FAQ

faq

  1. Where is your teen treatment program located?
  2. Can I visit the program before committing?
  3. How many adolescents are in your program?
  4. How often will I receive individual therapy?
  5. How long is your teen treatment program?
  6. Who will be providing treatment? How is that different from other programs?
  7. Will I have my own room?
  8. Who else will be in treatment with my child?
  9. Who owns and operates this program?
  10. How will attending treatment impact school?
  11. Are treatment programs for teens different than programs for adults?
  12. Do you provide any services other than residential treatment?
  13. Will I be asked to do excessive chores while in the program?
  14. What types of diagnostic testing and assessments are conducted?
  15. What will the rest of our family be asked to do?
  16. Why don’t you use a point system or phase system?
  17. Do you provide gender specific treatment?
  18. Will my family’s confidentiality be protected?
  19. When I come to treatment, what should I bring with me?
  20. I have to go to court because I got caught with pot. How can you help?
  21. Don’t you have to wait for a teen to “hit bottom” before sending them to treatment?
  22. Do you use the 12 steps?
  23. Will I be able to visit with my child during treatment?
  24. I use drugs because I feel sad and nervous. Can you help me with that?
  25. My kid is completely out of control. If I am looking at wilderness treatment, should I consider a program like Paradigm?
  26. I’m already seeing a therapist. Can they be involved in my treatment?
  27. Do you accept insurance?
  28. If insurance won’t pay, what are my options?
  29. What happens when I go home?
  30. Where can I get an answer to a question that isn’t addressed here?

1. Where is your teen treatment program located?

Paradigm San Francisco is located in the East Bay of California, in beautiful San Rafael, surrounded by beautiful green hills and just a short distance from San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean. Paradigm San Francisco is a comfortable, safe, beautiful environment, overlooking the city with an incredible view, where teens enjoy the peace and quiet of having their own space, yet also enjoy access to the nearby opportunities and places to explore.

 

2. Can I visit the program before committing?

Yes. We welcome prospective teens and families to visit our Paradigm San Francisco location, tour the facility, get to meet with some of our team members, and see first-hand what makes paradigm so special. In fact, we urge parents to always visit any treatment facility they are considering, in order to ensure that it is truly the best fit for the family’s needs and goals. If there are ever instances where treatment providers are reluctant to provide this, this is concerning.

 

3. How many adolescents are in your program?

Paradigm San Francisco prides itself in maintaining a small house population, which is key to our individualized treatment approach and to ensuring that all teens receive the specialized care, attention, and time that they deserve. We’ve found that maintaining a smaller group of young people also ensures a dramatically better treatment experience than other programs that serve large populations.

 

4. How often will I receive individual therapy?

One of the trademarks of treatment at Paradigm San Francisco is all teens receive individual therapy sessions every day, while in treatment. This is just one of the many things that sets us apart from many treatment centers, where teens might receive individual therapy once or twice per week, at best. By providing daily individual therapy sessions, we’re able to provide teens with the support and attention they need to do the deeper introspective work that effective therapy requires, and which promotes growth and healing on the deepest possible levels. In addition to these sessions, teens also partake in numerous other group therapy sessions and activities daily, which provide an excellent supplement to the work they’re doing with their lead therapists.

 

5. How long is your teen treatment program?

At Paradigm San Francisco, we strongly believe that adolescent treatment is most successful when it’s intensive and brief, which is why the majority of teens stay with us for between 30-45 days. Our program has been designed in such a way that for most teens, this is ample time to make healthy changes which are meaningful and sustainable. In some cases, we will discuss an extension to 45 days, if the teen and family feel this is best. However, we never ask for this commitment up front. Along these lines, it’s worth noting that some treatment providers require a longer stay initially, before any diagnostic testing takes place. These types of requirements should give parents pause and should be examined carefully, before committing.

