It’s been a year since ARC Human Services – In The Moment Specialized Supports (ITM) began building a Team to support Beth. I thought it was a great time to reflect back and share the great progress she and her team have made.Late last fall, we were introduced to Beth. She was being supported residentially by a provider in Dubois, PA. She was struggling to cope with her feelings and she was unsure if she could be helped where she was living.
We worked to provide Beth and her supporters with ITM Clinical Training and Skills that are grounded in the concepts of Trauma Informed Care and Dialectal Behavior Therapy and began working with them using our ITM Model. Our goal with them, as it is with all that we work with, was to build them into a Team. We shared with her and the people supporting her that we were hoping to transform them from a consumer and her staff into a true team.We immediately were introduced to a number of key Team members that would be an integral part of her progress over the next year. We began our weekly ITM Clinical Core Team and Weekly ITM Team meetings and the progress and struggles associated with building Team-driven supports were evident but after a few months we noticed the positive growth of both Beth and her Team.
Over the summer, her provider encountered challenges and difficulties that caused them to decide that they could no longer support Beth. ARC Human Services was asked in August to provide emergency respite services and to develop a specialized residential site based upon the ITM Specialized Support Model. An amazing thing occurred which has come to illustrate the strength of the ITM program. A number of key ITM Team members from her previous provider chose to join our agency and to continue to work with Beth. They all have remarked how they had come to value the Team concept and that they had never previously experienced anything like this in our field.
Beth’s ITM program was growing and getting stronger and it would be tested many times. We immediately began developing a new ITM Residential Site in the Clearfield Jefferson County area for Beth to return to. Due to the unique nature of the respite site, we needed a really strong Team. The challenge came with supporting her with her ITM Team in a site that was 2 ½ hours away. The ITM Team members were up to the challenge and many of her Team made the drive there and back on a regular basis to support her. This was an essential component of the treatment model. She was provided with the predictable and structured supports she so needed by her trained Team members. She felt safe and she felt we were there for her. It was really beginning to pay off for Beth. We needed to continue to provide the clinical and behavioral supports in her respite site and we realized we needed to grow with Beth. We added additional structure and planning into her daily planning and to her weekly ITM Clinical Core Team and weekly ITM Team meetings. We were able to train additional ITM Team members to seamlessly blend them in with her Team members from her Dubois days.
Beth has demonstrated significant growth in her problem solving, emotional regulation and her acceptance of her feelings as she encounters them “in the moment”. She never misses her weekly ITM meeting and comes prepared to discuss things and to allow her team to support her through tough decisions. She had struggles at her respite site with her roommate and as we reflect back now, Beth and her Team are all able to see how this has helped Beth grow. Her ITM Team is there to keep her safe in the moment and to help her grow.
We were able to welcome her to her new home in Brookville in October. She has an amazing ITM Team to support her. Team members like Elaine, Betsy, Brianna, Jamie have been with her and the ITM model since it was introduced to Beth. They handled all the curves thrown at them with skill and great attitudes. Beth has grown and can now participate in planning and enjoying things that in the past had proved to be very distressful and unsafe. She and her team were able to enjoy a visit with her family in Philadelphia, which in the past had been very traumatic and stressful. She can thoughtfully plan an evening out without having disastrous and dangerous encounters which in the past had put her in great risk.
We also recognize that she will always struggle with the effects of PTSD and her Axis II Borderline presentations; but we are sure that we can continue to assist and support Beth on her journey to having the life that she deserves and one that is rich and rewarding and is “In The Moment”.
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