ASPIRE (After-School Program Intervention and Resiliency Education®)
Adolescence is a time of tremendous growth and change. This period of transition
comes with a unique set of experiences and challenges that can make navigating
the path to adulthood difficult. Adolescents that lack positive coping
skills to manage life stressors may struggle with mental and emotional
health and resort to unhealthy or unsafe behaviors such as substance use,
self-injury, and engagement with risky peers.
The ASPIRE Treatment Approach
At ASPIRE, we work with adolescents and their families to overcome these
obstacles and establish a path toward mental and emotional wellness, resiliency,
and success through the use of psychoeducation, adaptive coping strategies,
and experiential techniques. ASPIRE utilizes an evidence-based treatment
approach grounded in the principles of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
DBT emphasizes the use of mindfulness to help identify triggers that lead
to unhelpful behavior patterns. This heightened awareness, in combination
with learning new, effective coping skills to manage difficult thoughts,
feelings, and situations are the core components of DBT. Research has
shown DBT to be effective in treating a variety of mental health issues
including mood disorders, substance abuse, self-harm, suicidal ideation,
PTSD, and eating disorders.
ASPIRE’s eight-week Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is more comprehensive
than traditional outpatient therapy and is designed to prevent adolescents
with more acute mental health concerns from decompensating and requiring
higher levels of care. IOP can also be beneficial for adolescents transitioning
back from successful completion of inpatient or residential care. The
part-time, late afternoon schedule allows the family to maintain their
daily routine, such as attending school or work while addressing mental
health needs in a structured treatment environment.
Patients attend the program Monday through Thursday from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.
Group therapy provides many distinct benefits that may not be achieved
through other treatment formats. For many people, group therapy is more
powerful and effective than individual therapy as it provides a sense
of connection and inclusion, allows for giving and receiving support,
and helps patients relate to others in healthier ways. These features
are of special importance during the high school years, when adolescents
are developing greater self-awareness and forming personal identity through
social interactions and relationships.
Groups focus on learning and practicing practical life skills and coping
strategies through the use of five DBT behavioral skills modules:
Mindfulness: Being fully aware and attentive in the present moment without judgment
Distress Tolerance: Tolerating difficult situations and emotional pain when problems cannot
be solved right away
Interpersonal Effectiveness: Building and maintaining positive relationships and self-esteem
Emotion Regulation: Understanding emotions, reducing emotional vulnerability and reactivity,
and increasing positive emotions
Walking the Middle Path: Developed specifically for teens and families, these skills focus on being
able to acknowledge and accept others’ perspectives, even if they
are different from your own
We believe that the family system plays an important role in adolescent
development and growth; therefore, we work extensively with the family
throughout treatment to ensure the greatest potential for success. Our
weekly parent skills and multi-family groups provide an opportunity for
parents to practice and refine the tools learned in program in collaboration
with their children.
To schedule a complimenrtary confidential assessment, please call us at