Clinical and Family Services
Psychologists, social workers and graduate student clinicians provide a broad range of fully integrated clinical services for students at the Manville School.
At Manville, we provide individual and group therapy, parent coaching and support, case management and family therapy on-site to support students’ psychological and educational progress. We draw on Judge Baker’s wide range of thought leadership and expertise, which allows us to approach challenges from a wide array of angles, helping to find the best and most appropriate solutions for each individual child.
We do this by listening closely to the children and families we work with, ensuring that everyone takes an active part in goal-setting and treatment. These careful assessments help us go far beyond a child’s diagnosis; we can focus on what the child and family say they would like to see change.
Each student’s treatment plan is coordinated through the collaboration of Manville’s clinical and educational staff, along with community-based therapists and/or agencies.
Our Treatment Approach
Manville’s educational, milieu-counseling, and clinical services are designed to address the overall well-being and progress of each student. At Manville, we seek to enhance the "whole" student, which means we are actively involved helping students thrive in school, at home and in social settings.
Our guiding principle is to provide interventions that foster a student’s sense of belonging to a supportive community, while supporting the development of the academic, social and emotional skills that help students manage a variety of challenges and grow successfully.
Manville's teachers, specialists, milieu counselors and clinicians achieve this goal by simultaneously focusing on two main fronts:
- Developing a close, caring connection with each student
- Using sound, evidence-based interventions whenever possible to build skill, confidence and well-being.
At Manville, we are extremely proud of our staff retention. Staff at all levels choose to remain at Manville in order to do their best work in a supportive, caring, effective education and treatment environment. It is because of our staff that Manville has developed its reputation for best practice in the care of children with emotional, behavioral, and learning needs.
Our experience is that children make the most gains when their entire team of caregivers -- at school, home and in the community -- work closely and collaboratively. This means that we actively seek parent, family and outside providers' investment and participation in the education and treatment of our students.
Manville multidisciplinary team members also work together, sharing and integrating their perspectives and intervention strategies in order to improve student progress. We look for evidence of progress on many fronts, including MCAS performance, classroom participation, ability to navigate school routines, increased independence, proactive use of coping strategies, decreased need for supports, ratings of behavior, increased social skill and success with peers, decreased need for more restrictive/emergency services and placements, and stronger self-advocacy skills.
Manville is not merely a therapeutic school placement. It is an environment for building skill and expanding potential. Manville supports our students and also pushes them towards the ability to function as independently as possible and in the least restrictive environments possible.
Manville’s intervention philosophy:
- Consider the "whole child" and address all aspects of the child's social, emotional, educational and home/community life
- Seek input and participation from all providers and caregivers
- Facilitate trusting connections between children and their families
- Implement evidence-based methods for building skills and strengths
Go beyond simply accommodating challenges, and help students and their families expand their capacities Manville’s approach to clinical intervention assumes that:
- Disruptive behavior is not accidental; it communicates needs and impacts the environment.
- Children require the development of a sense of containment and safety in order to do the work of change. This is created through healing connections with caring adults, structure and accountability, and the teaching of new self-regulation skills.
- Families, caregivers and providers will collaborate and develop a shared understanding of the student's treatment and educational needs. Trauma impacts the system, not just the child.
- There will likely be barriers and obstacles to effective education and treatment of children who have experienced trauma. It is for this reason that collaboration, trust and proactive communication among team members, families and providers is key
Manville’s clinicians intervene in three primary domains:
- Creation of strong relationships/bonds to children (e.g. attunement to needs, mutual sharing, building strength/competence, teaching accountability, authentic expression, reinforcing choice/autonomy, demonstration of permanence)
- Providing consistent structure (e.g. routines, schedules, multimodal processing supports and appropriate limits on unhelpful behavior)
- Teaching self-regulation and coping skills (e.g. understanding, managing and expressing thoughts, feelings and behavior in an adaptive way that replaces trauma-generated unhelpful patterns for meeting needs)
Children and trauma
Children who have experienced trauma require that certain basic needs are met in order to make progress. They need help learning how to:
- Develop a sense of control over their experience
- Regulate their intense feelings and behavior
- Engage and maintain attachments with others
- Feel valued and wanted
- Be understood for the needs driving their intense maladaptive behavior, instead of for the negative aspects of the behavior itself