In an effort to help you choose the best treatment program for your family, we would like to provide you with a list of frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not addressed, or would like additional information, please feel free to call us at 855 780 TEEN (8336) for 24 hour assistance.
- Where is your teen treatment program located?
- Can I visit the program before committing?
- How many adolescents are in your program?
- Will I have my own room?
- How long is your teen treatment program?
- Who will be providing treatment? How is that different from other programs?
- Who else will be in treatment with my child?
- How often will I receive individual therapy?
- Who owns and operates this program?
- How will attending treatment impact school?
- Will I be asked to do excessive chores while in the program?
- What types of diagnostic testing and assessments are conducted?
- What will the rest of our family be asked to do?
- Why don’t you use a point system or phase system?
- Do you provide gender specific treatment?
- Will my family’s confidentiality be protected?
- Are treatment programs for teens different than programs for adults?
- Do you provide any services other than residential treatment?
- When I come to treatment, what should I bring with me?
- Do you use the 12 steps?
- Will I be able to visit with my child during treatment?
- I use drugs because I feel sad and nervous. Can you help me with that?
- My kid is completely out of control. If I am looking at wilderness treatment, should I consider a program like Paradigm?
- I have to go to court because I got caught with pot. How can you help?
- Don’t you have to wait for someone to “hit bottom” before sending them to treatment?
- I’m already seeing a therapist. Can they be involved in my treatment?
- Do you accept insurance?
- If insurance won’t pay, what are my options?
- What happens when I go home?
- Where can I get an answer to a question that isn’t addressed here?
1. Where is your teen treatment program located?
Paradigm Malibu is located in Malibu, California between the majestic Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. We are one block from the beach on park like grounds, surrounded by old growth trees. Our treatment site has proven to be ideal as it offers privacy, yet is not so remote that it creates safety concerns.
2. Can I visit the program before committing?
At Paradigm Malibu, we welcome all prospective clients, who wish to visit, explore our facility, and meet with members of our treatment team. We recommend that you visit any treatment program you are considering before making a commitment. If a program is reluctant to allow you to visit, or presses you to make a commitment before you visit, this is cause for concern.
3. How many teens are in your program?
We serve a limited number of youth at a time in any treatment setting. Experience has taught us that keeping our groups in this smaller range results in dramatically better results for those we serve. It is one of many features that make us different from other teen treatment programs.
4. Will I have my own room?
We offer both private and semi-private rooms. If you would prefer to reserve a private room, please inform us at the earliest possible time to insure that space will be available.
5. How long is your adolescent treatment program?
The average length of stay at Paradigm Malibu is thirty to forty five days. As a direct result of the intensity of our program, this is sufficient time for most young people to achieve meaningful, sustainable changes. Programs that require a commitment of longer than thirty days prior to diagnostic testing should be examined carefully. It is our belief that quality treatment should be both intensive and brief. This allows adolescents and their family members to get back to their lives as quickly as is appropriate. We never ask a family to commit to a stay beyond 30 days up front. Rather families can make an informed decision with the treatment team if and when they wish to extend their stay for any period of time.
6. Who will be providing treatment? How is that different from other programs?
At Paradigm Malibu we have assembled a unique, world-class team of professionals who have devoted their careers to the treatment of young people and their families. Each team member is certified or licensed in their area of expertise. The core of our treatment team has worked together for more than fifteen years. Our therapists are each devoted to identifying and treating the underlying causes of addiction and behavioral health issues, rather than merely focusing on behaviors themselves.
7. Who else will be in treatment with my child?
The importance of this question cannot be underestimated. Many treatment programs do not have stringent admissions criteria. As a result, teens that enter such programs are frequently, and unnecessarily, exposed to peers who introduce them to new destructive behaviors and dangers. At Paradigm Malibu, we are committed to a thorough screening process to ensure that all persons accepted into the program are a good fit. In an effort to create a safe treatment environment, we do not accept persons with known histories of violence, sexual perpetrators, fire starters, gang affiliated youth, or those who have a history of behaviors which might put others at risk. We are committed to maintaining an environment that is both physically and emotionally safe for all participants.
8. How often will I receive individual therapy?
Paradigm provides all participants with one-on-one sessions each and every day. The use of group sessions to treat young people is appropriate and effective. It is important to note however, that it is possible for many important issues to go unaddressed in a program that relies too heavily on this modality. Individual sessions offer participants a unique opportunity to share privately, away from their peers. If a program is offering one-on-one sessions only one or two times a week, valuable treatment opportunities are likely to be missed.
