Who We Treat

We specialize in helping young men between the ages of 14-18 who are struggling with mental health and behavior issues. Our goal is to provide a safe and supportive environment where these young men can receive the treatment and support they need to overcome their challenges and develop the skills and habits necessary for a successful and fulfilling life.

We offer a comprehensive and highly individualized approach to treatment that takes into account each young man’s unique needs, challenges, and strengths. Whether a young man is struggling with depression, anxiety, or behavior issues, we are here to help.

Building Bridges utilizes evidence-based therapies and treatments, including individual and group therapy, behavioral therapy, and a wide variety of therapeutic approaches. We also offer educational and recreational activities that help our residents develop new skills, interests, and friendships. In addition, we work closely with families and support systems to ensure that the young men in our care have the best possible chance of success.

If you or someone you know is a young man between the ages of 14-18 who is struggling with mental health or behavior issues, we encourage you to reach out to us. We are here to help, and we believe that with the right support and guidance, anyone can overcome these challenges and build a better life.

Anxiety and Depression
Relying on a strong cognitive-behavioral therapeutic program, our therapists work with each student to replace negative and unproductive thought patterns with more realistic and useful ones. We help each student overcome his fears and anxieties, through a variety of methods, including verbalizing his fears and realizing that the lion is often just a mouse and far more manageable than it seemed. We will also help him to realize that being uncomfortable is okay but what isn’t okay is to quit or stop doing something simply because it makes you uncomfortable.  We use many activities to create these situations for our students, such as water and snow skiing, rock climbing, organized sports, sharing during group, and talking to teachers and coaches. We will challenge him to get out of his comfort zone and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Failing Academics
Often, academic struggles are a symptom of a variety of other problems in a young man’s life. Overcoming those challenges often results in an overall improved academic outlook. Until that time, we have an experienced academic team who works with each student to get him set up for academic success. Each student’s academic strengths and weaknesses will be assessed, and once a full credit evaluation has been done an academic plan will be put in place with the goal of getting a student back on track. Of course, this includes academic class work, but it also includes teaching him effective study skills, organizational and time management tools and methods, and improving his ability to self-motivate. For the student who has progressed through the appropriate academic and therapeutic markers, there is the opportunity to be enrolled full-time in a public high school, allowing him to utilize the tools he has learned and find success where he has previously struggled.

Family Integration
The types of issues facing the young men in our program often carry with them an impact on family relationships. Damaged relationships can, in turn, drive animosity and regretful behaviors between family members. Repairing those relationships is an important part of returning to a loving and healthy life. Our therapists work closely with the family and the student to help them understand how to move past regret and begin to connect in a meaningful manner. Students will be asked to complete assignments and readings, and parents will be asked to do some work as well. A large part of this process is letting go of the resentments that are often harbored for past misdeeds, in order to rebuild trust within the family relationship. This can be a difficult process, but once complete, a new framework for positive family relationships will have been built.

Low Self-Esteem
Young men who have a negative self-image or lowered opinion of themselves frequently speak negatively of themselves and may dip into self-sabotaging or avoidance behaviors based on their lack of self-confidence. This is an important issue to overcome. Our therapists help our students find new areas of their lives in which to take pride while encouraging them to take on new challenges and support them as they find new successes and new reasons to take pride in themselves. At the same time, we ask them to take an introspective look at themselves in a new light and work on letting go of resentments and other negative emotions that can cause feelings of low self-esteem.

Oppositional Defiance
Young men who demonstrate oppositional defiant behaviors often act out of anger and frustration. A large part of our program is designed to help our students take control of their emotions and rather than be controlled by them. We teach our students how to recognize what is triggering their anger and guide them through the process of finding a positive way to handle their emotions.

Substance Abuse Education
Young men struggling with any of the issues we work on will often be at a higher risk of engaging in substance use and abuse. For over 20 years Building Bridges has helped educate students on the warning signs and how to find support and tools if this is a challenge for them.