MINOT – Though The Village provides out-patient and school-based therapy, it also has many other services that go with those, such as in-home therapy.
Mallary Schaefer, regional program supervisor for The Village in Minot and Bismarck, described in-home therapy as therapists going into homes to provide family therapy.
“Our identified client has to be under the age of 18,” Schaefer explained. “So we can’t go into a home to provide couples counseling.”
The Village is contracted with the state to provide funding for this program, making it a free service to any family that utilizes it. The program is a six-month intensive model at the most, says Schaefer.
“It’s to kind of get in there, address some things, get them going in the right direction and get out, and let them try to be successful with that,” said Schaefer.
A lot of referrals for in-home therapy come from social services, juvenile court, and The Village’s own office.
“The benefit of doing in-home is they’re in their environment where the issues are occurring,” Schaefer explained. “In the office, you don’t always see that behavior that you see at home.”
Therapists at The Village can go into families’ homes as many times a week and for as long as needed. Typically each session lasts around two hours.
“Sometimes the idea of having a therapist come into your home is a lot scarier for some people,” said Schaefer. “You’re letting someone in your door versus walking in their door. But our role isn’t to judge someone on what their house looks like. We’re always there to help them.”
The Village has employees that provide several types of therapy, but only three do in-home along with school-based and outpatient therapy.
Schaefer believes there is more awareness of trauma than there was in the past.
“We can come out of trauma stronger as well,” said Schaefer. “But it’s challenging for people who go through trauma. They have a lot of things that happen to their body and their mind that can be hard to change, especially on their own.”
Schaefer also believes there are many forms of discrimination in the culture which may contribute to mental health issues.
The Village does provide diagnoses but not full psychological testing. Every employee has a master’s degree of at least six years of education. Schaefer said it can be difficult to hire people and find the right candidates.
“We get lucky that a lot of our interns turn out to be great matches that want to stay with us,” said Schaefer. “But there is a mental health crisis, not only in regards to our clients but in regards to having people to serve them. In North Dakota we’re really in need of providers.”
Schaefer said one of the dangerous things about the field is The Village can’t put someone out there to help people that aren’t capable of it.
“There’s a lot of harm that could be done if you’re meeting with a therapist where that maybe isn’t their calling,” said Schaefer. “I wouldn’t say we’re picky, but we’re also very mindful of their skills and the culture that they bring into the workplace. The culture that we have here is extremely important to us.”
More information on The Village can be found on its website.