Ashcreek Academy Increases Group Therapy Options to Bridge the Gap Between Home and Treatment
Over the last couple of months, Ashcreek Academy has been implementing several changes that are beneficial for the students and the families. Clinical Director Dave Archer, LMFT decided that it would be beneficial to split group therapy hours and have one in the morning and one in the afternoon to enable the boys have time to reset in order to be better able to focus and get more out of the group therapy options. “One of our main priorities at Ashcreek is the continual improvement of our clinical services and meeting the individual needs of our students. By making these shifts, we are providing our boys with a more rich clinical experience that allows them to engage in groups in a more meaningful way,” Dave said. Staff has found that the boys have become more engaged in the groups and they seem to get more out of them as well. In order to not be repeating what they address during one session, four groups are now offered Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. The four groups are Addictions, “Bridge-It”, Mind Over Mood, and Leadership.
The ‘Addictions’ group is not a typical substance abuse and addiction group. In this group, the therapists walk the boys through a variety of different possible addictions that they may have and the thinking processes that underlie them. The addiction could be to video games, pornography, or even exercise. The therapists use this group to help the boys understand how addictive thinking can be destructive and how to help themselves free themselves from, and avoid addiction.
The “Bridge-It” group was introduced by Executive Director Fotu Soliai, LCSW. This group focuses on helping the boys apply what they are learning at Ashcreek to their future lives at home. Ashcreek employees understand that clients’ success doesn’t end with the Academy, and in order for the boys to be truly successful when they leave, they need to be able to carry what they learn with them wherever they go. This group is designed to help the boys create lasting change in their lives by aiding them in thinking about how the changes they are making now can help them as they build and maintain relationships at home and in their future.
The ‘Mind Over Mood’ group is focused on helping the boys work through anxiety and depression. Therapists use a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach to help the boys understand the underlying thoughts and beliefs that drive their anxiety and depression and to give them the tools (skills) to do so. Ashcreek boys often get caught in their negative thought patterns that exacerbate their depressive and anxious moods. This group was created so that they can learn to walk themselves through what they are feeling and come out in control.
Finally, the ‘Leadership’ group has two main goals: help the boys get into a positive mindset heading into the weekend, and teach them the basic principles behind leadership and responsibility. “Leadership,” therapists employ positive psychology techniques to help the boys frame things in a more positive light. In this group they vote on the student of the week and the staff of the week, recognizing them with positive praise in the group. This encourages the boys to be good members of the community throughout the week, and in addition to that, the boys learn to become effective leaders and to take responsibility for their lives. Another goal of Ashcreek is to enable the boys to learn effective community living, and this group helps them understand how to do just that.
“We love the boys in our care and are determined to provide the best tools that we possibly can in order to set them up for success. We know that by employing these groups that we will do just that,” said Crete Gallagher, Admissions Counselor at Ashecreate Academy
Ashcreek Academy is a home-like residential treatment center that works with male students ages 13 – 18. Ashcreek Academy focuses on the three C’s: Character, Challenge, and Community. Ashcreek Academy is located in beautiful Southern Utah and helps provide trauma-informed care through experiential modalities. Ashcreek works with the student to rebuild relationships with family and friends while carving a path for success individually. It is licensed by the State of Utah and holds a Joint Commission accreditation. For more information, please call 1-435-841-0704