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Simches Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Arlington School

Clinical services are an integral part of the Arlington School program and can include individual school counseling, clinical case management, weekly counseling groups, psychiatric consultation from McLean Hospital experts, and additional support, as needed.

Each student benefits from a clinical case manager who helps them reach social and emotional goals. Students meet with their case managers for individual weekly counseling sessions. Additional therapeutic “check-ins” are available throughout the day and week as the need arises.

The clinical case management team includes a clinical psychologist, three social workers, and graduate-level interns from various disciplines. The team has access to experts from McLean Hospital and elsewhere who provide consultation and professional development to help staff address the needs of the students.

Students with backpacksThe clinical staff also works closely with outside therapists, families, schools, and community agencies to address the academic, emotional, and behavioral problems that have disrupted a student’s previous education.

Clinicians focus on helping students make developmentally appropriate progress on self-awareness, social awareness, and healthy decision-making skills. They consider the intellectual, social, physical, aesthetic, emotional, and ethical development of each student from the time of intake throughout that student’s tenure at the school.

Students participate in weekly counseling groups co-led by clinicians to foster skill improvement, social connections, and communication. Group offerings vary by year, with topics that serve the current student population. Dependent on interest, we also offer a clinician-led support group for parents.

Faculty and staff are also trained in mindfulness techniques, which are used in counseling groups to decrease student anxiety and promote attention and focus.

The school nurse oversees the health needs of students, provides individual health instruction, performs routine screenings, and administers students’ medication. McLean Hospital’s nursing and medical staff and the doctor on call are always available for emergency medical services.

As required by the Massachusetts DESE, the Arlington School requires each high school student to take one semester of health class during their high school career. In addition, the onsite school nurse and the physical education specialist work closely to provide academic instruction in health and fitness, as well as skills to develop healthy lifestyles and improved coping strategies.