Resource Assisted Psychotherapy (RAP) is a dynamic mental health treatment program developed by Dr. Rhonda Jessum at the Center for Integrative Behavioral Medicine.  

For decades, research has demonstrated the effectiveness of particular mental health interventions which incorporate animals, art, music and nature to assist the therapeutic process. Various speciality fields evolved, such as "equine assisted psychotherapy" and "wilderness therapy". Dr. Jessum's RAP program has built upon this innovative and historic work.

For years, Dr. Rhonda Jessum recognized that individuals would greatly benefit from resource assisted mental health interventions which are more affordable and easily accessible within our traditional system of healthcare. In  2014, Dr. Jessum designed the RAP program to meet this need.  RAP is designed to not only maintain gold standard treatment guidelines and evidence-based care, but was also designed to make insurance reimbursement and out of pocket expenses easier for families to navigate. 

Dr. Jessum's RAP program combines various catalyzing resources together with existing evidence-based psychotherapeutic modalities, maintaining a traditional psychotherapy treatment structure. Well established longstanding psychotherapy techniques, including verbal processing and insight gained through the therapeutic relationship, continue to be the underlying key factor for facilitating positive behavioral change.

What is most unique to Dr. Jessum’s RAP program, however, is the use of various resources to creatively enhance and assist in powerful ways which have been traditionally undervalued in our system of healthcare.  Despite this, we all know that most youth and adults are naturally engaged in and attracted to music, art, animals and nature.  Therefore, it is intuitive that Dr. Jessum’s RAP program makes the therapeutic process a positive uplifting experience which is both inviting and intrinsically rewarding. 

Participants who qualify for the RAP program are expected to learn skills to improve emotional and social intelligence, gain greater self knowledge and deeper insight, and learn to better manage mood states, solve problems, manage stress, and improve anxiety reduction and relaxation skills.

One factor where RAP is distinguished from other "assisted psychotherapy" methods in that it utilizes multiple catalyst resources, as opposed to specializing in just one. Dr. Jessum’s RAP program varies the use the following resources as catalysts to the interactive process: art, animals, biofeedback, cinema, massage, meditation, music, mindful movement, nature and yoga.

Music is a primary resource used in our youth RAP groups. We are all born with an innate capacity for appreciating music and experiencing various emotions through music. Youth are doing this all the time in a rich interchange with their inner worlds. Music taps deep inside us and offers an opportunity to explore our true selves, our deepest fears and hopes, and music offers a means to understand and cope with strong emotions.

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In addition to our weekly and bi-weekly groups at the Center for Integrative Behavioral Medicine, RAP workshops are offered throughout the year in alternative settings for equine and wilderness/nature assisted programs. 

We accept most PPO insurance plans and we will be clear about how to determine your exact amount of out-of-pocket-expense so there will be no uncertainties in advance. Please contact Dr. Rhonda Jessum to arrange an intake appointment and to reserve a place in our youth RAP groups starting in early September 2017.



What should I expect after I call to enroll in RAP?  

Our RAP structure of care includes an intake/screening process and the scheduling an an initial in-person psychological evaluation. The first step is to contact Dr. Rhonda Jessum at 818-880-0250 or  

After the intake evaluation and assessment, there may also be a individual or family feedback session to review psychological treatment planning and specific recommendations. Each eligible participant will have specialized treatment goals and an action plan, including placement into group psychotherapy or individual psychotherapy. Psychiatry services may also be recommended.

The frequency of treatment is to be determined based on the findings of the evaluation and the screening process.  Psychotherapy techniques used in the RAP program are an integration of tried-and-true gold standard methods used to facilitate behavior change.  

Who invented Resource Assisted Psychotherapy?

Clinical psychologist, Dr. Rhonda Jessum, developed the RAP program in 2014.  

How is RAP different from other assisted psychotherapy?

In addition to utilizing multiple interchangeable resources to assist the psychotherapy progress, RAP is different from other assisted psychotherapy methods in that any particular resource chosen as favorable to assist at one phase of treatment may be discontinued to more effectively be served by an alternative resource during another phase of treatment. This is because progress in the RAP program continues to be maintained within the context of  psychological treatment guidelines and structure in which monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the intervention is closely followed and adapted over time. For example, a participant may start out with music and cinema resources to assist psychotherapy, but may later benefit most from bridging to art assisted psychotherapy or in-depth "talk only psychotherapy".  In fact, it is our sincere hope that all participants will eventually "graduate" treatment altogether because of the benefits they gain. We want all of our participants to have the competency and resiliency to live happy and fulfilling lives.

What is gold standard practice?

The RAP programs utilizes an integration of a wide variety of evidence-based techniques, including but not limited to: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Action and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Behavioral Activation, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). In addition, treatment guidelines for various conditions and populations are followed based on standards developed by the American Psychological Association.

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