NorthStar Academy
Charting a Clear Course for Teens & Their Families

Therapeutic Activities

Individual. Group. Family.


A Personalized Plan That Provides the Goals and Direction for a Student's Time at NorthStar Academy.

Each student is assigned a Master’s level Primary Therapist.

A therapist meets with each student on his/her caseload both individually and in primary group. The therapist is an active part of the NorthStar community and is therefore accessible for the student outside of scheduled meetings. This may include interaction during meal times, activities and within the therapeutic milieu. Our therapists also organize and facilitate our weekly groups and support the family counseling component. The primary therapist is responsible for the development and revision of the Positive Development/Treatment Plan (PD/TP). The therapist will collaborate with the treatment team, student and family to develop and revise the personalized PD/TP based on data collected at the time of enrollment and throughout the program. This personalized plan provides the goals and direction for a student’s time. It is reviewed and updated at the time of each Phase transition and progress is measured before transitioning in between the Phases. The Primary Therapist also serves as the point of contact for parents providing regular updates and communication on each student’s progress.

Group Therapy

Group sessions provide the core of the therapeutic program. Groups are designed to help students meet their personal and therapeutic goals and address the needs of the student community as a whole. Students are encouraged to express their thoughts, advocate for themselves and resolve community issues and conflicts in a positive manner. Groups may include but are not limited to:

  • Art Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Skills
  • Gender Specific Group
  • Leisure Education
  • Mindfulness Group
  • Multi-family Group
  • Music Therapy
  • Emotional Healing and Self Esteem (MH track)
  • Experiential Therapy and Activities
  • Primary Group: group to which the student is assigned with their primary therapist.
  • Psycho Education
  • Recurrence Prevention (SUD track)
  • Recovery Skills (MH and SUD)
  • Yoga


Family Involvement

At NorthStar Academy we firmly believe in partnering with families and require the active participation of families in the program.

  • Weekly parent group and multi-family therapy are an essential part of the core program.
  • Individual family therapy is offered, as prescribed, in the individual development/treatment plan to address unique family issues.
  • Family members are encouraged to participate in a variety of experiential therapy/activities (these may include participation by parents and/or siblings).


Coach/Mentors work within both the educational and clinical components guiding students in meeting short and long term goals. They address the practical aspects of the Positive Development/Treatment Plan.

  • Assisting the students in defining their goals in their own terms.
  • Teaching students to plan each day as a series of steps toward their goals.
  • Helping students identify what is holding them back from achieving their goals.
  • Holding students accountable for progress toward their goals.

Clinical Assessment and Treatment Planning

NorthStar Academy clinical staff will complete a comprehensive assessment and evaluation at admission and an ongoing clinical assessment throughout the duration of treatment. This includes a review of all previous documentation including but not limited to psycho-educational testing, previous or current psychiatric evaluations, Individualized Educational Plans (IEP), 504 plans, and evaluations/recommendations from wilderness or residential treatment centers and/or other outpatient providers working with the student.

In addition, NorthStar will complete its own clinical assessment(s) by interviewing the student and his/her family and through interview and/or assessment instruments as deemed appropriate. The goal being to facilitate the best possible PD/TP for the student encompassing both educational and treatment needs.




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12300 Twinbrook Parkway, Ste. 250 Rockville, MD 20852

Serving the District of Columbia; Suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia as Well as Central Maryland to Baltimore City/County