Youth & Family Services

Mental health services that are comprehensive, strength-based, client-centered, family-focused, community-based, and co-occurring capable provided to children and youth diagnosed with a serious emotional disturbance and their families. All services are delivered within an integrated system of care and interagency cooperation is an integral part of the family based services. Family based clinicians partner with families so that all services are developed cooperatively and are coordinated. The coordinated team shares responsibility, expertise, and mutual support while designing creative services that meet an individual’s strengths and needs across home and community.

Adolescent Mental Health Groups

ART – Aggression Replacement Training

ART is a short-term treatment program designed to alter the behavior of aggressive (verbally, physically, or emotionally volatile) adolescents ages 12 to 17. ART is a cognitive behavioral intervention program to help youth improve social skills competence and moral reasoning, better manage their anger, and reduce aggressive behavior or unhelpful reactions to conflict.
ART runs 10 weeks in length, with 3 one – hour sessions per week, (Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday 3:30 to 4:30pm in Pierre or on site as requested). ART consists of three components: skill streaming, anger control, and moral reasoning.

MRT – Moral Reconation Therapy

Is also a cognitive behavioral treatment that promotes enhanced moral reasoning and better decision making. Moral Reconation Therapy is an evidence based approach that targets certain cognitive errors which can cause youth to make poor decisions. MRT addresses the lack of freedom brought on by rule breaking and law breaking behavior. It is appropriate for youth ages 12-17 who may have involvement with the juvenile justice system, or who show a pattern of not following the rules and not learning from past mistakes or consequences. By their failure to accept responsibility, these youth tend to blame others and struggle to change. MRT is a program with 12 steps or chapters to be completed one at a time in order to foster positive change. Each step focuses on choices the youth has made, how their behavior has affected others, and how they can make different choices for a better outcome. MRT adolescent group meets once a week for one hour. It is fully funded by the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Initiative.

Functional Family Therapy

Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is a short-term, evidence-based intervention for troubled youth and their families to overcome delinquency, substance abuse, and violence. FFT primarily works with youth ages 11 to 18 who are referred by the juvenile justice system, Department of Social Services, or medical and mental health providers. The majority of the clinical services are provided in the home. FFT is strength-based and focuses on the family's unique challenges and needs, as well as addresses risk and protective factors that impact the youth. It is endorsed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and practiced nationwide. FFT clinicians receive in-depth specialized training to become certified facilitators of the program. 


A psychiatrist is a medical physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses, including substance abuse and addiction. Psychiatrists are uniquely qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological disturbance. Their medical education has given them a full working knowledge of the many causes for a patient’s feelings and symptoms. Armed with this understanding, psychiatrists can make a complete, accurate diagnosis and then recommend or provide treatment.

People seek psychiatric help for many reasons. Life's usual round of trials may become overwhelming. Relationships may become troubled, or the pangs of anxiety - easily dismissed before as simple "nerves" - may grow sharper and last longer. The fresh-faced young newcomer down the hall at work may seem to threaten a secure job, and headaches may start to come literally one after the other. The emotions that arise in reaction to everyday stresses and strains may blow badly out of proportion, or may be strangely absent. Eating may become a refuge, and sleep may begin to seem either irresistible or elusive. Alcohol or drug use may get out of control.

The problems can be sudden, such as a panic attack or as frightening hallucinations, thoughts or suicide, or "voices" that whisper intrusive and incomprehensible things. Or they may be more long-term-such as a pall of gloom that never seems to lift, causing everyday life to feel distorted, out of control, not worth living.

Because they are physicians, psychiatrists can order or perform a full range of medical laboratory and psychological tests that provide a complete picture of a patient's physical and mental state. Their education and years of clinical experience equip them to understand the complex relationship between emotional and other medical illnesses, evaluate all the medical and psychological data, make a diagnosis, and develop a treatment plan.