9. Who owns and operates the program?
You and your family have the right to know who owns and operates any treatment program that you are considering. The founders of Paradigm Malibu are listed on the staff page, with complete bios. They are directly involved, not only in the daily operation of the program, but in the development and implementation of each adolescent’s treatment plan. All family members are provided with direct contact to the founders, including their cell phone numbers. There is no bureaucracy to navigate, no hidden parent company to create barriers, and no invisible owner to chase down should a concern arise. We do all that we can to foster frequent, direct, honest communication between everyone involved in the treatment process. We want to ensure that each family’s expectations are clear and that we meet or exceeded them.
10. How will attending treatment impact school?
When families come to us they often report that the person for whom they are seeking treatment has been having difficulties associated with school. The student may feel hopeless and discouraged. They may be thinking of quitting school, or may be convinced that their prior performance will prohibit them from getting into the University of their choice. Programs that offer school programs that work in a silo, are often times ultimately unhelpful in getting academic careers back on track. It is important to know the specifics of the educational components of any treatment program.
At Paradigm Malibu, all program participants are provided a thorough education assessment upon admission. The on-site teacher, working in conjunction with the primary therapist will devise an aggressive plan that will assist the participant in achieving their short and long term academic goals. With the permission of families, when appropriate, academic plans are coordinated with the participant’s home school. In addition to working with the on-site classroom teacher, participants work with tutors from UCLA and Pepperdine University one-on-one in any areas that prove to be especially challenging. Oftentimes participants arrive at treatment trailing behind in their studies and return to their schools, ahead of their classmates.
11. Will I be asked to do excessive chores while in the program?
Surprisingly, there are still many treatment programs that require participants to do excessive chores. This is frequently justified as an experience designed to “humble” participants. Chores are sometimes even used as a form of punishment. While studies conducted as early as the 1970’s clearly refute the therapeutic usefulness of having youth perform such labor, many programs continue to have their participants perform labor as a cost savings measure.
At Paradigm Malibu, our participants are not asked to spend their valuable treatment time doing excessive chores. They are simply asked to maintain their own bedrooms and pick up after themselves. This allows us to focus on responsibility and self-care, while making the best use of every moment in treatment. We have a full time housekeeping staff to take care of all other household needs.
12. What types of diagnostic testing and assessments are conducted?
A treatment plan can be no stronger than the assessments upon which it is based. That is why at Paradigm Malibu, all participants are given multiple assessments upon admission. Every participant will meet with our Medical Director, a Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with a specialty in Addictionology, a licensed clinical psychologist for a psychological assessment, a Counselor for a Bio-Psychosocial assessment, a Nutritionist for a nutritional assessment and a Teacher for an educational assessment. We believe that it is imperative that we learn all that we can to design the best course of treatment.
It is important to note that this approach differs from the standard. At most programs, teens are assessed by an unlicensed, paraprofessional who is charged with determining if there are factors present that would justify sending the youth to a licensed professional for an evaluation. Experience has taught us that this approach frequently results in important factors going undiscovered until a great deal of valuable treatment time has been lost. It frequently sets youth up for failure, and requires that they remain in treatment much longer than would have been otherwise necessary.
13. What will the rest of our family be asked to do?
At Paradigm Malibu, we believe that family involvement is imperative for the successful treatment of all our program participants. We recognize that family members may be unable to participate in all aspects of treatment as a result of work commitments, geographic location, or other factors. For this reason, we make every effort to reach out and provide our services by Skype, telephone, or other means when necessary or desired. We offer Parent Coaching, Education and Effectiveness Training, Individual Family Therapy, Multi-Family Therapy, Sibling Support Groups, and ongoing Parent Support Services. Our team is available to answer questions and provide support to families, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a year. As a component of our free after care program, our family support services are available to all program graduates and their families, indefinitely, for as long as they wish to utilize them.
14. Why don’t you use point systems or phase systems?
To be meaningful and sustainable, changes that occur during the course of treatment must be transferable to life. It is expressly for this reason that we do not use point systems, phase systems, or other outdated forms of behavior modification.
Unfortunately, a stunning number of teen rehabs continue to use these archaic tools as the core of their residential treatment programs. This is sometimes because the providers are unaware that these systems were deemed to have little, if any, value as early as the 1970’s. More often it is because they are unable, or unwilling, to do the deeper more difficult work required assisting teens in achieving real, internalized change. There is frankly no easier, or cheaper, way to provide teen treatment than to use a point or phase system. Quality treatment however, requires hard work and a much more sophisticated approach.
