All Kinds of News for February 05, 2020
Onward Transitions for emerging adults in Portland, Maine and its eight, full-time staff members completed a series of specialized training over the past three months. Chief Clinician Darrell Fraize, M.Ed, LCPC,LADC reported that Onward’s full staff wrapped up a 10-hour training series on the use of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Matrix, a comprehensive visual instrument for illustrating ACT’s deeper processes with Dr. Kevin Polk, of the Psychological Flexibility Group and the originator of the Matrix. Fraize stated that the program’s three milieu coordinators completed a full-day training on “Next Level Executive Function Strategies” with Dr. Nicole Quint of Nova Southeastern University, and then presented that learning to the rest of the staff during weekly in-service training over the course of the next two weeks. The full staff also came together for a live video presentation, with a question and answer session, on the use of Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) treatment with Dr. Jonathan Hoffman of the Neurobehavioral Institute in Weston, FL.
“These three areas were really important to our staff and to the service of our members,” Fraize stated. “Members have been able to use the matrix in their individual and group sessions to dig deeper into what’s working and what’s getting in the way of their goal attainment,” he added. “Breaking down executive functioning into different categories and then targeting those skill sets has been helpful for all of us, as has a heightened awareness of how to differentiate accommodations and reinforcement for those members who are managing OCD symptoms.” Fraize stated that Onward Transitions primarily treats emerging adults with mild to moderate anxiety, depression and executive functioning challenges, and that “this focus on outside training is in keeping with Onward’s philosophy of staff development growth, as well as the mission of the Northern New England Consortium (NNEC) to developing staff excellence through program collaboration.” (Onward Transitions is a founding member program of NNEC.)
According to Fraize, upcoming outside staff training for Onward Transitions includes a human resource workshop to help staff better educate members on employment laws, a SafeZone workshop for increased LGBTQ+ awareness and ally training, continuing education for therapists on helping members with intimacy in relationships, and participation in NNEC’s June staff development conference.
About Onward Transitions
Onward Transitions (OT) in Portland, ME is a small, independent, owner-operated program for bright, motivated, emerging adults in the final stages of learning to live on their own. OT supports actual sustainable independent living and autonomy from two city locations. Participants (members) ages 18-29 never live with us; they live in their own apartments, scattered throughout the city. Members' challenges include anxiety, depression and executive functioning.