San Marcos Treatment Center provides psychiatric residential treatment programs to children (ages 6 to 12) who struggle with behavioral health issues. We teach young patients how to better manage their emotions and replace problematic behaviors with healthier ones.
Consistent rewards, privileges and consequences help children develop self-control and accept responsibility for their own behavior. The goal is to give them the tools to better handle emotional conflicts and interpersonal relationships.
The Children’s Treatment team believes in order to treat young children effectively, the developmental process should be considered to ensure children are able to participate and thrive in the therapy settings provided. Play is the natural language of children and our center has built a modern and dynamic playroom to help meet the needs of our younger population. The playroom is used by our patients to gain mastery, express their feelings, connect interpersonally with their therapist and practice accepting limits and following rules.
We currently have two therapists employed with an RPT specialization (Registered Play Therapist) and a third therapist who will have an RPT license by the end of the year. Our therapists combine child-centered play therapy techniques with expressive art and sandtray techniques. These approaches are especially helpful with children who are not able to engage effectively in sessions which are primarily conversational and focus heavily on verbal processing. There is a growing evidence base which shows that play therapy reduces aggression, increases communication around strong feelings and creates an environment where traumatic experiences from the past can be processed safely.