Treatment Philosophies

Mariam’s Footsteps Inc. utilizes distinct treatment modalities to ensure that the clients and their families served through our programs are respected, involved and have the greatest potentials for learning and applying new skills. 

Client-Centered Therapy (CCT)

Client-Centered Therapy (CCT), or person-centered therapy, is a model or philosophy developed by Carl Rogers in the 1940's and 1950's and is based on a non-directive approach to therapy and services.  “Directive” forms of therapeutic interventions are based on the facilitator deliberately steering the client in some preconceived direction or way. In client-centered care, clients are considered first and foremost at every point in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of service delivery. Clients are the experts on their own personal circumstances, wants and goals and program staff work to gather this information and offer appropriate services.  Regardless of the age, Mariam’s Footsteps Inc. believes that the skilled and therapeutic approaches of our staff support any and all clients in self mastery and growth.  We believe in Roger’s later definitions that the therapeutic qualities of “empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard” create the optimal opportunities for success. These qualities have become the basis of today’s therapeutic approaches and Client-Centered Therapy is centered upon the expansion of self-awareness, the enhancement of self-esteem, and greater self-reliance.  In addition, this allows clients and their families a level of mastery and self-determination while addressing concerns of the referral source.

Family Systems Theory (FST)

The Family Systems Theory is “a theory of human behavior that views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems (of) thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit. It is the nature of a family that its members are intensely connected emotionally. Often people feel distant or disconnected from their families, but this is more feeling than fact. Family members so profoundly affect each other's thoughts, feelings, and actions that it often seems as if people are living under the same "emotional skin."  People solicit each other's attention, approval, and support and react to each other's needs, expectations, and distress. The connectedness and reactivity make the functioning of family members interdependent. A change in one person's functioning is predictably followed by reciprocal changes in the functioning of others. Families differ somewhat in the degree of interdependence, but it is always present to some degree.

At Mariam’s Footsteps Inc., we believe that holistic teachings based on both models in a therapeutic milieu can be used to identify issues impacting our children, youth and families and guide our healing response.  Empowering children and youth requires the exposure to a variety of skill enhancing opportunities in the milieu, culture and community.  This unique and holistic approach to programming will allow our children to build a diverse skill set in addition to increasing confidence in their abilities.  Furthermore, this will allow children, youth and families to gather the necessary “tools” to overcome any obstacles that they may encounter. 

Circle of Courage

Mariam’s Footsteps Inc. believes that our First Nations families are entitled to have service providers utilize interventions strategies based on the Circle of Courage model which can be used to identify issues impacting our clients and guide our healing responses according to cultural beliefs and philosophies.  This model, presented visually, is a circle with four spokes – supports that are needed to keep the wheel strong and true. Through exposure to a variety of therapeutic and cultural environments, children and youth can learn new ways of developing the four key areas – Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity.

Empowering children, youth and their families requires the exposure to a variety of skill enhancing opportunities in the culture and community.  This unique and holistic philosophy allows our children, youth and families to build a diverse skill set in addition to increasing confidence in their connections with one another and their abilities within their own cultural philosophies. 

Belonging is the most important component in which all humans have a need to feel comfortable and welcomed by a group through knowing they are valued, important and protected.  As the family and close community are the most important influences on the original development of this area related to self-esteem, those who have had a disrupted or non-supportive upbringing often struggle with building healthy allegiances, relationships and supports with other people.  Reclaiming our children in this area is entrenched in our theory that all persons are valued, accepted and unconditionally supported in their endeavor to build stronger and healthier relationships.

Independence provides an individual the ability to make autonomous decisions in a directive and responsible manner.  Children and youth that have had their sense of “Belonging” impaired often feel out of control and therefore, their behaviors and emotions are reflective of blame, lack of personal responsibility and “scatter-brained” type of activities.  Creating healthy opportunities for individuals to discover a sense of autonomy and control over their environment will assist in learning responsibility and independence.

Generosity, in its distorted or absent sense, is often demonstrated by children in a manner that is selfish, “stingy”, little concern for another’s welfare and rather strained interactions.  Working towards a sense of Generosity may instill in children the knowledge that all people have “gifts”, individual talents and characteristics that are unique and worthy of sharing with others.  This sharing of lessons and truths while remembering our own journey in life may allow children and youth to know empathy rather than judgment.

Mastery is the motivation to strive for achievement, willingness to take risks and the ability to gather more information should one not succeed the first time.  It is the ability to listen, observe, share and learn from others – and the eventually sharing of that same information to those who experience the same obstacles in life.  Our children with an impaired sense of mastery may be unwilling to try new challenges out of fear of failure, give up easily and/or devalue the attempts of others. 

Mariam’s Footsteps Inc. accepts referrals from Alberta Child & Youth Services – Regional authorities and Designated First Nations Agencies under the jurisdiction of Alberta Child and Youth Services and/or other provincial children’s services authorities for all programs under the organization’s umbrella.

Initially, contact is made with the applicable program to determine the appropriateness of the placement (contract or fee-for-service) and to ensure that the agency’s mandate is suitable to the child, youth and/or the family.  Subsequent to the determination that a referred person is appropriate and meets the eligibility criteria of the program, the following will apply:

Placement not immediately available:
  • The Program Manager and/or designate will gather relevant information regarding the referred child;
  • A determination of intake timelines will be provided to the person making the referral;
  • If appropriate, information for available community resources will be provided;
  • The Program Manager and/or designate will make contact with the person making the referral when a placement becomes available.
Unplanned/Emergency Placements:
  • The Program Manager and/or designate will gather as much relevant information as possible – specifically any information relating to the health and safety of the child (e.g. delegation of authority, treatment service number, conditions of contact with family, allergies, etc.);
  • Mariam’s Footsteps Inc. will endeavor to obtain mandatory consents in order to provide services to child.  Should the need arise for consents to be verbal in nature, authorization will be documented on the correct form including the persons name that provided verbal consent;
  • The Program Manager and/or designate will arrange a formal Intake Meeting within 10 days of admission.
Upon Intake:
  • The Program Manager or delegate will conduct pre-placement interviews with the child (if appropriate), case manager, family and/or other significant persons (if appropriate).  This will be used to gather pertinent demographical and treatment related information;
  • An age and cognitively appropriate explanation and confirmation that the person served understands the reasons for admission to the program;
  • An introduction to relevant program policies and procedures;
  • The review of and consent to treatment including the signing of the intake package by client (if appropriate) and/or the guardian including any discharge and/or transition planning;
  • The initial advisement of all rights relating to the client including:  cultural connections, advocacy, involvement in future planning, Peacekeeping procedures, ability to revoke consent, etc.
  • Providing the child and/or guardian with a written copy of program components which include, but not limited to, the anticipated stay in the program; description of issues addressed; aspects of services, philosophies, cultural programming, etc.; all rights including the Peacekeeping procedure and advocacy; members of the service team and their corresponding roles; methods of monitoring progress/reporting outcomes; mandatory and optional parts of programming.

Contact Detail

24hrs Crisis Line: 780.340.7426

Phone: 780.462.7426 (780-4MARIAM) | 780.413.6856
Fax: 780.413.6857


202 - 3128 Parsons Road, Edmonton, Alberta, T6N 1L6