A life worth living. This is what we all want for ourselves, for our own children and others special in our life.
The youth served at Parmadale are no different: they, too, want a life worth living. However, due to mental health, emotional, chemical addition, and behavioral challenges, these youth often become extremely unsafe as they struggle to meet the daily expectations of family, school, and community life.
Parmadale's specially trained mental health professionals utilize evidence-based best-practice models and methods of treatment to enhance the overall placement experience for youth, and to improve their chances at a life worth living. These best practice models address the youth’s need to regulate their emotions, enhance the involvement and treatment with the families of the youth, enhance skills to prepare the youth for community living, prepare and provide recovery from past trauma, and for those youth who have sought refuge or comfort in substance use, address issues related to substance abuse or dependency.
The STEPS Toward a Life Worth Living© model is a pathfinding series of best-practice therapeutic interventions and methods designed to impact several crucial aspects of the client’s life.
The STEPS Toward a Life Worth Living© include:
Skills Development focuses on assisting the youth in learning, practicing, using and maintaining life and coping skills that are directly connected to their treatment goals. The skills training component covers needs identified by the youth’s treatment plan, including skills to assist in regulating emotions and reducing stress, social and anger management skills, basic personal care skills, and independent living skills for older youth who are moving toward independence.
These skills may be taught and practiced both in individual and group counseling sessions by our therapists or child and youth care professionals. The skills are then practiced in the residential setting. Child and youth care professionals coach the youth in moving from practice to daily use, providing support and positive praise for the use of skills in multiple settings during the day.
The skills each youth gains are part of their own “steps to success.” Information on those skills and how to support their child in using them is provided to the youth’s family or caregiver support group, creating an important linkage to assist youth and caregivers in preparing the youth to move back into the community, and continuing to support their success once they are there.
Trauma Recovery: Trauma recovery is a central tenet of the treatment array offered to youth placed at Parmadale. As youth progress through treatment and develop the ability to self-regulate and utilize the necessary skills to manage distressful thoughts and feelings, they will take part in Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), a strength-based, structured treatment intervention to assist in the process of recovery from trauma. TF-CBT is an exposure-based treatment specifically designed for youth and families with complex trauma histories. Families are seen as a support and are encouraged to participate in the client’s healing. The goal of bringing meaning and understanding of their trauma events to the youth enables the youth to break away from the harmful thoughts, feelings and beliefs connected to the trauma and trauma reminders, toward the goal that we all share as human beings: to achieve a life worth living.
Emotional Regulation: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral therapy which focuses on thoughts (cognitive), feelings (emotional regulation) and behavioral interventions to assist a person in achieving emotional regulation. Developed by Marsha Linehan, DBT is a best-practice method shown by research to help individuals safely manage their emotions, avoid interpersonal conflicts, and deal with distress. DBT treatment has been used with individuals who struggle with many behavioral health needs including self-injury, suicidal thoughts, eating problems, substance abuse, and aggression. DBT is focused on developing mindfulness, interpersonal skills, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance. Parmadale is a recognized provider of DBT and supervisory therapists have received intensive advanced training in the model.
Partnering with Family/ Caregivers (Family): We recognize the vital importance of the bond between youth and their families; the connection is strong. Family reunification and preservation are the ultimate goal of our services. Family and client perspectives are intentionally elicited and prioritized during all phases of the treatment process. This process identifies, builds on, and enhances the strengths, knowledge, experience, and assets of the youth and family, their community, and the treatment team members. Families learn along with their child strategies for coping, managing emotions, and support needed due to significant trauma. The family is encouraged to participate in multi-family groups that provide support and help family members gain a greater understanding of DBT and other therapeutic interventions being used with their child.
Substance Abuse/ Dependency: Absent knowledge of better alternatives, drugs and alcohol may be sought out by youth in an effort to provide relief, comfort, or escape. Substance use may also have afflicted other family members, leaving a template that the youth copy for themselves to manage the stressors of life. At placement, clinical staff assess the youth to identify whether they are at risk for or already have a history of substance abuse, and can benefit from treatment for substance use problems. The treatment program offered to substance abusing teens is a cognitive behavioral treatment based on the Hazeldon Curriculum, a best-practice intervention.
"Sometimes we need steps, a path, and the hand of an elder to rebuild a lost future..."