The Boulder Institute for Psychotherapy and Research (BIPR), was founded in 1999 by a group of 25 dedicated, experienced, and respected mental health professionals who were committed to providing the best mental health services possible to build a strong, functional community. The belief of the group was that in collaboration with other human service agencies, Boulder could become a leader and model in the provision of psychotherapeutic services. The group sought to provide help to under-served populations.
During the first three years, this dedicated, all-volunteer group poured their passion into the organization to produce the following results. BIPR: sponsored 9 Front Porch Lectures; began the Intern Training Program accepting a Smith College Social Work Intern each year starting in Fall of 2000; offered a year-long psychotherapy course to all Second year Smith College social work trainees in the area as well as to the Psychology Interns at the Wardenberg Student Health Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder; provided sliding scale or low fee services to 18 individuals, participated in an Infant Mental Health Collaborative research project, provided training for community child care providers as a partner in a community collaborative grant, and provided 3 free public lectures (one in response to the Columbine High School massacre in an attempt to educate the public about preventing such an event in the future.)
In 2003, under the leadership of Training Director, Mark Grassman, BIPR expanded its training program to accept a Post-Doctoral Fellow. This enabled the organization to double the number of individuals for whom sliding scale and low-fee services could be provided. In anticipation of opening the therapeutic preschool, BIPR developed a collaborative project with Apple Kids Preschool in Longmont, Colorado to provide mental health services, consultation, and parent education to children and families at the center.
During the next three years, Front Porch Lectures continued at a rate of 3-4/year. Our intern and Post-doctoral fellows continued to offer services to 25-30 individuals and families/year.
In January 2006, BIPR hired Mary Rozaklis, an experienced community leader, as its first Executive Director. Until this time, BIPR was a volunteer run organization. Ms. Rozaklis secured a $25,000 challenge grant from the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation to underwrite the Therapeutic preschool; the match was made in December 2007. The Therapeutic Preschool Pilot program began in September of 2008 as a collaborative project with Boulder Day Nursery. Boulder County alloted $20,000 to provide clinical servies to children in the therapeutic preschool in January of 2009. The program proved to be very effective; children made signicant gains in controlling difficult behaviors when compared with the control group (as measured by the BASC-2) One year follow-ups demonstrated that only two of nine children needed ongoing support in Kindergarten..
In 2007, BIPR again expanded the training program to include a Post-Masters fellow. Clinical service provision was therefore increased to 36-40 individuals or families/year. In 2009, BIPR became one of four partner agencies in a collaborative federal Communities Empowering Youth capacity building grant. This grant enabled BIPR to receive training and technical assistance to develop the board, manage programs, and put financial systems in place.
In September of 2009, Dr. Cynthia Divino took over the helm and became Executive Director. The Zero-to-Five Program was launched to provide a continuum of services for infants toddlers, and preschool children. This included preventative services, identification and consultative services for Nursery and Preschool programs and intensive intervention through dyadic work with parents and children, and our intensive Therapeutic Preschool Program (a collaborative program with First Presbyterian Preschool).
The years 2009-2011 was a period of rapid growth. In 2011, 214 people were served through our educational and training services, while 145 individuals were served by either in BIPR’s outpatient clinic and Zero-to-Five Services Program. The children served by the Therapeutic Preschool Program grew from 6 children served to 12 children served.
The quality of BIPR’s outpatient services improved with the addition of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, an evidence-based technique for treating trauma). Rosemary Wrzos, an EMDR specialist and a BIPR founder was instrumental in bringing the EMDRIA HAP program to Boulder to do a training for 22 individuals. Thanks to a generous donor, we were able to support the training of three of our interns. The demand in the outpatient clinic grew to such a degree that BIPR was able to hire our first contract therapist.
In 2011, Joan Heron became the Front Porch Director. Using her excellent organizational skills BIPR was able to expand its reach to more professionals in Denver and the Ft. Collins area. Individuals came from as far away as Cheyenne, Wyoming and Colorado Springs, CO. National and International speakers featured in 2011 and 2012 included: Carol George, Ph.D., Efrat Ginot, Ph.D., Beatrice Beebe, Ph.D., and our own Mary Sue Moore, Ph.D. In addition to keeping the Boulder therapeutic community informed of the latest cutting-edge information, it brought in an influx of revenue that helped provide psychotherapeutic services that would not otherwise been possible.
In August 2012, Dr. Dana Castellano took over as Acting Training Director as the program nearly doubled in size. Dr. Castellano, who holds a position of Secretary of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association, helped us form many useful connections in the field.
In September of 2012, BIPR’s Zero-to-Five Program became a resident partner with the Wilderness Early Learning Center, a comprehnesive Early Childhood Service Center. By the end of 2012, BIPR provided psychotherapeutic or pschological assessment services to 107 individuals and educational services to 1,161 individuals.