While the therapeutic milieu encompasses the whole community, individual psychotherapy is its cornerstone.
This is accomplished with our licensed clinical staff treating students in intensive twice weekly psychotherapy. Since the ethos of personal responsibility for one’s actions and reactions is part of the philosophy of Grove, individual therapy is psychodynamically and interpersonally based. Psychodynamic therapists often focus on the interpretation of past events as they play themselves out in the present. Understanding the past is important since it provides a context for the present; but understanding the past does not in and of itself, effect change. Looking to the future helps organize our present and informs the decisions we make. But while the past and future are not to be ignored or dismissed, their considerations must be rooted in the present. The past and future help us understand how and what we are feeling in the present. Recognizing what we are experiencing is central in the rewiring of our brain, a concept called neuroplasticity.
DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) are both behavior therapies and as such generally do not place emphasis on earlier events but concentrate on present symptoms and present beliefs. Their central concepts of mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness are, in fact, similar to what we do and are at the root of our overall approach. However, rather than “manualizing” it, codifying it, or “prescribing” a program, we have incorporated these principles into the fabric of our milieu, and have evolved our milieu with these principles in mind. We have found that it is more helpful if a student is immersed in these concepts rather than “learning” them by attending a designated time-limited DBT or CBT group. Self-confrontation, self-regulation, and distress tolerance are especially necessary as it is brought into sharp contrast with the interpersonal demands of the surrounding milieu. Choices based on self-respect and honesty rather than on wants, perceived needs, and expectations of others are central to this individual treatment.