At the heart of milieu therapy are the experiences of daily life, whether positive or negative, and the chance to examine them fully. By looking at how they perceive and respond to life’s many events, students can learn something about themselves and the world.
It is through these examinations — with the assistance of a staff member who is caring, clinically astute, and emotionally connected — that the student comes to gain insight, accept challenges, identify strengths, and feel capable of facing whatever life may bring.
The O-School contributed to the development of a widely accepted therapeutic process called Life Space Interviewing, which is a structured conversation “in the moment” that aims to understand the connection between one’s perceptions, feelings and behaviors. The goal of Life Space Interviewing is to foster a deeper understanding that allows a student to respond to similar situations in the future in a more adaptive and constructive manner. Throughout the day, the O-School uses interventions that are consistent with this model.