Therapeutic Work

Our Foundation

Intensive and transformative clinical work is the necessary foundation for aiding young adults to develop the self-reflective functioning, resiliency, and self-agency that is necessary to make enduring life changes. It is therapeutic growth that defines the path toward independence and autonomy for young adults.


Therapeutic MIlieu


One of the defining characteristics of the Cornerstones model is the therapeutic milieu. The therapeutic milieu situates all of our treatment staff from life skills coaches to therapists in the residence-based milieu throughout the day. During the day our clients travel to and from the residences to work, school, gym, and recreational activities. When they arrive back at the residence, they are met by our team of specialists who are there to offer them support and engagement. This approach allows our staff to support our clients in moments when it is needed and also to utilize a truly relationally-based approach. This approach is particularly helpful for our therapists who have the opportunity to get to know who our clients are and to see how they relate to the world around them. This is then brought into the clinical office and facilitates transformative therapeutic work. The traditional office-based, once-a-week model of psychotherapy has significant limits for young adults. The therapeutic milieu overcomes the limitations that young adults have in traditional therapy in being emotionally present and authentic. Our therapeutic milieu also offers our therapists the opportunity to address issues at the moment they are occurring. 

Clinical Approach​


 At Cornerstones, we utilize an integrative approach to clinical work. We believe that solely focusing on behaviors or cognitions overlooks crucial aspects of the emotional and interpersonal world. This is why, rather than choosing a one-therapy-fits-all model, we employ an integrative approach to treatment that is informed by many theories such as attachment, trauma, cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, and mentalization. Our staff are trained in numerous forms of interventions and are always in the process of continuing their training and keeping updated on contemporary research in the field. 


Our Therapeutic Modalities


Cornerstones utilizes a Dual Therapist model whereby clients receive individual therapy from two therapists, a Primary and Secondary Therapist, on a weekly basis. The primary therapist oversees the case and coordinates with the rest of the client’s Treatment Team to lead care. The secondary therapist also offers a weekly individual session. This style allows for a dynamic approach to complex presentations. The primary and secondary therapists work closely together to address therapeutic topics from different paradigms and orientations. This enables our Clinical Team to provide ample focus on multiple, distinct clinical issues. It also allows us to tackle a single, persistent clinical issue from a diversity of perspectives. 


Family engagement at Cornerstones of Maine is an essential aspect of treatment and there is family contact every week. These sessions are a mix of two distinct intentions. One expression of this is traditional family therapy via Zoom Meetings. Our Primary Therapists facilitate a dialogue between clients and their parents with a focus on communication, perspective-taking, collaboration, expectation, individuation, and a myriad of other relevant topics. Another expression of our family contact is our Family Updates. In these sessions, we will discuss the client and family’s progress toward goals, share clinical conceptualizations, collaborate on areas of growth, and offer parent coaching. These meetings are useful for families to remain connected to the process throughout the treatment stay.


Group Therapy occurs three to four times per week at Cornerstones and is focused on helping our clients better understand how they experience others, as well as how others experience them. Co-facilitators use a ‘Process Group’ approach, which allows us to hone in on both interpersonal and individual events (interpsychic and intrapsychic). We explore our defenses and how they serve to both protect and sabotage us. We also spend time finding the courage to practice confrontation of both self and other, intending along the way to increase our honesty and self-accountability. In addition to this, we seize opportunities to grow clients’ capacity for more tangible skills such as conflict resolution, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Clinical Interventions

At Cornerstones we utilize an integrationist therapeutic technique, which means that our clinicians are trained in numerous types of evidence-based clinical interventions.  Below are a list of some of the clinical interventions in our “tool box.”