Highlights from Celebrating Fiona Ray

Fiona Ray has stepped into her new role as Clinical Director and we wanted to kick things off with a bang. We do love to celebrate our team and their accomplishments! Last Friday, the Recovery community had the opportunity to come and congratulate Fiona, see what we are doing as a company, and check out the digs in Brentwood.   It was so wonderful to see so many familiar and new faces, share great food (which included Pink Berry), and  mingle with so many wonderful members of this community. Major kudos go to Angela Carrillo, our Los Angeles Outreach Coordinator, …

Getting Help For Your Child’s Mental Illness

Parenting a teen with mental health issues can be heartbreaking.  Adolescents with mental health issues are often aware that they are different than their peers which is frustrating.  When combined with the physical, emotional, and social development that is natural in teens, managing mental health issues can be difficult for both the adolescent and their family.  Getting help for your child’s mental illness is an important step in managing their disease.  Mental health issues are serious and are best addressed by professionals who are equipped to address them properly.   Mental-Health-Bulletin_Page_1

The team at Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers understands how difficult getting help for your child’s mental illness can be.  It’s important to know that seeking help does not mean that you’ve failed as a parent or that your child is a lost cause.  The truth is, getting help for your child’s mental illness is the best thing you can do to allow them to become and remain stable.  Understanding the available options for treatment may help make the decision to seek professional help easier.

With multiple locations in southern California, Visions Adolescent is highly rated by clients, their families, and others in the industry.  Their team deals only with adolescents, uniquely qualifying the staff to handle the unique situations teenagers deal with. Realizing that people have different levels of issues and require different treatment methods, Visions offers treatments in five formats which will all be covered below.

Residential Treatment

Visions’ residential program provides a supportive and safe living environment while addressing the clinical issues posed by the mental illness.  Supervision is provided 24 hours a day with a clinical crisis team available at all times.  Tailored for teens between 13 and 18, males and females have separate sleeping quarters for safety.  Each client is paired with a counselor and therapist at the beginning of their stay in treatment who follow the client throughout the process.  Group, individual, and family counseling are important steps in this program.

Outpatient Treatment

Provided in two locations in the Los Angeles area, outpatient treatment provides intensive therapy in a nonresidential setting.  Sessions are offered at night and on the weekend to be able to blend therapy with a person’s every day routine.  Eight week and yearlong programs are available for outpatient treatment.

Extended Residential

Some teens benefit from an alternative living arrangement.  Visions’ extended care program has a minimum stay of 90 days.  For teens aged 15 to 18, the program provides care around the clock, including during night hours.  As with the residential program, clinical support is available around the clock to address client needs.

Day School

Day School provides an alternative learning environment for teens who are unable to be successful in a mainstream setting.  Day School is available as a permanent solution for education or as a way to transition into a mainstream school setting.  Programs are available to all students at all learning levels from remedial to honors level coursework.  teen-addiction-recovery

Across all of the programs, there are several goals for successful treatment of mental illness:

  • Motivation and encouragement of developing and living a healthy lifestyle
  • Development of problem solving skills and strategies
  • Enabling each client to recognize the negative effects their behavior has had on others and to work to repair those relationships
  • Supporting medical needs
  • Involving each client’s family in the recovery process to heal relationships and build bonds
  • Addressing each client’s psychiatric and psychological needs and action plan

To find out more about getting help for your child’s mental illness and how families can be involved in the process, contact Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers today.  Please click below to schedule your consultation or call us at 866-889-3665.

Dealing With Addiction in Adolescents and Teens

Finding out that your teen has an addiction is often traumatic for parents.  More likely than not, you’ve seen the signs and noticed changes in behavior before you knew something was really wrong.  Maybe you believed it was just a phase, that the negative behavior was a normal part of being a teenager.  Or maybe you had a nagging sensation that things were getting out of control.  Regardless of how you came to the realization, the most important question is “what’s next?”  Treating teen addiction is complicated and is best done by professionals.  Knowing where to turn for help can provide the support you need to address your teen’s addiction.  california-teen-addiction-recovery

How Teen Addiction Issues Develop

Often, teenage addiction issues begin with experimenting with substances.  For some, their own curiosity sparked the idea.  For others, peer pressure is the culprit. And others are looking for a way to self-medicate to address other issues.  After the initial high, the teen seeks to find that feeling again.  At some point recreational use becomes much more than that.  What may have started as experimentation begins to have negative effects on the teen’s behavior, their lives, and the lives of the people around them.

