Treatment Philosophy

Treatment Philosophy

TLC’s strength-based treatment philosophy of "Connections to Self, Others and Community" infuses the treatment within each residence. Adolescents participate in ongoing assessment of their strengths and needs and develop goals that focus on skill set areas that need improvement. Participation in the consistent and structured milieu setting offers residents the opportunity to develop positive coping skills, improve communication, and initiate community involvement. The average length of stay is 12-18 months depending on each individual’s treatment plan and discharge goals.

Therapeutic services include individual, family and group therapy provided by our Outpatient Mental Health Services or Extended Education Program. Psychiatric care is provided as often as clinically indicated. Many of our residents are enrolled at Journey High School, where in addition to an academic program, they participate in daily milieu and therapeutic groups and activities.

An important aspect of the TLC residential treatment program is a thorough assessment of the connections each adolescent has with their peers, family, and other caring adults in their lives. The development of core relational capacities is at the heart of this aspect of treatment. We emphasize community involvement through our apprenticeship and mentor program, community outings, volunteerism, and employment in local businesses so that each client can learn the skills necessary to navigate a successful return to their family, school, and community.

TLC promotes family involvement from the beginning of treatment by encouraging regular communication among family members and onsite visitation as early as the first week of residence. Participation in family therapy is an integral part of the reunification process where parents or guardians and their adolescents develop the necessary skill sets to prepare for home visits. As residents engage in our program and participate in family therapy, they earn community-based outings and home passes with their families. TLC provides independent living skills training, permanency planning, and guidance for adolescents who do not have family reunification opportunities.

Connections to Self, Others and Community

At TLC, we approach treatment by identifying the unique potential and strengths of each adolescent. This leads to the development of a strength-based treatment plan where adolescents participate in setting goals based on their individual interests and needs. We have created skill sets that strengthen each individual’s Connections to Self, Others, and Community.

"Connections to Self" begins with personal safety and self-respect. This lays the groundwork for adolescents to develop a healthy sense of identity, improve mood management and acquire positive coping skills. Connection to Self is the essential foundation to Connections to Others and Connections to Community.

The development of core relational capacities is at the heart of "Connections to Others". These capacities include empathy, trust, respect, and honesty. Adolescents are assisted in improving their communication and social skills in order to strengthen their ability to relate with others and develop lifelong connections.

Creating "Connections to Community" is an integral part of transitioning into adulthood. At TLC, we emphasize community involvement through community outings, volunteer opportunities, employment in local businesses and our apprenticeship and mentoring programs. Each adolescent is supported in learning the skills necessary to navigate a successful return to their family, school, and community.

We approach treatment by identifying the unique strengths, needs and interests of each adolescent. This leads to a strength-based treatment plan tailored to each adolescent’s needs and abilities within the three skill sets of the "Connections" philosophy. This individualized treatment is guided by our focus on permanency planning. We work extensively with families to repair relationships and reunify whenever possible. For adolescents without family reunification opportunities we provide independent living skills training to guide them toward successful emancipation into the community.

Connections to Self

Safety and Self-Respect: Personal safety includes decreasing self destructive behaviors such as cutting, suicidality, running away, and substance abuse. Self-respect begins with development of age-appropriate competencies such as daily hygiene and basic living skills.

Mood Management: Adolescents are assisted to accurately identify their moods, emotions and patterns. They are supported in identifying their core beliefs that sustain and affect their moods. Additional skills include: stress, anger, and mood management; decrease depression and anxiety; and develop impulse control.

Thinking/Cognition: Adolescents are supported in the development of accurate reality testing, accountability and flexible thinking. They are assisted in taking responsibility, goal setting, reframing and addressing self talk and thinking errors. .

Identity Work: Self-esteem, development of interests, strengths, beliefs, morals, values, self expression, cultural identity, gender and sexual identity, insight and reflection are all part assisting an adolescent to identify on their core values.

Independent Living Skills: Important daily living skills, such as cooking and cleaning, safety in the community, maintaining medicinal regimen, goal setting, fiscal responsibility and healthy independence, are part of a resident’s program.

Positive Coping Skills: The development of positive coping skills help replace negative behaviors. Humor, music, taking space, exercise, meditation, expressing emotions appropriately, art-making, spirituality, reading, dancing, relaxation, play, being outdoors are just some of those positive skills.

Substance Use: While TLC is not a drug and alcohol treatment facility, we do work with adolescents struggling with substance use who have underlying mood or thought disorders. We offer weekly individual, family and group therapy with one group per week focused on substance abuse. We transport residents to community-based AA and NA groups as needed.

Connections to Others

Core Relational Capacities: The development of relational capacities, such as attachment, trust, empathy, respect and honesty, is an ongoing goal of treatment.

Communication: Communication is a key component for an adolescent’s success with peers, adults and the community. We teach communication skills such as active listening, self-expression, non-violent communication and conflict resolution.

Social Skills: Adolescents are assisted in the development of appropriate physical and emotional boundaries, accurate assessment of positive and negative relationships, flexibility and tolerance and the ability to positively impact their social environment.

Lifelong Touchstones: Every adolescent needs caring adults that will remain in their life as they grow and develop into young men and women. This includes family (immediate and extended), adult mentors, teachers, peers, support groups, religious affiliation.

Connections to Community

School: Students develop capacity to attend school regularly, improve their academic achievement and meet individualized education goals. Students are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities.

Vocational/Volunteer: We support adolescents in the development of their personal interests, passions and skills. Teens are assisted in identifying realistic occupational opportunities, acquisition of meaningful employment, development of positive work habits and relationships and fiscal responsibility. We seek apprenticeships in the community for adolescents who have interests in a specific career or trade

Community: As teens begin to integrate into the community, the development of personal empowerment, a sense of belonging, and safe behaviors become an important aspect of treatment. Adolescents are taught how to use public transportation, how to budget money and how to make positive connections in their community at large.