Doc Wayne was founded in 2002 by Susan Wayne, the former President of Justice Resource Institute. Susan established Doc Wayne in memory of her brother Eli (Doc) and his commitment to using sport as a medium for positive youth development. In 2010, Doc Wayne became an independent non-profit organization and continues to serve youth, ages 5-18, across eastern Massachusetts. Our mission is to fuse sport and therapy to heal and strengthen at-risk youth. Over time, as individuals and in teams, they learn to heal together, grow together, and win together.
Doc Wayne’s Chalk Talk® program reimagines group therapy through the lens of team sports including soccer, basketball, and flag-football. Trained clinicians, known as coaches, leverage the power of sport to teach youth important life skills like teamwork, communication, confidence, and resilience. Chalk Talk® groups meet 1-2 times per week at local schools, community sites, or residential centers.
Doc Wayne’s Therapeutic Mentoring (TM) program provides an additional opportunity for students to improve their mental and behavioral health while building supportive relationships with trusted adults. Therapeutic Mentoring provides structured, one on one, strength-based support services for the purposes of addressing needs and building skills. TM is designed to promote and enhance positive relationships between youth and adults.
All of Doc Wayne’s programming is guided by their innovative, proprietary curriculum: Creating Champions. Creating Champions layers clinical and social emotional learning goals onto an easy-to-grasp sports framework. Using language and activities which are sport-based helps ensure youth are engaged and excited to participate despite the notorious stigma surrounding mental health. The curriculum is derived from two therapeutic models: the Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) Framework and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). By combining these models with a sport-based approach, Doc Wayne coaches engage youth who may not progress in traditional talk therapy. Creating Champions focuses on four main constructs: Resilience, Confidence, Teamwork, and Communication.
The accessible and innovative nature of Doc Wayne’s programming has earned the agency several accolades – most recently including the 2019 CBH Innovation Award. Co-funded by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, the C.F. Adams Charitable Trust, and the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH), the CBH Innovation Award is awarded to a non-profit organization in recognition of its effort to fill an unmet need or gap in the children’s behavioral health care delivery system through the creation of an innovative program or practice. Doc Wayne also earned the 2016 Beyond Sport’s Global Sports for Health Award and the 2015 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award in the “Influential Leader” category for modeling how to make communities healthier through sport. Additionally, in 2014, Doc Wayne was selected as a Social Innovator by the Social Innovation Forum in the category of “Breaking Down Barriers to Effective Mental Health Services” and as the Innovator of the Year for the Massachusetts Providers’ Council.
Lastly, Doc Wayne has gained recent exposure on news and media outlets including NBC10 and WCVB Boston. Links to these videos are included here: https://www.necn.com/on-air/as-seen-on/doc-wayne-uses-sport-to-help-students/2247006/ and https://www.wcvb.com/article/5-for-good-doc-wayne-offers-sports-based-therapy-to-hundreds-of-area-kids/31246949#.
Please note that Doc Wayne is now offering Telehealth services and is prepared to continue this method after the crisis as it will enable more youth and families to access care.