Cottage Life



Boys are assigned to a residential cottage based on age, level of maturity, or treatment program. In each cottage, the details of daily living are organized into a gentle, dependable rhythm, providing the boys with a stable base of operation.


A planned, purposeful life is constructed for and with cottage residents. Each boy is valued and encouraged to participate in the decisions of cottage life.


Cottages provide a positive milieu in which to implement each boy’s individual treatment plan. Throughout the day, Case Managers and residential counselors use behavior rehearsals, contracting, positive feedback, contingency management, and role-playing to model appropriate behaviors and values and to teach the boys new skills of living, such as:

  • personal hygiene and dress
  • appropriate social interaction
  • impulse control
  • developing positive female relationships
  • being angry without fighting
  • frustration tolerance and problem-solving techniques
  • expressing joy and enthusiasm
  • showing respect for others

Token Economy

Using the point system of St. Mary’s Token Economy, residential counselors give immediate feedback on each boy’s appropriate and inappropriate behavior. This point system is supplemented by counseling, recreational activities, and pleasant interaction that are critical to developing positive personal relationships.

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