21 Reasons Paradigm Succeeds When Other Programs Fail

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We encourage you to take a moment to learn 21 reasons Paradigm succeeds where other adolescent treatment programs fail.

1) Optimal Treatment House Size
2) We’re committed to maintaining the highest staff-to-teen ratio of any program in the country.
3) The Highest Quality Treatment Team
4) Admissions Screening
5) Deeper Therapeutic Work
6) We Provide Diagnostic Testing Before Treatment Begins
7) Paradigm San Francisco Achieves Consistent High Rankings
8) Supportive Family Services
9) Academic Support
10) We Provide Efficient & Intensive Treatment
11) Our Treatment Results in Meaningful, Lasting Change
12) We Offer A Large Variety of Clinical Services
13) It’s Our Responsibility to Motivate Teens
14) We Provide Gender Specific Treatment, not Gender Exclusive
15) We Encourage and Empower Teens and Their Families
16) Treatment Based On Teens’ Interests & Strengths
17) We Don’t Provide Either/Or Treatment
18) Treatment Designed Exclusively for Adolescents
19) We Implement A Collaborative Treatment Approach
20) We Provide Holistic Treatment
21) We Offer Free Ongoing Aftercare Services

 

1) Optimal Treatment House Size

We’re committed to maintaining an optimal number of youth in our treatment house, in order to provide the highest staff-to-teen ratio possible, and to ensure that each teen receives the most thorough, well-rounded, and supportive treatment experience possible. Residential programs that serve large populations simply aren’t able to provide our level of individual therapy and care, but instead, have to rely upon a one-size-fits-all generic treatment strategy. These types of systems rely upon large group curriculum that are only effective in addressing the most obvious, outward behaviors, and are supervised by under-qualified staff. The unfortunate result is teens’ deepest emotional needs are left virtually unaddressed, and teens are likely to simply replace one unhealthy coping mechanism with another. Furthermore, this larger group therapy environment also makes it nearly impossible for all teens to receive the careful, individual attention they need. This is especially true for more quiet, introverted teens who are less comfortable to share and open up, in the group environment.

 

2) We’re committed to maintaining the highest staff-to-teen ratio of any program in the country.

The supplement to our small residence population is our commitment to providing teens with quality individual therapy, every day while in treatment. We’re proud to have the highest staff-to-teen ratio of any treatment program in the country, which ranges from 1:1 to 1:3, during our primary treatment hours. We find that this is integral to ensuring all teens receive the careful attention and support they need, in order to be successful in addressing the deeper aspects of their current experience and to effectively making meaningful changes in their lives. This high ratio of staff to youth ensures that more quiet teens get the time and environment they need; allows us to provide consistent follow-up on a daily basis; to help ensure youth stay on track with their therapeutic goals; and also prohibits teens from being able to intentionally avoid the more challenging, introspective work they’re here to do.

 

3) The Highest Quality Treatment Team

Of all the things we’re proud of in our Paradigm San Francisco treatment house, it’s our treatment team that makes us most proud, every day. Our team members are all credentialed and/or licensed in their specific area of focus, and have dedicated their careers specifically toward working with adolescents. We believe that our team’s unique experience working with youth helps set our treatment quality above and beyond that of other treatment facilities. For instance, rather than having a Psychiatrist that has experience working with adolescents, our Psychiatrist is a Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, whose education and practice is specific toward our work here at Paradigm. We believe that this difference is poignantly felt, both in the house environment as well as the quality of treatment we provide.

We’re also committed to be clear and honest about who our treatment team members are, which is why the bios and photographs of all team members are listed on our team treatment page. Not only do we believe parents and teens have a right to know who the people are that are providing treatment, but multiple patients rights’ groups warn against programs that don’t provide clear information about the credentials and identities of the team members, on the web sites. This attempt to mask or hide the identities of team members should raise concern in parents that are seeking treatment for their teens.

Another thing patients’ rights group warn about is a teen rehab center which runs multiple programs and lists one staff together. This disingenuous approach masks the actual team providing treatment, as many staff members listed may not even be present in the center, nor will teens ever work with them. This can be problematic for several different reasons, including that parents are unaware of who will actually be providing their teens’ treatment. Because of this, we always encourage parents to ask thorough questions surrounding who will be providing treatment and how often different therapeutic offerings will occur. We believe if you and your teens are making a commitment to a residential treatment center, this information is your right. This is why every treatment team member’s information is available on our webs site and all teens are able to work with all team members.