 

6. Who will be providing treatment? How is that different from other programs?

At Paradigm San Francisco, our entire team is made up of professionals that have dedicated their careers to working with young people. Beyond this, the core team of Paradigm San Francisco has been working together in treatment for more than 15 years. The result of this time and experience together is Paradigm San Francisco is a treatment center truly like no other.

 

7. Will I have my own room?

All of our rooms at Paradigm San Francisco are comfortable, spacious, and enjoyable to be in. Our team does a great job of making the space inviting and warm, so that teens and families really enjoy the time they spend here. We offer both private and semi-private rooms for teens. If your teen would like to request a private room, please let us know as early as possible, so we can do our very best to accommodate you accordingly.

 

8. Who else will be in treatment with my child?

When considering teen treatment facilities, it’s very important to understand not only who the people are that are providing treatment, but also the other young people your child will be in treatment with. Unfortunately, there are a number of teen treatment providers that have little to no admissions criteria and because of this, teens might enter treatment struggling, only to be introduced to new unhealthy behaviors and/or experiences, by other teens. Understandably, this can be extremely alarming and discouraging for teens and parents alike. At Paradigm San Francisco we take the treatment environment very seriously and as such, have a thorough screening process that ensures each teen is a good fit for the larger therapeutic experience. Along these lines, we do not accept any teens with any history of violence, gang affiliation, fire starters, sexual perpetrators, and/or any other behaviors which suggest they might cause harm.

 

9. Who owns and operates this program?

At Paradigm San Francisco, we’re committed to open, honest, and frequent communication about all aspects of our treatment process and facilities. Put simply, we believe that you have a right to know these things about any treatment center you are considering for your child, including who owns and operates it. The founders of Paradigm San Francisco continue to be directly involved with the daily operation of the program, including the development, implementation, and oversight of each treatment plan. Their information is listed on our staff page with complete bios and all families with teens here will have access to them, including their cell phone numbers. This way, if any concerns, questions, or needs should arise, there is no worry about who to track down or to turn to. At Paradigm San Francisco, we’re committed to providing the highest quality teen treatment experience every step of the way and are here to help, with whatever you need.

 

10. How will attending treatment impact school?

We understand that teens struggling with mental health and substance abuse conditions face many challenges in all different areas of their lives, including academics. For many teens that come to us, academics is a central source of stress in their lives. For this reason, we take great pride in the educational component of our treatment program, which is why all teens undergo a thorough educational assessment, upon admission. This allows us to assess what teens’ current academic needs are and to incorporate this aspects into their larger treatment plans. Our Academic Support Services program serves to help teens with whatever their academic needs are, whether it be catching up and getting back on track, getting help in a particular area or subject, and/or finding ways to better cope with the stress of challenging AP or honors courses. Our program includes daily time in our on-site classroom, led by a teacher; we also provide individual tutors who are available for one-on-one help; and when necessary, we can also provide proctored testing services. The goal of our academic program at Paradigm San Francisco is for teens to leave here current with their studies, if not ahead.

 

11. Are treatment programs for teens different than programs for adults?

Yes. There is a reason that at Paradigm San Francisco, we’re committed exclusively to adolescent residential treatment. Adolescence is one of the most unique developmental times of life in numerous ways, and as such, the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of teens are very specific to their time of life. For this reason, it’s incredibly important that adolescent treatment is designed in accordance to teens’ specific needs and carried out by providers that are experienced working with young people. While many programs claim to provide teen treatment as an additional or side service, often there may be essentially no difference in approach or expertise of the treatment these teens actually receive. The result is these programs are unsuccessful in addressing teens’ real needs. At Paradigm San Francisco, every aspect of our approach to and implementation of treatment is tailored toward young people’s unique needs, goals, and experiences.

 

12. Do you provide any services other than residential treatment?

Paradigm San Francisco is exclusively devoted to residential adolescent treatment. This specialized focus allows us to be fully attentive and dedicated to this work and population and we believe this is much of the reason for our continued success.

