Lucia* was 16 years old when she was referred to ACS through the District Attorney’s Juvenile Diversion program. Her charge was Assault and Battery after an argument with a peer escalated to a physical fight, and Lucia threw a rock at a peer. Engaging in mental health treatment at ACS was one of the conditions of her diversion contract.
After Lucia and her mom participated in an intake session, their ACS clinician recommended that Lucia participate in both individual treatment and enroll in THRIVE, our psychoeducational group treatment program. Lucia began individual therapy sessions with an ACS clinician right away. She also began attending the weekly group.
In time, Lucia came to trust her individual clinician. She gradually came to discuss her feelings of anxiety, and how the inability to cope with her feelings often triggered angry outbursts. In group treatment, Lucia was able to connect with other teens. She realized that she was not alone in struggling to understand and manage her emotions. She also learned some healthy coping skills that would help her when she did feel angry, anxious, or alone.
Lucia sent a letter to her ACS clinician after completing the THRIVE program. She wrote, “My experience with the programs these past few months has been really helpful. I’ve learned how to cope with my emotions such as my anxiety, my depression and how to cope with my anger. I’m glad that I’m getting the right help for me mentally because I was lost.”
Lucia attended 19 individual treatment sessions and all eight group treatment sessions. She successfully completed the Diversion program, which resulted in the dismissal of her charges and expungement of her criminal record.
*To protect confidentiality, ACS does not use the names, photos, or identifying features of our clients.