At Mount Saint Vincent, we follow a treatment approach that is revolutionizing the way children who are abused, neglected, mentally ill, or traumatized are treated. NMT — the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics — is a developmentally sensitive approach to trauma treatment.
NMT is an intuitive approach that expands on innate human instincts and skills, and includes activities such as rocking, soothing, and praising kids. These actions are simple to perform, but they have profound impacts on brain development. As children begin to feel comfortable in a safe and stable environment, they can begin to develop social skills and learn impulse control, eventually integrating back into society.
The NMT model was developed by Dr. Bruce Perry, a world-renowned authority on children in crisis and the founder of The ChildTrauma Academy. In July of 2012, The ChildTrauma Academy granted its Flagship Program designation to Mount Saint Vincent, making it only the fourth treatment facility in the world to earn the distinction. Because we are firm believers in the effectiveness of NMT, our Creative Arts Therapy team developed “Doodles, Dances & Ditties: A Trauma-Informed Somatosensory Handbook.” The book is a compilation of more than somatosensory 140 activities and exercise suitable for children. It is available for purchase on Amazon.
We provide a safe place for children and their families to develop healthy relationships. There are three components to our philosophy:
1. Our goal is regulation rather than compliance. Removing expectations of compliance is not the same as removing structure. Structure still serves as a regulatory intervention for the children. Staff are experts at determining a child’s level of regulation (i.e., their present place on the arousal continuum).
2. We provide developmentally appropriate care. It is important to have a clear understanding of the developmental level of each of our children. Mount Saint Vincent meets the children where they are physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively.
3. We provide an atmosphere where children feel safe to develop positive relationships. We understand that many of the children who come to Mount Saint Vincent have had difficulty feeling safe in past environments. It will take time and understanding for children to trust relationships to be safe. They must be given the space to explore those relationships.
By applying an assessment that helps us match therapeutic techniques to the specific needs of each child, we provide a roadmap of where to start with each child and what therapeutic modalities to employ, and where each child tends to be on a continuum and how to regulate the child using appropriate techniques.