Choices School Refusal Program

Understanding the Problem

School refusal affects approximately 5 percent of all children annually. Symptoms include refusal to attend school on a regular basis and difficulty remaining at school, usually due to a fear of something related to school. Children may complain of physical symptoms before or during school, and these symptoms typically disappear if the child is allowed to stay or go home.

There are many reasons for school refusal, including avoiding school-based stimuli, escaping aversive social and/or evaluative situations and pursuing tangible rewards outside of school.

The good news is that school anxiety and refusal is highly treatable with appropriate child, parent, and family intervention!

First Step Counselors 24/7

Our Philosophy

Dominion Hospital's School Refusal Program is rooted in a model of individualized, clinically-driven, and evidenced-based care. The program is based on a cognitive behavioral model. Our multidisciplinary team will work with you and your child to develop an individualized plan of care, which will address and treat specific symptoms that prevent your child from attending school. The primary program goal is to reintroduce a child to the academic setting and achieve full-time attendance with minimal distress.

Key Program Components

  • CBT and DBT Skills Training
  • Parent Training
  • Mindfulness
  • Exposure Therapy
  • Psychoeducation
  • Therapeutic Homework and Logbooks
  • Expressive Therapy

Program Outcomes

  • Ease Re-entry into School
  • Develop School and Anxiety-based Coping Skills
  • Build Social Skills
  • Decrease Social Anxiety
  • Change Negative Thinking Patterns
  • Teach Parents Skills to Address Non-compliance
  • Empower Parents Better Support their Child
  • Reduce Family Conflict
  • Increase Rewards for Going to School
  • Decrease Awards for Missing School

Program Location, Ages, and Hours

Conveniently located less than one mile from the main hospital campus at:
6565 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 506 Falls Church, VA 22042

Ages 13 - 17

Monday - Friday / 8:45 AM - 3:00 PM
Patient Arrival Time / 8:30 AM – 8:45 AM