/mindfulness/DBT skills learned in phase 1 and 2 with one verbal cue from staff.
  • Identify and use 2 new DBT skills needed to develop skill set
  • Attend 95% of treatment groups with minimal staff cueing
  • Resist negative peer influences
  • Complete phase application to be reviewed and accepted by therapist
  • Write dated letter for next phase as stated above

Phase 4:

Maintenance: Expresses feelings without violating the rights of others. Maintains appropriate boundaries. Generates options to interpersonal problems. Participates in all program expectations.

  • Complete phase work assigned by therapist
  • Consistently use skills learned in treatment without staff cueing to manage daily stressors.
  • Attend 100% of treatment groups with minimal staff cueing
  • Demonstrate positive coping skills throughout the day
  • 10 hrs. community service
  • Complete Phase application to be reviewed and accepted by therapist
  • Write dated letter for team, as stated above

Phase 5:

Maintenance: Expresses feelings without violating the rights of others. Maintains appropriate boundaries. Generates options to interpersonal problems. Participates in all program expectations.

  • Complete phase work assigned by therapist (to include creative presentation)
  • Maintain consistent demonstration of pro social coping
  • Complete 20 hrs. of community service
  • Develop and implement transition plan with treatment team

Therapy Modalities

Trauma Informed Care

Is an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. Trauma Informed Care also emphasizes physical, psychological and emotional safety for both consumers and providers, and helps survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Provides clients with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT skills specifically focus on helping those who wish to improve their ability to regulate emotions, tolerate distress and negative emotion, be mindful and present in the moment, and communicate and interact effectively with others.

Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI)

Is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Is directed at present-time issues and based on the idea that the way an individual thinks and feels affects the way he or she behaves. The focus is on problem solving, and the goal is to change clients' thought patterns in order to change their responses to difficult situations.

Attachment Based Therapy

Aims to build or rebuild a trusting, supportive relationship that will help prevent or treat mental health concerns. An attachment-based approach to therapy looks at the connection between a child’s early attachment experiences with primary caregivers and the child’s ability to develop normally and ultimately form healthy emotional and physical relationships as an adult.


Animal-Assisted therapy

Is a therapeutic intervention that incorporates animals, such as dogs and cats into treatment plans. It is used to enhance and complement the benefits of traditional therapy.

Strength-Based Therapy

Focuses on setting up a positive mindset that helps you build on your best qualities, find your strengths, improve resilience and change worldview to one that is more positive.

Play Therapy

Takes place in a safe, comfortable area, where very few rules or limits are imposed on the child, encouraging free expression and allowing the therapist to observe the child’s choices, decisions, and play style. The goal is to help children learn to express themselves in healthier ways, become more respectful and empathetic, and discover new and more positive ways to solve problems.

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