The ABC’s of An Effective Treatment Program

Effective Adolescent Residential Treatment Can Treat Anxiety, Depression and Trauma AND Support and Prepare Family Systems For A Successful Transition Home

Sending a child or adolescent to treatment can be the most alarming, scary and important decision a parent can make. How do I know my son or daughter will be well cared for? Do the program’s clinicians actually know what they are doing? When will I get ‘my old child’ back again? There are programs that have university-based outcome research that show just how successful and effective they are in helping adolescents overcome anxiety, depression, trauma and substance abuse……

At Paradigm Malibu, we have a simple mission: To create a 30-45 day treatment experience that provides evidence-based, expert treatment for anxiety, depression and trauma and delivers the clinical care in a compassionate and comfortable setting for the adolescents and their families. We accomplish this in a number of ways that support an effective treatment course, a strength-based approach and treatment efficacy that helps continue recovery after discharge from the family’s home and community. Here are the ABC’s for integral factors that parents should look for in an effective treatment program.

Assessment

How could a program provide effective treatment if they do not know what they are treating? Programs that conduct assessments upon admission give the adolescent and their treatment team the most effective tools to provide a treatment plan that is based on an accurate diagnostic picture. If a program doesn’t provide assessment services shortly after admission, how do they know what they are treating? At Paradigm, we conduct a comprehensive assessment for each adolescent we treat within the first 3 days of treatment.

Clinical Expertise

Looking at residential programs can be a scary experience. Often, it appears that a single treatment program treats literally any diagnosis and behavior. Effective programs have a succinct and targeted set of diagnoses and behaviors that they treat and expert clinicians that can provide state-of-the-art and evidence-based clinical treatment for those issues. Not only does it help the individual in treatment, it also helps families know that their child is in a safe program where other clients that are being treated have struggled and will succeed in very similar ways.

Evoking Strengths

Families seek effective residential care because their child has deficits in an area that cannot be addressed in the community. Often, though, when adolescents enter residential treatment, they need to leave all of their strengths at home. Family, friends, academics, athletics and arts are the very activities that help kids stay afloat in spite of their anxiety, depression and trauma. At Paradigm, we provide specialized programming for adolescents who are gifted athletes, artists and students to accentuate their strengths while in treatment.

Great Outcomes

If residential treatment is the learning component, then heading home and succeeding in school, relationships and effectively managing anxiety and depression is the final exam. If programs do not conduct outcome research, it is impossible to know how effective their treatment is. If an adolescent has to be in a program to be successful, then the program will never be a success. At Paradigm, we have extensive and ongoing outcome research documenting that adolescents feel significantly less anxious and depressed, have substantially better family relationships, feel more confident about their future and feel that they are much more worthwhile as a person at discharge and six months post-discharge.

Behavioral Approach

There are programs that work to knock adolescents down in an effort to build them up again. Why? Most families that make the decision to send their child to residential treatment have seen their son or daughter get knocked down more times than any adolescent should. Many adolescents have such low self esteem that they have become experts and knocking themselves down. At Paradigm, we believe in meeting the adolescent where they are and helping them build themselves up without artificial incentive, point or level systems.

Daily Schedule

Adolescents thrive with clear structure and programs thrive when that structure provides academic focus, individual treatment and targeted group programming. Most adolescents have tried individual therapy once or twice a week in the community and that has proven to be ineffective. Often adolescents struggle to attend school because of their anxiety, depression or trauma. At Paradigm, we provide 3 hours of daily classroom time each weekday, in addition to individual therapy 7 days a week. Our group program provides 4 hours of didactic, process and experiential programming each day of treatment

Family Programming

While the adolescent is the important person in treatment, his or her family needs to be valued and supported with an equal amount of care, compassion and treatment. Often, parents have worked to provide residential treatment in their own home and a parent’s world has become very isolated with respect to getting their own network of support. At Paradigm, we offer an extensive 5-hour family program every Saturday in addition to weekly individual family treatment so parents can have a similar level of skills and support as their adolescent.

Are you interested in hearing more about our services, outcome research or to see if Paradigm Malibu could be a fit for your son or daughter? Please

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