Among my other roles here at Compass Point, I have the pleasure of leading the ACES group. ACES is a fairly new curriculum and group so there are always many questions. I am going to take them one at a time.
So the first question, what is ACES? ACES is a program developed for people that have done a full year of DBT but find there are still areas in which they could improve. It builds on the foundation of DBT. It’s primary purpose is to introduce the idea of building your life in such a way that you no longer need therapy. It can be scary to contemplate life without therapy when you have been in therapy for years. ACES is all about setting yourself up for success when you do graduate from therapy.
The second question, what kind of commitment is it? ACES 6:15-7:45 every Monday night for a year. There is an expectation to do homework every week and to be seeing an individual therapist weekly at the start of the program. The plan would be to decrease the individual therapy over time. The homework includes reading material and practicing skills.
Why so long? Most of you will have been in the mental health system for years. Making the change is a process and we want to set you up to not only succeed but thrive. For that reason the curriculum is pretty comprehensive. We spend a month on each on 12 important topics.
How do I know if it is right for me? Have you done a year of DBT? Then it might fit you. Are you currently seeing a therapist or would you like to? Then it might fit you. Has it been three months since you engaged in self-harm or acted on suicidal thoughts? Then it might fit you. Are there things on the list of topics that you want to improve on? Then it might fit you.
How do I get in the group? If you have a compass point therapist simply talk to them about doing an application and they can contact me. I will give them the application and let them know when the groups next open is. The group opens once a month but caps at 12 members. If you do not have a compass point therapist, you or your outside therapist can contact me at Compass Point or ask any staff to connect you with me for an intake to ensure you are a good fit for the group.
Please note this is a private pay group that charges $20 per week.
Contact info: 513-939-0300 ext 171
DBT Friends and Family is a support group for individuals who have a loved one that is participating in DBT treatment. We understand that the DBT concepts and skills are foreign to you and that your loved ones behaviors, thoughts, and/or feelings may be confusing. We believe that you have a desire to help facilitate positive change.
The goal of DBT Friends and Family is two-fold:
1. We seek to support you and connect you with others who understand this stress
2. We seek teach you core DBT skills and concepts so that you can relate and help your loved one
This group is offered in both Anderson + Fairfield on a rotating basis. Ask the front office where the next class will meet
To sign up for the next meeting call the front office at 513-939-0300
Target Population: Clients who have completed two cycles (one year) of Standard Dialectical
Behavioral Therapy skills class and are still struggling to find their life worth living -or- are seeking a greater understanding or practice of DBT skills and concepts of behavioral change.
Goals of DBT-ACES: Clients will push ahead with new goals to help them create a support network, acquire employment that is in line with their values and needs, experience their emotions and are able to demonstrate mastery of standard DBT skills. At completion of DBT-ACES, the client will be finished with standard weekly therapy or will seek a specific treatment (ie: exposure therapy). It is recognized that continuing with standard weekly therapy keeps the client dependent on the mental health system thus reinforcing their identity of mental illness.
Additional Requirements: The client will need to continue with an individual therapist and continue using a diary card. If the therapist is unfamiliar with the DBT-ACES protocol, an overview will be provided. As mentioned above, a goal is to reduce dependence on the mental health system; as time progresses the standard rules of phone coaching will change and frequency of appointments should decrease. The client must be free of suicidal and self-harming behavior for at least 3 months prior to beginning DBT-ACES.
For more information please contact the facilitator, Charity Chaney, at Compass Point Counseling Center (513) 939-0300
When we are struggling, it can be hard to muster up the motivation, focus, and follow-through to secure the support we need. Add to this the fact that the mental health world can be daunting and difficult to navigate - even for seasoned mental health professionals - and the unfortunate consequence is that many people who want and would benefit from treatment end up going without. If you are in need of mental health support but are not sure where to start or are confused about the information you have already found, the following may be useful in guiding your next steps:
Types of mental health care
Levels of mental health care
If you are not sure which type of treatment or level of care is appropriate for you, an initial diagnostic assessment by a qualified mental health professional is a good place to start. The evaluating practitioner can use the information you provide during the assessment to determine areas of need and provide referrals accordingly. Here at Compass Point we offer a service called Care Connect which helps match you to the type and level of care that you need.
Finding a Provider
So, you have a general idea of what is out there in terms of mental health treatment...but how do you access it? Here are some options:
Compass Point is now offering free weekly zen meditation. On Wednesday mornings from 10:00 am to 10:20 am. We have a brief introduction to the style of meditation followed by a 15-20 minute meditation sitting practice. After, we spend a few minutes discussing the experience. A small amount of time that makes a big impact! Walk ins are welcome, however we recommend coming about 10 minutes before meditation starts.
Below is an article from Alyx Beresford on the benefits of practicing weekly zen meditation shared from her blog, your mental restoration.
Formal Zen meditation is the type that I practice and encourage my friends, family, clients, etc to practice also. Notice I said practice…yes, sitting upright and still requires PRACTICE! The basic components are:
You can really meditate whenever your want, where-ever you want, with whoever you want. I recommend group meditation in the beginning…think about how much you cognitively know about exercising and eating healthy vs what you actually do in your day-to-day life…? I find that group meditation holds you accountable and achieves better results just as group exercise does! Most major cities have group meditations or a zen center to provide this structure.
TAPS Care Groups provide emotional support and camaraderie for military survivors. Lasting relationships can be built on common threads. These local survivor support groups are encouraging and enlightening. Many find they learn new coping skills and stress-relieving strategies by talking to others who can relate.
If there's not a TAPS Care Group in your area and you're interested in finding other local community support you can request a community resource report. If you're interested in starting a TAPS Care Group in your area, the first step is to become a TAPS Peer Mentor. For more information about a TAPS Care Group or becoming a peer mentor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800-959-TAPS (8277).