New Haven employs a variety of therapeutic modalities – individual, group, family, talk, experiential, and even equine-assisted – to ensure the highest level of therapeutic traction possible with individual students and their families. Traditional talk therapy has its place, but at New Haven, we know that that place is in a system of relationship-based therapies that engage our students in a variety of ways.
Family therapy usually occurs over the phone, but parents are welcome to attend in person. New Haven therapists schedule ninety minutes of family therapy per family per week. These sessions provide the opportunity for families to work through sensitive issues together and to support each other, prevent relapse, and plan for returning home after treatment.
Each student receives a minimum of ninety minutes of individual therapy each week. The ninety minutes can occur in a single session or several sessions as needed.
Traditional group therapy is facilitated by master's-level therapists. Groups are held daily, Monday through Friday, in ninety-minute sessions. Each of our students participates in a general group, which consists of all members of the house the student resides in. Additionally, each student is assigned to three or four other specialty groups that specifically address her individual therapeutic needs. These specialty groups include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Body Image
- Emotional Regulation
- Equine Assisted Therapy
- Art Group
- Life Skills
Those with substance abuse issues also have the opportunity to attend New Haven sponsored and community-based Narcotics Anonymous and/or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings weekly in addition to our own recovery-focused specialty group.
The Experiential Therapy Department has three main areas of focus, which are: service, experiential therapy, and leisure education.
The girls are involved in service projects at least twice a month. Projects include Adopt a Grandparent at a local nursing home, House of Hope (a service for abused women and children), the Humanitarian Center, Camp Kostopolus (a camp for handicapped children), and other local organizations. Service projects like these provide the girls an opportunity to focus on something outside of themselves; doing so improves their own lives and the lives of others.
Licensed recreational therapists and certified ropes course facilitators run New Haven's experiential therapy groups. Experiential therapy uses activity-based experiences to teach life skills in areas such as relationships, communication, teamwork, self-esteem, self-awareness, accountability, and responsibility. Involving students and families in challenging and unpredictable tasks helps them think in new ways about old problems, identify what needs to be changed in their lives and relationships, and take the decisive steps to achieve more happiness and success in life.
Experiential therapy is held at least four times a week in ninety-minute sessions. New Haven is equipped with both low and high-task ropes courses for families and girls to enjoy. In addition to our ropes courses we use a wide variety of therapeutic play activities, including sand tray therapy. We dedicate two Saturdays each month to "long day" experiential activities for our students in recovery (12-hour excursions which include off-campus service projects and other activities).
Leisure education helps our students discover healthy ways to have fun – an important competency for girls who may have struggled in the past with destructive or unhealthy leisure activities. Our girls participate in community events, snowshoeing, hiking, crafts, and other fun activities in our leisure therapy program once a week. Experiences like these teach students how to fill their free time in positive ways.