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The Child Inpatient Programs at Four Winds

The child inpatient treatment programs at Four Winds Hospitals  Westchester and Saratoga provides a comprehensive range of  mental health services for children and pre-teens. Four Winds is set up to offer a nurturing and therapeutic, home-like environment during the patient’s stay and integrates various treatment models such as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and Zones of Regulation. Children attend group therapy as well as art therapy while also attending school at the Learning Center.

ABA is the branch of behavioral science that deals with the application of scientific principles to improve socially significant behavior. It includes the methods by which behaviors are observed and measured, and new behaviors are taught. Since ABA has a significant research history, especially for children with disabilities, it is the primary approach taken at many schools and psychiatric treatment centers. It’s similar to Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS), which is a systems approach to evaluate the purpose of a child’s behavior, reinforce appropriate and effectively manage disruptive behavior. One of the goals of using both techniques is to create an environment that provides positive reinforcement of improved and decreased challenging behavior. Our staff has been trained to understand what purpose each behavior serves for the child and what maintains or reinforces specific behaviors.

The treatment teams at Four Winds, which include psychiatrists, therapists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, nurses, mental health workers and teachers, all utilize positive reinforcement. They are trained specifically to identify disruptive behavior early so that they can redirect the child to use the coping skills that they are learning in therapy every day. Four Winds’ approach is based on the belief that there are reasons behind difficult behavior, that children should be treated with compassion and respect, and that behavior can be predicted and managed when the principles of behavior are understood. Expectations for every activity are distinctly defined. Having clear expectations sets each child up for success. Posters displaying the expectations are clearly visible on the walls and the staff praise children for appropriate behavior instead of only focusing on undesired behavior and punishing it.

The development of social skills is the foundation for all activities. Each child participates in academic instruction and social skills groups. Education is a very important part of the Four Wind’s program. Our goal is to have school time at the Learning Center resemble a day of school in their home  community and to have the child practice appropriate behaviors. Throughout the day the children earn dollars for engaging in expected behaviors. Then, they choose various rewards such as time playing video games, a later bedtime and other reinforcing activities, depending on the number of dollars earned. Appropriate behaviors increase as the children are consistently rewarded.

Four Winds makes a point to focus on family collaboration and participation in treatment, which includes parenting skills education and discharge planning and coordinating with outside community providers. In this way the child and support system can continue the work begun on our campus, using the skills they learned at Four Winds in their real-life situations.

We Are Here To Help

Four Winds Hospitals are committed to serving our patients. Please know that, as always, the health and safety of our patients and staff is our highest priority as we continue to provide treatment during this time of crisis. We are continuing to accept inpatient referrals for children, adolescents and adults and invite you to call our Admissions Office directly at 
1-800-528-6624 or
, select prompt "1" to be connected. 

We have implemented measures for the protection 
of those on our campus in response to the Covid-19 crisis, following the directions of 
both the CDC and  DOH, and our own protocols. As we remain committed to providing the very best in mental health care, please let us know if we can help.

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Four Winds Westchester

800 Cross River Road
Katonah, NY  10536

Phone: 914-763-8151
Toll-Free: 1-800-528-6624