Clinical Program

The Learning Clinic’s Clinical Program provides students with comprehensive clinical services that include individual, family, and group therapy. Fidelity of treatment is a central focus of the TLC treatment program, and incorporates an ecological approach to design of campus and facilities to elicit and support self-management. To achieve this cohesiveness, clinical interventions are uniformly implemented in all settings: school, residential house, during community activities.

The Learning Clinic uses a modified form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy to help students develop the ability to self-regulate. This also includes a solution-focused, practical approach within a natural environment. Skill development is facilitated by the consistent signals in the Learning Clinic environment: 1) consistent daily routines; and 2) consistent responses to student actions. Expectations are defined, supported, prompted, and practiced in multiple settings. Consequences for behavior are relevant and each student receives a personal review of actions through and over time.

We also strive to partner with parents to help them apply the same interventions and similar structure at home.

Clinicians collaborate with parents, teachers, and residential staff to develop each child’s personalized Treatment Plan and to monitor the student’s progress. This is achieved through ongoing review of behavioral data, parent and staff observations and feedback, and video monitoring.

TLC clinicians also have a close working relationship with our on-site consulting psychiatrist to share historical and current, real-time data and concrete feedback on the efficacy of medication interventions. Clinicians are also available to provide the same feedback to community based psychiatrists. Students are assigned an individual clinician who meets with them weekly, and conducts the family therapy sessions. Students may also be assigned to participate in skill-focused group therapy sessions to help them learn strategies for developing skills that compete with problem behaviors, and move them forward to achieve identified goals. At the residential houses, students also participate in weekly clinician-led Group Process meetings, to help students identify and problem-solve social interaction difficulties between peers.

TLC also provides an Extended Day Program, a two-hour social skills and activities program that provides the opportunity to practice social skills, social judgment and perspective-taking within the framework of a structured activity. These activities change every five weeks, providing students with the opportunity to practice their social skills in a variety of activities, with different staff and peers.


The Learning Clinic has long made use of experiential learning to assist students. The addition of a ropes course and introduction of “Adventure Therapy” have made it possible to gain the benefits of experiential learning in a therapeutic setting.

A ropes course is a series of obstacles that present both physical and mental challenges with a degree of controlled and perceived risk. There are both low and high level obstacles enabling the individual participants or groups to work through a progression of activities and allowing the facilitators to customize their curriculum to address specific treatment and group issues as they arise.

Many times individuals experience difficult emotions, such as anxiety and fear when confronted by new and different activities or situations. Through participation in a ropes course program and within a supportive environment, individuals develop an increased ability to cope with new and different situations and their accompanying emotions.

Ropes course activities are physically challenging and typically are presented in a graded progression designed to foster increased group cohesion, improved communication patterns, heightened levels of trust, and increased self-confidence. The ropes course experience allows the individual to “try on” new behaviors in an objective learning atmosphere.