 

13. Will I be asked to do excessive chores while in the program?

Some teen treatment programs use outdated methods of chores as forms of punishment, to motivate or curb behaviors, and/or to “humble” teens. Despite these kinds of methods having been shown to be unsuccessful and even harmful decades ago, many treatment centers implement them anyway, as a way of reducing costs. The unfortunate result is teens’ valuable time and efforts are often wasted, while the real struggles in their lives are not addressed.

At Paradigm San Francisco, we don’t believe in this kind of practice, as we find it to be insulting of teens’ and families time, resources, and sincere efforts. In treatment with us, we want teens to devote their time and energy toward their self-care and growth, so that each moment here is one of therapeutic value. We have a full-time staff dedicated to all housekeeping needs and teens are only asked to simply clean up after themselves and maintain the cleanliness of their rooms.

 

14. What types of diagnostic testing and assessments are conducted?

We strongly believe that a treatment plan can only be as strong as the assessments upon which it is based. Therefore, in order to accurately assess the full range of needs, all teens undergo a thorough diagnostic interview, within 48 hours of admission. These assessments include: a Bio-Psychosocial assessment by a counselor; a nutritional assessment by a nutritionist; an educational assessment by a teacher; a psychiatric evaluation by a licensed Psychiatrist; and a medical evaluation by our Medical Director. We believe it’s important to evaluate all different aspects of teens’ lives in order to understand how to provide the best course of treatment.

While this kind of thorough, careful approach to treatment design may seem like it should be common among providers, it unfortunately is not. Many treatment centers provide insufficient, broad diagnostic processes that are carried out by unlicensed staff members, and are inadequate at assessing the scope of teens’ needs. For this reason we strongly urge parents to be thorough in exploring what kind of diagnostic process and treatment planning process a provider has, in order to ensure your teens’ needs are properly and adequately met.

 

15. What will the rest of our family be asked to do?

Our many years working with young people have shown us that the most effective treatment for teens is that which considers and addresses the whole family environment, including each family member. For this reason, we incorporate a number of different family therapy sessions and groups into all of our teen treatment programs. This inclusion of family members is not to place blame or remove responsibility, but rather, to invest in the overall well-being of the family environment both while teens are in treatment, and once they return home. To this end, some of the services we offer include: individual and multi-family group therapy sessions, Parent Coaching and Parent Effectiveness Training, Sibling Support Services, Parent Educational Groups, and more. We also understand that sometimes it’s not possible for family members to join in person, either because of work commitments or geographic location. For this reason, we also offer individual and group therapy services via Skype and telephone. We also offer free ongoing after-care support services for as long as necessary, following your teen’s time here at Paradigm San Francisco.

 

16. Why don’t you use a point system or phase system?

For treatment to be poignant and lasting in young people’s lives, the changes they make must be resonant and transferable to their daily lives. In other words, if teens’ motivations to make efforts or change behaviors in treatment is in order to earn points, it’s likely that once teens return to their lives, they will lose sight of their goals and may easily return to old behaviors or relapse. At Paradigm San Francisco, we’re committed to helping teens to recognize the value in their treatment by exploring the deeper needs, feelings, beliefs, and struggles present, and to base changes on these deeper connections. This kind of deeper therapeutic work requires a much more sophisticated approach and more highly skilled team. Often we find that when treatment centers choose to use outdated point systems and behavior modification systems, it’s because their priorities are to minimize resources and not to help teens make radical changes that will profoundly improve their lives.

