Therapeutic Approach

The Montcalm School clinical model is grounded in the highest standards and treatment expertise. We operate on the principle of practice-based evidence, proven treatment to help your child reach their full potential.

Our program relies on strength-based treatment and seeing the good in all children.

We believe each child has four universal needs, including Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity. This is known as the Circle of Courage®, our key philosophy of positive youth development.

Our effective therapeutic interventions address each young person’s problems and needs with interventions in a culture of respect that fosters healing, growth and success.

These interventions are trauma-informed and resilience-focused, helping each of our students to feel safe and comfortable in our environment of understanding and acceptance. 

Each child will be assessed at the beginning of treatment and throughout

An important part of any treatment is to initially — and in an ongoing way — carefully assess the needs of your student.

Your student may have received a range of different diagnoses identifying problematic moods and behaviors prior to Montcalm.

As part of effective care, a careful and ongoing evaluation of their relationships, emotions, behaviors and functioning are essential.

The assessment process identifies individual strengths, which can maximize participation in treatment and establish your child’s upward trajectory toward success.


Treatment techniques

At Montcalm, your child will have access to a wealth of resources and treatment techniques, including:

  • Group therapy — Montcalm staff provides direction and guidance during group meetings to assist youth in the creation of a thoughtful and respectful environment for all group members.

  • Individual therapy — Individual therapies are youth-centered, and the frequency may increase or decrease during enrollment.

  • Family resilience — We believe that family involvement is critically important to positive outcomes. Family collaboration, support and therapy creates an atmosphere of healthy communication, positive familial relationships and improved coping strategies.

  • Medical and psychiatric support — A Medical Director, psychiatrists, nursing and clinical staff actively collaborate with family physicians to address the specific medical needs of youth including medication management.

  • Supportive therapies, including:

    • Trauma-informed interventions — Individualized plans are developed for traumatized youth who experience difficulties with emotional and behavioral regulation.

    • Sensory integration — For students with autism spectrum disorders, sensory integrative techniques are used in collaboration with the student to identify what activities they find alerting, relaxing, self-soothing and grounding in our state-of-the-art Sensory Integration Room.

    • Occupational therapy — We utilize occupational therapy interventions to help youth fully participate in school and social situations.

    • Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment — For all students, in particular the Structured Transitional Living youth, the ACLSA helps develop independent living plans and provides life skills training.

    • Health and Wellness — Montcalm offers many therapeutic recreational activities, including rock wall climbing, canoeing, fishing, nature walks, an outdoor track and a full-size gymnasium.

    • Creative arts — A licensed music therapist offers students the opportunity to participate in music therapy. We also feature a popular performing arts group, the All Starr Choir.