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Devereux programs - Autism   Devereux programs - Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities   Devereux programs - Specialty Mental Health   Devereux programs - Child Welfare

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Clinical Approaches

At Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, we are committed to providing innovative and evidence-based, trauma-focused care for children, adolescents and adults living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences. Below are just a few clinical approaches we use to unlock human potential in the individuals we serve every day.

Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports and Trauma-Informed Care 

As part of our continuum of care, Devereux provides multiple programs and support for children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and emotional and behavior disorders. Specifically, we are committed to implementing multi-tiered systems of behavioral and academic support including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) across our treatment network. Note: PBIS is a framework that helps schools and other organizations adopt evidence-based behavioral interventions to enhance the academic and social behavior outcomes for all individuals.

Launched in 2011, “Devereux Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports” (D-PBIS) is a framework that combines several initiatives under one umbrella to create a seamless, multi-layered system of support for youth across all Devereux programs. D-PBIS was designed specifically for alternative settings including our Approved Private Schools, day / residential mental health treatment programs, child welfare settings, programs for adults with intellectual / developmental disabilities and autism and is currently being implemented across our organization. This trauma-informed model provides a prevention-oriented method that helps our staff:

  • Organize and further enhance the implementation of evidence-based practices; and
  • Maximize academic / vocational and social behavior outcomes for the individuals in our care.

D-PBIS focuses on the strengths of each individual; the program defines, teaches and supports desired behaviors to create a positive environment, thereby making problematic behaviors less efficient and less effective. Treatment intensity can be targeted based on the individual’s needs and level of risk to himself and / or others. As a result of implementing D-PBIS at our campuses, we have experienced a reduction in:

  • Disruptive behaviors
  • Emergency safety interventions
  • Workers compensation claims

How it works: Devereux’s D-PBIS program provides individuals with the opportunity to learn and develop social / life skills and problem-solving skills, while rewarding them for demonstrating positive, pro-social behavior. This multi-tiered system of support increases appropriate behaviors and decreases problem behaviors by:

  • Teaching expectations (e.g., being safe, being responsible, being respectful);
  • Acknowledging individuals when they demonstrate desired behaviors; and
  • Providing clear and consistent consequences when individuals demonstrate undesired behaviors.

Ultimately, D-PBIS emphasizes learning and prevention, and these interventions instill values that stretch beyond our treatment settings. The program also helps individuals understand the behavioral expectations needed in specific environments so they can learn to live and thrive in their communities. Learn more about D-PBIS.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), is designed to help individuals manage their emotions and behaviors more effectively so they can lead meaningful, productive and socially-connected lives. While understanding the thoughts that drive behaviors is a critical component of therapy, helping youth and adults regulate their emotions or behaviors, through DBT, is essential for them to thrive in their homes or community-based settings.

DBT focuses on supporting individuals by teaching, reinforcing and coaching skills in four key areas:

  • Core mindfulness
  • Distress tolerance
  • Emotion regulation
  • Interpersonal effectiveness

All clinical and behavioral health professionals in programs providing this therapeutic approach, who interact with, and provide support to, the children, adolescents and adults we serve are responsible for helping them acquire these skills.

In 2020, adolescents enrolled in our behavioral health DBT programs participated in a poster contest to help them better understand and utilize DBT skills. View the winning entries.

Implementing DBT across Devereux
In 2019, Devereux began training clinicians from across the organization in DBT. In addition, our clinical teams worked with DBT trainers from Treatment Implementation Collaborative to help support the implementation of DBT in our residential and outpatient programs. Our goal is to certify our clinicians and programs in DBT to further enhance treatment and outcomes for individuals with emotional and behavioral disorders. Read a previous news article on the implementation of DBT at Devereux.