Every month, NYAPRS identifies a PROS program to showcase their excellence in recovery and rehabilitation.  Here you will find program descriptions and the curricula that support it.

If you are interested in sharing with us the special work your program is doing, please see the information at the end of this webpage.

This month’s PROS PROVIDER is:

June 2017

Rewarding lives, healthy communities.

Serving the people and communities of the Hudson Valley.

Marsha Mandel, LMHC – Team Leader

Welcome to an agency that is passionate about supporting the families and communities of the Hudson Valley. We have been evolving services for people facing the challenges of disability and mental illness for over 50 years. Today we offer a broad range of programs and touch thousands of lives every week. Yet we always work hard to focus on the needs and potentials of one person at a time. Our many and varied services are all focused on one goal: helping people with challenges live the fullest life possible. We believe each of us is entitled to a voice in establishing our own life goals and strive to treat each person we assist as a partner. We are committed to making a positive difference in the communities where we live and work.

In 1963 a group of parents created a program to help foster the independence of their children, seven young people with developmental disabilities. They found area educators to teach skills, established a work center for packaging and assembly and found customers among area businesses. They felt their children were capable of productive work, and believed that this would encourage their independence.

That was the beginning of Occupations, Inc, The Family Empowerment Council, created in 1993, was again created by families who wanted their children to be included and to have options. New Dynamics was created by the agency to focus exclusively on employment. The Stony Ford Foundation, devoted to creating opportunities for independent living, was inspired by a similar drive to create choices for people previously held back. Access builds on the distinct legacy of each. While as many as 8,000 individuals now receive widely varied services each year, the spirit and initiative of the founding families is honored in a shared commitment to promoting the independence, health and happiness of every person the agency serves.


Ten years ago, Access opened one of the first PROS programs in the state, Union Center PROS in Middletown. The opening of a second PROS program in Orange County, Squire Center PROS, was followed by three more in Dutchess County – Poughkeepsie PROS, Rhinebeck PROS, and Millbrook PROS. Together, these programs serve over 500 individuals. The program Team Leaders meet regularly to collaborate and share initiatives and ideas between programs.

In addition to CRS, IR, and Clinical groups that provide support for skill development and symptom management, there are several groups with a focus on positivity. These include groups dedicated to developing strengths, such as Nourishing Your Gifts, and groups focused on acceptance, mindfulness, and self-compassion, such as Embracing Your Journey.

There is one clinical group for individuals who have experiences that are not shared by others, called Learning to Trust Myself and Others. Seeing the difficulty that individuals with paranoia were having in disclosing and receiving support within the general PROS population, led to the development of this group. Suspiciousness and fear of others from paranoia, and difficulty trusting and knowing one’s self from false sensory perceptions, are self-perpetuating problems, preventing this sub-population in PROS from utilizing and benefitting from groups. For example, people with depression in addition to hallucinations, will present differently in a group on managing depression, or in a typical clinical group. In a CRS depression group, they may say they feel hopeless; in a CL group, they may talk about situations that are exacerbating their symptoms; in Learning to Trust Myself and Others, they will say, “The voices are telling me there is no hope,” which allows for a more thorough and comprehensive intervention.

Being a clinical group, Learning to Trust Myself and Others does not have a structured curriculum, however it has specific methods, guidelines, and elements. The group protocol, along with a PowerPoint on this group presented at a NYAPRS conference in 2015, offers the information for other PROS programs to develop and offer this special group.

  • ASFL ‘Learning to Trust Myself and Others’ group protocol can be found HERE.
  • ASFL Power Point from the 2015 NYAPRS PROS Academy (includes other presenters) can be found HERE.

NYAPRS is please to highlight the work of Access: Supports for Living PROS.  Marsha Mandel, the Team Leader, and her team have worked to support people with audio hallucinations to gain skills and supports to manage their unique experiences and find recovery.  As always, if you have any questions regarding their program or would like to request resources used in creating these protocols, please reach out to Marsha Mandel directly. Her email is mmandel@asfl.org. 


What about YOUR Program?

If you are interested in sharing with us the special work your program is doing, contact us and provide information about your program and what specifically you are interested in us showcasing.

Send an email to:

Ruth Colón-Wagner, LMSW

Director of Training and Development