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For Adolescents & Teens

For Adolescents & Teens

The Adolescents & Teenagers Program

Raising a teenager can be challenging and stressful. It can also be difficult to determine whether your teen is experiencing typical growing pains or a real mental health concern. The sooner the problem is identified; the sooner treatment can be found.

The DBT Program provides residential treatment for teenagers who are dealing with tremendous internal and external distress. The program is designed to help kids develop better ways of maintaining relationships.

At Willow Springs Center, we seek to enhance self-worth, confidence, interpersonal skills, family cohesiveness and academic achievement. We assist our residents in establishing healthy boundaries with improved distress tolerance and decision-making skills. The program fosters a positive peer culture to utilize adolescents’ focus on socialization. We encourage teens to make constructive choices and receive more responsibility and privileges as a result.

Behavioral Programs for Teenagers

Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Willow Springs

Created by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., in the 1980s, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidenced-based approach uniquely designed to help individuals struggling with extremely intense negative emotions and problematic behaviors. The DBT treatment model has been extensively researched and validated in treating even the most challenging emotional and behavioral health concerns. Decades of research has shown that DBT effectively reduces self-harm, suicidality, and impulsive acting out. DBT also enhances feelings of self-worth and relationships while improving interpersonal skills. DBT is influenced by the philosophical perspective of dialectics: balancing opposites. In DBT, the therapist works with the individual to find ways to hold two seemingly opposite perspectives at once, promoting balance and avoiding black and white—the all-or-nothing styles of thinking. In service of this balance, DBT promotes a both/and rather than an either/or outlook. The dialectic at the heart of DBT is acceptance and change.

Willow Springs’ DBT program is most appropriate for teens with a history of childhood trauma, suicidal gestures, self-harming behaviors, difficulty creating and maintaining relationships, and running away. Chronic difficulties with emotion regulation are often central to disorders such as depression, anxiety, trauma, or borderline personality traits. Overwhelming emotions often cause difficulties in multiple life areas such as impulse control, relationship problems, family conflict, identity, substance abuse, and problems at school.
At Willow Springs, our DBT Program is hospital wide: extensive training is provided to all disciplines involved so the entire hospital and milieu speaks the DBT skills language and supports the patient throughout their treatment. All of our staff, including psychiatrists, therapists, nurses, teachers, and direct-care mentors, are trained in DBT, creating a seamless therapeutic experience for your child and your family. Willow Springs’ outcome data demonstrates that we support our patients in significantly reducing feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, and impulsive behavior and help patients better understand and cope with their emotions.

Our whole hospital takes a skills-based approach in helping teens and their families develop effective tools to end the vicious cycle of overwhelming emotions, impulsive behavior, and family conflict. Many of our patients have a history of past treatment failures because the treatment did not focus on teaching the required skills to successfully manage emotions and turn behaviors toward the creation of a life that truly works for the individual patient. Our residential setting provides a unique opportunity for our patients to practice the skills they have learned throughout the day. We believe that the best way to learn skills is to practice them in a safe, therapeutic environment – not just talk about them. Our program fosters a positive peer culture and encourages our patients to make constructive choices which can result in them receiving more responsibility and privileges as they move through the phases of treatment.

Individual, group, and family therapy focus on mindfulness skills, building distress tolerance, reducing impulsive and self-destructive behaviors, creating and fostering healthy interpersonal relationships, and developing effective communication skills in the service of building “a life worth living.” Our “whole-family” approach means the caregiver is actively involved in the patient’s care through weekly family therapy sessions. In this way, Willow’s DBT program creates a secure, holistic environment where our patients can learn skills, practice them throughout the day, and prepare themselves for a return to their day-to-day lives and families. We look forward to discussing how our program can help heal your child and family.

Substance Abuse Education

The Ascent Substance Abuse Track

Drug and alcohol addiction is a complex illness, and long term sobriety takes more than active parenting and good intentions. The earlier the substance abuse begins, the more likely it will become a serious issue – posing a greater challenge for adolescents.

Residential addiction treatment at Willow Springs Center is centered in the Ascent Substance Abuse Track. The philosophy of this program is recovery is an ongoing journey which begins upon admission and continues throughout the person’s life. This is a valuable component to the patients’ clinical work and impacts their overall mental health treatment.

The vision of the Ascent Substance Abuse Track is to meet patients where they are, empower them to make healthy choices by gaining insight during their journey to becoming and remaining sober, and inspire them to continue on this path when they leave the addiction treatment center.

Residential Addiction treatment at Willow Springs Center includes:

  • DBT path to clear mind groups
  • Team skills specific to substance users on DBT
  • Psychoeducational groups
  • Process groups
  • Addiction and recovery education
  • Motivational Interviewing Groups for relapse prevention
  • Individual counseling
  • Support group for patients with drug-using caregivers
  • Complete assessment including biopsychosocial and SASSI-A2
  • Participation by counselors in Multidimensional Treatment Team Staffing
  • 12-steps meetings
  • Discharge planning for relapse prevention and continuing care

Contact us today.