Clinical services are provided onsite to Cooperative Day Program and Residential families and to the community from our professional offices. The clinical staff at The Parent Cooperative Community are remarkably invested and skilled regarding issues relevant to complex trauma, and the myriad of challenges faced by adoptive families of children from difficult beginnings. Most of our clinical staff have direct experience with adoption in addition to their extensive clinical training.
Families are encouraged to attend morning education-process groups, problem solving groups and afternoon parent-staff group. Additionally, families participate in specific structured and unstructured, trauma and attachment informed activities throughout the day in order to enhance skills and resources necessary to support their adopted child while attending to all of the other complex needs of the family. Long distance families have opportunity to attend sessions directly and/or electronically with day program and residential participants. Parent training, family therapy, reading and writing assignments are all important parts of family evolution.
Each morning, participants, staff and families attend "Morning Meeting". Our director, Carla DeRose MA, MFT develops the curriculum for these meetings and facilitates education and process in a non-judgmental, supportive environment; enabling staff, families and children to become knowledgeable about dynamics specific to early complex trauma and adoption. Through regular participation, children and their families are able to replace old ineffective beliefs and behaviors with new knowledge and resourceful, effective behaviors.
Evening process groups are also facilitated by our Director. They are not topic specific, but rather an opportunity for the participants to come together without staff and parents present. After the long day of therapeutic interventions, school work and chores these groups offer opportunity for deeper connections, support and empathy between the children whose early experiences are unfathomable to many of us. The children release shame and fears, while provide hope and insights to each other.
These groups are facilitated by clinical and program staff as a means to solve household and programmatic issues that arise throughout the day. Participants, staff and parents are encouraged to use their growing skills to problem solve independently, and "call" a group” when their efforts are not effective. Towards development of connection and community, every adult and child in the facility attends these groups as they are called throughout the day. Each individual is expected to contribute to problem solving in a fashion that facilitates respect, goodwill and trust.
Each participating day program and resident attends weekly individual therapy. This is a strength based, intervention that is specific to the struggles each child brings to the room. Our therapists employ a variety of interventions including DBT, EMDR, Brainspotting and Narrative in order to help children develop skills and resources necessary for optimal functioning.
Because most of our staff are also adoptive parents, our afternoon education and support groups include parent volunteers from the cooperative day program as well as staff. This group serves to provide connection and community. It is an educative, non-judgmental environment for adults on the frontlines behalf of our participants in the facility and at home. Parents whose families have graduated from one of the programs and any parent currently involved are invited to drop in every week day to share, listen and receive support and resources from others who understand the vastness and complexity of the task of parenting our children.
Participants and their families have access to assessment and weekly treatment via a variety of electronic interventions including biofeedback, neurofeedback, interactive metronome and play attention. These interventions address a plethora of struggles such as mood regulation, frustration tolerance, social skills, focus, impulsivity, visual processing, auditory processing, visual-motor struggles, sleep disturbance, auditory-motor struggles, emotional rigidity and more. Mr. Chris, our Technological Interventions Specialist, works diligently to stay at the forefront of science and technology on behalf of our participants as well as community referrals to our mental health services program.
Building projects, river challenges, community service projects, animal rescue (including re-training and care), team building challenges, volunteer work and community benefit runs are all examples of experiential interventions that are ongoing at PCC. Because of their early traumatic experiences, and subsequent struggles, our children, (and often whole families) end up feeling peripheral to usual peer communities. Parents and children alike find it difficult to relate with family and friends who have not directly experienced the extensive impact of complex trauma. Experiential interventions offer the opportunity to develop character, skills and resources in a safer, more understanding environment.