At Paradigm San Francisco, many families appreciate that our core treatment team has been working together for more than 15 years. The result is we’re able to approach treatment process with confidence and comfort that is a direct result of the years of trust and respect we’ve created together. We believe this translates directly to a treatment environment and attitude that is safe, stable, grounded, and refreshing.

 

4) Admissions Screening

After the most important consideration of who is providing treatment, the next most important question is who the teen will be in treatment with. The group treatment setting can be a tremendously positive opportunity to provide a safe, supportive community for youth that uniquely supports teens’, to make positive life changes. However, there are also vulnerabilities to this environment and unfortunately, in our 15 years of providing residential treatment, we’ve heard many stories from parents about their negative past experiences. In some cases, parents speak about their teens going into treatment for emotional health issues, only to be introduced to more destructive, harmful behaviors; in other cases, teens might go into treatment for emotional health conditions only to be abused and bullied by other teens.

To ensure that Paradigm is a safe, positive environment for all teens, we have a rigorous admissions screening. We don’t allow teens into Paradigm who have previous history of violence, gang affiliation, sexual perpetrators, or fire starters. We also do not allow teens into the program that may risk the emotional and physical safety of anyone in the program, in any manner. While we do believe that all young people deserve quality treatment, our priority is to protect the therapeutic environment for all teens that come to us, here at Paradigm San Francisco.

 

5) Deeper Therapeutic Work

We’re committed to supporting teens to address the deeper emotional underpinnings of their problematic behaviors, rather than just the outward symptoms. We believe this is the only way to effectively and responsibly help teens achieve lasting recovery and change in their lives. In cases where teens are struggling with behavioral challenges such as eating disorders, drug abuse, or self-harm, these things are most often ways teens are attempting to cope with underlying emotional struggles. It’s extremely common for teens to turn to drug or alcohol as a way to escape from feelings of depression or anxiety, attempting to self-medicate to escape from what they’re feeling. Therefore, if a treatment program only leads teens to address the behaviors, then the underlying root cause will go unaddressed, leaving teens vulnerable to relapse, further struggles, and/or emergence of more negative coping mechanisms. By working with teens to address the deepest emotional factors present, we support them to make meaningful, lasting changes that stem from an authentic place.

 

6) We Provide Diagnostic Testing Before Treatment Begins

It’s our belief that in order to design the most individualized, precise treatment plan possible, it’s necessary to conduct assessments that accurately assess teens’ current baseline measurements. We take our diagnosis and treatment design process very seriously and are committed to thoroughness in this process, so that each day of treatment is as effective and meaningful as possible. Upon admission to Paradigm San Francisco, all teens receive a comprehensive Psychological Assessment, Medical Evaluation, Psychiatric Evaluation, as well as Educational and Nutritional Assessment. This information allows us to design treatment that addresses all of teens’ needs in the most effective ways possible. While this might seem that it would be a commonplace practice in treatment centers, unfortunately many treatment centers delay this step or forego it entirely, in an effort to reduce resources. This careless practice is unfair to teens that are then set up to struggle, as a generic treatment plan will undoubtedly waste teens’ valuable time and efforts. Not only do we believe this is irresponsible but also vastly undermines the authentic, sincere efforts of teens that are making efforts to change. Therefore, in an effort to maximize both the efforts and time of teens and our therapist team members, all teens receive this diagnostic testing review within the first 48 hours of treatment. This sets the foundation on which our treatment is built.

 

7) Paradigm San Francisco Achieves Consistent High Rankings

We’re deeply committed to providing the highest quality teen treatment available. We continue to evolve and develop our process, in order to ensure this is the case, and importantly, many objective third parties continue to agree. We’re ranked the best in adolescent treatment more often than any other adolescent treatment center in the country, and our rankings include those from Teen Advocacy Groups, Treatment Professionals, Consumer Organizations, Parent and School Counselor’s Organizations, and more. For more specific information on our rankings, please visit our reviews and rankings page.

Though we’re proud of our rankings in the news and other media, the consistent “rankings” we’re most proud of come from our alumni teens and families. Many of these satisfied families make themselves available to speak with prospective teens and families, in order to share their experience with Paradigm, and in some cases, how it was different from previous negative treatment experiences. We find that this is a very effective, helpful way for families to learn more about Paradigm San Francisco and to discover first-hand, why we’re rated better than the rest, time and time again.

