A full range of psychiatric and psychological services, including testing and assessments are available on campus. Each student receives a Diagnostic Psychiatric Evaluation and medications if they are needed. Most of our therapists are trained in EMDR, a psychological therapy to speed recovery from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, as well as in individual and family therapy modalities.
In addition, Mingus offers a variety of groups that address the specific needs of each student:
Anger Management Group meets weekly to address the need of students to develop the ability to handle conflict and provocation more effectively in socially acceptable ways. It is understood that anger may be related to deeper issues of unmet childhood needs and family problems, but the group focuses on learning practical methods of self-control through cognitive restructuring (e.g., questioning beliefs, self-talk “reminders”), relaxation training, imagination rehearsal, and assertiveness. Anger control logs are used to help identify anger patterns and triggers. Role-play in group and “homework” of practicing in the treatment milieu add to the learning process for students, supporting the internalization of the skills that are taught. Health and emotional costs of anger along with benefits such as increased personal power are considered. The last four weeks of this 16 week group involves discussions of the book Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls.
Voices: A Program of Self-Discovery and Empowerment for Girls was developed by Stephanie S. Covington, PhD, LCSW, co-director of the Institute for Relational Development and the Center for Gender and Justice, to address the unique needs of adolescent girls and young women between the ages of twelve and eighteen. The program model uses a trauma-informed, strength-based approach that helps girls to identify and apply their power and voices as individuals and as a group. The focus is on issues that are important in the lives of adolescent girls, from looking at oneself and how you connect with others, to exploring healthy living and the journey ahead. Given the pervasive impact of abuse and substance use in many girls’ lives, these themes are woven throughout the sessions. Voices encourages girls to seek and discover their “true selves” by giving them a safe space, encouragement, structure, and support to embrace their important journey of self-discovery. In addition, skill building in the areas of communication, refusal skills, anger management, stress management, and decision making is integrated across program topics.
Beyond Trauma: A Healing Journey for Women is an integrated curriculum for women’s services based on theory, research, and clinical experience. While the materials are designed for trauma treatment, the connection between trauma and substance abuse in women’s lives is a theme throughout. The program has been developed for use in residential and outpatient treatment settings, domestic violence programs, mental health clinics, and criminal justice settings. Beyond Trauma has a psychoeducational component that teaches women what trauma is, its process, and its impact on both the inner self (thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values) and the outer self (behavior and relationships, including parenting). The major emphasis is on coping skills with specific exercises for developing emotional wellness.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Group meets once a week to offer students instruction in the skills developed by Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D. Although DBT was developed for persons suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, the skills have been invaluable for many of our students who struggle with emotional regulation. Students keep track of the skills they use throughout the week by means of a “diary card” and share their efforts in the first half of the group. The students then give each other feedback and offer either congratulations for successful efforts or suggestions for improvement when warranted. During the second half of the group students are introduced to and role-play a new skill. The skills are broken down into four main categories: mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and emotional regulation.
Equine Therapy gives our young women another avenue to work through their struggles and the ability to form a relationship with another living being that will not judge them, but will love them unconditionally. For some students, traditional therapy is a struggle; this group gives them another way to work through their therapeutic goals and achieve the same outcome. Various activities with the horses are done as they work toward building their own obstacle course that they will take their horse through near the end of the 10 weeks. These obstacles will represent their various obstacles and temptations in life, and they will discuss ways to work through them as they work through the course. This group is designed to work on various treatment issues such as aggression, assertiveness, boundaries, teamwork, communication, self confidence, addiction, trauma, and recovery.