School-Based Outpatient Therapy is a program that allows for children, adolescents, parents, guardians, families and school personnel to receive behavioral-health treatment at school.

School locations are licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services as outpatient mental health clinics. Therapists employed by Ponessa Behavioral Health hold master’s degrees in behavioral-health related fields (psychology, social work, counseling). Clinicians use strengths-based interventions to empower their clients to face the challenges that they experience in their daily living.

Who can benefit from School-Based Outpatient Therapy?

Some clients are faced with struggles that interfere with their ability to “do their best.” These struggles can be related to a behavioral-health disorder (depression, anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, etc.), or the result of environmental stressors (divorce, peer relationships, family relationships, abuse, etc.). Parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and even the students themselves often know that “something just isn’t right.“ As a result, clients may be experiencing some of the following: problems with sleeping, problems with eating, difficulty concentrating or staying on task, feeling sad or irritable, loss of interest in activities that have been fun, difficulty following rules, aggressive behavior, or decline in school performance.

What happens during
School-Based Outpatient Therapy Treatment?

Clinicians have specialized training in identifying and addressing the root causes of the issues that affect some children and adolescents. They meet with the student and his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) to identify the issues and to develop a treatment plan. Focusing on strengths (student, family, environmental), the clinician provides interventions designed to help the student become more successful at school, at home, and in the community. Treatment is most effective if parent(s) or guardian(s) are active in treatment, so they are encouraged to attend family sessions and to maintain communication with the clinician.

What treatment concerns do we address?

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Drug & Alcohol Issues
  • Grief and Loss
  • Physical/Sexual/Emotional Abuse
  • Parent-Child Problems
  • Personality Disorders
  • Conduct Disorders
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Peer Relationships or Pressure
  • Divorce
  • Self-Esteem
  • Bullying
  • and Much More

Why choose School-Based Outpatient Therapy?

School-Based Outpatient Therapy is a traditional treatment in a nontraditional treatment setting. Students can receive behavioral-health treatment with minimal disruption of their educational day. Our clinicians work with school personnel so that interruption of core educational classes is kept to a minimum whenever possible. School-Based treatment is especially helpful for students whose parents or guardians are unable to get their children and adolescents to traditional treatment settings, because of employment requirements or transportation difficulties.

How are School-Based Outpatient Services funded?

Funding sources include:

  • Medical Assistance (Medicaid)
  • PerformCare
  • CHIP*
  • Private insurances*
  • Self-pay

* Please contact the office to see if we participate with your CHIP or private insurance provider.

How can your child or student get started?

The School Based Outpatient Mental Health program is licensed to provide mental health services at a myriad of schools and school districts throughout South Central Pennsylvania as well as Lancaster Pediatric Associates. To find out if your child's school participates with Ponessa Behavioral Health, please contact us directly at 717-560-7917 and choose option # 5 to speak directly with the School Based Outpatient Program.

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