Mental Health

ROOTS: A10-Week Re-Entry Program

ROOTS is a 10-week re-entry program geared to assist adolescents with transitions. The creation of individualized treatment plans benefit all variants of treatment needs.   ROOTS, Our Los Angeles outpatient program supports teens reintegrating into the home environment after long-term treatment and/or therapeutic boarding schools. Our curriculum addresses family dynamics, renewed relationships, as well as re-established boundaries and redefined roles. The treatment modalities we apply garner the cultivation of healthy change and encourage internal growth.   If more intensive reintegration is required, we also offer our 1-year Intensive Outpatient Treatment program. This IOP track includes: 1 year of clinical support; …

Is Your Passive Aggressive Behavior Harming Your Relationships?

Passive aggressive behavior has no place in a healthy relationship. Building healthy relationships is an important building block in recovery. More often than not, relationships suffer greatly due to the negative behaviors associated with addiction and mental illness. Passive aggressive behavior is defined as a pattern of indirectly expressing frustration or anger, using things like sarcasm, avoidance, procrastination, and stubbornness. The habituated patterns of passive resistance in response to one’s responsibilities or to requests from authority figures are problematic. Passive aggressive behavior creates tension and breeds resentment.   These are some examples of passive aggressive behavior:   1: You don’t …

In Recovery, We Lean In to Let Go

Being in recovery from mental illness, substance abuse, alcoholism, eating disorders, behavioral issues, et cetera, require that we lean into some things that make us uncomfortable. Let me tell you, “leaning in” isn’t easy. Our brains like pleasure and revile pain. In fact, finding ourselves in rehab tells us that our habitual patterns of trying to put an elementary salve on a gushing wound weren’t working very well. It means that drinking, drugging, stealing or lying our way out of our feelings doesn’t work — at least not permanently. Frankly, none of these “solutions” ever work. Not in the long …

How Can You Stay Motivated After Treatment?

It’s important to stay motivated after you leave treatment. But that’s not always as easy as it sounds.   Treatment provides a protective and supportive cocoon where clients can discover, lean into and heal from their difficulties.  One discovers a broadening network of support and a plan to maintain it. Still, it isn’t always easy to stay motivated. Some clients move back to their home state, where there isn’t quite enough support or where meetings and sober options are slim.  Phone conversations are helpful, but often times, there is a need for real-time human interaction. Skype or FaceTime are viable …

I’m Sorry but I’m Not Sorry

“I’m sorry.” “No, really, I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry. Can you help me?” “I’m sorry. I really appreciate it.”   Is “I’m sorry,” the unconscious mantra you use when you engage with the world? For years, I said, “I’m sorry” for some of the most banal reasons: To a server who brought me the wrong order; To someone who had issues pronouncing my name; To a person who didn’t know an answer to my question; To someone for a mistake that they made; For asking a question, and better yet, for asking a “stupid” question.   The list can go on …

New Study Talks About Stress and Teen Girls

Adolescents experience a lot of stress, more than we may even realize. Stress can come from the natural ups and downs at school because of academic pressure, or via social circles, or from an overwrought family system. For some kids, one thing leads to another, and they find themselves trying to process all of that at the same time. How often are these kids who are struggling in this way, boxed into the at-risk nomenclature? Naming the problem and doing something about it are very different things. Further, if we tell these kids they are at-risk, it evokes a negative …

How Kindness Can Support Our Recovery

A simple act of kindness can go a long way, especially for those in recovery. No one comes to treatment because their life was in order or because they are doing well. They come here because they are suffering, because they are emotionally lost, and some might even say broken. Over time, I have chosen to shift my own perspective and ceased to use the word “broken” in reference to recovery. Instead, I use injured. I find it more akin to supporting the healing process as it facilitates a more profound perception of ourselves as we grow and change. Peter …

Why It’s Wise to Unplug From Time to Time

Let’s unplug so we can plug in.   The current generation of kids has been raised on Internet memes and media sensations, and they have learned to communicate via social media and texting. This makes them tech savvy, but it also makes them disconnected.  Every day that I pick three young teens up from school, I notice that the first thing they do is jump onto their phones to check their Instagram accounts.  Social media has become THE way to communicate with one another, and sites like Instagram, Vine and YouTube have opened up the world of media consumption.   …

Visions Walks for Suicide Prevention: Staff Stories

On September 28, Didi Hirsch hosted their 16th annual Alive Walk 5k Walk/Run for Suicide Prevention. Visions had a team this year, and several staff and alumni walked in honor of suicide prevention and to raise awareness and erase the stigma of suicide. Many of us have had the misfortune of losing someone to suicide, and finding a way to honor the lives of those lost while raising awareness to prevent a similar loss is a big deal. It can be profoundly healing to be amidst those who have had similar experiences. Dr. Noelle Rodriguez, Jenny Werber, and Nick Riefner …

Stopping Bullying and Supporting the Bullied

Bullying is the systematic maltreatment of an individual by another individual or group of individuals as a means of exerting power to intimidate or harm someone that is perceived as weak. The innate powerlessness that is felt by the one being bullied is profound. Feelings of shame, anxiety, fear, depression, and loneliness are just a few emotional reactions to bullying. Often times, the shame and fear prevent these kids from speaking out, for fear of retaliation or not being believed.   In Hara Estroff Marano’s article “Bully Pulpit” in Psychology Today, she says: “Bullying is not garden-variety aggression: It is …

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