Mental Health Components
in Irvine, Yorba Linda CA, and Chatham, New Jersey
EVIDENCE BASED COMPONENTS
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Many of our verbal group therapies utilize a CBT psychotherapeutic approach to treatment. Children actively work in group sessions to identify and challenge distorted and irrational automatic beliefs and patterns of thinking that lead to negative feelings and self-destructive behaviors. CBT’s focuses on changing distorted thoughts and beliefs. CBT is applicable to a variety of symptoms and behaviors. CBT has excellent scientific data supporting its use in the treatment of emotional and behavioral disorders and is an evidence-based therapy.
2. Social Skills Training Curriculum
All SFCC programs offer a comprehensive social skills training curriculum incorporating the works of Arnold Goldstein (Skills Streaming Program) and Frank Gresham. Through social skills groups, children learn about verbal and nonverbal behaviors involved in social relating. Children give and receive feedback from peers and staff while participating in real life activities. Children learn to change their social behavior patterns through modeling, role-playing, and rehearsing newly learned behaviors in individual and group therapy sessions. Social skills trainings help improve one’s ability to function in everyday situations, improving self-esteem and increasing the likelihood of positive social interactions.
3. School Matters Groups
As many of the children in our programs receive special education services and have difficulties learning and mastering grade level academic work, children in both the Day and After School programs receive daily instruction in the areas of Organization, Time Management, and Study Skills. They have the opportunity to learn organization, complete school work, improve listening skills, and learn strategies for note taking and testing. Members learn about their learning style and individual needs, alleviating frustrations at home and at school and enhancing self esteem.
4. Sports and Cooperative Games
Games are conducted both onsite or at the field. Games are designed to build self-worth and positive social interaction through cooperation, acceptance, inclusion, and fun. Through cooperative games and sports, children learn how to play with, rather than against each other, and the focus is shifted from the outcome of a game to the experience of playing it.
5. Manners Matter Groups
Designed to teach cooperation, manners, and responsibility with the aim of instilling leadership and social competence. Children learn basic manners, how to manage conflict, and how to show kindness and consideration for others across a broad range of social settings.
6. Dialectical Behavioral Skills Training Groups (DBT)
Members learn skills in the areas of distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotional regulation, and interpersonal relating. Groups focus on improving one’s ability to handle distress without losing control and acting destructively.
7. Drama Therapy
Theatre techniques are used to facilitate personal growth and promote social skills, trust, impulse control, expression of emotion, and team work. Children work individually and in groups, role-playing new behaviors and receiving immediate feedback from peers and counselors.
8. Community Outings
Community field trips occur regularly in order to generalize the skills taught at SFCC. Our clients participate and explore a variety of settings. The goal of our community outings is to practice the skills learned at programs in a natural everyday environment so that clients can make transitions easily and adapt to new situations comfortably.
Our Yoga instructors teach children targeted yoga poses and madras designed to dissipate depression, awaken energy, and release joy. Yoga improves concentration and awareness while teaching relaxation and breathing techniques that foster competence and control. Yoga poses, additionally, challenge the imagination and improve strength and flexibility.
10. Martial Arts
Through martial arts, children improve focus, increase self-control and discipline, and increase self-esteem and self-awareness. Martial arts can also improve physical fitness and lead to a healthier lifestyle.
11. Nutritional Counseling/Cooking
The purpose of our nutritional program is to create a nutritional lifestyle, develop nutritional menus, follow healthy recipes, cook nutritional snacks and create appropriate diets. Our program includes identifying resources, curriculum, and educational materials that are necessary to promote healthy lifestyles and lifelong learning. Children work with a health professional to assess individual dietary needs and identify areas where change may be needed. Children receive information educational material and support, while participating in hands on nutritional exercises and activities in an effort to assist them make and maintain nutritional wellness.
12. Guided Imagery
Guided imagery is a program of directed thoughts and suggestions that channel your mind toward a relaxed, focused state. Guided imagery can be used as a coping skill and has been found to relieve emotional distress.
Meditation therapy calms the mind, reduces stress, and keeps children focused and in the present. Meditation therapy has been proved to relieve depression as well as nervous system (headaches) and digestive (Crohn’s disease, nausea) complaints.
14. Art Therapy
The creative process of art is used to improve and enhance physical, mental, and emotional well-being. We believe that the creative processes involved in artistic self-expression helps children resolve conflicts, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine used to enhance psychological and physical well-being. Absorbed through the skin or inhaled, natural essential oils stimulate brain function and travel through the blood stream to promote whole-body healing.
16. Emotion Freedom Techniques
A form of psychological acupressure, EFT is based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture. Simple tapping with the fingertips is used to input kinetic energy onto specific meridians on the head and chest while thinking about specific problems and voicing positive affirmations. The combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmations restores the mind-body balance and removes “emotional blockage” from the bodies bioenergy system.
17. Respira Salt Therapies
Children in all programs participate in Respira salt therapy approximately once per month. As children receive their typical social skills group therapy, a dry mist of mineral salts infuse the air to help clear breathing problems, boost the immune system, and detoxify the body. Respira salt room treatments are 100% drug free and non-invasive. The benefits of this drug free solution, will help to improve the symptoms that may affect normal lung functioning.
18. Sound Therapy
Like adjusting a piano, your body can be tuned to achieve optimal physical balance. Tuning forks are used to alter the body’s biochemistry and bring the nervous system, muscles, and organs into harmonious balance
19. Cranial Sacral Therapy
A gentle, hands-on approach that releases tension deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve mental and physical health and performance. Practitioners gently evaluate the craniosacral system by feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues that may be affecting the central nervous system.
Let’s play chess! Is dedicated to engaging children in activities that promote academic and social development in challenging and interactive ways. Chess raises the level of expectations of what children can achieve as it builds confidence and team spirit while developing self-esteem and self-compassion. Playing chess increases concentration and provides lessons that children learn which help them become successful in life. For example the value of perseverance through adversity and priceless experience of achievement for being consistent in their efforts.
When children or youth are coping with a mental health concern, it can inhibit their ability to disregard meaningless stimuli, which results in increased distract-ability, poor organizational skills, and a decreased ability to focus on a specific task. Increasingly, research is providing support for the use of mindfulness-based activities to reduce mental health concerns, such as anxiety and depression, and enhance psychological well-being. Clients learn coping skills with Mindfulness intervention games.