At Paradigm San Francisco, all treatment programs begin with Teen Psychological Testing, which is part of the larger diagnostic interview process. This always takes place within the first 48 hours of a teen’s admittance to Paradigm and may include visual, verbal, and written evaluations, in order to assess the teens’ emotional and cognitive functioning. While we consider this thorough psychological testing to be an integral, and somewhat obvious, aspect of treatment, many treatment centers tend to undervalue this step, doing it quickly and insufficiently, or else omitting it entirely. At Paradigm San Francisco, we believe that these beginning processes of treatment lay the important foundation for a teen’s time here with us, and we’re committed to being as careful and thorough as possible, to ensure we’re providing the absolute best and most precise care possible.
To put it simply, successful treatment requires accurate and precise diagnosis. Far too often, important aspects such as Co-Occurring Disorders, physical factors, and environmental stressors get overlooked and undervalued, resulting in the care that leaves teens far too vulnerable to relapse and other future struggles. Understandably, providing our thorough diagnostic process involves numerous hours with several of our different staff members, which means significant resources. Many treatment centers simply make the decision to cut costs and time, by making a quick assessment based on outward symptoms, and then recommend a generic treatment plan. While this methodology for treatment is certain popular and admittedly cheaper, unfortunately it just isn’t successful and often leaves teens returning to the same challenges, questions, and pain, cycle after cycle, in a search for solutions that actually work.
Beyond just being accurate and precise, our psychological testing and greater diagnostic interview is designed to treat teens as whole beings, recognizing that there are always going to be physical, mental, emotional, and relational aspects at play. To approach treatment, then, as if these things are separate is not just nearsighted but also causes treatment providers to miss great opportunities to provide teens with synergetic support, as they experience healing on numerous levels at once. To this end, our Psychological Testing address a number of things beyond the mental and emotional realms, including things like teens’ interests, goals, desires, and strengths. We believe that these positive aspects of teens’ lives can and should be used to encourage and support the treatment goals, and so we work to actively incorporate them, however we can.
Our initial psychiatric evaluation is one aspect of the ongoing evaluation process here at Paradigm San Francisco, and used collectively by our team therapists, as they continue to tailor treatment, according to teens’ changing and progressing needs and goals. This allows our treatment team and lead therapists to be informed, flexible, and creative, as they continue to design treatment on a daily basis, so that teens are getting the absolute most out of every day at Paradigm.