Frequently Asked Questions

Mental Health FAQs

We understand that if you are considering treatment for yourself or a loved one, you’re sure to have many questions. What’s important for you to know is that you don’t have to go it alone. Our admissions team is here to address all your concerns. Please call us any time at 714.828.0808. Your journey to recovery starts with Discovery.

  •       Depression – Assessment is the important first piece to understanding what’s going on and to creating a plan for that individual. That’s why we work with the family and the client to determine what’s at the heart of the issue. Getting to the root cause and making sure that family and client are on the same page is critical. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) work well for depression.
  •       Anxiety – The aim in treating anxiety is helping clients integrate the skills that will help them relax and calm themselves in the moment. Meditation and deep breathing techniques are very useful, along with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).
  •       Self-harm – For this treatment, it really depends on why the client is engaging in self-harming behaviors. As always, we assess to see what the underlying issue is and work from there. We help the client build alternative skills they can adapt to use in the moment. Dialectical behavioral treatment (DBT) works well.
  •       Suicidal ideation (SI) – This symptom may come from a lot of different sources. We’re always careful to do—as a first step—a full assessment that will get to the root of the SI. The understanding we gain helps us identify and develop an appropriate treatment plan on an individual basis. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often a good choice for addressing SI.
  •       Aggression – While we are not designed to support physical aggression in treatment, we do accept clients with a history of aggression in the family. Typical treatment options include anger management, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and a focus on communication skills.
  •       Mood disorders – The treatment of mood disorders requires that we assess the client and come up with an individualized plan. We want to make sure we are addressing the specific needs of each client. Treatment likely involves the use of clinical behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), relationship and communication skills, and self-esteem groups.
  •       School refusal – Oftentimes, we put a level system in place that involves some rewards when school is completed. However, more often than not, there’s an underlying issue that has led to school refusal in the first place. Once that obstacle is identified, we can focus on addressing this issue directly. With treatment, the refusal can be lessened or eliminated. Fostering a structured environment in treatment also works well.
  •       Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) – Focusing on the family system is a key component to resolving RAD. To do this, we work to improve relationships and communication skills. Along with these therapies, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) works well.
  •       Substance abuse – To treat a substance abuse issue, it is critical to do an assessment and determine the primary reason for substance use. That’s why we work with clients to uncover the underlying issues and develop a plan for addressing what’s really going on. In addition, we introduce the 12-step program, providing support via off-site meetings and work in-house.
  •       Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) – Our program is not structured to support ODD as a sole diagnosis. However, we are equipped to address ODD as a secondary concern along with a separate primary condition. To address ODD, we implement behavioral modification techniques as much as possible, and we provide a structured environment.

Our curriculum focuses on insight and skills development, as well as having an underlying Stages of Change and Motivational Interviewing approach. These are both models that foster thinking about change and helping the client actually make changes in behavior. While the program is structured around improving behavior, it also allows the client to process their feelings regarding what they are experiencing in treatment—as well as the issues that brought them into treatment in the first place. Groups include dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Coping Skills, Art & Music Therapy, Psychoeducation, FIT/movement therapy, and many more.

Discovery Mood & Anxiety Program specializes in trauma-informed therapy and provides trauma-informed therapists at each facility. At some locations, we offer trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) and/or eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR). These two approaches are proven to be very effective in treating trauma. In addition, we offer dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and teach CBT trauma-based skills. By employing these modalities and interventions, we focus on a trauma narrative and timeline that allows the client to process the experience in a safe setting.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a modality that focuses on stress tolerance and interpersonal aptitude. DBT skills group is available at all Discovery Mood & Anxiety Program locations. DBT teaches techniques to increase tolerance to stress, recognize emotions, be mindful of how one responds to situations and to those around them, and to improve personal ability when communicating. If the client responds well to the DBT group, DBT can be incorporated into individual and family therapy as well.

Our staff includes specialists with various areas of expertise. The minimum requirement for all staff is a bachelor’s degree and/or previous experience working in the mental health or recovery field. We employ interns who are working toward master’s degrees with a focus on mental health. We have many licensed clinicians on staff as well as psychiatrists who are medical doctors. We pride ourselves on hiring and training every employee to meet the highest standards of care in all our facilities.

