Evidence-based Services

Southwest Behavioral Health Center, like many behavioral health providers, seeks to provide services that have demonstrated, through high quality research and analysis, to be effective and have the most significant positive impact. A sample of the Evidenced-Based Practices (EBPs) employed by Southwest are noted below.

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
A team-based treatment model, ACT provides multidisciplinary, flexible treatment and support to people with mental illness 24/7. It is based around the idea that people receive better care when their mental health care providers work together. ACT team members help individuals address every aspect of their life, whether it be medication, therapy, social support, employment or housing. Studies have shown that ACT is more effective than the traditional treatment for people experiencing mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, and can reduce hospitalizations by 20%.

Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT)
Assisted Outpatient Treatment is Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) for clients under civil commitment.

Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT)
Play therapy is often used for children between ages 3–12 and is a way of being with the child that honors their unique developmental level and looks for ways of helping in the “language” of the child. Because the child’s world of play is their natural manner of communicating, the therapist enters their world to communicate with them and help them resolve challenges e.g., trauma, separation of parents, loss of a loved one, chronic illness, etc. CCPT works best when a safe relationship exists between the therapist and child, one in which the latter may freely and naturally express a full range of emotions. At Southwest Behavioral Health Center, we operate our therapeutic playroom according to the CCPT model.

Clubhouses are community-based centers open to individuals with mental illnesses. Elev8 and Oasis House members have the opportunity to gain skills, locate a job, find housing and pursue continuing education. Members work side-by-side with staff to make sure the program operates smoothly. Members also have the opportunity to take part in social events, classes and weekend activities.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a psychotherapeutic treatment designed to help clients understand the thoughts and feelings that influence behaviors, and is commonly used to treat a wide range of disorders, including phobias, addictions, depression and anxiety. This therapy is highly goal-oriented and focused, and the client and therapist work together as collaborators toward mutually-established goals. During initial treatment, clients learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior and emotions. Subsequent treatments focus on the actual behaviors that are contributing to the problem. The client begins to learn and practice new skills that can be used in real-world situations. The goal of CBT is to teach clients that, while they cannot control every aspect of the world around them, they can control how they interpret and deal with items in their environment. Stage of change: Contemplative, determination, action, maintenance.

Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS)
The CAMS treatment method is developed to help acutely suicidal clients focus on saving their lives. Suicidality is treated as a diagnosis, and the client’s treatment goals are to eliminate suicide intent. The therapist enlists the client in the treatment-planning process and builds a type of alliance that helps them feel validated and supported. Together, the client and therapist identify suicide drivers and employ a variety of evidence-based treatments to address their depression, anxiety or trauma. The treatment is traditionally short, typically around eight sessions. One major asset of the CAMS process is the initial assessment, which provides critical information about acuity and suicide risk, helping the therapist to make informed decisions about the required level of care.

Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS)
Measure used to identify and assess individuals at risk for suicide. The C‐SSRS measures four constructs: severity and intensity of ideation, behavior and lethality.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a treatment designed specifically for borderline personality disorder, or anybody struggling to manage hyperarousal. If a client is committed to treatment and is attending several times a week, DBT may help create positive and meaningful change. Clients who struggle with relationships, managing emotions and distress tolerance must be willing to commit to treatment. Stage of change: Contemplative, determination, action, maintenance.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Initially designed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, EMDR has a lot of evidence for treating a variety of symptoms due to the symptoms originating in unprocessed maladaptive experiences from the past. EMDR is an effective treatment for clients possessing some insight about their symptoms and can tolerate affect, shift emotional states and have some idea about past experiences and how they affect current functioning. Successful application can cause change for clients and is very appropriate for those who have themes in their dysfunction (i.e., “Every time I feel inferior, I freak out”). It may be a good option for clients after they have become safer and more stable in their functioning (meaning they’ve completed Seeking Safety or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy [DBT]). However, some may find that going through Seeking Safety simultaneously with EMDR can prove useful. Stage of Change: Determination, action, maintenance.

Functional Family Therapy (FFT)
This strength-based model built on a foundation of acceptance and trust, works primarily with youth between 11 and 18 who have been referred for behavioral or emotional problems by the juvenile justice, mental health, school or child welfare systems. At its core, FFT focuses on assessment and intervention to address risk and protective factors within and outside of the family that impact the adolescent and his or her adaptive development. This therapy consists of five major components: engagement, motivation, relational assessment, behavior change and generalization. Each of these components has its own goals, focus and intervention strategies and techniques.

Individual Placement and Support (IPS)
An evidence-based program that helps people with mental illness locate jobs that match their strengths and interests. Once an individual finds a job, IPS programs provide continuous support to help the person succeed in the workplace. IPS-Supported Employment teams include employment specialists, health care providers and the individual with mental illness. If the individual agrees, family members or a significant other may be part of the team.

