Milieu refers to the environment or setting of the therapeutic model. The Milieu is usually the most significant part of the change process as students spend most of their time in the milieu.
The advantage of residential care is almost total "variable" control. Calo controls all variables in a given child's life while they are in treatment. All waking and even sleeping hours are controlled and largely predictable. Music, friends, dress, language, etc. is managed and leveraged to create change. We create an atmosphere, what we call the "milieu," that is largely devoid of negative influence. Simply put, we take away as much of the bad as we can and create relationships that are profoundly meaningful and that can, absent so many of the teenage distractions, create a desire for internal change.
Virtually all residential treatment centers provide formal therapy. The differentiating factors are often found within the uniqueness of the therapeutic environments. Our milieu is what distinguishes us from all other approaches. Using a guiding model of treatment, canines (transferable attachment), recreation therapy, child-focused academics, the student community, and amazing staff come together to form the essence of the Calo experience.
Therapeutic touch is often initiated by the placement of a staff member's hand on a student's "safe zone" during a conversation. This "safe zone" consists of the student's body from one elbow, across their upper back, and down to the other elbow. The "safe zone" region was established as the areas on the body that are least likely to elicit a sexual response, transmit a sexual message or be intrusive or traumatizing to the student in any way.
The staff members at Calo utilize therapeutic touch during processing and coaching moments. Philosophically, we believe that students need appropriate touch in their lives. They may reject this touch initially but almost always become accustomed to, and usually desire, this form of connection which furthers the attachment and healing in students.
When a student is dysregulated and/or not responding to coaching, many times the student needs an intervention in order to allow the student to have their needs met. Closeness provides such an intervention and is best defined as a student needing staff assistance to regulate emotions and/or remain safe.
When a student is struggling emotionally, instead of having him/her go to "time-out" Calo allows for the student to have a "time-in" through Closeness. Closeness leverages the power of relationships by creating physical and emotional intimacy. The goal is for dysregulated student to recognize that connecting to a safe and stable adult is a healing, soothing, and positive experience. Essentially, Closeness is aimed to further the attachment and healing process.
Closeness is communicated by students wearing a green shirt/sweatshirt. The shirt/sweatshirt helps all recognize the need for the students to be kept safe and assisted in regulating their emotions, affect and behavior.
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