 

17. Do you provide gender specific treatment?

At Paradigm San Francisco, our goal is to be thorough and specific in the treatment we provide, in every respect. This includes working with teens to address different struggles and aspects of their experience that are related to gender. With this said, we strongly believe that the best environment for treatment is one that mirrors real life and for this reason, we provide treatment in a co-gender setting. Our hope is that if there are questions or struggles teens might need to address regarding gender, these things will arise during treatment, where they can be thoroughly and successfully processed. What we don’t want is to create a treatment setting that allows teens to thrive by avoiding the issues they need to face. In this sense, treatment centers that provide gender exclusive treatment may allow teens to feel temporarily more comfortable but may also miss opportunities for important therapeutic work. By providing gender specific treatment in a co-gender setting, we are able to address teens’ specific needs while also supporting them to learn how to form and maintain healthy relationships with people of both gender, both in the treatment setting as well as in the outside world.

 

18. Will my family’s confidentiality be protected?

Yes. At Paradigm San Francisco, we’re committed to the highest levels of confidentiality in order to protect all the teens and families we work with and our efforts to maintain this exceed the highest standards in the industry. To ensure this, all of our team members sign a strict confidentiality agreement and background check. Furthermore, we never allow media or outside community meetings into the facility. We’re proud to state that we’ve never had a confidentiality breach in our over 15 years of working with teens and families.

 

19. When I come to treatment, what should I bring with me?

Please bring clothing to last about 7-10 days, including a jacket or necessary layer, based on the season. Teens also often like to bring their own grooming supplies, such as a favorite soap or shampoo. Teens can also bring their own pillows and blankets if they prefer, though we do provide these (as well as towels) at the house. You may also bring photos or another personal item that might help you feel comfortable or more at home, during your stay here. We do ask that you leave any sentimental or irreplaceable items at home, since we can’t guarantee their safety.

At Paradigm San Francisco, we’re very committed to the safety and security of our environment and in order to ensure this space remains a comfortable, supportive place for all, we prohibit the following items: cell phones, cameras, computers or tablets, non-prescription drugs, alcohol, audible music players, and/or any clothing or item that promotes violence, drugs, or anything that may offend another person.

 

20. I have to go to court because I got caught with pot. How can you help?

At Paradigm San Francisco, we understand that sometimes good kids can wind up in treatment for a number of different reasons, including legal trouble. While our goal is never to assist in teens avoiding natural consequences or responsibilities, we are able to work with families to ensure that teens get the help they need and that poor decisions or a substance abuse condition doesn’t permanently blemish their lives. We’re experienced in working with teens and families to help them navigate questions and processes regarding the legal system. Moreover, we have established positive relationships with many judges and a reputation for providing treatment that successfully address teens’ needs. Lastly, we have team members especially skilled and knowledgeable in this area, who are available to assist you, in navigating this process.

 

21. Don’t you have to wait for a teen to “hit bottom” before sending them to treatment?

No. In fact, research shows that one of the most straight-forward ways to help young people affected by mental health and/or substance abuse conditions is to minimize the amount of time between onset of illness and the beginning of treatment. In other words, the sooner teens receive professional help, the less severe symptoms will become and the easier it will be for teens to recover. The somewhat popular yet notion that teens need to “hit bottom” before they’ll be ready to receive help is not only false but dangerous, especially considering teens already tend to be secretive surrounding these struggles, and because sometimes the bottom can be serious harm or even death. We urge you, if you or someone you know is struggling: get help now.

 

22. Do you use the 12 steps?

We do implement the 12-step program but only on a case-by-case basis, and as one aspect of a teen’s overall treatment plan. At Paradigm San Francisco, we’re dedicated to designing the most holistic, individualized treatment plans possible which can precisely address teens’ needs. We fully recognize the 12-step program as a valuable and effective treatment modality and in cases where we deem it will be most beneficial, we will incorporate it into treatment. We believe that treatment providers that solely use the 12-step program, regardless of the individual teen’s needs, can often leave important underlying emotional aspects either insufficiently addressed or omitted altogether.

