Guidance Center Clinical Services & Programs

Southwest Family Guidance Center is a trauma-informed agency, committed to providing personalized mental health care for the communities it serves. Our large and diverse staff of qualified therapists practice in six New Mexico counties are able to offer a wide variety of services and programs for individual clients and entire families.  MORE  >

  • SWFGC provides clinical services to children, adolescents, and families in Albuquerque, Corrales (serving Rio Rancho and Sandoval County), Los Lunas, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces. We have a clinical staff of over 120 therapists, all of whom are licensed Masters- or Doctoral-level clinicians. Our therapists have a variety of specializations, including play, sandtray, EMDR, trauma-informed, and…  MORE >

    SWFGC provides clinical services to children, adolescents, and families in Albuquerque, Corrales (serving Rio Rancho and Sandoval County), Los Lunas, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces. We have a clinical staff of over 120 therapists, all of whom are licensed Masters- or Doctoral-level clinicians. Our therapists have a variety of specializations, including play, sandtray, EMDR, trauma-informed, and substance abuse therapies.

    We offer individual therapy for children, adolescents, and adults, family therapy, and substance abuse assessment and treatment. We are also involved in the statewide initiative by the Children, Youth, and Families Department to bring trauma-informed therapy services (the work of Dr. Bruce Perry) to New Mexico.

    We also provide crisis stabilization services, in which we deliver risk assessments (for self-harm, suicidality, and harm to others), 24-hour on-call availability and on-going intensive therapy and case management services for 3–5 days following assessment, until clients are placed in the appropriate level of care.

    To Make An Appointment Please Call (505) 830-1871

  • Also known as Multisystemic Therapy (MST), the major goal of Home-Based Therapy is to give parents the skills and resources needed to address the difficulties that arise in raising youth with delinquent behaviors. It also seeks to empower youth to cope with family, peer, school, and neighborhood problems. MST is an evidence-based treatment model that strives to promote behavior…  MORE >

    Also known as Multisystemic Therapy (MST), the major goal of Home-Based Therapy is to give parents the skills and resources needed to address the difficulties that arise in raising youth with delinquent behaviors. It also seeks to empower youth to cope with family, peer, school, and neighborhood problems. MST is an evidence-based treatment model that strives to promote behavior change in the youth’s natural environment, leveraging the strengths of each system to facilitate change (family, peers, school, neighborhood, organizations.) As an intensive family and community-based treatment model, the focus is on the many causes underlying serious delinquent behavior in youth who are at potential risk for out-of-home placement.

    Qualifications Include:
    • Youth ages 12–17
    • Has multiple arrests/is a chronic offender
    • Is deeply involved with delinquent peers
    • Is experiencing problems at school or doesn’t attend at all
    • Abuses substances (marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, etc.)
    • Is currently, or has a recent history of being, a runaway
    • Demonstrates, or has demonstrated, physical aggression in more than one setting
    • Is covered by Medicaid. MST does not currently take private pay or commercial insurance
    • Has at least one adult member of the family willing to take part in services

    What Can Be Expected:
    • Treatment provided in the home and the community
    • Time-limited treatment of 3–5 months
    • Therapist available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    • Flexible schedules to accommodate the needs of the family
    • Tailored treatments for the unique needs of the family and its members
    • Therapists with small caseloads to facilitate multiple weekly sessions if needed

    Quick Facts:
    MST is a well-validated treatment model with 16 published outcome studies. Adolescents who were clinically discharged from treatment:
    • 89% were able to stay at home instead of residential treatment, foster care and/or detention.
    • 84% were able to stay in school and/or keep a job.
    • 85% have no new arrests.

    How To Initiate Treatment:

    Referral Forms
    Client Intake Forms


    seal-modelplus-med

    Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute
    has been a licensed MST provider since 2007.