 

8) Supportive Family Services

At Paradigm San Francisco, we sincerely believe that all family members bring unique abilities, perspective, and liabilities to any situation, and that these things are important to address in order to improve the overall well-being of the family. In this way, we believe that quality, effective family work isn’t about placing blame or requiring penance, but finding effective ways to resolve conflicts and improve communication as a family unit, in a way that supports young people to reach their fullest potential.

To this end, we offer a wide range of family support services, including individual family therapy, parent effectiveness training, multi-family group work, sibling support services, and on-going parents support services. We also host a weekly family day, in which teens and families gather together for multi-family group sessions, and a hosted luncheon. In instances where parents or family members are unable to participate in person, we’re always happy to provide services by Skype, telephone, or other means, in order to meet families’ unique needs and situations. Our team is available to answer questions and provide support 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and we’re committed to helping you every step of the way.

 

9) Academic Support

We’re committed to supporting teens to meet their academic goals, whatever those may be.  As part of our diagnostic interview process, all teens receive a thorough educational assessment, which identifies their academic needs, abilities, and strengths.  The goal of our Academic Services is to help teens get current or even excel in their studies so that academics will no longer be a leading stressor in their lives.  In this manner, we’re always looking for ways to reduce stress in teens’ everyday lives, so that they’re better equipped to succeed, once they return home.  The particular academic needs of teens vary greatly, from youth enrolled in AP and honors courses to teens that are struggling with learning differences.  Whatever the case, we work with adolescents individually in order to meet each client’s specific academic needs.

All teens join our accelerated learning classroom which is on-site here at Paradigm San Francisco, and which is led by a credentialed teacher.  We also supplement classroom time by providing tutors from Stanford University and University of California Berkeley, who are available for one-on-one instruction and assistance.  In some instances, our teacher might also work with the teens’ home schools, in order to ensure all necessary assignments are completed and/or submitted as necessary, and we also can provide proctored testing, when needed.  The teacher, tutors, and other academic support team members always coordinate efforts and goals with the teens’ lead therapists, so that the treatment plan is always consistent and cohesive.

 

10) We Provide Efficient & Intensive Treatment

At Paradigm San Francisco, we provide effective, intensive therapeutic services that allow teens to get the support they need, so they can successfully return to their lives, as soon as possible.  To this end, our treatment is designed around a 30-day timeline, which is widely considered the normal length of time for an adolescent residential stay.  

Unfortunately, some treatment providers require a minimum stay of 45 days and sometimes will even require families to commit to a certain length of stay, before any diagnostic testing or treatment takes place.  It’s important to understand that these programs aren’t intensive in nature.  Instead, these providers’ treatment schedules are often filled with busy work, excessive chores, community meetings, and other time-fillers, which are of little to no therapeutic value.  Often in these types of settings, teens will only get individual therapy sessions one or two times a week, and the results of this kind of treatment is subsequently very poor.

We find this approach to be ineffective as well as insulting, to teens as well as their families.  We believe that teens’ time in treatment is to be valued and respected, which is why our schedule is full of individual and group therapy sessions, which are tailored to meet teens’ specific treatment goals.  Furthermore, the cornerstone of our program is we’re the only adolescent treatment center in the country that provides individual therapy every day, while teens are in treatment.

 

11) Our Treatment Results in Meaningful, Lasting Change

Our experience has taught us that in order for teens to make meaningful changes in that will last, the changes must be directly applicable to teens’ lives.  For this reason, our program does not use any phase systems, point systems, or other outdated measures of behavior modification, as a way to get teens’ to change or curb certain behaviors.  

Despite their poor results, these archaic point systems continue to be implemented in a shockingly high number of teen treatment centers.  There are several reasons providers may use these approaches, including that there is frankly no other cheaper, easier way to provide teen treatment.  When the “treatment goals” simply involve points that coordinate to outward behaviors, providers can avoid leading teens to do the deeper, more important, and also more difficult work that will allow them to achieve authentic, lasting changes in their lives.  Unfortunately, this will usually lead teens either to new equally unhealthy coping mechanisms and avoidance strategies, if not back to the same behaviors, in relatively short time.

