Clinical Approach to Mental Health four teens making peace sign taking a selfie

At Ascend Healthcare, we devote ourselves to treating the underlying issues contributing to the substance abuse and/or mental health challenges that are plaguing your child. While our programs are comprehensive and challenging, we strive to introduce each new challenge in a gentle, holistic manner. Your child should never feel like they’re coming to Ascend as a punishment — they’re here so we can better help them understand how their behavior is negatively affecting their lives. 

Our clinical approach to mental health is meant to empower your child to take control of their healing journey and encourage them to actively engage in their own well-being.

A Clinical Approach to Mental Health: Working with Resistance

It is a common misconception that teens need to be motivated or ready for treatment. In our experience, the idea of change can feel overwhelming and scary. It’s not uncommon for our clients to enter Ascend not wanting to be there. This is where our holistic mental health treatment center can help.

We find that through positive rapport-building, the use of acceptance and commitment skills, and peer support, teens quickly change their perspective and become more involved in their treatment here. We assist teens in building their own motivation towards lasting change and sustained growth. 

The Seven Pillars of Our Clinical Approach to Mental Health

Build Self-Acceptance

Being a teenager can be hard, and no one knows that more than your teen. When they enroll in our program, we will help your teen to accept themselves as we see them: valuable, worthy people. We accept your child’s limitations, recognize their resistance, and meet your child where they are. We encourage self-acceptance through different mental health and addiction treatment methods

Become Honest and Vulnerable

The second pillar of the Ascend clinical approach to mental health is to value honesty and vulnerability as strengths, rather than weaknesses. We encourage our clients to be open with us throughout their treatment and incentivize this through our Level System. The Level System is a tool for motivation, a reward system, and a measure of progress all at once. 

Build Self-Esteem

Ascend supports clients in rebuilding self-esteem by exposing them to challenges and allowing for corrective experiences. When a teen overcomes an obstacle or a difficult feeling, they are rewiring their brain to drive the idea, “I can do it.” Throughout their time at Ascend, they are capitalizing on these wins and ultimately building their confidence. 

Identify Values

Everyone has a different value system, so we help your teen identify what their values are. Then, they can work toward their goals in a meaningful direction while honoring those values. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is one tool we use in our clinical approach to mental health in order to guide our clients towards understanding what is relevant and significant to them. 

Take Action

Becoming aware of the connection between actions and mood is another critical element of Ascend’s clinical approach to mental health. We interweave Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy principles throughout our program to help your child understand how their actions impact their emotions every day. 

We invite every client to work on a passion project, so they can make a direct connection between their sense of well-being and engaging in an enjoyable activity. They also follow a structured schedule every day that ensures they form new habits and see the value of being active. The final step before going home is creating their own schedule to follow after they leave our holistic mental health treatment center.

Learn Distress Tolerance

Your teen must learn strategies to tolerate uncomfortable emotions. In life, they will be confronted with uncomfortable situations every day, so we focus on teaching them healthy coping methods and distress tolerance through Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness practices, and body-based therapies. Using these mental health and addiction treatment methods empowers our clients to be confident in their ability to face challenges in the future.

Connect with Others

We know that connection is a core part of the healing work we do as clinicians, so connecting with others is a massive part of the Ascend Approach. Because teens that struggle with anxiety or depression often feel alone, we encourage our clients to work with the other students in the program. The small size of our program and watchfulness of our clinicians ensures positive socialization in a non-threatening way. 

Contact Ascend Healthcare Today

If you’re concerned for your loved one, we can assist with a diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment program just for them. Learn more about our clinical approach to mental health treatment for teens when you reach out to our admissions team. 

Contact us by calling 310.388.3713 or by using our secure online form.