  • School-Based Therapy Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute is contracted with Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Moriarty-Edgewood, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe Public Schools to provide therapy services to Medicaid-eligible students in the school setting. This arrangement helps overcome barriers that might prevent students from accessing services, such as a lack of transportation, and ensures they receive the…  MORE >

    School-Based Therapy
    Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute is contracted with Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Moriarty-Edgewood, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe Public Schools to provide therapy services to Medicaid-eligible students in the school setting. This arrangement helps overcome barriers that might prevent students from accessing services, such as a lack of transportation, and ensures they receive the services they need. Therapists are at the schools on a regular basis to see students, attend school Health & Wellness meetings, and consult with teachers and other school staff. Therapists also work with parents to engage them in treatment and keep them informed of the services their children receive.

    Suicide & Crisis Assessments
    SWFGC is contracted with Albuquerque Public Schools to provide same-day suicide risk assessments to all students in the district who have made comments indicating suicidal ideation. Upon completion of the assessment, SWFGC provides recommendations to the family for follow-up services and communicates these recommendations to the referring school employee. Additionally, APS employees often refer to SWFGC to assess students who make threats of hurting others; for these students, SWFGC completes a next-day “crisis assessment.” SWFGC responds to hundreds of suicide assessment referrals during the school year.

     

  • Also known as Home Based Therapy, the major goal of MST is to give parents the skills and resources needed to address the difficulties that arise in raising youth with delinquent behaviors. It also seeks to empower youth to cope with family, peer, school, and neighborhood problems. MST is an evidence-based treatment model that strives to promote behavior change…  MORE >

    Also known as Home Based Therapy, the major goal of MST is to give parents the skills and resources needed to address the difficulties that arise in raising youth with delinquent behaviors. It also seeks to empower youth to cope with family, peer, school, and neighborhood problems. MST is an evidence-based treatment model that strives to promote behavior change in the youth’s natural environment, leveraging the strengths of each system to facilitate change (family, peers, school, neighborhood, organizations.) As an intensive family and community-based treatment model, the focus is on the many causes underlying serious delinquent behavior in youth who are at potential risk for out-of-home placement.

    Qualifications Include:
    • Youth ages 12–17
    • Has multiple arrests/is a chronic offender
    • Is deeply involved with delinquent peers
    • Is experiencing problems at school or doesn’t attend at all
    • Abuses substances (marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, etc.)
    • Is currently, or has a recent history of being, a runaway
    • Demonstrates, or has demonstrated, physical aggression in more than one setting
    • Is covered by Medicaid. MST does not currently take private pay or commercial insurance
    • Has at least one adult member of the family willing to take part in services

    What Can Be Expected:
    • Treatment provided in the home and the community
    • Time-limited treatment of 3–5 months
    • Therapist available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    • Flexible schedules to accommodate the needs of the family
    • Tailored treatments for the unique needs of the family and its members
    • Therapists with small caseloads to facilitate multiple weekly sessions if needed

    Quick Facts:
    MST is a well-validated treatment model with 16 published outcome studies. Adolescents who were clinically discharged from treatment:
    • 89% were able to stay at home instead of residential treatment, foster care and/or detention.
    • 84% were able to stay in school and/or keep a job.
    • 85% have no new arrests.

    How To Initiate Treatment:

    Referral Forms
    Client Intake Forms


    seal-modelplus-med

    Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute
    has been a licensed MST provider since 2007.

  • Multisystemic Therapy For Youth With Problem Sexual Behaviors (MST-PSB) is a clinical adaptation of MST that has been specifically designed to treat youth and their families coping with problem sexual behavior. The range of problem sexual behaviors covered by the PSB model is significant, with one important distinction. In order to qualify for our program, there must have been…  MORE >

    Multisystemic Therapy For Youth With Problem Sexual Behaviors (MST-PSB) is a clinical adaptation of MST that has been specifically designed to treat youth and their families coping with problem sexual behavior. The range of problem sexual behaviors covered by the PSB model is significant, with one important distinction. In order to qualify for our program, there must have been a victim of the abuse other than the clients themselves.

