Caron’s treatment model focuses on caring for the whole person. Our treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders and symptoms employs a range of therapies to treat the disorders and help patients learn new, healthy ways of living, develop coping skills, regulate emotions, improve interpersonal relationships, and adopt other positive behaviors. Your treatment plan may include:
- Individual Therapy
The Caron psychological services staff works one-on-one with patients to help them understand their conditions develop skills for symptom management and positive behavioral change. The treatment approach and frequency of sessions are tailored to the needs of each person.
- Group psychotherapy:
Sometimes a community environment is the most supportive and helpful for an individual. We also offer specialty treatment groups that focus on specific issues, such as anger, trauma and PTSD, body image, anxiety, and depression. Specialty groups are formed as needs arise depending on the number of patients who would benefit from a specific group.
- Co-occurring Disorder Groups:
Facilitated by psychologists, these groups bring together patients with common mental health diagnoses, offering an opportunity to learn about their condition, share experiences, and develop coping strategies using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The groups provide a forum for patients to learn and practice new skills that can help them reduce and better manage their symptoms. When these skills are practiced regularly, the chances for relapse are decreased.
Your treatment plan will be customized based on your needs and where you are in the recovery process. There are a variety of therapies used at Caron, but not all may be recommended or available as part of your treatment plan. Learn more about Mental Health Services.
Medically Based Behavioral Health Therapies
- Heart rate variability biofeedback (HRVB): The time intervals between heartbeats are known as heart rate variability. A lower variability is connected to the “fight or flight” nervous system response to a threat while high variability is connected to the resting response the nervous system has once a threat is dealt with. HRVB teaches patients to control their heart rate variability through deep breathing techniques, enabling them to activate a resting response—relaxation, in other words. Research has found that HRVB may help to reduce symptoms to a number of mental health issues, including ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, PTSD, and food cravings.
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): MAT is an evidence-based treatment that uses a combination of behavioral therapy and medication to treat substance use disorders. While we do not recommend its use for everyone with an addiction or for long-term purposes, it is effective in helping some people work through the behavioral therapy that is critical to long-term sobriety. Medication reduces cravings, enabling patients to better concentrate on the therapy that will keep them sober and healthy in the long term.
- Pharmacogenomics: Many of our clients come to us using medications for depression, anxiety, or other issues that do not work for them. Pharmacogenomics is an evidence-based genetic testing technique that enables our medical staff to prescribe medication that will be effective and cause the fewest side effects. The testing requires only a saliva swab, which is sent to a laboratory for testing.
- Psychopharmacology: Although we are cautious with medication, our onsite psychiatric staff can prescribe it if necessary. They have the training and experience in neuroscience, psychopharmacology, clinical medicine, diagnosis of mental disorders, and treatment options to determine which medications are needed to treat mental health disorders.
Evidence Based Therapies
Evidence-based therapies are practices that adhere to psychological approaches and techniques that are based on scientific evidence, and thus are the preferred approaches to treatment. These therapies are further defined to include consideration of a patients’ preferences, actions, clinical state and circumstances. These therapies may include:
- Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD - This evidence-based therapy, often used as part of cognitive behavioral therapy, helps patients confront their anxieties by safely exposing them to situations or objects that evoke the fears. Often recommended for patients who have suffered trauma, exposure therapy provides a method for teaching patients to approach trauma-related memories and the feelings associated with those memories. Doing so can diminish post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and help people overcome their fear of situations that remind them of the trauma.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): DBT is an evidence-based therapy that can be highly effective for people who have a substance abuse disorder and are diagnosed with personality disorders, including those who have difficulty regulating their emotions, have suicidal thoughts, or may harm themselves. This practical behavioral therapy is based on the principles of the third wave of cognitive therapy and includes instruction in grounding and mindfulness practices. Through DBT, patients gain a better understanding of themselves and the knowledge they need to express their emotions constructively. The goal of DBT is help people learn and use new skills and strategies to develop a life that they experience as worth living.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for PTSD: EMDR is an evidence-based treatment for people who have suffered any kind of trauma. Many of the people we treat for substance abuse disorders have experienced trauma at some point in their lives. That unresolved trauma is often one of the factors in their substance abuse. EMDR employs bilateral stimulation, most often through eye movement, to reprocess distressing memories and the brain’s flight or fight response. In a relatively few EMDR sessions, patients are able to release the negative experiences and move forward. It does not require patients to talk about the trauma and its side effects are minimal.
