Midwest Center for Youth & Families Co-Hosts Exclusive DBT PE Training

Midwest Center for Youth & Families partnered with The Linehan Institute at Behavioral Tech to co-host an intensive training for Dialectical Behavior Therapy Prolonged Exposure (DBT PE) at Valparaiso University from May 23-26.  In addition to the clinical staff from Midwest Center, the training brought 25 clinicians from across the world to learn how to more effectively utilize DBT to treat patients with a history of trauma.

Midwest Center for Youth & Families is one of only a few full-immersion DBT residential treatment facilities across the country and is currently the largest at 74 beds for males and females ages 10 to 20.   All employees at the facility are trained in DBT, including direct care staff, teachers, housekeeping and administration.  As a result, every interaction that residents have with a staff member during their treatment encourages, models, and reinforces the use of DBT skills.  The consistency and intensity of treatment that residents receive in this unique setting is particularly effective with the facility’s population of adolescents and young adults whose severity of mental illness has caused them to be treatment resistant in the past.

“This training provided a wonderful opportunity for us to work with Behavioral Tech, the international leader in DBT,” says Midwest Center CEO Zach Glassburn.  “It also allowed our clinicians to be trained in the latest DBT techniques, and our facility to remain a national leader in the use of DBT in a residential setting.”

(l-r) Midwest Center staff Crystal Hartranft, Community Liaison; Allison Thomas, Community Liaison; Zach Glassburn, CEO; Brandy Clark, DBD

For more information please contact Brandy Clark, DBD at [email protected]

Posted in MidWest Center News |

Midwest Center Introduces Pet Therapy

pet therapyMidwest Center has begun working with Colleen Sargent and her silky terrier Candy (pictured right), a certified Dog Therapy team, to provide Pet Therapy to its residents. Once a month Sargent and Candy, along with several other certified handlers and their dogs, allow residents to interact with the dogs in a relaxed, supportive environment.

“The kids are very excited when the dogs visit,” shares Sargent. “They are extremely respectful and gentle with the dogs, and enjoy petting them, playing fetch, and watching them do tricks. They also love talking with the handlers about their own pets and how much they miss them.”

In recent years, the benefits of Pet Therapy are becoming more widely understood and appreciated, especially in the mental health field. According to PAWS for People, a non-profit organization which trains and certifies Pet Therapy teams, the tangible health benefits of Pet Therapy include lowering blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health, and decreasing overall physical pain. Patients also enjoy a variety of mental health benefits, which include decreased depression and anxiety, diminished feelings of isolation, loneliness, and alienation, and improved communication and socialization skills.

“The benefits of Pet Therapy support the concepts taught in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and provide an opportunity for residents to practice their DBT skills,” says Midwest Center Clinical Director Jeremy Pape. “Focusing completely on the dogs encourages residents to practice being mindful, and the dogs provide a safe environment where residents can share their emotions non-judgmentally. Pet Therapy sessions also allow residents to use their interpersonal effectiveness skills while interacting with each other, the dogs, and the handlers.”

The positive effects of Pet Therapy sessions are best evidenced by the abundant smiles they produce. “When they’re interacting with the dogs, the kids are happy, calm, and well-behaved,” shares Sargent. “Our visits allow them to forget for a little while about their struggles, and just enjoy being kids playing with dogs.”

For more information about Pet Therapy, contact Colleen Sargent at 219-689-0260.

Posted in MidWest Center News |