    There is a particularly high level of social concern regarding the seriousness of sexually offending youth. MST-PSB model responds to this concern with an evidence-based model of treatment developed to address the broad array of risk factors not only with the youth individually, but also in the home, school and community. Most existing models in use today are adult models, repurposed for juvenile application. The MST-PSB model is a significant advance in the treatment of juvenile sexual offenders as it was specifically designed for youth in real-world settings, while also continuing to collect critical data to further inform the model.

    Qualifications Include:
    • Youth ages 12–17 (some exceptions considered for clients as young as 9)
    • Youth covered by Medicaid. MST does not currently take private pay or commercial insurance
    • Youth has an identified problem sexual behavior
    • At least one adult member of the family willing to participate in treatment

    What Can Be Expected:
    • The same level of care identified for MST, plus the following
    • Time limited treatment of 5–7 months
    • Focus on the youth’s problem sexual behavior
    • Comprehensive safety plans to mitigate and minimize risk in the home and community
    • Clarification of the underlying drivers and causes behind the problem sexual behavior
    • Reunification of family members (if appropriate)
    • Emphasis on the youth’s peer relations
    • Encouragement of age-appropriate and normative sexual experiences

    How To Initiate Treatment:

    Referral Forms
    Client Intake Forms


    Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute
    has been a licensed MST provider since 2007, and
    a licensed MST-PSB provider since 2009.

  • In order to effectively treat adolescents and parents struggling with substance use or abuse, Southwest Family Guidance Center has created a comprehensive suite of programs and services under an overarching structure and strategy known as “ISAP.” Every client is unique. Not every referral shares the same drivers, barriers or needs. That is why each candidate for our…  MORE >

    In order to effectively treat adolescents and parents struggling with substance use or abuse, Southwest Family Guidance Center has created a comprehensive suite of programs and services under an overarching structure and strategy known as “ISAP.”

    Every client is unique. Not every referral shares the same drivers, barriers or needs. That is why each candidate for our Intensive Stance Abuse Programs is thoroughly assessed by licensed clinicians utilizing leading assessment formats and systems, responding to the referral behaviors and relevant issues revealed during the intake process. Based on findings of the clinical assessment process, a treatment plans is formulated which may recommend concurrent or consecutive involvement in one, two, or a combination of programs, tailored to the needs of each client.

    ISAP Treatment Flowchart

  • Adapted IOP: Intensive Outpatient Program With Additional Flexibility Our adapted Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) using the Seven Challenges Model for youth with substance use/abuse concerns focuses not only on the individual in recovery but also the whole family system impacting the client. It encourages change of behavior, provides family and individual education about substance use/abuse,…  MORE >

    Adapted IOP: Intensive Outpatient Program With Additional Flexibility

    Our adapted Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) using the Seven Challenges Model for youth with substance use/abuse concerns focuses not only on the individual in recovery but also the whole family system impacting the client. It encourages change of behavior, provides family and individual education about substance use/abuse, and introduces relapse prevention. The program focuses on learning how to make positive life changes and choices, supporting group services outside of the program, and encouraging family involvement.

    What should I expect from IOP?

    •  Youth will attend group sessions two times a week
    • Parents will participate in group therapy once a week
    • Youth, and parents if appropriate, will participate in at least one individual and/or family therapy each week
    • If clinically indicated, youth and family may also be assigned a care coordinator/case manager for up to 10 hours of case management.
    • Many adolescents may also choose to attend a support group such as A.A. or N.A.
    • All services are provided by licensed mental health counselors in a safe environment

    Who should attend IOP?

    • Adolescents from ages 13–18 years old who want to live an alcohol or drug free lifestyle
    • Families who are concerned about their teenager’s drug or substance use
    • Adolescents & families willing to participate in an intensive program that can for four months to one year

    About Seven Challenges

    The Seven Challenges is an evidence-based, comprehensive counseling program for youth with drug, alcohol and other problems. It is designed to motivate youth to evaluate their lives, consider changes they may wish to make, and then succeed in implementing those changes. It supports youth to taking control of their own rehabilitation.