 

12) We Offer A Large Variety of Clinical Services

Our commitment to individualized treatment means that no two clients receive the same treatment plan.  We’re dedicated to this approach because we understand no two teens respond to the same approach in the same manner.  Because the goal is to support teens to be able to do deep introspective therapeutic work, we believe we need to provide numerous different opportunities for this to occur.  While one teen may be able to open up during Teen Equine Therapy, another teen may be able to express her experience better in a more traditional group therapy setting.  Moreover, all teens benefit from being able to experience a number of different therapeutic contexts.  

For this reason, we implement a wide number of evidence-based treatment that incorporate both traditional and alternative modalities, including but not limited to: Teen Recreational Therapy, Teen Bio Feedback, Teen Yoga Therapy, Teen Psycho-Education Groups, Teen Narrative Therapy, Teen Detoxification Massage, Teen Somatic Therapy, Teen Individual Therapy, Teen Group Therapy, Teen Psycho-Education Groups, Teen Multi-Family Therapy, Teen Neurotransmitter Testing, Teen Educational Evaluations, Teen Psychiatric Evaluations, Teen Nutritional Evaluations, Teen Medical Evaluations, Teen Equine Therapy, Parent Effectiveness Training, Gender Specific Groups, Teen Animal Assisted Therapy, and Teen Acupuncture.  Beyond this, we also offer a large selection of highly regarded Expressive Arts Therapies, including: Teen Music Therapy, Teen Art Therapy, Teen Drama Therapy, Teen Poetry/Written Therapy, and Teen Dance/Movement Therapy.

 

13) It’s Our Responsibility to Motivate Teens

Teens come to treatment from different circumstances: some are pressed into it from concerned parents or loved ones, whereas some seek out treatment on their own.  Because of this, sometimes teens are more or less resistant to engage in treatment processes.  This is okay.  It’s our job to motivate teens and help them to understand the value in treatment, as well as help stimulate hope of changing their lives.  

It’s unfortunately far too common for families to delay getting treatment, because of the belief that teens need to “hit bottom” before they’ll be ready for help.  This false attitude is only re-enforced by treatment centers that present a “take it or leave it” attitude toward treatment and don’t take any responsibility for helping youth to engage in the process.  This is unfortunate for several reasons, including that evidence shows that the earlier intervention takes place, regarding emotional issues, or behavioral issues, and/or substance abuse, the greater likelihood of success.   Furthermore, the bottom line is the longer teens go without help, the more aggravated and serious their symptoms and struggles will become.  The serious danger of letting teens continue until they hit bottom is that sometimes the bottom can be serious harm or even death.  There’s no reason to continue letting teens struggle.   Teens in need should get treatment, as early as possible.  We are here to help.

 

14) We Provide Gender Specific Treatment, not Gender Exclusive

Our treatment programs are designed to be specific to teens as individuals in every way, including their gender.  Many studies show that for most teens, gender exclusive treatment isn’t the best option.  At single gender treatment centers, it’s easy for teens to avoid important issues and/or challenges, only for teens to return to those challenges, once they return to their everyday lives, in a co-gendered world.  At Paradigm San Francisco, our attitude is if teens are facing issues that relate to the opposite gender, we want this to be acknowledged during treatment so we can support them to address it, in healthy ways.  To this end, we provide gender specific treatment in a co-gendered setting, as this best reflects teens’ real lives, and allows opportunities for teens to learn how to navigate and maintain healthy relationships with people of both genders, moving forward.

 

15) We Encourage and Empower Teens and Their Families

At Paradigm San Francisco, we believe that our commitment toward encouraging and empowering young people is foundational to our success in providing treatment. While some treatment providers attempt to force teens to change behaviors by breaking them down with strict rules and fear-based tactics, these strategies not only aren’t effective in sustaining long-term change, but can often cause more harm than good.  In order to help teens to achieve meaningful, lasting changes that stem from authentic motivation, we believe we must encourage teens to realize and remember their strengths; to rebuild their identities; and to feel empowered to make healthy choices that positively affect and shape their lives.  In this sense, we’re not interested in just temporarily curbing negative behaviors; rather, we’re committed to supporting teens to make substantial changes that will result in them discovering the way to live their best, healthiest lives.

