Adolescent Treatment Clinical Services

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We Specialize In Adolescent Treatment

Guardian Recovery offers a wide range of personalized programs and therapies designed to address the needs of teens struggling with behavioral health issues in a safe and comfortable setting. In our adolescent programs, clients receive holistic treatment and support from behavioral health specialists aware of the challenges they face during this pivotal stage of their lives. 

With a focus on evidence-based approaches, our services are intended to equip adolescent clients with the tools and skills they need to overcome the obstacles they face. In doing so, we help them develop effective coping mechanisms that promote improved mental health and prevent relapse in teens struggling with substance use disorders.

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Clinical Services & Care

The first step in our clinical services begins with a comprehensive assessment conducted by trained behavioral health specialists who evaluate and diagnose behavioral concerns. These assessments involve a thorough evaluation of their symptoms, medical history, family history, and any relevant psychological or social factors that may be contributing to substance use.

The aim of these assessments is to gather information that will be used to develop an informed treatment plan tailored to each adolescent’s unique needs. This plan will address any co-occurring disorders, determine the most suitable level of care, and identify any evidence-based therapies and services they may benefit from during their treatment.

Also, adolescents engaging in substance use will undergo a medical detox, a clinical procedure that involves removing toxic substances from the body. During this time, they are supervised round-the-clock until detox is completed and may be administered medication to help reduce cravings and the adverse effects associated with withdrawal.

Evidence-Based Treatment & Therapy Services

Evidence-based treatment and therapies determined by the personalized care plan typically include psychotherapies and appropriate medication, depending on the nature and severity of the condition. (1) These plans may also include guidance on lifestyle changes, psychoeducation, skill development, and recommendations for aftercare. (2)

Common Evidence-Based Therapies & Treatment Approaches Include:

  • Individual Therapy—This is a type of psychotherapy involving one-on-one therapy sessions where a trained therapist works closely with the teen to address any psychological and behavioral issues. During these sessions, adolescents can explore and gain insights into their thoughts and feelings and develop strategies for coping with challenges.
  • Group Therapy—A form of psychotherapy where a trained therapist leads a small group of individuals who share the same experiences and struggles. Here, group members work together to address a range of psychological and interpersonal issues.
  • Family Therapy—Another approach to psychotherapy, family therapy is intended to improve the functioning and relationships within the family. Components include improving communication, resolving conflicts, and addressing issues that impact the family as a whole.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)CBT is a strategy that often serves as the backbone of comprehensive mental health treatment. It can be used as an integral part of other forms of therapy, including individual, group, and family formats. It has the overarching goal of helping teens replace their dysfunctional coping mechanisms with those that are healthy and productive.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Skills Training—This is a form of CBT that treats various behavioral health conditions marked by emotional regulation and relationship challenges. In addition to the principles of CBT, it includes mindfulness and acceptance strategies, with the aim of finding a balance between acceptance and change. 
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)—MI is a therapeutic approach that focuses on helping teens find and foster their own motivation and commitment to make positive behavioral changes. 
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)—Another approach to psychotherapy, EMDR is intended to treat trauma-related disorders, such as PTSD. It involves the use of bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, to help teens process stressful memories and reduce their related emotional responses.
  • Creative Arts and Recreational Therapy—Creative arts therapy uses various forms of artistic expression, such as painting, art, music, and other recreational activities, to help individuals express their emotions in a non-verbal way. Recreational therapy includes group activities such as hiking, playing sports, and practicing yoga.
  • Mindfulness Training—A strategy that teaches teens to focus on the present moment and foster a neutral attitude toward their thoughts and emotions, instead of negatively dwelling on them.

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Our Levels of Care for Adolescent Treatment & Recovery

Levels of care in behavioral health programs refer to the different intensities and forms of treatment available to teens, as determined by their personalized treatment plan. Levels of care typically become less intensive as teens advance in their recovery. This means that the flexibility of their program and the accountability expected of them increase after each level they complete. (3)

The suggested levels of care for adolescents also depend on specific factors such as the severity of their symptoms, their support system, and their ability to function in their daily lives. 

The Levels of Care We Offer Include: 

  • Inpatient and Residential Treatment Programs—This level of care provides 24/7 support and a structured living environment. Clients live among peers and undergo full days of intensive therapy and other recovery-related services. 
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)—Partial hospitalization is a step below inpatient programs, and clients return home in the evening after full days of treatment. 
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs). This format requires engagement in treatment sessions several hours a day, up to five days per week. It is less intensive than higher levels of care but more intensive than conventional outpatient programs.
  • Standard outpatient programs (OP)—Although similar to IOP, OP differs in that treatment sessions aren’t as frequent or intensive and teens are given a high amount of accountability and flexibility in their schedule.

At Guardian Recovery, we believe that it is vital to choose the level of care suitable for each individual. Choosing a program that is less intense than needed can result in ineffective treatment, which may be more likely to result in a less favorable outcome.

The Benefits of Comprehensive Clinical Care for Teen Treatment

Comprehensive clinical care is designed to treat all aspects of an individual’s physical, psychological, and spiritual wellness. The goal is to ensure that the care, support, and therapies they receive address their needs and can be modified if needed. By addressing these interconnected aspects, teens are treated using a far more holistic and potentially effective approach than any single strategy would be otherwise.

Benefits of Comprehensive Clinical Care Include:

  • Holistic assessments
  • Accurate diagnoses
  • Multidisciplinary teams
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Medical detox
  • Personalized treatment plans
  • Family involvement
  • Education and skill-building
  • Prevention and early intervention
  • Aftercare and long-term support

Tailored Substance Use Disorder Adolescent Treatment for Effective Recovery

In addition to treatment for behavioral health conditions, teens struggling with drug or alcohol dependence often require personalized care and support for co-occurring substance use disorders. For example, medical detox may be needed in cases in which an SUD is present. However, there are other reasons why this is vital for a young person’s mental health and recovery.

Research has found that many individuals experience both mental health conditions and substance use disorders simultaneously. (4) This is primarily because one condition can trigger or exacerbate the other. For example, if a person is treated for a psychological condition but not an SUD, ongoing substance use can cause emotional dysregulation and mood instability. Conversely, if a person is treated for substance misuse but not psychological issues, their addressed mental health issues can contribute to relapse.

When both disorders are addressed simultaneously, this is referred to as dual diagnosis. Using this approach, teens can better understand the many common factors that underlie each condition and how they are entangled in a complex way. 

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Contact Guardian Recovery To Get Help for Your Teen

Adolescents require the same levels of holistic care and evidence-based approaches as adults. However, they also face special concerns that need to be addressed in order for them to get the most out of their treatment and recovery process. 

If your teen is struggling with behavioral health issues and is ready to seek professional treatment, contact Guardian Recovery today to learn more about our comprehensive assessments, streamlined admissions process, and various levels of care. You and your teen can receive a free, no-obligation health insurance benefits check to help them take the first step toward improved health and wellness.


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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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