At the Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus, you and your family are always included in the treatment decisions we make to help you and your daughter. That’s because we know how important family is for girls who need specialized help, and our staff work around the clock to provide the best help to your daughter and you. Our Merck Center helps girls dealing with a wide variety of issues:
- Reactive attachment disorders
- Medically fragile, including girls with eating disorders, diabetes or asthma
- Clinical depression with suicidal ideation
- Alcohol or drug use
- Lack of success at less structured therapeutic schools.
Low student-to-staff ratios -- with one counselor or teacher for every three students – help ensure your daughter receives lots of one-on-one attention and that you have someone to talk to when you need information. Our clinicians have advanced training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an evidence-based treatment method that has been proven effective for adolescents with challenging, high-risk behaviors. In addition, many of our staff are specialized in such evidence-based treatment methods as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT).
Your daughter will also receive top medical care while at the Merck Center. Board-certified child psychiatrists are available five days per week. Our nursing staff are on-site seven days per week. A physician from Boston Children’s Hospital who specializes in adolescent medicine is available weekly and refers students to Children’s Hospital for other specialized medical care. In addition, a dentist provides treatment onsite monthly.
The Merck Center also provides short-term assessment and stabilization services.
Treatment at The Merck Center
At the Merck Center, our goal is to give you and your as much individual attention as possible. A master’s-level clinician will assist your daughter in settling into the program and navigating through the day-to-day treatment tasks and routines. Our therapist will conduct the weekly individual and group therapy along with bi-weekly family therapy. All of our clinical staff work closely together and in tandem with the consulting board-certified child psychiatrist who is an integral part of your daughter’s treatment team.
Therapy at the Merck Center is divided into individual therapy, family therapy and group therapy. Below you will find detailed information about each of these therapy types.
Individual therapy, provided by a master’s-level therapist, is highly goal-oriented and takes place on a weekly basis. All of our therapists are trained and certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and have additional areas of specialization, which include:
- Grief and loss
- Reactive attachment
- Substance abuse
- Non-verbal learning disabilities
- Our therapists provide additional help to girls who need extra clinical support, skill practice or crisis-skill coaching on an as-needed basis.
Group therapy is key in helping girls build positive relationships. Master’s-level clinicians conduct groups three times/week to assist girls in building the skills they need to successfully navigate day-to-day challenges, relationships and complexities of being an adolescent girl.
Psychoeducational groups focus on helping girls practice regulating their emotions, resolve conflict and manage their symptoms in addition to providing them with the chance to learn to develop healthy peer relationships. Psychoeducational groups cover topics based on the needs of individual girls and the entire group and include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Forms the basis of treatment
- Adoption: Explores issues related to being adopted and identity questions
- DBT-substance abuse: Provides education and assists girls in developing and utilizing active relapse prevention plans
- Treatment Issues: Explores high-risk behaviors to help girls identify and practice healthier alternative behaviors
- Community Meeting: Empowers girls to take ownership and work with others to positively impact their community
Family therapy is an integral part of the treatment the Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus provides to girls. Family Therapy is generally conducted by an independently licensed therapist on a weekly basis, unless you specify otherwise, and takes place either in person or via conference call, depending on your availability. This highly individualized type of therapy targets the unique goals you and your daughter set as a family. In addition to structured weekly phone calls with your daughter’s treatment coordinator, you will also have regular contact with her therapist.
You and your family may receive additional help through our monthly on-campus support group. This group provides family members with the chance to get together with the families of other girls in treatment at our campus, share skills, learn new skills and receive support from our staff and other families. Often, family support groups are followed by family dinner night, a great chance for families to connect over a shared meal.
Whenever clinically indicated, girls may go on home passes to spend the weekends with their families.