BCH: Our Approach to Counseling Teens in Our Care
Our goal at BCH Residential Care is to help each child learn how to develop their character. Each child is different and therefore we attempt to reach each child in different or multiple ways. Part of the rejuvenation of young people is participating in various forms of counseling from trained professionals, in a relaxed setting.
Our treatment model places cottage life at the center of our counseling approach. By placing residents with a Christian house-parent couple and cottage-mates of 8 or less, they receive special attention. The job of an adolescent is to learn what reality (the real world) expects of them. Often moving from a chaotic or confusing environment into the structure of a point-based behavior modification system monitored by the house-parents greatly helps the adolescent to understand what is expected of him or her. Though the house-parents develop a personal caring relationship with adolescents placed in their cottage, they are an essential part of our team treatment approach. This team approach helps house-parents to remain emotionally disengaged and objective enough to help the residents step back and examine areas that might need adjustment (i.e. communication, anger management, mood stabilization, academic problems). Objectivity, rather than reacting out of anger, guilt, and/or personal stress helps adults to discipline and teach adolescents more effectively. Our goal for our residents is that they learn to discipline themselves in order that their energy can be channeled into building character rather than learning to give into their natural tendency to give up.
Assisting house-parents in the care of residents are our clinical staff. Our Master’s level clinicians provide individual, family and group counseling to residents and their families. Counselors provide treatment depending on the specialized needs of the adolescent and their family. By helping family members in five areas (i.e. behavioral, social, mental, emotional, and spiritual), they are empowered to become a more effective family unit and in most cases to be reconciled to each other.
The counselors establish individualized treatment goals for families using crisis management techniques, parent skills training, conflict management skills training and effective communication skills training. For some residents, the counselors work with child psychiatrists to treat mood, behavior, and academic issues though medication management.
Change of Environment
In many ways attending public school in a small town is a treatment modality in and of itself. Adolescents in residential care in Carmi experience high school and middle school in a home-town environment that often does not offer the distractions many urban schools typically do to troubled teens. Creating a positive relationship with school authorities combined with achieving academic success for the first time in their lives is sometimes the most beneficial treatment for adolescents in care at BCH.