Privileges are not exclusively tied to the stage system. Some privileges are granted based on the student’s ability to safely participate in the activities (especially activities designed to reinforce the development of healthy relationships with staff and peers); and other privileges have a set of requirements that the student must meet before he or she will be considered by their treatment team for that privilege. Because the stage of therapeutic focus is only one of many possible logical requirements, students at the same stage will not necessarily have the same compliment of privileges.
Privileges are viewed as an earned opportunity to practice new relational and physical skills, and as a concrete representation of the level of trust between a student and his/her treatment team. While stages are only earned and never lost (because they recognize qualitatively a student’s personal progress in learning psychosocial maturity skills); privileges may be given and temporarily removed based on a student’s behavior (as everyone makes mistakes in life). This allows staff and students to focus on the behavior in the “here and now” in a focused, clear and logical manner, without it being misunderstood as a statement regarding the student’s overall progress.