Not all people that experiment with drugs or alcohol become addicted.  It is believed that some people are predisposed to addiction.  Those people include:

  • Those who have a family history of addiction
  • Individuals who were abused during their childhood
  • People who have an underlying or untreated mental illness
  • Those who begin to use drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication at an early age

The Best Way to Treat Teen Addiction Issues

Despite the best intentions of teenagers and their parents, it can be nearly impossible to break an addiction without professional help.  The best way to address your teenager’s addiction is with professional assistance.  A professional who is knowledgeable about adolescent addiction can create a personalized treatment plan to address your teen’s specific needs.  The manner of treatment varies by individual.  Options for treatment include:

  • Residential treatment
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Long term residential treatment
  • Day school

When looking for treatment options, consider addiction treatment centers that provide treatment in a variety of ways in order to meet different needs.

The Best Place to Take Your Teen for Treatment

Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers provide customized addiction treatment in their locations throughout southern California.  Their staff is dedicated to clinical excellence and providing each client with the specific tools and support they need.  The team at Visions offers treatment in the following ways:  road-to-recovery

  • Residential treatment – Located in Malibu, Visions Teen residential treatment program provides a positive and supportive environment.  The goal is to allow teens to step away from their everyday lives in order to focus on identifying and addressing the root cause of their addiction.  This treatment program is for adolescents between 13 and 18.  Typically, residential stays are between 45 and 90 days long.
  • Outpatient treatment – Provided in two locations in Los Angeles, outpatient treatments allows adolescents and their families to receive treatment in a non-residential setting.  With programs offered in the evening and weekends, the outpatient program is designed to allow teens and their parents to receive treatment as they continue with their everyday routines. Eight week and one year programs are offered for teens between 13 and 18 and their parents.
  • Day school – Visions’ Day School provides and alternative education program for those adolescents who have been unable to find success in a mainstream school setting.  A student to staff ratio of three to one allows the educators and clinicians at Day School to provide individualized attention.  This program is able to meet students where they are academically, with educational offerings from remedial to honors level classes.
  • Extended residential treatment – Visions offers an extended residential treatment program to teens who may benefit from alternate living arrangements.  Stays in the extended program are at least 90 days in duration.  This program is offered to adolescents between 13 and 18.
  • LAUNCH – Specially designed for young adults between 18 and 24, LAUNCH is an outpatient program that is intended to supplement other clean living programs.  The goal of LAUNCH is to help clients gain independence and to provide continued support in their recovery

For additional information on the teen addiction treatment programs available at Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers, speak with a counselor today. Please click below to schedule your consultation or call us at 866-889-3665.

Anxiety Doesn’t Have to Rule Your Life

Did you know that 8% of teens between the ages of 13–18 have an anxiety disorder? And did you also know that of these teens, only 18% of them receive mental-health care?   Some anxiety is a function of being a human being. It’s not unusual for anxiety to present itself in predictable situations (going on a job interview, starting a new school, speaking up for ourselves), but for most, it fades as soon as the initial fear passes. Anxiety is our nervous system’s way of telling us we are overwhelmed and need to pause. Anxiety is also our sympathetic …

The Best Residential Treatment Center For Troubled Teens

Children 18 years old and younger are in a crucial stage of physical and mental development and are often unable to rationally process obstacles that are simple for most adults. Varying factors lead a youth down the wrong path resulting in a life of fear and isolation. Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers has concentrated on treatment for drug addiction, substance abuse, and troubled teens since 2002. Youths ages 13 to 18 from southern California, big cities like New York City, Chicago, and internationally have gone to Visions Centers seeking residential treatment. There are several programs in California, but only Visions Adolescent offers an extensive, clinically based treatment for children extending to families.  road-to-recovery

Visions Adolescent Residential Treatment Center is a 25 acre gated community in the hills of Malibu, California with a home-like setting conveying a sense of warmth and security. A Mediterranean style home surrounded by the peace and beauty of nature conveys a sense of comfort and calm. Sleeping quarters are separate for male and female patients with two in each room under the supervision of day and evening Staff. Crisis intervention is readily available on a 24 hour basis. Length of stay is 45 to 90 days depending on the severity of symptoms and psychosocial stressors.

Visions performs several assessments to determine if residential treatment admission is required including the child’s condition and specific drug issues.

Medical Assessment

A medical doctor specializing in mental health and substance abuse handles the initial medical assessment and services applicable for each teen. The medical doctor or the adolescent’s personal physician conducts a history and physical evaluation before the child is cleared for admission into the residential treatment program.

Substance Abuse Assessment

The chemical dependency screening examines psychotropic substance abuse, establishes a baseline, and identifies areas of need. The assessment determines if there are any psychological issues or recovery belief systems that would prevent healing.

