Doing Better Therapy

A Blog For Mental Health Professional's

Four Winds Adolescent Inpatient Service


Four Winds has enjoyed a long history of helping adolescents heal. Ever committed to providing the most comprehensive and innovative treatment in a caring and compassionate environment, Four Winds offers adolescents, ages 13 -17, treatment on three distinct units to best meet the needs of today’s teens. One adolescent unit’s treatment approach is based on the principles of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Patients in this unit are challenged with a wide range of psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, trauma-related disorders, eating disorders and psychosis. An individualized treatment plan is developed identifying target behaviors. The goal of treatment is to provide each patient with the appropriate DBT skills needed to function in their respective communities upon discharge from the hospital.  In addition, prior to discharge, a DBT-informed Crisis Plan is developed to help patients transition back to the community and patients leave this unit with a DBT folder that contains all the DBT materials that have been provided during the course of treatment. This information is also discussed and shared with parents and outside providers. 

Another adolescent unit is designed for patients with diagnoses related to impulsive and disruptive disorders.  Utilizing a DBT and Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) treatment approach, staff engage in ongoing conversations as to the intervention needed to address each patient’s challenges. A focus is placed on identifying areas in which skill building is necessary. CPS suggests individuals lack the appropriate skills to manage their emotional responses instead of viewing these difficulties as intentional behaviors. The interdisciplinary treatment team works closely to determine the areas of skill deficiency that need to be addressed. When patients leave this unit, they have a better understanding of themselves. Patients, caretakers and outpatient providers are offered a road map on how they can work together to build up the skills the patient requires to successfully negotiate the world around him. 

The third adolescent unit focuses on creating successful behavioral plans and teaching adaptive functioning for adolescents who suffer from a range of developmental, emotional, and psychiatric disabilities. These teens tend to have specialized learning needs.This unit utilizes multiple treatment interventions aimed at targeting problem behaviors. Each adolescent is assessed at the time of admission to develop an individual treatment plan. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a reinforcement and reward-based method of treatment and a specialized mode of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, serves as the main treatment approach. Modes of treatment include individual, group and family therapy. Medication evaluation and management is also a key component to the treatment protocol. An important aspect of this unit is the attention devoted to developing an individual daily plan that sufficiently meets the needs of each patient. The daily schedule keeps the patients active. It was designed with a focus on ensuring patients remain invested and interested. This integrative approach ensures that at the time of discharge, each adolescent leaves with a plan in place that directly addresses their specific treatment and safety needs.

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