Creating a Family-Centered Program From the Ground Up

Aug 22, 2023 | Uncategorized

Avanti Behavioral Health offers a new treatment option for teenagers at risk in the Denver area. Our intensive outpatient program (IOP) for clients between the ages of 13 and 18 in Greenwood Village provides comprehensive, holistic, family-centered, and trauma-informed care for your teen.

In order to help teenagers with mental health and substance use issues, we have been building a team of treatment professionals with the intention to provide practical tools each teen can use on a daily basis. Our team prides itself on utilizing the latest treatment interventions and therapy models, delivered by compassionate people.

Kathy Rodriguez M.A., LPC, recently joined our team as the new clinical director. Her specialty is program development: creating something from the ground up. Rodriguez is a bilingual clinician with strong clinical skills and a solid work ethic able to pursue career goals and professional passions. She would like to apply her previous experience to promote well-being, diversity, and inclusion. 

At Avanti, she works alongside program director Meghan Behring B.A., CAS, to expand on the solid curriculum foundation in place always exploring the needs of the Avanti patient population.

“We like to meet our clients where they’re at,” she says. “Sometimes, we branch out a little to keep the treatment modalities flexible and not too rigid. It’s important to incorporate different elements—not just the standard cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), but also dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and experiential interventions.”

Most importantly, Rodriguez loves being around children and adolescents. “I love working with kids. If they are out there on the grass, I’m out there with them,” she says. 

Avanti’s “Always Forward” treatment philosophy is constructed around three pillars: Continual clinical growth, family engagement, and community integration. Rodriguez stresses the importance of family engagement: “In the substance use realm, most families need a lot of education on addiction and how it presents in different people. Each kid who joins our program should feel supported, not only by our staff but also by their families, especially after they transition back home.”

Avanti has developed an effective and highly involved method of family counseling, focusing on multiple factors involving the existing family dynamic by examining the family unit and understanding the role of each individual family member.  

Rodriguez would like to help develop a kind of “Families Anonymous” support network within the Avanti client population, “a solid support system, not just for patients but for their families as well. Addiction doesn’t just impact the person using drugs and alcohol but everybody around them.”

The Avanti IOP is aiming to make sure that families not only have a basic understanding of addiction but are able to tap into resources in their communities to better support their kids. Recovery is a team effort. At Avanti, everyone is working together to achieve the best outcome for patients. “We’re strategizing together to get the best results, the best aftercare,” explains Rodriguez. “We’re helping kids get new insights about themselves. Often, kids struggle to recognize the strengths that they actually possess.” And they need to get to the roots of their substance misuse—behavior that is frequently driven by unprocessed traumatic experiences, anxiety, and undiagnosed depression.

“People lose sight of the strengths that they possess,” says Rodriguez. “In treatment, they need to develop autonomy, and the ability to advocate for themselves—especially during their recovery. For me, it’s about including all those strength-based approaches and reminding kids of that spark that they have in them to pursue their recovery.”

Avanti’s cutting-edge addiction treatment and mental health care team is here to facilitate health in both sobriety and mental health care for adolescents during one of the most difficult times in life. We know this population requires treatment for addiction that is uniquely crafted for this age group and very different from adult programming. 

For more information about our IOP and family programming call us at (720) 753-4030. 

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