The SAILS Institute will provide therapy to the young people in the program according to their individualized treatment plans. The young people will have the opportunity to receive individual, family, and group therapy.
Individual therapy will be based on a strength-based approach. The young people will utilize a customized treatment plan to address their individual needs. In addition, achievable goals will be set towards achieving independence and integrating their LGBTQ orientation into their identity. Individual therapy will address a range of issues, including: stress management, identity development, coping skills, self-care practices, gender issues, communication skills, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS/STDs education and prevention.
We will provide family therapy with a strength-based approach to address concerns for the LGBTQ young people and their families. Topics addressed in family therapy may include: fostering productive and inclusive conversations about the young people’s LGBTQ identity, addressing challenges surrounding the coming out process, resolving stressed relationships, generating a family atmosphere of acceptance, and developing and providing a supportive environment in the home.
Group therapy will give the young people a chance to address common concerns, offering them a sounding board to share and learn from their shared experiences. Group therapy will provide a safe atmosphere in which the young people can discuss relevant topics, support one another, and work on communication and relational skills in an active environment. Some of the topics for group therapy will include: decision making, self development, intimate partner violence, sexual education, substance abuse, communication skills, conflict resolution, healthy relationship skills, gender issues, and HIV/AIDs/STDs.
The LBGBTQ young people will learn how to strategize when confronted with important life decisions, how to identify their options and make the best choice for the given circumstances, and how to prioritize safety when making decisions. Decision-making skills will be addressed and enhanced in the therapeutic environment.
Taking Care of Physical and Mental Health
The young people will be educated about the importance of maintaining mental and physical health. Drug prevention, sexual education, HIV/AIDs/STDs prevention and self-care will be included in this aspect of the life skills training component. Stress and anxiety management will be incorporated, and the young people will be encouraged to identify and develop appropriate coping strategies. Physical exercise will be encouraged, and different disciplines like yoga, karate, and cycling will be used to promote restraint and manage stress. The young people will explore and set goals and will be encouraged to explore their values and belief systems to utilize them as they transition into adulthood and the community.
In the program the young people will learn the importance of employment. They will learn job preparation, participate in job readiness groups, practice interviewing skills, learn how to dress professionally, and learn skills to obtain and maintain employment. We will invite LGBTQ professionals from the community to share their employment experiences with the young people. The young people will be encouraged and supported to build relationships in the community through volunteer work, networking, and job shadowing. Through partnerships in the community, the young people are expected to gain employment or employment skills.
The SAILS Institute will stress the importance of the young people having constructive social skills. The young people will learn how to create and select positive peer relationships and how to develop supportive peer groups. The young people will learn social skills that will enable them to avoid negative influences. They will learn skills that foster clear communication, assertiveness, pride, and respect for others as well as themselves.