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  >

  • Sometimes clients face challenges that aren’t exactly clinical. They often need help acquiring certain life skills or accessing community resources. CCSS steps in to fill this gap. A Community Support Worker (CSW) supports individuals and families with the services and resources to help promote recovery, rehabilitation, and resiliency. A CSW addresses goals in the following functional…  MORE >

    Sometimes clients face challenges that aren’t exactly clinical. They often need help acquiring certain life skills or accessing community resources. CCSS steps in to fill this gap. A Community Support Worker (CSW) supports individuals and families with the services and resources to help promote recovery, rehabilitation, and resiliency.

    A CSW addresses goals in the following functional domains:

    • Independent Living
    • Learning
    • Working
    • Socializing
    • Recreation

    Interacting face-to-face and on behalf of the client in community locations, a CSW worker utilizes a variety of interventions to addresses any barriers that impede the client’s development toward independent functioning in the community. CCSS services are provided to eligible recipients that meet New Mexico state criteria for Serious Emotional/Neurobiological/Behavioral Disorders (SED).

    CCSS services are offered in Bernalillo, Doña Ana, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe, and Valencia Counties.

    Printable flyer can be downloaded HERE.
    Referral Forms for services can be accessed HERE.

  • Children ages 0-5 experience and recover from trauma very differently than other age groups, requiring specialized approaches to understand and treat effectively. Triggers include traumatic events such as: • Death Of A Loved One • Separation • Serious Medical Problems • Abuse • Domestic Violence • Community Violence • Changes Of Home Or Location •…  MORE >

    Children ages 0-5 experience and recover from trauma very differently than other age groups, requiring specialized approaches to understand and treat effectively.

    Triggers include traumatic events such as:
    • Death Of A Loved One
    • Separation
    • Serious Medical Problems
    • Abuse
    • Domestic Violence
    • Community Violence
    • Changes Of Home Or Location
    • Changes In Caregivers
    • Familial Physical/Mental Health Issues
    • Lack Of Parenting Skills

    Enagaging in Child-Parent Psychotherapy fosters improvements in the child’s mood, problem behaviors, learning, symptoms of trauma, and biological stress responses. The parent similarly sees improvements in mood, stress level, symptoms of trauma, and an increase in the the quality of relationships.


    What Is The Process?

    • Access a referral form for the appropriate county and complete as thoroughly as possible.
    • The client is assigned to a therapist who will reach out to initiate engagement.
    • The therapist will inventory the client’s history, traumatic experiences, needs, challenges, strengths, and values.
    • The therapist will create a treatment plan and refer the client to any additional services or resources, as needed.
    • Weekly therapy sessions are initiated.

    Examples

    Jaylen is a 32-month-old boy who witnessed a drive-by shooting of another child while walking with his father. He has night terrors, has become nonverbal and very clingy—crying when his parents leave the room. Jaylen’s father lost a cousin to gang violence and is experiencing anxiety, flashbacks, and fear that the child killed could have been his own.


    Susan is 24 months old and exposed to violence. Her recently unemployed father was drinking heavily and tried to choke her mother. Susan got between her parents and was violently shoved, but not seriously injured. Now living with her mother and aunt, Susan wakes up at night calling “Daddy,” is very clingy, withdrawn, and less talkatative.


    TJ is three and has been placed with his aunt by Child Protective Services. His mother was a drug addict and couldn’t care for him, but now is making an effort for reunification. TJ is extremely aggressive, hitting others and himself. He gorges on and steals food. He has frequent night terrors. His aunt doesn’t feel she can care for him much longer and desires reunification.


    Marianna was 9 months old when she sustained a severe head injury at day care. She was discharged after a week with instructions that her immigrant single-mother found difficult to understand. Marianna is lethargic, sleepy, and unresponsive. Her mother fears permanent brain damage while her employment is in jeopardy because of the child’s needs.

  • When a parent becomes unwilling or unable to care for their own children, the youth typically end up in foster care, or under the guardianship of a friend or family member. There are many benefits for the child if they are able to stay with kin: better mental health outcomes, the severity of childhood trauma…  MORE >

    When a parent becomes unwilling or unable to care for their own children, the youth typically end up in foster care, or under the guardianship of a friend or family member. There are many benefits for the child if they are able to stay with kin: better mental health outcomes, the severity of childhood trauma is limited, and fewer children end up separated from their siblings.

    Unfortunately, many beneficial resources that are available to foster parents have been denied to kinship caregivers. The Fostering Family program helps to bridge that gap, providing much needed assistance, support, and guidance for kinship caregivers.

