Therapeutic / Clinical Services
The child will be offered weekly therapy with a licensed therapist. Consistent with the philosophy, individual therapy may be integrated into the milieu each week in order to capitalize upon therapeutic opportunities as they arise and, whenever possible, address issues when the child is in a state where he/she will be most likely to benefit from these interactions.
At Sandhill Center, we recognize that healthy family relationships act as the bedrock for normal child development. As such, to buttress the therapeutic milieu, and steward effective transitions back into the home environment, Sandhill Center provides family therapy, supplemented with parental training sessions over the course of the entire treatment program.
Family relationships may be strained prior to placement, making relationship repair a crucial goal of our treatment program. We encourage family contact by telephone and visit, with phone calls beginning immediately after admission.
Parenting children with affect regulation difficulties is often a counter-intuitive process. Our staff help parents become attune to their child’s needs and respond in a manner that is productive and therapeutic, in order to help build healthy and durable relationships between children and families. Parents are seen as active participants in the treatment team and participate in treatment plan and brain metric reviews.
Research has proven the importance nutrition plays in the development of a health brain. At Sandhill, we emphasize the importance of a “brain friendly” diet. Our clinical team works collaboratively with health and medical professionals to enhance the nutritional health of our residents, and strives to use many organic and whole foods. Evidence shows that dietary supplements sometimes help alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.
Animal Assisted Interventions
Sandhill Center abounds with horses, dogs, cats, and tame peacocks. Working and playing with animals provides opportunities for spontaneous fun as well as personal growth. Children learn the importance or follow-through by performing chores and other daily responsibilities to help care for the animals. In turn, the animals provide children with a mirror for them to see how their actions, feelings and intentions impact others. Most importantly, the children experience the unconditional love that results through their positive relationship with the animals.
Sandhill Center residents participate in a number of community service-based programs. Our children have volunteered at the zoo to help with enrichment projects for the animals, worked at the local animal shelter, and visited veterans in an assisted living facility on Veteran’s Day. Twice monthly we participate in “Adopt Romero Road”, don safety vests and gloves, and keep Romero Road in Los Lunas clean. Our staff are always looking for opportunities for the students to make a difference in the community.
Recreational activity is a large part of the program at Sandhill Center. Play and fun are not only good for children, but provide significant therapeutic benefits as well. Many of the activities that are planned by the treatment team and carefully coordinated with the treatment plans of the children, focus on providing significant neuroregulatory benefits. Biking, running, horseback riding, group games, trampolines, swings, etc. all provide opportunities to activate the region of the brain responsible for regulation. To this end, we strive to provide frequent recreational interventions throughout a child’s day. Additionally, we try to get the children involved in as many activities as possible in the community including attending minor league baseball games, participating in 5K races, making field trips to museums, and attending local fairs and festivals.
Sandhill Center understands that some children may benefit from medication to assist them in their treatment. We have a Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist that works closely with the clinical team to determine appropriate medication interventions. Over the course of a child’s stay, as he or she benefits from treatment and shows improvement, it is not uncommon for a child to require less pharmacological intervention.