SCH Counseling Center
The Sacramento Children's Home Counseling Center is an innovative, community-based program that serves youth and their families.
- Children, ages 3 to 20, can receive treatment at the SCH Counseling Center
- Typically we treat children with defiance or behavioral issues, depression, anxiety, or attention deficit problems
- When clinically warranted, medication evaluation and support is added to the child's treatment plan by our licensed on-staff psychiatrist
Children and families are referred to the SCH Counseling Center by Child Protective Services, their school district, physician, or family member. Children must be Medi-Cal eligible to be considered for treatment. For more information about receiving a referral for treatment, call Children's ACCESS of Care, 916.875.9980, or fill out a referral form.
Youth & Family Counseling
Upon being referred to the SCH counseling center, an initial assessment is done by our clinician with each child and his or her family. This assessment helps the clinician to set goals with the family and develop an effective and cohesive treatment plan based on the identified strengths and needs of the family.
- Trained clinicians, and licensed on-site psychologists
- Individualized treatment plan tailored to meet each child and family's unique mental health needs
- Focused on family-driven care, where treatment plans are structured around each family's inherent strengths and needs.
- Length of treatment varies depending on child and their family, and their individual treatment plan.
- Services take place in our clinic or by agreement at another location, such as the child's home or school.
Over 70% of children receiving services at the SCH Counseling Center demonstrate an improvement in their ability to function
Many children treated at the SCH Counseling Center have been the victim of child abuse and neglect, and as a result, experience symptoms that that are dangerous to themselves or their loved ones. The SCH Counseling Center provides specialized treatment called "Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy".
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a 16-24 week treatment program
- Focuses on addressing the symptoms of trauma, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, anger, and depression.
- Parent or caregiver participation and support is strongly encouraged to create a sense of safety and engagement
Over 90% of children that received Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy showed significant reduction of symptoms upon completion of the program.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT )is an evidenced-based behavioral treatment program that focuses on the creation and maintenance of a positive relationship between a parent and their child.
- Designed for young children-ages 2-7
- Appropriate for the treatment of severe emotional and behavioral concerns such as hitting, spitting, uncontrollable crying, kicking, screaming, and defiance.
- The goal of PCIT is to equip parents and caregivers with the tools to manage difficult behaviors, and places an emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship.
- 2 phases of treatment: child directed play and parent directed play.
- During both phases a clinician provides coaching to the parent through a devices in the parent's ear.
- Parents are coached on setting appropriate limits, loss of privileges, time outs, and how to effective manage difficult or negative behaviors
- Treatment typically lasts from 4 to 6 months.
Short-Term Counseling Groups
The SCH Counseling Center offers educational and therapeutic support groups for parents who have had their children removed from their homes by Child Protective Services due to child abuse or neglect. In collaboration with Child Protective Services, groups are teaching healthier parenting styles.
- Designed to increase a parent's self-esteem and confidence
- Provides parents with the tools necessary to take accountability for their actions
- Teaches parents how to identify risk factors and triggers for negative behaviors - both within themselves and in their children
- Teaches parents how to utilize alternative, effective ways to cope with stress
- Groups meet for 12 week periods, and provide peer support as they work though tough parenting situations together
- Each group is facilitated by a trained clinician, who is able to structure discussions around obstacles, growth and goals for the future
When Jessica came to the counseling center she was only 7 years old. Jessica's mother, Nadine, was desperate to receive help with Jessica's behavior at school. Nadine would receive 3 to 4 calls a week from the school administrators asking her to pick Jessica up early from school due to hitting, spitting, kicking, not following directions, and other disruptive behaviors.
Nadine was embarrassed and frustrated by this continued behavior. Jessica's school had strongly recommended that Jessica receive a psychiatric evaluation to assess and address her disruptive behavior. Once Nadine and Jessica met the clinician from the counseling center, Nadine disclosed a history of domestic violence that was witnessed by Jessica, but was not sure whether Jessica's behavior had anything to do with being exposed to violence "a long time ago". With her mother's consent, an assessment of Jessica revealed that Jessica indeed had significant anxiety that resembled post-traumatic stress disorder. Nadine was introduced to Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and agreed to participate in this program with Jessica.
Once Jessica learned that many children had similar experiences, she was ready to embark on a new journey to make sense of her traumatic memories. Throughout her six months of treatment, Jessica learned to relax through drawing, singing, and deep breathing. She learned to name her feelings, positive and negative, happy and sad. She began to make sense of the connections between her thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Finally, Jessica was ready to share. Through pictures, drawings, and telling her story aloud to the clinician, Jessica was able to share who she was, what she had experienced and what she hoped for her future. Jessica was invited to share her story with her mother, who now understood the importance of listening, validating, and bringing a sense of safety to Jessica when she was afraid.
In addition to therapy and psychiatric support, Jessica's clinician was able to collaborate with Jessica's school to ensure that both her teacher and the principal understood Jessica's struggles and progress. It was not long before Nadine stopped receiving calls from the school for early pick-ups. Jessica's nightmares stopped and occasional tantrums lasted only a few minutes, and were eventually replaced by constructive time outs and using words to express her feelings.