15. Do you provide gender specific treatment?
Yes. But it is imperative to distinguish between gender specific treatment and gender exclusive treatment. Gender specific treatment allows programs to focus on the unique needs experienced by young men and women during the challenging transition of adolescence. This is very different however from gender exclusive treatment in which programs treat only one gender, or segregate genders.
The latter approach can easily create a dynamic where important issues are avoided rather than addressed. If an issue is going to arise related to how an individual relates to the opposite gender, we want that issue to come up during the course of treatment so that we may address it accordingly. What we want to avoid is creating an artificial, single gender environment in which the teen may thrive; only to return them to a co-gendered world.
Numerous studies support our belief that while gender specific treatment is desirable, it is more effective to treat young people in a co-gendered setting, as this best reflects real life. The end result of effective treatment should be a young person empowered with the skill and knowledge base required to have appropriate, healthy relationships, with persons of both genders.
16. Will my family’s confidentiality be protected?
At Paradigm Malibu we take confidentiality very seriously. Every employee is subjected to an exhaustive background check and must sign a stringent confidentiality agreement. We never allow community meetings or media into the facility. Our efforts to protect our client’s confidentiality exceed the highest industry standards and regulations. We take great pride in the fact that we have never had a breach of confidentiality.
17. Are treatment programs for teens different than adult programs?
The treatment of adolescents requires a very different approach, skill set and knowledge base than those required to treat adults. Youth have specific needs related to their physical, emotional, and social development. It is important to know if the directors and staff members of any adolescent program have a history of successfully treating adolescents. It is also important to know if the treatment of adolescents has been, and remains, the primary professional focus of every team member. The treatment of youth should be a provider’s long term focus rather than something they have recently shifted to, or something they do on the side. Many programs divide their attention between youth and adults, or “young adults.” At Paradigm Malibu we exclusively treat adolescents.
18. Do you provide any services other than residential treatment?
Our single focus is residential treatment for youth. We credit this single focus for much of our success. We do not funnel clients into an outpatient program, or “extended care” facilities. Rather we provide effective treatment that allows young people to get back to their lives.
19. When I come to treatment what should I bring with me?
Please bring enough comfortable clothing to last one week to ten days. You might also want to include a light jacket, as the ocean breeze can be cool in the early morning and evening hours. You will likely also want to bring your own grooming supplies as most of us have a specific brand of soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. that we prefer. We provide towels, pillows, and blankets, but you may bring your own if you wish. In addition, you are welcome to bring photos, a stuffed animal, or other personal items that might bring you comfort while you are in the program. We ask that you not bring items that are valuable, irreplaceable, or that hold great sentimental value, as we cannot guarantee that the items will remain safe.
Also, in an effort to keep the program physically, and emotionally, safe for everyone, we do not allow the following: weapons, cell phones, cameras of any type (video, digital, disposable, etc.), or audible music players (personal players with headphones are acceptable), personal computers, non-prescription drugs (excluding supplements), alcohol, clothing, music or other items that promote drug use, violence, or that offend others based on ascribed status.
20. Do you use the 12 Steps in your program?
During your time at Paradigm Malibu, you will be introduced to the twelve steps, if appropriate. This is however only one layer in a comprehensive, multi-layered treatment plan. Programs that focus exclusively on the Twelve Steps during short term residential treatment, may be ill equipped or missing opportunities to address underlying clinical factors that impact addictive behaviors and relapse.
21. Will I be able to visit with my child during treatment?
Of course. Treatment is a time to strengthen family bonds with frequent, supportive, communication. You may call your child any time you wish. Your child may call you any time he or she wishes as long as such communication is deemed to be clinically appropriate. Family visitation is every Saturday. If you’re unable to attend on Saturday and would like to make special arrangements to visit on another day, we will accommodate you. Also, there are sometimes special family occasions that occur while a youth is in treatment such as a wedding or similar event. In such cases we are happy to work with families on a case-by-case basis to allow teens in treatment to remain engaged in life and important family events.