    As a designated Relative Success Center, and in collaboration with New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department, Southwest Family Guidance Center (SWFGC) provides a coordinated and comprehensive array of resources for kinship caregivers in New Mexico. The goal of the program is to increase stability in the family setting, allow children to remain connected to family and culture, and reduce the long-term effects of childhood trauma.

    Visit Fostering Family Website

    What Kind Of Services Are Provided?

    • Assistance in determining the needs of the family and what services they may be eligible to receive.
    • Information and resource referrals for local, state and national services.
    • Education related to kinship care, such as: Caregiving, Self-care, Mental health, Legal Assistance, Social Media and current technologies, Child Development, Childhood Trauma, Financial planning, Taxes, Cultural Competency
    • Assistance in completing guardianship packets to help caregivers register children for school and apply for medical services.
    • Collaboration with civil legal service providers in order to refer caregivers to legal services as appropriate in relation to: Obtaining guardianship or custody orders, Child/Parent visitation, Public benefits and financial matters, Assistance with negotiations, Housing, Culturally appropriate legal services to immigrant caregivers
    • Access to federal, state and local benefits including, but not limited to: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), WIC, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Housing Authority, Income Support Division, Medicaid, Child Support, Respite care, Guardianship Assistance, Legal Assistance, Child Care Assistance, Education
    • Therapeutic services, either in-house or with community based services.
    • Behavioral Management Services
    • Case management
    • Peer Support Services
    • Individual and Family therapy

    Who Qualifies?

    Any individual who is a relative, godparent, member of a child’s tribe or clan, or an adult with a significant bond (fictive kin) who are raising the youth because the biological parents are unable or unwilling to do so. The individual does not have to have legal guardianship to qualify for services.

    How Do I Make A Referral?

    Access an Online Referral Form for the appropriate county and complete as thoroughly as possible. Once the form has been submitted:

    • The referral will be assigned to a designated Program coordinator, who will reach out to the referral source and family to begin engagement
    • The program coordinator will triage the families’ needs, which can occur over 4 sessions, prior to becoming a client of SWFGC
    • Based on assessment of need, the family will be referred to appropriate services
    • Services at SWFGC and other Relative Success Centers begins

    For more information please contact:
    Leandrea Romero-Lucero, PhD, LPCC
    Fostering Family Coordinator
    lromero@swfamily.com
    (505) 830 1871 x 611

  • Southwest Family Guidance Center has a staff of over 100 Masters and Doctoral-level clinicians. Our therapists have a variety of specializations, including trauma-informed, play, sandtray, EMDR, and substance abuse therapies. Southwest Family Guidance Center is a certified Treat First Center. When people are in distress, long background interviews and exhaustive intake paperwork can become a barrier…  MORE >

    Southwest Family Guidance Center has a staff of over 100 Masters and Doctoral-level clinicians. Our therapists have a variety of specializations, including trauma-informed, play, sandtray, EMDR, and substance abuse therapies.

    Southwest Family Guidance Center is a certified Treat First Center. When people are in distress, long background interviews and exhaustive intake paperwork can become a barrier to support. Addressing this concern, Treat First provides a shift of emphasis that might seem minor, but it can make a huge difference.

    Treat First recognizes the needs of the client foremost, and makes addressing them the first priority. Intake paperwork is unobtrusively processed after initial support and stabilization is provided. This process can last up to four sessions and is proven to improved outcomes, and benefit both the client and therapist involved.

    To Make An Appointment Please Call (505) 830 1871

  • School-Based Therapy Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute is contracted with Albuquerque, Las Cruces, 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…  MORE >

    School-Based Therapy
    Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute is contracted with Albuquerque, Las Cruces, 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
    Our agency is contracted by Albuquerque Public Schools to provide same-day suicide risk assessments to all students in the district who have 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.

  • 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 74 published outcome studies, 140+ peer-reviewed articles, and included over 57,000 families in their studies. Adolescents who were clinically discharged from treatment:
    • 54% fewer rearrests
    • 75% fewer violent felonies
    • 54% fewer out-of-home placements
    • 95% reabuse incidents
    • 86% able to remain in the home
    • 91% report no PTSD

    To Initiate Treatment:
    Referral Forms
    Client Intake Forms


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    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 Subtance 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.

  • 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 Natalie Perez 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.

    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 Substance Abuse Program (ISAP) for youth with substance abuse/dependence concerns.  We promote the 7 Challenges Mode, 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.

    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.