- Focused Expressive therapies: Therapies defined as expressive therapies combine use of the arts with psychotherapy or counseling in order to treat patients. Art, music, drama, dance, play, and sand tray are some of the types of therapy that are considered expressive therapy.
- Neurofeedback therapy: Neurofeedback therapy, an evidence-based, breakthrough behavioral health modality designed to identify and treat co-occurring disorders, is a noninvasive therapeutic intervention that involves mapping and stimulating the brain in order to restore normal functioning in addicted or mentally ill persons. As part of an integrated care model, neurofeedback reinforces recovery by reducing cravings and compulsions. It also helps clients manage moods and emotions, process anxiety, improve sleep, and develop new, healthy behaviors that prevent relapse. Neurofeedback is used at Caron to supplement clinical therapy. Learn more.
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE): This evidence-based therapy is a kind of exposure therapy (see description above) that exposes patients for a prolonged period of time to objects or situations that provoke anxiety. The prolonged exposure works to significantly diminish the anxiety. The therapy also uses psychoeducation and cognitive processing to help patients deal with their anxieties.
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction: This evidence-based therapeutic intervention is based on the use of mindfulness meditation to help patients take better care of themselves so that they can live healthier and more adaptive lives.
Theoretical Therapies Using Evidence Based Models
- Family immersion therapy: This therapy known at Caron Renaissance as the Residential Family Restructuring Program addresses barriers to recovery for both the patient and the family by bringing them together in the same clinical setting over a number of days. Working with a clinical team, families can safely discuss and resolve barriers like origin experiences, internalized messages, communication difficulties, and inconsistent boundaries between family members. It essentially changes the way in which a family operates, allowing them to move towards recovery. This form of therapy when used in addiction treatment recognizes and treats the pain carried by each member who has been affected by addiction to drugs or alcohol and other behavioral health disorders.
- Adlerian therapy: Adlerian therapy is an evidence-based psychoeducational approach that stresses understanding of each patient’s unique lifestyle. In using this therapeutic approach, the therapist tries to understand how a client thinks and the context. For example, birth order may play a role in a client’s way of thinking and approach to life. (Available at Caron Renaissance)
- Bowen family systems therapy: The theory upon which this therapy is based views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe family interactions. That connectedness means that family members are interdependent so that one person’s functioning causes changes in other family members’ functioning. Several types of family therapy use this theory of family systems to treat clients. It is considered effective for treating alcohol and substance use disorders, anxiety, depression, eating and food issues, among other mental health issues. (Available at Caron Renaissance)
Alternative therapies: Any therapy that is not considered conventional or mainstream is considered an alternative or complementary approach. A non-mainstream approach that is used along with conventional therapies is known as complementary while non-mainstream therapies used on their own are known as alternative therapies. Generally, people use alternative therapies as part of an overall therapeutic program. These may include:
- Addiction Interaction Disorder Therapy (AID)
- Experiential therapies: Experiential therapies are based on using tools or interventions to enable patients to use experience as a mean of addressing hidden or subconscious issues. Guided imagery and role-playing are two examples of experiential therapeutic strategies. By experiencing the feelings related to past trauma in a safe environment with a therapist, patients have control and choice in how they experience the trauma.
- Recreational therapy: This treatment uses recreational techniques like arts and crafts, sports, games, drama, dance, community outings, and more to help patients reduce depression, stress, and anxiety as well as to build confidence and socialize effectively.