Psychosocial Assessment

Psychosocial assessment reviews the child’s medical history, family history, developmental history, social and educational conduct, legal history, drug and alcohol history, and it’s impact on the residential treatment process.

Psychiatric Assessment

The youth will be evaluated after the initial interview by the psychiatric director, a licensed psychiatrist experienced in the areas of mental health and substance abuse treatment for adolescents. Upon diagnosis of mental health or co-occurring symptoms, admission into the residential treatment program will be arranged.

Treatment Plan

A treatment plan is created from information collected during the assessment process. A counselor goes over the treatment plan with the adolescent to ensure the goals and expectations are fully understood. The resident contributes additional treatment goals such as pursuing educational and vocational interest, examining psychological conflicts, and exploring new or previous recreational pursuits or interests.

Visions has a wide range of qualified clinicians that work with each child using current and effective techniques. The program director supervises all of the residential treatment counseling services performed by highly trained personnel. A licensed therapist and a counselor work directly with the patient throughout treatment. A registered dietitian plans appropriate meals and provides dietary consultation as needed. An equine therapist uses horses to help the child in identifying and recognizing feelings that may be difficult with conventional therapy. Art therapists aid in creating interpretive art to use in the treatment method.

Other residential treatment team members involved in the counseling process as required include:

  • Psychiatrist
  • Supervising Nurse
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Therapist

Academics is a component that makes Visions Residential Treatment Center a wise choice. Each child engages in three hours of individualized schooling using a personalized curriculum on weekdays. An activities consultant leads the patient in a “tailor-made” physical fitness program five times a week for one hour focusing on the release of nervous tension.

The objectives of the Visions Residential Treatment Program include:

  • Encourage and motivate the teen to achieve and sustain a healthy lifestyle
  • Determine and meet the psychological and psychiatric needs of the child
  • Establish a referral network system for services not accomplished by Visions
  • Involve family members in the rehabilitation process to reduce dysfunction within the family

Mental Health and Substance Abuse issues affect the entire family. Studies show that the best outcomes for treatment depend on the family’s understanding and participation in the therapeutic process. Most families feel the same way about their troubled teen’s issues before and during treatment. Fear, helplessness, hopelessness, anxiety, and anger are universally shared feelings.

The residential treatment includes family-focused therapy for a minimum of five hours a week lead by a family therapist. Family members or legal guardians are invited to accompany the child during each session.

Multi-Family Group addresses issues common to all families such as communication, handling conflicts, and maintaining boundaries. Residents and family members meet other families in similar situations.

Individual Family Sessions are conducted between residents and their family members in private. Treatment goals and conflicts are addressed under the guidance of a family therapist.

Family Education allows the child and families to develop an understanding of typical roles played by members of other families. Frequent issues brought up by other family members in treatment are addressed.

Family Passes are a unique feature earned by well behaved patients in residential treatment. Every Sunday and Monday are for outings that include movies, museums, the beach, go-cart racing, community services, ropes courses, and rock climbing.

Visions Alumni Program  dual-diagnosis-treatment-ca

The Fourth Dimension is an optional enrollment benefit after discharge from Visions Residential Treatment providing long term care. Adolescents are encouraged to attend aftercare and self-help groups twice a week. Individual sessions are available to alumni for a charge per service.

Annual Alumni Events:

  • Winter Ski/Snowboard Trip
  • Alumni Family Weekend
  • Alumni vs. Staff Softball Game
  • Knott’s Scary Farm Night
  • Magic Mountain

Visions Residential Treatment Center is a private pay program and full payment is required from the family. Our team will assist with insurance benefit verification and utilization review. Visions Outpatient works out of network with insurance. We will provide the following services to our outpatient families: Benefit verification, pre-authorization, utilization review, billing and collections.

Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers is the best residential treatment center in California with a mission of providing cutting edge mental health, substance abuse, and family therapy. With the Fourth Dimension alumni program, the child will always know that help is just a phone call away.

Please click below to schedule your consultation or call us at 866-889-3665

Teens Are Going Back to School

School is back in session! This means that the unstructured schedule of summer has ended and the wild teen energy requires a shift toward focus and effort.   It’s tough because you go from a veritable free-for-all (Summer) to a highly focused environment where there are higher expectations, firmer schedules, and of course, the dreaded homework. Kids who spent the summer in camp may have had some structure, but the truth is, it’s nowhere near as rigid as school. Bedtime has been later and waking up took on a leisurely state. School starting is a definite shift.   The positives …

Teen Mental Health Treatment

Children experiencing mental health problems require special care due to their unique developmental issues, contradictions in values, and belief systems. Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers were created in 2002 to provide cutting edge mental health, substance abuse, and family treatment. The majority of their patients come from southern California while others come from big cities like NYC, Chicago, and internationally.  teenage-drug-addiction

Mental health illness can be brought on by varying factors such as genetics or environmental exposure in the womb. Such disorder affects mood, thought, and behavior. Symptoms can usually be managed with proper medication and counseling.

