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How the Lindner Center Of HOPE contends with mental disorders in teenagers
MASON, Ohio (WKRC) - The experienced, compassionate team at the Lindner Center of HOPE’s Williams House meets teens where they are.
Not literally, of course. The renowned residential diagnostic and treatment facility is exactly that: residential. Still, if we allow “where teens are” to comprise the dizzying, tumultuous settings and relationships of adolescence, then yes, the Williams House meets them exactly where they are—by removing them from all of it.
“These kids feel so much anxiety,” says Anne Polasko, a social worker at the Williams House. “They feel like they’re being evaluated all the time, not just at school. There’s no shutting it down. It’s relentless. Then they come here, and it’s not long before their anxiety is lessened. It’s very beneficial.”
Removing these teens (aged 11-17) from their stressors is a pivotal part of what makes the Williams House so effective. It allows the team to isolate what the patient is feeling, how they’re coping with it, and what can be done to put them on the path to improvement. It also functions as a breather, which many of these teens sorely need whether they’ve already sought treatment or not.
“Lots of the kids we get at Williams House have been failing for years,” says Medical Director Stephen Edwards, MD. “Sometimes they’re already on a medication, but it isn’t working. Here we reevaluate everything that’s been done, do a comprehensive diagnostic.”
That diagnostic is comprehensive because it is able to take place over such a long period of time—and because patients at the Williams House meet daily with their team of psychologists, social workers, teachers, nurses, and dietitians. In-depth testing is done, together with interviews, observational analysis, and historical information gathering. All the while, the team is focused on building a trusting relationship with the patient, which improves the accuracy of the assessment process while making the patient feel as relaxed as if they were at home.
“It’s ideal for trying to figure out situations that have confounded other clinicians in other settings,” says Lindner Center of HOPE Chief Medical Officer Paul Crosby, MD. He notes that includes the complex co-occurring conditions in which the Williams House specializes.
Following a diagnosis, it’s time to focus on improvement. As such a road map is created drawing from a vast array of therapies and approaches not commonly available in other treatment programs. They include dialectical behavioral therapy, group therapy, recreational therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing, yoga, equine therapy, holistic healing approaches, martial arts, community service, academic planning, and extensive OCD treatment.
Of course, on the other side of all this is the family. With the patient away, family members often experience their own healing process. If desired they can do so with the aid of Williams House’s family counselor, who helps repair broken lines of communication while encouraging the kind of environment in which everyone—patient and family—can succeed afterwards.
Lindner Center of HOPE is located at 4075 Old Western Row Road.