Not all girls in our program are here for therapy or to solve behavioral issues. Some just need help focusing on academics or to get caught up in school before they graduate. Or, perhaps events at home demand that the girl live away from home in a safe and loving place where she can also complete her high school education. Many of the girls in our care were adopted at a young age and have come to a crossroads where they need time to figure out where they fit in the world, even though they may have very loving adoptive parents and families.
For girls with behavioral and self-destructive issues, our therapy involves an interpretation or identification of why the inappropriate behaviors are occurring. Through our curriculum, mentoring and counseling, the goal is to help such students discover their incorrect assumptions and replace them with more positive goals and pursuits.
Students come to us in various states of mind. Many have acquired dysfunctional routes, behaviors, and attitudes to satisfy primary needs of security and significance. We believe that a proper relationship with our staff and more importantly, with God, will meet those needs.
Student counseling and education generally involve the integration of principles from various psychological disciplines and with varying philosophical underpinnings. We embrace the appropriation of this information where it can facilitate discipleship. The goal of any sound therapeutic process is spiritual and relational growth through discipleship.
Along with individual and group counseling, the girl’s assigned Counselor is also responsible to ensure a smooth delivery of all of CGA’s services to the student and family. The Counselor is the point of contact for the family, available to answer questions and give updates on the student’s progress.
Group counseling occurs on a regular basis, allowing students an opportunity to grapple with and resolve commonly faced issues. Students learn to constructively express their thoughts, ideas, and questions in an environment where each member is accepted and respected. Group counseling is not utilized to scrutinize individual group members or to glorify past poor behaviors.
CGA meets each student’s need of love, belonging and esteem through multiple avenues. Every member of the CGA team, staff and students, are embraced in a familial atmosphere. The goal of the CGA staff is to honor every teen individually. The student culture at CGA is welcoming and positive. Students are encouraged to treat one another with respect and compassion.
The first hour of each school day is devoted to a therapeutic focus. Our curriculum is designed in such a way to emphasize introspective thinking and works hand-in-hand with our Christian counseling. Tailored for the individual student, the work required encourages students to examine areas of their lives that are in need of change. Students are required to complete 11 units from our program before graduation, which is accomplished through meeting daily and weekly goals.
Each evening, we also hold Evening Group Time. This special time of sharing is staff directed and designed to promote growth and unity in the dorm. Some of the topics that may be discussed include: Positive Peer Influence, Accountability, Personal Responsibility, Peer Reconciliation and Conflict Resolution.
Our Aftercare Program
Columbus Girls Academy is committed to the continued success of our students. Prior to completion of the program a Parent/Student contract will be developed by the counselor, student, and family. The goal of the contract will be to define and uphold the boundaries within the home. Topics included in the contract include the re-establishment of trust, specific responsibilities, guidelines, conflict resolution, educational goals, and spiritual commitments. Columbus Girls Academy will work with the student and family to set up a support system at home before the student graduated the program.
Upon graduation, we will periodically contact the graduate and welcome the graduate and family to contact their counselor for further help or guidance following the closure of the program.
Emerging Leaders Program
Columbus Girls Academy is not only interested in recovery but has also recognized the need to train up the next generation of leaders. The Emerging Leader’s program is an extended training program designed to identify, equip and train emerging leaders through mentoring, curriculum, and training though an on-site internship. Columbus Girls Academy typically has 8-10 students from its student body enrolled in the program. The ELP is a voluntary opportunity that is available to students enrolled CGA. Students who are accepted into the ELP have a three month internship with CGA after graduation.