Some common symptoms that may require teen mental health treatment are:

  • Exhilarating highs and depressive lows
  • Confused thinking or poor concentration
  • Excessive fears or worries
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Delusions, paranoia, or hallucinations
  • Excessive anger or hostility

Visions’ centers offer different programs that provide clinically-based teen mental health treatment for adolescents aged 13 to 18 years and their families.

Visions Adolescent Residential Treatment

In the hills of Malibu lies Visions Residential Treatment Center. A Mediterranean style home sits in a 25 acre gated community. The average length of stay is 45 to 90 days. A day and night staff supervise sleeping quarters separated for male and female patients. Crisis intervention is available on a 24-hour basis.

Founding clinicians have stayed with Visions while new team members are added for continued program growth. All Visions personnel are highly skilled professionals who specialize in adolescent recovery. The medical doctor conducts a history and physical exam for medical clearance. A psychiatric director performs the psychiatric evaluation to determine admission. Each patient is assigned a licensed therapist and counselor to work with throughout the teen mental health treatment program. A registered dietitian provides nutritional assessment for each patient and dietary consultation as needed. An activities director leads a physical fitness program “tailor-made” for each individual. Visions Residential offers on-site schooling while providing teen mental health treatment.

Other specialists called on as required include:

  • Supervising Nurse
  • Psychologists
  • Equine Therapist
  • Art Therapists
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Informed Programming

Visions’ focus is not on the child alone but advocates for the family as a whole. Mental health issues affect the entire family. Studies have shown that family participation increases the success of teen mental health treatment. A family therapist leads a Multi-Family Group, Individual Family Sessions, and Family Education. Family passes are an incentive for good behavior and allows for outings every Sunday and Monday.

Visions’ goal for teen mental health treatment is as follows:

  • Encourage and motivate the adolescent to achieve and sustain a healthy lifestyle
  • Help the adolescent to develop new, more effective problem-solving strategies
  • Assess and meet the psychological and psychiatric needs of the adolescent
  • Assist the adolescent with recognizing and acknowledging the existence of destructive behaviors and mental health issues in their lives, and the impact they have on their family, friends, and future

Visions Residential is a private pay program and full payment is required from the family. Our team will assist with insurance benefit verification and utilization review.

Visions Adolescent Outpatient Counseling

Visions provides two Los Angeles outpatient centers for teen mental health treatment. Sessions are held in the afternoons, allowing the child to resume daily activities and go home to family afterwards.

Visions’ outpatient program has a variety of specialists that take part in the teen mental health treatment. Each adolescent is assigned a personal counselor to work with throughout treatment.

Other consultants utilized for teen mental health treatment as needed include:

  • Licensed Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrist
  • Medical Doctors
  • Registered Dietician
  • Art Therapist
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

1st Step Program is the introduction to the treatment process. The program helps families reintegrate into everyday life after long term treatment. It includes:

  • 8 Weeks of Clinical Support
  • 2 to 3 Nights Per Week
  • 1 Individual Session

Intensive Outpatient Program is the next step in the care process. The staff helps with family communication and addresses existing psychiatric and/or therapeutic needs. It includes:

  • 1 Year of Clinical Support
  • Individual Sessions
  • Family Sessions

Visions Outpatient works out of network with insurance. We will provide the following services to our outpatient families – benefit verification, pre-authorization, utilization review, and billing and collections.  adolescent-drug-recovery-california

Discharge and Aftercare is given to each adolescent upon leaving the residential and outpatient teen mental health treatment. The discharge plan is created by the counselor with help from the patient and treatment team. The plan addresses continuing care which may include family relations, academic needs, and social needs.

The Fourth Dimension is the Vision Alumni Program for patients discharged from the residential and outpatient programs. Aftercare groups are offered on an on-going basis with attendance of up to two groups a week. Individual sessions are available on a fee for service basis. An alumni coordinator makes support calls for crisis intervention and relapse prevention so the child never feels alone.

The alumni group holds annual events such as:

  • Winter Ski/Snowboard Trip
  • Alumni Family Weekend
  • Alumni vs. Staff Softball Game
  • Knott’s Scary Farm Night
  • Magic Mountain

Visions Adolescent Day School

Visions provides a safe learning environment for those unable to function in a regular school. The program has open enrollment and curriculum accreditation is transferable. Many graduates have continued on to esteemed colleges and universities.