 

23. Will I be able to visit with my child during treatment?

Yes, of course. We believe teen treatment is a time to encourage and facilitate open, frequent communication as a way to improve and strengthen relationships between all family members. We host a family day each Saturday, where you are invited to participate in individual and multi-family group therapy sessions. If you’re unable to join on a Saturday, we’re happy to work to accommodate a visit on another day that works for you. You’re also welcome to call your child at any time and your child may call you at any time as well, as long as it’s deemed clinically appropriate. We also recognize that while teens are in treatment, sometimes there are important family events that teens should attend. In these instances, we’re always happy to work with families on an individual basis, in order to help coordinate the best way for teens to participate.

 

24. I use drugs because I feel sad and nervous. Can you help me with that?

Many teens who are struggling with substance abuse issues also are dealing with symptoms related to a condition such as anxiety or depression. These are called Co-Occurring disorders, which are extremely common among young people and are something we specialize in, here at Paradigm San Francisco. Both our approach and our team here has been designed in a way to ensure that all different aspects of your current experience and struggles are fully addressed. You will get to work with a number of different people in a number of different therapeutic contexts, including Adolescent Psychiatrists, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Chemical Dependency Counselors, as well as Teen Yoga Therapy, Teen Drama Therapy, Teen Equine Therapy, and more. The result is we will not only help you to achieve sobriety, but to address the emotional aspects present, so that you can improve your health and quality of life, in every respect.

 

25. My kid is completely out of control. If I am looking at wilderness treatment, should I consider a program like Paradigm?

Whenever helping to assist parents in finding the treatment facility that’s right for their teens, we always encourage them to determine what factors are important in setting their teens up to succeed. Some of the questions we recommend for all parents, when considering treatment options, include: How often do teens receive individual therapy? How are family members included in the treatment process? What kinds of after-care services are provided? How many teens return to their homes and lives, following the treatment stay? How is treatment designed and what kinds of assessments are given? And how does treatment address my teen’s academic responsibilities and needs?

 

26. I’m already seeing a therapist. Can they be involved in my treatment?

Yes. In designing a teen’s time in treatment at Paradigm, we’re open to collaborate with local therapists, mentors, teachers, or other people in teens’ lives who are important and are invested in the teens’ overall well-being. We find that collaborating with these important people not only benefits the teen during the treatment process but also helps the teen to transition back to life following treatment and to sustain the important they’ve accomplished here at Paradigm.

27. Do you accept insurance?

Yes. We accept insurance from most companies and many families that come to Paradigm San Francisco use insurance. We have an admissions team to assist you with this process, including getting a preauthorization and obtaining an estimate of coverage from your provider. For more detailed information on this process, please visit our Insurance page, here.

 

28. If insurance won’t pay, what are my options?

Paradigm San Francisco offers a number of different payment and financing options. We also have a wonderful admissions team who is happy to assist you in exploring all possible options available to your family.

 

29. What happens when I go home?

From the very first day of treatment at Paradigm San Francisco, we start preparing for your return home. Virtually every aspect of the process of diagnosis, design, and treatment are all built toward your everyday life. This is why the individual and group therapy sessions, family therapy sessions, parent coaching, and all other groups focus on helping teens to make powerful changes that they’ll be able to sustain, and which will promote health and well-being. Additionally, we’re committed to providing free continued guidance and support through after-care services for as long as necessary, in order to ensure that teens and families feel safe, supported, and well-equipped, following their time here with us.

 

30. Where can I get an answer to a question that isn’t addressed here?

If you have a question or concern we haven’t answered here, please feel free to call or email us. At Paradigm San Francisco, our first priority is to assist teens and families find the help they need, whether that be with us or somewhere else. We are available to offer advice, answer questions, and provide assistance in any way we can, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We understand that the beginning of this road can be scary and overwhelming, but it’s one we’re familiar with and have travelled many times. If you need help, please just ask.

 

You may call us anytime toll-free in the U.S. and Canada at: 855-780-TEEN. All calls are confidential.

If you prefer, you may also email us at: info@paradigmsanfrancisco.com