    The Seven Challenges approach is unique and more effective because it does not assume or assert that the youth should abstain from the use of drugs and alcohol, but instead helps them take a complete and honest inventory of why they use, and the positive and negative effects of these behaviors. A youth who is able to make their own determination that the behavior should be changed is far more likely to have the ability to make the change in a lasting and sustainable manner.

    The Seven Challenges approach is designed to help youth look at what is happening in their lives, recognize what is going well and what is problematic. As youth go through this model, the “challenge process” is used to help them make thoughtful decisions in their life, including about drugs and alcohol.

    In the group, young people address their drug problems, co-occurring life skill deficits, as well as situational, social and psychological challenges. Counselors provide a structure and framework for individual sessions, the content of each session is not scripted, but flexible to the immediate needs of youth. “We do not fit the youth into our program; rather, we wrap the program around the concerns of the youth we serve.”

    The Seven Challenges Are:

    1. We decided to open up and talk honestly about ourselves and about alcohol and other drugs.
    2. We looked at what we liked about alcohol and other drugs, and why we were using them.
    3. We looked at our use of alcohol and other drugs to see if it has caused harm or could cause harm.
    4. We looked at our responsibility and the responsibility of others for our problems.
    5. We thought about where we seemed to be headed, where we wanted to go, and what we wanted to accomplish.
    6. We made thoughtful decisions about our lives and about our use of alcohol and other drugs.
    7. We followed through on our decisions about our lives and drug use. If we saw problems, we went back to earlier challenges and mastered them.
  • CYFD-CBHD granted federal money for Valencia County for five years to improve access to treatment and support services for youth and young adults ages 16—26 that either have, or are at risk of developing a serious mental health condition. This age group is at high risk of developing mental illness, a substance use disorder, and…  MORE >

    CYFD-CBHD granted federal money for Valencia County for five years to improve access to treatment and support services for youth and young adults ages 16—26 that either have, or are at risk of developing a serious mental health condition. This age group is at high risk of developing mental illness, a substance use disorder, and committing suicide. At the same time, this group is the least likely to seek help. As a result, many “fall through the cracks,” and do not receive what they need to assume safe and productive adult roles and responsibilities.

    2014 Valencia County Youth Statistics

    • 864 are not in school
    • 24% experienced depression/hopelessness
    • 12% have seriously considered suicide
    • 39% used cannabis
    • 14% took pain killers
    • 6% have used inhalants
    • 39% of criminal offenses were committed by hispanic youth ages 16—17

    We offer a wide variety of youth-driven services. We listen to the individual’s needs and make a plan to meet them.

    •  Life Skills Coaching
    • Individual Counseling
    • Family Therapy
    • MST (Multisystemic Therapy)
    • Mentoring
    • Tutoring
    • Peer Support
    • Substance Abuse Services (IOP, 7 Challenges, Brief Challenges)
    • Open Computer Lab

    We are a youth-driven program.

    This means that our projects are designed and executed by youth in partnership with peers and adult professional colleagues.

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  • Thriving Kids™ Parenting Curriculum is an intensive parenting curriculum designed to improve over all family health and success. The program is presented by the Southwest Family Guidance Center and is trauma and developmentally informed. Much of the program is based on the latest research and work in Interpersonal Neurobiology. Our Mission is to deliver an intensive training program that increases empathy, enhances parenting skills,…  MORE >

    Thriving Kids™ Parenting Curriculum is an intensive parenting curriculum designed to improve over all family health and success. The program is presented by the Southwest Family Guidance Center and is trauma and developmentally informed. Much of the program is based on the latest research and work in Interpersonal Neurobiology.

    Our Mission is to deliver an intensive training program that increases empathy, enhances parenting skills, and contributes to the health, happiness and safety of every family member.

    Families that can benefit:
    • Families with an open case with Child Protective Services
    • Families at risk of Child Protective Services involvement
    • Court-referred families
    • Families with a child in out-of-home placement
    • Families working toward reunification

    What the program includes:
    • Individual Therapy
    • Family Therapy
    • Group Therapy (psycho-education and process therapy)
    • Parenting & Life Skills Coaching

    For more information, please contact Ashley Martin-Cuellar, LMFT, MA at (505) 830-1871.

