Therapeutic Environment

Social & Emotional Support

Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies (PBIS)

PBIS is our school-wide behavior modification system. PBIS is a behavioral program that establishes a positive school climate and sets clear expectations and responsibilities for our students. Our staff acknowledges positive behaviors in our students while addressing negative behaviors. Students are able to earn points for positive behaviors which lead to various incentives and rewards.

Individualized Behavior Intervention Plans

Individualized Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) are designed for a student’s specific needs in order to help them improve their behavior and make positive choices. BIPs are created for students who require a more individualized approach than the school-wide behavior program provides. The BIP is created through collaboration among the student, social worker, classroom staff and treatment team, and includes supportive strategies to help the student acquire new skills, learn coping techniques, and guide the staff in the most effect ways to work with the student. The BIPs are focused on the child’s strengths and are a tool to help the student increase their positive behaviors and improve their ability to engage successfully with their peers and family, and participate fully in the academic environment.

Clinical Services

All students at The New LIFE School are assigned to a licensed social worker upon admission. Our team of clinicians consists of seasoned professionals with extensive experience working with students of all abilities. Our licensed school social workers engage daily with students and teachers to support the learning environment. They also collaborate closely with parents and outside service providers to create a team approach to each student’s care. The goal of all therapeutic intervention is to engage students in order to support their social-emotional growth and educational experience.

The social work team provides a safe and nurturing environment through individual and/or group therapy sessions as mandated by the student’s individualized education plans. In addition to mandated counseling, the social work department enhances the educational environment through specialized groups and therapeutic modalities.

Therapies Provided:
  • SPARCS- Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress
  • TF-CBT- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • DBT- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • And much more!

Therapeutic Environment

At the New LIFE School, we understand that our students require a therapeutic environment in which to thrive. We realize that the behavioral and emotional struggles of our students can impede their academic progress and feelings of confidence and self-worth; we are dedicated to providing our students with the clinical care and emotional support necessary for them to be successful. Our students often come to us with previous experiences of academic failure, trouble with peers and difficult life experiences. Our clinical team works with each student to address emotional, behavioral and social issues to help our students build the skills to be productive and positive members of their communities.

Our clinical team consists of:

• Social Workers
• Intensive Behavioral Therapist
• Speech/Language Therapist
• Occupational Therapist
• Behavioral Support Staff
• Clinical Director


Therapeutic Crisis Intervention


All New LIFE School, staff members are trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI). This is a “prevention and intervention” model formulated in 1980 by the Cornell University Family Life Development Center. The goal of TCI is to provide a safe environment, while promoting opportunities for learning and growth. TCI’s strategies include training staff members to use tools such as active listening, caring gestures and managing the environment. This is done to assist students who are in, or at risk for, crisis. Staff members attempt to verbally de-escalate agitated students and help them find more appropriate ways to manage their emotions. This process provides an opportunity for students to learn through experience, with staff support, ways to better manage their emotions.

At all times, the physical safety of the child is of utmost importance. In extreme situations (when there is a clear danger to the student, others, or the physical environment), staff members will maintain safety by using a therapeutic hold, in which they have been specially trained.