Marsha Linehan’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy helped improve the rehabilitation of minors at the Echo Glen Children’s Center, which is celebrating 50 years of youth rehab.
Exerpted from the Snoqualmie Valley Record
Echo Glen Children’s Center celebrates 50 years of youth rehab
EVAN PAPPAS, Wed Sep 27th, 2017
It’s been 50 years since Echo Glen Children’s Center began operating in the Snoqualmie Valley under the State Department of Social and Health Services as a juvenile rehabilitation institution.
On Wednesday, Sept. 20, the administration welcomed former staff members, alumni, city representatives and many community volunteers to a 50th anniversary celebration.
While it has classrooms, a gym and a lunch room, Echo Glen isn’t just a school. Don Mead, superintendent of Echo Glen for the past 22 years, explained that the 150-acre “medium/maximum” security facility is a place for minors who have committed serious offenses and have been convicted by the court, to go through a rehabilitation process.
In a partnership with the University of Washington, Echo Glen implemented an evidence-based treatment called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), developed by UW researcher Marsha Linehan in the 1980s. Focusing on the mental health, behavior, education, and life skills has improved the success of rehabilitation, Mead said.
“Everybody saw how well it was working, we decided to use the work here as a pilot for all of juvenile rehabilitation institutions and community facilities,” he said. “That became a turning point in our approach to doing treatment, now we focus on what has been described as evidence-based treatment… We started DBT and DBT became the pilot for all of the institutions and facilities for the state. It became known across the country.”
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