22. I use drugs because I feel sad and nervous, can you help with that?
Yes. Depression, anxiety, and many other unhealthy feelings frequently precede drug and alcohol use. In fact many people begin using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate for these feelings. When depression or other clinical conditions occur along with a chemical dependency they are called “co-occurring disorders.” The person with a co-occurring disorder might also be referred to as being “dually-diagnosed.” These terms simply mean that you are dealing with more than one issue simultaneously. This is more often the case than not. For this reason our treatment team is comprised of a board certified Adolescent Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Chemical Dependency Counselors and a diverse array of other licensed and certified professionals. Our goal is to provide you with a team that can provide a comprehensive assessment followed by intensive treatment designed to identify and treat the underlying causes of behaviors rather than simply focusing on behaviors themselves.
23. My kid is completely out of control. If I am looking at wilderness treatment, should I consider a program like Paradigm?
There are a vast number of wilderness and experiential programs available for families and some offer quality clinical and behavioral services. It is important to understand the treatment process and your goals when looking at specialized residential treatment or wilderness and experiential treatment. How many adolescents return to their home and community following a 45-90 day stay? How often are families invited to participate in treatment? Are there school-based services available to help clients continue their academic progress? How focused will the treatment be for my adolescent’s needs? As with any program, finding a good, evidence-based fit is integral for effective treatment and sustainable change.
24. I’m already working with a therapist. Can they be involved in my treatment?
We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with any therapist or treatment professional a youth may already be engaged with. Physicians, teachers, mentors, coaches or any other person who has a vested interest in the well-being of an adolescent may be involved with the consent of both the teen and their parents. Such collaborations frequently allow us to achieve treatment goals more expeditiously and help to create smoother transitions to life after treatment.
25. I have to go to court because I got caught with pot. Is there anything your program can do to help?
Sometimes young people wind up in treatment as a direct result of legal difficulties. We are uniquely equipped to assist you with such matters. We have multiple professionals on staff that are prepared to assist you and your family as you navigate the legal system. We have qualified court liaisons that specialize in meeting the needs of such circumstances. We also have established relationships with a wide cross section of judges who greatly value our unique approach to treatment. We have a full understanding of what courts need to see to know that teens have received proper treatment resulting in real and lasting change.
It should be noted that it is never our goal to enable young people by assisting them in the avoidance of natural and logical consequences. We do not believe that mistakes that are a direct result of impulsivity, adolescent judgment, or chemical dependency, should result in permanently blemished records or lives.
26. Don’t you have to wait for someone to “hit bottom” before they go to treatment?
While many young people seek out treatment for themselves, others are pressed into participating by concerned parents, or as the result of other external forces. Either circumstance is common. Regardless, some families delay getting treatment because of a popular myth that adolescents need to “hit bottom” before seeking help. This myth is unfortunately re-enforced by treatment providers who do not see motivating youth as their responsibility. The real danger in this is that, for some, the bottom can be serious harm or even death. There is no advantage in letting a young person engage in destructive behaviors a day longer than is necessary. When working with teens there is also ample evidence to suggest that the earlier a treatment intervention takes place regarding substance abuse, emotional health, or behavioral health issues, the greater the likelihood of success. When young people come to us for treatment, it is okay if they are resistant. It is our job to motivate them and to help them find value in both treatment, and in approaching their lives differently.
27. Do you accept insurance?
Yes. Paradigm Malibu accepts payments from most insurance companies. We are happy to assist any prospective client verify their benefits and secure pre-authorization for treatment. To learn more about the process, simply give us a call.
28. If my insurance won’t pay for treatment, what are my options?
Paradigm Malibu offers a number of options for financing treatment. We are happy to assist you in exploring all avenues available to your family.
29. What happens when I go home?
The first day you enter treatment, we begin planning your return home. Your life at home, outside of treatment remains the center point of all that we do. Every individual and group session is designed to provide you with skills and knowledge that are directly applicable to your life outside of treatment. Of equal or greater importance, we provide FREE AFTERCARE services, indefinitely, for as long as adolescents and/or their families choose to utilize them. This includes, but is not limited to individual or family therapy sessions, parent support services, and on-going case management. These services can be provided in person, telephonically, or via Skype. As with treatment plans, every aftercare plan is individualized and based on each teen’s unique needs and objectives.
30. Where can I get an answer to a question that I don’t see addressed here?
If we haven’t answered your question(s) simply give us a call. Whether your loved one comes to PARADIGM MALIBU or not, we are here to assist you and answer your questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We know how difficult it is to reach out and ask for help. It is the first and most challenging step on the road to recovery.
Call us anytime toll-free in the U.S. and Canada at: 855-780-TEEN. All calls are completely confidential.
If you prefer, you may also email us your question(s) at: email@example.com