  • Biopsychosocial Assessments For every incoming and prospective client, one of Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute’s independently licensed supervisors will conduct a comprehensive biological, psychological and social assessment. As a trauma informed agency ,the use of this measure comes from a belief that a person’s overall health is best understood through a combination of biological, psychological and social…  MORE >

    Biopsychosocial Assessments
    For every incoming and prospective client, one of Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute’s independently licensed supervisors will conduct a comprehensive biological, psychological and social assessment. As a trauma informed agency ,the use of this measure comes from a belief that a person’s overall health is best understood through a combination of biological, psychological and social factors. All these domains play a significant role in human functioning, and the accurate and effective assessment of the “whole picture” will contribute to the development of treatment recommendations most appropriate for the client.

    Psychosexual Assessments
    Our agency has three independently licensed supervisors who run our Multisystemic Therapy programs for youth with problem sexual behaviors (MST-PSB).  As a result of their specialized focus with this at-risk population, we are able to provide psychosexual assessments to stakeholders and families who are looking for a higher-level assessment to determine vulnerabilities and protective factors of the youth and his or her family.

    In some cases, psychometrics such as the JSOAP-II (Juvenile Sexual Offender Protocol II) or the ERASOR (Estimate of Risk of Adolescent Sexual Offense Recidivism) will be used as an enhancement to the assessment. It is important to note use of any psychometric for this type of assessment will only be used as an additional information-gathering tool and not as a means of assessing risk for sexual recidivism.

    DISCLOSURE REGARDING RISK ASSESSMENTS: Determining specific level of risk for re-offense of sexual harm is currently statistically impossible and unethical.  At this time, there are no empirically validated measures for determining specific probability of youthful sexual re-offense (Prescott, 2006; Calder, 2011).  Multiple factors make prediction problematic in adolescents: 1. the fluid nature of adolescent development; 2. low base rates for sexual recidivism among children and adolescents (Caldwell, 2007; Wait, Keller, McGarvey, Wieckowski, Pinkerton & Brown, 2005); and 3. lack of consensus on defining predictors of recidivism in adolescents (Miccio-Fonseco & Rasmussen, 2006).  Based on these factors, the goal of this type of assessment is to build on strengths in order to reduce harm and increase the potential for successful outcomes. Research suggests that treatment failures are a predictor of sexual recidivism; therefore, it is essential that the youth’s treatment be accurately assessed regardless of the outcome of pending charges. 

    Substance Use/Abuse Assessments
    Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute has an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for youth with substance abuse/dependence concerns. These services are offered in Bernalillo and Valencia counties.  In addition to IOP services we also provide treatment to adolescents involved with the Sandoval County Drug Court.  Our substance abuse/dependence services teach and promote the 7 Challenges Model. Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute also promotes helping youth address their drug problems as well as their co-occurring life skills deficits, situational problems and psychological problems.

    In order to ensure accurately and effectively referral to these programs, our program supervisors will conduct a comprehensive Biopsychosocial Assessment targeting the substance use behavior.  In addition to this, our IOP supervisors further assess through use of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). This placement measurement assists with determining the appropriate level of care and treatment for someone with substance use/abuse concerns.

    Suicide & Crisis Assessments
    Through a contract with the Albuquerque Public School (APS), Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute provides same-day suicide risk assessments to all students in the district who have made any statement or gesture, written and/or verbal, indicating suicidal ideation. This assessment is conducted at our agency under the supervision of an independently licensed supervisor and involved the student and his/her family or caregivers. Following the assessment, the student and family are given recommendations and safety planning options to address the specific needs of the student.

    In addition to same day suicide assessments, Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute will also conduct a next day crisis assessment for students referred by the district for threats of harm to others or other significant crisis situations that may be impacting the student’s ability to function.