What is Resource Therapy?
Author: Cordelia Grimes, LCSW – Resource Therapist
The Resource Track is aimed to support patients with transitions, strengthen executive functioning skills, connect patients to support, explore their professional and personal identities, and empower them to add structure and meaning to their daily lives. Resource therapists work with the patients assigned to the track to develop an individualized resource plan. Plans may include (but are not limited to): school, jobs, volunteer work, positive recreational activities, ongoing supports (groups, AA/NA/OA, outpatient providers), social activities, exercise plans, etc. Resource sessions help patients identify barriers to achieving their goals and utilize the skills learned in group to continue moving forward.
Resource Therapists help patients practice and apply the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills learned during group therapy to their individualized resource plan. More generally, this might look like challenging some of negative thoughts to realistically assess how the patient would like to improve their emotional and behavioral experiences and/or coming to terms with accepting what is out of their control while simultaneously changing what is in their control.
One coping skill that is commonly practiced in Resource Therapy is called “Behavioral Activation”. This coping skill is based on the idea that the best way to reduce your symptoms of depression is to become aware of the life areas that are most important to you, the values you have in those life areas, and what activities you can do to live according to your values¹. Once patients have identified those life areas and values, patients (and their Resource Therapists) will use these life areas and values to identify and perform daily activities. This is important because, when you become more active you are more likely to experience positive and enjoyable situations. It is difficult to feel depressed if you are regularly doing activities that bring you a sense of pleasure and/or accomplishment.
Resource therapists have a unique role in that, the therapy is primarily client-driven and solution-focused. This allows Resource Therapists to also utilize Motivational Interviewing² skills to help foster a sense of empowerment in patients as they make progress towards their goals. Additionally, Resource Therapy has been shown to positively impact treatment success rates at Compass Health Center. By establishing meaningful structure and relationships while still in program, patients are creating a more supportive and resilient network for themselves as they finish treatment.
- Lejuez, C. W., Hopko, D. R., Acierno, R., Daughters, S. B., & Pagoto, S. L. (2011). Ten Year Revision of the Brief Behavioral Activation Treatment for Depression (BATD): Revised Treatment Manual (BATD-R). Behavior Modification, 35, 111-161.
- Rollnick, S., & Miller, W. (1995). What is Motivational Interviewing? Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy,23(4), 325-334. doi:10.1017/S135246580001643X