The SWYFS counseling center works with youth and families through individual counseling, group, and family therapy. It is a hub for behavioral health and youth violence prevention services in South King County. With the growing understanding that behavioral health services are as important to overall health care as physical health services, along with the recognition of the negative impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), SWYFS integrates behavioral health services in their work with at-risk children, youth and families.
Counselors utilize a trauma-informed lens and approaches that include art and drama therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, behavior modification and Aggression Replacement Training (ART), and violence prevention programs. In addition to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, our approaches are rooted in family systems therapy, narrative therapy, person-centered or Talk Therapy. Equity and social justice are part of the fabric of all our Behavioral Health approaches.
Our Behavioral Health Programs
Southwest Youth and Family Services provides a wide range of state-licensed counseling services for children, teens, young adults, and their families.
- Individual, Group and Family Therapy
- Aggression Replacement Training (ART)
- Youth Violence and Gang Prevention
- Becoming a Man (BAM)
SWYFS matches youth and families with one of our qualified and dedicated counselors who can best meet their unique needs while also addressing culture, language, gender, and other factors that may affect their counseling experience. We provide culturally sensitive counseling in English and Spanish, individual and group therapies, art and drama therapy, and individualized care based on client needs. The Counseling Center’s services range from brief, highly focused counseling to longer-term services, depending on the need of the youth or family. Counseling can be provided at our offices, in the client’s home, schools, or other community settings. Our goal is to make counseling as accessible as possible. The Counseling Center, along with the other departments operate in unison and provide families with a holistic approach with access to all the services we offer.
Aggression Replacement Training (ART) is a research-based program that focuses on helping adolescents cope with aggressive behaviors through social skills training, anger control training, and moral reasoning. ART is offered throughout the year in ten-week sessions, with three meetings per week.
Southwest Youth and Family Services’ youth violence prevention programs are multi-agency efforts to reduce and prevent youth violence in Seattle and South King County. As a partner agency, Southwest Youth and Family Services offers case managers to help youth stay safe, stay in school, and get connected to the resources they need.
- King County Youth Violence Prevention Program (KCYVPP) is for youth between the ages of 11 and 21 living in Southwest Seattle, White Center, SeaTac, Burien, and other areas of Southwest King County who are at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system or academic failure.
BAM is a trauma-informed school-based counseling, mentoring, and character development program for vulnerable young men in grades 7-12.
BAM counselors work full-time within middle and high schools in the Highline District to guide young men in the exploration and development of six core values: Integrity, Accountability, Self-Determination, Positive Anger Expression, Respect for Womanhood, and Visionary Goal-Setting.
Southwest Youth & Family Services is partnering with Youth Guidance in Chicago, the organization that developed BAM, to bring the program to southwest King County.
To ensure sustainability, a BAM Advisory Council has also been implemented. Each council member has a strong desire to be actively involved in solving the issues inner-city youth face and will devote their time, talent, and expertise to the current and future work of the program.