  • Individualized Educational Planning
  • 3 to 1 Student to Staff Ratio
  • Individualized Counseling
  • Education from Remedial to Honors Level

Don’t wait any longer for teen mental health treatment. Early intervention leads to a healthy and successful adult.

Please click below to schedule your consultation or call us at 866-889-3665.

Strengthening our Adolescent Friendships

Adolescence is the time when long-standing friendships are developed and refined. Friendships can also take a real beating in adolescence as a result of several mitigating factors, which can include:   Different stages of maturation Bullying Perception of popularity or lack thereof Emotional and physical changes Mood swings   Friendships require a commitment from both people involved to be active participants in the relationship, and they require reciprocation in order to be successful. In other words, they need to be a two-way street. Reciprocation requires active listening and compassion. It means showing up for each other even when things are …

What You Need To Know About Adolescent Addiction Treatment

Raising a teenager is complicated, stressful, and often the hardest season of life.  When your teenager is dealing with substance abuse it can seem overwhelming.  If you’ve tried a number of approaches without success, it may be time to seek professional adolescent addiction treatment.  treatment-for-teenage-mental-disorders

It is important to find a facility that understands the unique needs adolescents have and the importance of family involvement with a history of success with adolescent clients.  There are several things to be aware of when investigating adolescent addiction treatment for your child:


The philosophy of a treatment center sets the tone for the way clients are treated throughout their stay in residential treatment. Adolescents have a completely different set of needs for addiction treatment than adults.  Therefore, the right treatment facility for teenagers will have a mission of advocating for adolescents and their families.  The facility should demonstrate an understanding that family involvement is a key part of recovering from addiction.

The treatment philosophy of the center should follow this same model, by developing an individualized treatment program that addresses the needs of the individual as well as the family unit.

Family Treatment

It is important that an adolescent addiction treatment program provide for the needs of the family as well as for the teen.  Research has shown that adolescents are most successful in their recovery when the family has participated in, and understands, the healing process.  Treatment of the family as a whole is integral to long term sobriety.  Many families report feeling helpless, angry, and anxious about their teen’s issues prior to seeking treatment.  This is understandable as the effects of substance abuse are far reaching.  The goal of family treatment is to turn those negative emotions into hope for the future.

In order to fully address the needs of families, it is important that centers offer a number of ways for the family to be involved including multi-family group treatment and individual family sessions.  In addition to this, a thorough education process should be provided for families including:

  • Explanation of the family system including the symptoms of family illness
  • Demonstration of the roles, interaction patterns, and rules that are commonly seen in dysfunctional families
  • Addressing issues parents often bring into the treatment setting

The opportunity to visit with family and to continue building familial bonds is important for growth and healing and should be supported by the adolescent addiction treatment center.

Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers are experts in the field of providing care for the unique needs of adolescents.  Their center was founded on the mission of clinical excellence and supporting the family unit.  Visions meets the needs of their clients and their families by:  dual-diagnosis-treatment-ca

  • Creating individualized treatment plans based on the specific needs and goals of each individual client
  • Utilizing psychiatric evaluations and assessments to determine areas of need and to address those areas through treatment
  • Utilizing a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, DBT, approach to help clients understand that self-harming behaviors, such as substance abuse, are not effective and to develop the tools needed to become and remain sober
  • Facilitation of emotional growth to become equipped to handle stressful and uncomfortable situations without lashing out or turning to drugs or alcohol
  • Establishing and reiterating the importance of physical health both for overall wellness and as a tool for clean living in all aspects of life
  • Supporting the healing process for the family and providing the family with the tools to create a positive and supportive environment for the teen to return to after completing treatment
  • A collaborative planning effort for follow up and after care treatment and support to ensure clients have the support they need to abstain from using drugs or alcohol

Schedule an appointment today to speak with a counselor regarding the adolescent addiction treatment available at Visions California locations.  Please click below to schedule your consultation or call us at 866-889-3665.

Visions Remembers Robin Williams

It is with a heavy heart that I write this piece about comedic legend Robin Williams. He was someone that literally touched lives across generations. His comedic value was priceless, and he continued to break barriers throughout his career. Robin Williams also suffered deeply from substance abuse and mental illness, both of which were a common thread through his all-too-short life.   Here’s a touch of what Robin Williams taught me: He taught me that being different was ok, if not downright cool. He taught me to be who I am and to take risks. He taught me to laugh …

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