Day Treatment Psychotherapist – Our Little Academy

Purpose:  The Day Treatment Psychotherapist (DTP) provides therapeutic support and interventions designed to optimize a child’s emotional and behavioral functioning in the Therapeutic Preschool/Day Treatment setting. By providing 1:1 support for a child in need of immediate emotional stabilization, the DTP can diffuse, via de-escalation, and process, via debriefing, the situation and help the child return to his/her group activities. The DTP teaches and encourages the children to express needs and emotions verbally. Functional strategies, which replace aggressive behaviors, are reinforced, as treatment interventions support the acquisition of adaptive behaviors for children experiencing intense emotional and behavioral challenges. The DTP is a full-time member of the preschool staff, and is integrated into all of the preschool activities and team responsibilities, including on-call supervision of the aftercare staff of the day treatment program, as scheduled. The DTP provides individual and/or family psychotherapy for up to eight day treatment students. The DTP reports to and is supervised by the Program Manager of Our Little Academy Therapeutic Preschool program.

Qualifications:

  • At least three years of experience in providing therapeutic services, including individual, family, group psychotherapy, and/or behavioral interventions, to emotionally and behaviorally disordered young children and their families.
  • A master’s degree in the mental health field of clinical social work or psychology.
  • A licensed mental health professional, LCSW or Licensed Psychologist.
  • Knowledge of crisis management, de-escalation, and debriefing techniques, and the implementation of positive behavioral strategies.
  • Ability to develop and integrate therapeutic curriculum and developmentally appropriate pre-academic activities to children ages 3-6 years.
  • Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills with history of successful performance as a team member in a group setting.
  • Ability to implement physical safety interventions with children up to 60 pounds.
  • Ability to traverse flights of stairs.

Principal Responsibilities:

Crisis Management

  • Provide crisis management as needed, responding quickly and professionally to all calls for assistance.
  • Provide children alternative choices and redirection away from inappropriate behavior, avoiding power struggles with children whenever possible.
  • Verbally debrief all children following a disruptive incident, including problem solving about how to handle a similar situation in the future, and planning for how the child will re-enter the environment.
    • Techniques may include verbal processing, redirection, removal from reinforcement, play therapy techniques, de-escalation and stabilization.
    • Physical restraints may be used as a last resort to prevent a child from injuring him or herself or others in the environment.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to the emotional distress underlying most behavioral disruptions in young children and be able to engage with children in a calm manner to provide an opportunity for the child to learn to calm him or herself.

Psychotherapy

  • Participate in intake interviews and mental health assessments, including the Initial Assessment, utilizing excellent clinical interviewing and diagnostic skills.
  • Provide individual and/or family psychotherapy for up to eight children weekly.
  • Facilitate therapy groups.
  • Participate in parent/guardian consultation, psychiatric consultation, and treatment planning.
  • Monitor and update all clinical documentation in a timely manner, including case notes, treatment plans, and clinical reports on all assigned clinical activities in accordance with internal and external reporting requirements as outlined by OLH, state, federal, and professional guidelines and standards of best practice.

Other Duties

  • Coordinate therapeutic and behavioral interventions with the Program Manager and Educational Therapists (ETs) which consist of clinically planned techniques and strategies that promote the development of healthy coping skills, adaptive patterns of interacting with others, and appropriate responses to internal and environmental stimuli.
  • Maintain annual certification for Safe Crisis Management (SCM) training.
  • When not providing psychotherapy or crisis intervention, provide assistance to the ETs as they perform their duties.
  • Facilitate learning groups and 1:1 pre-academic curriculum support.
  • Participate in aftercare supervision, as scheduled.
  • Perform the duties of the Program Manager and/or the Educational Therapists when those staff members are absent or off-site for training, meetings, etc.

Send resume and cover letter to:

Sarah Thomas, MSW, LCSW

Day Treatment Program Manager

sarah.thomas@ourlittlehaven.org