Regular 30-minute bed checks are normal. 15-minute checks are for safety concerns. The overnight staff varies by facility location and the current milieu.

We address our clients however they identify. We honor pronouns and recognize that those will sometimes change. We always ask for preferences. We follow guidelines that are laid out in support of transition and work to give transitioning clients a voice. We cannot refuse to address clients as they identify, even if that goes against a parents’ request.

Most adolescents and many adults admit to being resistant to treatment. Some particularly dislike the idea of residential care. That’s why the staff works closely with clients in those first few days to help them get acclimated to the program and adjust to the treatment setting. We really focus on the “Stages of Change” process. First and foremost, we encourage participation. Once we get clients to engage, we work with them to help them become more aware of their behavior and start to look at themselves. We aim to help them recognize what’s really going on and how they can make changes to become better. It’s a process of building people up until they realize that they have the power to find wholeness, and recovery can be theirs.

For those clients who are in school, we offer 20 hours of education time per week, plus a liaison who works with both the parents and the school. We aim to help families navigate the education system—particularly if the school wants the child to disenroll. We collaborate with the school and the parents to find the best plan for the client to receive schoolwork while in treatment. Our preference is to keep the student enrolled in their current school if at all possible. That’s because our treatment program is a short-term situation. However, if that just isn’t possible, we do provide other options that we can access if necessary.

At Discovery Mood & Anxiety Program, our focus is on treating the client as an individual, meeting each person right where they are when they come to us. We do not offer a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery.

As part of that approach, we don’t mix milieus. What that means is that an adolescent, for example, will be in a center with other adolescents dealing with similar conditions. Adults are treated alongside adults. This way, clients are allowed to be in a group setting of peers that are struggling with the same issues. Clients addressing mental health concerns are in specific locations, while other facilities are designed for those with substance use and abuse issues.

Family therapy is a required component of our program. We know that family plays a large role in the client’s recovery—both in-treatment and after discharge from the center. That’s why we include two family sessions per week, along with family group and therapeutic passes.

At all Discovery Mood & Anxiety Program locations, we offer dietary support. It’s part of our commitment to treating the whole person and not just the diagnosis. You see, nutrition plays an important role in mood, behavior, and overall wellbeing. So we include education about diet in every one of our programs.

If a client is in school, we offer 20 hours of school time each week. However, our focus is on addressing the underlying issues that are keeping the client from participating in school now. We want each client to be successful in school, and we know that won’t happen until those issues are addressed. It’s just another part of our whole-person approach to treatment.

Another point of differentiation here is the amount of structure we provide as well as our focus on the development of coping skills. Our clinical staff is quite varied in its interventions and conceptualization, so we can assess and provide varying approaches as needed. We work to ensure that the client is held accountable and supported through their treatment work in a setting conducive to improvement.

The ultimate goal? Recovery that extends well beyond a stay with us. We work toward genuine healing and success. For life.

Discovery Mood & Anxiety Program strives to promote the well-being of the individuals and families in the communities that we serve. We do this by providing accessible, quality mental health care and addiction treatment utilizing a service system that emphasizes trust, resilience, respect, confidentiality, and compassion. The Stages of Change clinical model is the foundation of our programs, along with individualized treatment tailored to each client. We are committed to the philosophy that resilience is a skill that can be nurtured and/or taught to everyone. In addition, our program is built around the idea of ESTEEM:
· Evidence-based treatment
· Science-focused nutrition
· Therapeutic programming
· Education reintegration
· Extensive family support
· Multiple levels of care

We treat people who are experiencing mental health or substance abuse issues such as major depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety, or addiction. We work with those who have behavior issues that stem from a mental health diagnosis. We treat people with ADHD, those on the autism spectrum, anyone with reactive attachment disorder (RAD), trauma, PTSD, self-harm behaviors, and suicidal ideation. In terms of substance abuse, we address all substances including alcohol, opiates, marijuana/cannabis, club drugs, hallucinogens, and prescription medications.

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