Sara Mennen, MS, LMFT, RPT, Clinical Supervisor / Family Therapist
Sara obtained her Bachelors of Arts degree in Human Services and Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Morris (2004) and a Master's degree from the Minnesota State University, Mankato (2008) in community counseling with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy/play therapy. Sara is credentialed as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and registered play therapist (RPT). In addition, she is also a state identified supervisor for those perusing their LMFT and/or LPCC independent licensure. Her mental health career began working in group homes with individuals with intellectual disabilities, mental health concerns, and sexual acting out behavior. She went on to provide both CTSS and ARMHS services within the community and in homes. In recent years, she has worked as a mental health professional in a rule 29, private practice and crisis center. Furthermore, she has worked as a sexual assault advocate within the community and domestic violence center.
Family Therapy sessions are scheduled after the assessment period and treatment has been recommended. These sessions are scheduled twice monthly, most often biweekly, for 60 minutes or as needed. Family therapy sessions are currently offered Sunday through Friday by either the family therapist or one of the unit therapists.
The initial family therapy session includes a review of the Leo A. Hoffmann Center vocabulary; to better help families understand treatment language. This session also supports families in knowing when they can reinforce behaviors and when behaviors need more attention. Future sessions within phase one of the program include completing a family genogram, examining what was working and what was not working prior to placement and what the family would like to identify as their own personal goals.
After a polygraph has been successfully passed (generally phase one or two), the client will have several sessions to complete their full disclosure, apology/impact letters, first draft safety plan and begin planning off grounds and home visits. It is during this time frame that reconciliation and/or reunification may begin. Siblings and/or other family members are able to attend family therapy. Please note, to attend visitors children must be less than one year of age or over 16 years of age and have been placed on the approved contact list.
Generally, phase three focuses on both the client and family building skills that will be needed to reintegrate into the community, school and home. This is done through several off grounds and home visits.
During the last quarter of treatment, discharge is highly focused on in conjunction with increased home visits (when appropriate). Parents and/or other adults with who the client is discharging to will work on establishing the household rules, household expectations, and discipline plan. During this time future providers (therapist, psychiatrist, doctors, etc.) are established and future appointments are scheduled for post discharge.