*All videos are Closed Captioned on Youtube*
Maria* presented to therapy with Paula Moore, PsyD at the IDD STARS Clinic due to depression, pervasive anxiety and a preoccupation with protecting herself. She was also diagnosed with mild Intellectual Disability and ADHD. Early on, although cooperative, progress was minimal. After securely establishing rapport, she began to show signs of growth in therapy. She responded particularly well to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Not only was she responsive in therapy, but she also demonstrated a keen ability to follow-through on CBT strategies outside of session.
Although there was concern about the need to move to telehealth, as a result of the order to shelter in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic, surprisingly, Maria seemed to flourish. Paradoxically, telehealth videoconferencing gave a balance of distance and intimacy that created comfort to grow for many of the individuals we treat in the IDD STARS Clinic. Consequently, her growth in therapy accelerated as she began to open up. It was during this time that she revealed she was the victim of a traumatic experience. As a result, we quickly shifted gears in therapy and began implementing Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for the treatment of trauma. Maria was supported in working through the trauma while utilizing a related app to further process her feelings outside of session. Consistent with many of the individuals we serve diagnosed with IDD and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), she was amenable to the incorporation of technology (e.g. apps, and online tools) in and out of telehealth sessions which encouraged motivation.
Over the course of therapy, Maria was able to graduate with an associate’s degree and obtain employment with Katy ISD. She is now pursuing her dream of working with individuals diagnosed with IDD, Autism and other special abilities. Earlier this year, she successfully completed therapy. At that time, she understood that should she need to return that too would be a sign of success because returning to therapy, when necessary, is a sign that one is monitoring and working toward maintaining mental health stability.
Maria is indeed a "STAR" and her story is a testament to the power of a good therapeutic relationship, client motivation and maintenance as well as the utilization of a client’s strengths and interests in the IDD population. Our greatest congrats on her success!
*Client's name was altered to protect the client's privacy
The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD received $836,243 from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) COVID-19 Telehealth Program to enhance its telehealth service infrastructure. The FCC received funding for this program through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. The FCC funds will enable The Harris Center to further expand access to behavioral health and intellectual and developmental disabilities services for Harris County residents via telehealth platforms.
Savannah was referred to our YES Waiver program in November 2019. At that time, she was engaging in self-harm and was also fighting depression and anxiety.
Janet successfully completed a full protocol of Cognitive Processing Therapy for childhood trauma. She reported feeling uncomfortable with the memories and struggled talking about them.
Joshua* is an nine-year-old boy whose journey we celebrate. He was a client of both the Feeding Clinic and the Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) program. When we met him at age five, Joshua was non-verbal and had periods of aggressive behavior.
The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, in cooperation with Harris County Probate Court 3 and the University of Houston, has received a grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for an Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program for people with serious mental illness.
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The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD strives to provide high quality, efficient, and cost effective services so that persons with mental disabilities may live with dignity as fully functioning, participating, and contributing members of our community, regardless of their ability to pay based on a sliding scale rate schedule.
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