Our programming is grounded in social work and child development theory. Research has shown that children cannot learn if they are struggling with unmet emotional needs as well as environmental and family stress. While developing students’ social-emotional resiliency forms the core of our services, our work will have little effect unless we engage them. Students often find traditional therapy stigmatizing; they are wary of being labeled as “having something wrong with them” or being “mentally ill”. P2L staff works with student in non-traditional settings meeting them where they are: in classrooms and hallways, after-school programming,
and in groups and one-on-one discussing issues they identify as relevant to their lives. Based on the child psychology works of Erik Erikson, Donald Winnicott, John Bowlby, and Margaret Mahler, P2L offers a variety of activities to help establish caring relationships, build trust with positive adult models, and create safe holding environments. Students develop new competencies, helping them to foster identity and purpose and respond positively to their emotions and behavioral impulses and environment. This is important for all children, particularly those coping with high levels of instability.