Substance Abuse Treatment, Therapeutic, and Behavioral Terms For Parents To Know

Teen Mental Health and Substance Abuse Solutions at BasePoint Academy

Navigating teen substance abuse and mental health concerns can be a challenging time. At BasePoint Academy, we’re committed to equipping parents, patients, teens, and educators with the tools they need to make a difference in the life of a young person they care about.

A Partial Hospitalization Program, or day program, is an outpatient program designed to equip teens with the coping skills and medication management they need to overcome substance use or mental health concerns.

Patients will attend a full day of treatment before returning home each night. Treatment includes four hours of group therapy daily, bi-weekly individual and family sessions, weekly medication management appointments, and two hours dedicated to Academics.

Treatment modalities include motivational interviewing, CBT, DBT, and helping teens activate their innate capacity to heal by establishing resiliency.


Parents and teens seek out an Dallas Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), or half day program, when struggling with substance abuse, depression, anxiety, substance use, anger, or other mental health needs.

An IOP is considered the middle ground in the levels of care hierarchy. Often considered a step-up from traditional outpatient (where you might see a therapist or psychiatrist monthly) and a step-down from a PHP.

For patients who have completed a Partial Hospitalization Program or who need a more intensive level of care above a traditional outpatient, an IOP program may be a good fit.

Behavioral Therapy is the broad term used to describe the problem-focused therapeutic approach to identifying and addressing behavioral issues. The overall goal is to facilitate changed behavior and to help patients develop healthier behavior habits.

Experiential Therapy is a form of interactive, hands-on Therapy that requires the patient’s active participation. The patient will physically engage in an activity while confronting thoughts, emotions, and past trauma.

This practice helps the patient address thoughts and emotions around past events and establish healthier processing patterns when faced with triggers.

Experiential Therapy is effective at treating a variety of mental health concerns, such as mood disorders, behavioral disorders, stress disorders, and PTSD, as well as substance use.

At BasePoint Academy, we believe in the holistic treatment of our patients. This means we treat the whole person from the inside out.

In some cases, this requires the prescription of safe and trusted medications to alleviate the patient’s symptoms while undergoing evidence-based therapeutic practices.

Not every patient will require medication management. This will be determined in the initial comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and individualized treatment plan.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a therapeutic approach that focuses on the unhealthy or problematic thoughts that lie behind undesirable behaviors. The patient develops coping skills to process these thoughts and emotions in order to exhibit healthier behavior.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) builds upon the CBT approach with a more significant emphasis on emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

DBT seeks to help patients find ways to accept themselves, understand and accept their emotions, and regulate potentially destructive and harmful behaviors. DBT also utilizes safety and mindfulness to empower teens towards establishing lasting change.

Unlike problem-focused therapeutic approaches, Psychodynamic Therapy focuses on the patient’s deepest needs, urges, and desires.

The practitioner will employ several techniques, including talk therapy, free association, dream analysis, art therapy, Rorschach Inkblots, and the evaluation of Freudian slips.

The goal of this approach is to help the patient gain a greater degree of self-awareness and decrease emotional suffering.

Motivational Interviewing is a counseling style that is client-centered and works to reduce ambivalent feelings, elicit behavior changes, and support long-term self-efficacy.

The concept of motivational interviewing is to help teens overcome indecision or ambivalence and own the responsibility of taking the desired action. This change process empowers teens to take ownership of their ideas and actions.

At BasePoint Academy, we believe that the success of healing and recovery for teens is a supportive family and a safe home environment. This requires family participation in therapeutic family healing efforts and therapist-led sessions.

The goal is to give families, and/or the teen’s primary caretakers, access to healthy and open communication that fosters trust and a renewed closeness.

How do you help someone who is suicidal? The first step in suicide prevention is awareness — knowing when someone is in crisis. That’s often not obvious, because many people suffer in silence or give no sign that they might harm themselves. As a family member, friend, neighbor, or colleague, you can make a difference by using the Columbia Protocol — also known as Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), an evidence-based assessment tool to help determine when someone is at risk for suicide and how to help.

This is a skills group specific to BasePoint Academy programming. This group is comprised of all community members –teens and BPA staff. The ongoing development and maintenance of this community is the foundation of teaching appropriate boundaries and BPA core values. The community exists within the offices, group and community rooms, clinic grounds, and even transportation vans where teens will interact with other Assertive Community Group members. The specific processes and interventions utilized during the group are tailored towards helping teens prepare identify new ways to activate their innate capacity to heal.

Group therapy is a form of counseling that has proven highly effective with teens as it provides a safe space to address and process mental health and/or substance use concerns where healthy peer interactions yield healthy and lasting change. Group members are given the opportunity to participate in group discussions, develop strong interpersonal skills, practice coping strategies, and receive relapse prevention training.

—The term, Levels of Care, describes the varying levels of treatment options that specifically correlate to the appropriateness of a patient’s current treatment needs.

—Step-down: Utilized to describe the transition in levels of care when the patient’s treatment needs are indicative of increased stability, safety, and decreased symptomology requiring less-intensive services than their current level of treatment.

—Step-Up: Utilized to describe the transition in levels of care when the patient’s treatment needs are indicative of increased symptomology requiring more intensive services than their current level of treatment.

—Inpatient Hospitalization: short-term, highly structured level of care designed to meet the crisis stabilization needs of individuals who are at risk of harming themselves, others, or otherwise unable to care for themselves. A typical length of stay is 3-5 days. Can be used as a step-up from day treatment. —Residential: Typically, longer term treatment where patients live onsite with 24-hour supervision or care. Length of stay is usually 30-60 days and is less restrictive than inpatient hospitalization.

PHP: Can be ideal for clients who have complex systems but don’t need inpatient or residential treatment. Sometimes referred to as “day treatment.” PHP Is five days a week for six hours a day. BasePoint Academy provides PHP treatment.

—IOP: Patients come in for treatment five days a week for three hours each day. Can be used as a step-down from day treatment or a step-up from counseling or psychiatry services. BasePoint Academy provides IOP treatment.

Counseling and Psychiatry Services: Includes individual counseling sessions with a therapist or visits with a psychiatrist to diagnose and prescribe medications.

—The goal of discharge planning is to anticipate changes in individual care needs and provide continuity of care between treatment providers and levels of care. Discharge planning begins upon admission to your current level of care to ensure an appropriate and effective aftercare plan is developed with the patient, their family, and the treatment team prior to the routine discharge.

—Discharge, also known as the end of an episode of care or treatment, is when the aftercare plan and education on the importance of continuity of care and following the plan is finalized with the patient, their family, and the treatment team. The aftercare plan should include specific referrals indicative of the patient’s next level of care treatment needs.

Heal For A Better Today and A Brighter Tomorrow

At BasePoint Academy, we provide a compassionate and safe environment to help our teen patients reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety and relieve long-term emotional distress.