 

16) Treatment Based On Teens’ Interests & Strengths

We design treatment according to teens’ interests and strengths, as well as their current struggles, behaviors, and symptoms.  At the heart of our approach to treatment is a belief that adolescents and their families are strong, resilient people that have unique talents, interests, strengths, and experiences.  We also believe in the importance of affirming to youth the value we see in them and in their efforts.  Therefore, we build our treatment plans from a perspective of building on teens’ strengths, rather than focusing on their current difficulties.  It’s still common for many treatment providers to approach therapy from a standpoint of recognizing teens’ deficits and trying to change their problematic behaviors.  This approach is not only not successful at achieving long-term change, but can often leave teens feeling even more discouraged than before, especially in instances where teens are already struggling with low feelings of self-worth.  In contrast, our treatment plans are designed to help teens to recognize their own capabilities and potential, while teaching them to value their own well-being and health in a way that motivates them to make positive changes that will be authentic and lasting.

 

17) We Don’t Provide Either/Or Treatment

At Paradigm San Francisco, we don’t believe that any one treatment approach is “right” or best for everyone.  While we fully recognize the value in the 12-Step model and the Medical Model, and the tremendous success they’ve been to so many people, we also know these models don’t work for everyone.  Despite that, many teen treatment facilities adhere to a strict commitment to one of these models, but our experience has shown that this unfortunately leaves too many of teens’ needs unaddressed.  As a result, we’ve found much greater success in an approach that provides teens with access to these models and many more, so that all of teens’ different range of unique needs can be met.

 

18) Treatment Designed Exclusively for Adolescents

Residential treatment for young people is a complex, highly specific practice, and as such, Paradigm San Francisco is solely devoted to serving young people in this residential setting.  Our commitment to specializing in this work first means that our staff is made up of highly skilled professionals that are experienced in working specifically with this population.  Secondly, this means our treatment is designed and implemented precisely and solely for young people.  In other treatment centers that allow crossover of different age populations, it’s common for treatment to be diluted or complicated, and for teens to be made vulnerable to undue challenges.  Lastly, our experience and commitment is to providing the highest quality residential treatment possible.  To this end, we don’t dilute or hurry our efforts by serving other populations or contexts, or by sending clients to other extended care programs.  Instead, we work directly with clients throughout a short-term, intensive therapeutic treatment time, and then provide families with high quality, free after-care services.

 

19) We Implement A Collaborative Treatment Approach

Our treatment approach and design at Paradigm San Francisco is highly collaborative.  We’re dedicated to working with teens’ families, as well as other positive influences in teens’ lives.  Throughout the treatment design process, we humbly recognize that teens and families are the experts about their own struggles, strengths, and interests; therefore, we encourage them to actively participate in designing the teen’s individual treatment plan.  Throughout the treatment process, we also recognize that there may be people such as coaches, counselors, or mentors who are active positive influences in teens’ lives.  In these instances, we welcome opportunities to collaborate with these people in order to create a support team for teens that can work together to help teens to reach their treatment goals and to successfully transition out of treatment, following their time here at Paradigm.

 

20) We Provide Holistic Treatment

Paradigm San Francisco treatment is truly holistic.  While this word has come to hold myriad meanings in today’s culture, at Paradigm it describes our commitment to considering and treatment the whole individual.  We don’t view or label teens as their diagnoses, and we don’t simply focus on one area of their lives.  Our treatment programs draw upon a combination of traditional and alternative approaches, and extend to address teens’ Physical Health, Social Health, Emotional Health, Family Health, Spiritual Health, and their Educational Needs.  By designing and implementing treatment in this well-rounded way, we’re able to support teens in all areas of their lives, to help them heal and grow in thorough, lasting ways.  This is one way in which Paradigm San Francisco treatment rises high above the rest, and really provides much more than the average teen rehab facility.

 

21) We Offer Free Ongoing Aftercare Services

We’re dedicated to helping teens and families succeed in making meaningful, lasting changes through the treatment process, and to maintain these changes, following teens’ time here at Paradigm.  Numerous studies echo what we’ve learned through experience, which is that effective aftercare services are paramount in helping teens to maintain and build upon their treatment time.  To support the transition as teens re-enter their lives, we provide free after-services for all families, for as long as they need.  We provide our after-care services in person, over Skype, or by phone, and are happy to coordinate with other local therapists or providers, in order to help teens and families feel supported.  As with our individualized treatment plans, the after care services are determined on a case-by-case basis, according to teens and families individual needs and goals.