Integrated Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorder (Mental Health Substance Abuse)
Integrated treatment refers to the focus of treatment on two or more conditions, and the use of multiple therapies, such as psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. Integrated treatment for comorbidity is consistently superior compared to the treatment of specific disorders with separate treatment plans.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
This treatment includes the use of medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders and prevent opioid overdose. MAT is primarily used to treat addiction to opioids, such as heroin and prescription pain relievers that contain opiates.

Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)
A treatment designed to confront criminal thinking patterns and teach clients to take accountability for their choices, MRT is perfect for anyone who tends toward strong thinking errors. These individuals tend to be very emotionally disconnected, or emotionally manipulative. The client who will most likely complete the treatment is one who has the motivation (i.e., court-appointed, or a spouse who may leave the relationship). MRT may be a good step for somebody starting treatment who is a “blamer” and does not see that they have any type of problem or does not have a goal for completing the therapy. Stage of change: Pre-contemplative, contemplative.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Counseling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behavior. MI is a practical, empathetic and short-term process that considers how difficult it is to make life changes.

Outcome Questionnaire (OQ) / Youth Outcome Questionnaire (YOQ)
Questionnaire designed to access common symptoms across a wide range of adult (or youth) mental disorders and syndromes, including stress-related illnesses. The OQ/YOQ is a 45- item, self-report instrument that requires individuals to rate their functioning on a five-point Likert scale.

Peer Support
Peer support is the process of giving and receiving encouragement and assistance to achieve long-term recovery. Peer supporters offer emotional support, share knowledge, teach skills, provide practical help and connect people with resources, opportunities and communities. In behavioral health, peers offer their unique lived experience with mental health conditions to provide support focused on advocacy, education, mentoring and motivation. Peer providers can play many roles in support of people living with psychiatric disorders or in addiction recovery. They are capable of facilitating education and support groups and working as a bridge linking people to services as they transition from hospitals or jails into the community. Peers also work one-on-one as role models, mentors, coaches and advocates, and support people in developing psychiatric advance directions and creating Wellness Recovery Action Plans (WRAP).

PRIME for Life – Prevention and Early Intervention
Prime for Life ® is an evidence-based motivational prevention, intervention and pretreatment program specifically designed for people who might be making high-risk choices. This includes, but is not limited to, impaired driving offenders, college students and young people charged with alcohol or drug offenses. It is designed to alter drinking and drug use behaviors by changing beliefs, attitudes, risk perceptions and motivations. It also increases knowledge of reducing their risk of alcohol- and drug-related problems throughout their lives. Because Prime for Life® includes both prevention and intervention content, it is also designed in a way that serves universal, selective and indicated audiences with program delivery options for each.

Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R)
Treatment designed specifically for anyone who has post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse disorder; however, it is a very appropriate treatment for any client using any form of avoidance to cope with past trauma. CT-R will help the client learn necessary coping skills in preparation for more evasive treatment (i.e., Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing [EMDR]). The program also helps validate responses to trauma and supports the client’s shift from a contemplative stage of change to a more active phase. This is a great starting place for an individual with varied symptoms. Stage of change: Pre- contemplation, contemplation, determination (would benefit throughout the change, but specifically those three) will jump-start the individual’s treatment process or enhance what they’re already doing.

Seeking Safety
Seeking Safety is an evidence-based, present-focused counseling model to help people attain safety from trauma and substance abuse. It can be conducted in a group (any size) or individually. It is an extremely safe model, as it directly addresses both trauma and addiction without requiring clients to delve into the trauma narrative (the detailed account of disturbing trauma memories), thus making it relevant to an extensive range of clients.

Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM)
Fully manualized, group-based intervention model designed to facilitate trauma recovery among women with histories of exposure to sexual and physical abuse. Drawing on cognitive restructuring, psychoeducational and skills-training techniques, TREM emphasizes coping skills and social support in the gender-specific, 24–29 session groups. It addresses both short- and long-term consequences of violent victimization, including mental health symptoms, especially post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and substance abuse.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
A therapeutic intervention designed to help children, adolescents and their parents overcome the impact of traumatic events. TF-CBT is intended to help with traumas related to sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence and community violence. It can also be used for an unexpected death of a loved one, natural disasters and war. The focus of treatment is to help the child or adolescent develop coping strategies for traumatic stress reactions, reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety or acting-out behavior typical in children exposed to trauma. TF-CBT is provided to children between ages 3–18 by a professional trained in this therapy. Treatment typically lasts between 12–16 sessions. These sessions include individual sessions for children or adolescents, one-on-one sessions for parents and conjoint sessions between parent and child or adolescent.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)
WRAP® is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be. It was developed in 1997 by a group of people who were searching for ways to overcome their mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals. It is now used extensively by individuals in all kinds of circumstances, and by health care and mental health systems all over the world, to address all sorts of physical, mental health and life issues.

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