Here at Millcreek Behavioral Health, our main concern is helping each child who comes to us struggling with the unruly symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Additionally, each member of our highly qualified staff recognizes that each child’s needs are different, meaning that they require different aspects of treatment. Furthermore, our staff has extensive experience treating a number of different mental health issues, including oppositional defiant disorder. This serious mental health disorder affects 6 to 10 percent of children and is characterized by negative behaviors that are directed at adults. There are various levels of misbehavior that include everything from temper tantrums to full blown physical abuse. ODD can be extremely challenging to overcome, but with the proper tools and support, a child’s behavior can be changed.
Millcreek Behavioral Health has been a leading provider of behavioral healthcare and educational services to emotionally disturbed and developmentally delayed children and adolescents in the state of Mississippi for over 30 years. By providing programming that emphasizes the individualization of treatment based upon each child’s strengths, we have maintained our standing as the largest private provider of services to children and adolescents in the entire state. Each one of our compassionate staff members works to make sure that all children who are entrusted into our care are able to become more confident within themselves and develop a stronger sense of self-esteem, helping them successfully navigate through the treatment process.
Helping a Loved one or Family Member Get Treatment
Not only is parenting a child with oppositional defiant disorder challenging, but, in some instances, parents may be left feeling intimidated by their child’s behavior. They may feel that it is simply easier to just give in instead of trying to manage the difficult behavior. While you may feel defeated and helpless, the truth of the matter is that there are things you can do to reduce your child’s acting out behaviors. As a parent, here are four things that you can do that can help you more effectively manage your child who is struggling with oppositional defiant disorder:
- Respond without anger
- Be clear and consistent
- Do not take things personally
- Do not be your child’s friend, be his or her parent
Why Consider Treatment at Millcreek Behavioral Health
If not properly treated, the ramifications of oppositional defiant disorder can lead to long-term effects that will leave a lasting impact on a child’s life as it continues to develop into an ongoing battle. This continued pattern of negative, hostile, and defiant behaviors can lead to a number of problems in daily life, including academic failure, difficulty establishing relationships with peers, and struggling to have a good relationship with family members. All of these adverse effects will only lead to more complicated problems later on in life if not attended to as soon as possible.
Treatment for oppositional defiant disorder centers on decreasing or eliminating as many behavioral problems as necessary and changing the child’s long-term developmental course. In many cases, the most beneficial way of addressing all of these treatment factors at one time is to place a child in a residential treatment program that will not only ensure his or her safety, but will also be able to address the specific symptoms your child is experiencing. Proper treatment provided by mental health professionals can help teach children and adolescents the skills needed to be successful with their recovery.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we are dedicated to helping children lead healthier, more productive lives. By offering programming that places a strong emphasis on a child’s inherent strengths, our caring and compassionate staff tailors treatment plans to be individualized based on each child’s unique set of needs, as well as on the skills he or she already has in place. We strive to consistently encourage the growth of children’s self-esteem and enhance their level of self-confidence and independence by developing activities that are based specifically on each patient’s strengths. Each child’s treatment process remains malleable as we incorporate changes based on needs or challenges as they arise. We also place a strong emphasis on the educational aspect of treatment, keeping in mind the crucial role that education plays in a child’s development and on his or her future. At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we are devoted to consistently improving our programming by persistently addressing any requests, concerns, or issues that are brought forth in our patient surveys. Our patients are our top priority and we make it our sole mission to do all that we can to ensure their lasting success.
Types of Treatment Offered at Millcreek Behavioral Health
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we strive to offer excellent customer service and we pride ourselves in our quick response to inquiries and referrals. Our admissions staff works diligently to ensure that a smooth and timely transition into our care is offered for all potential patients. Once children have been admitted into our psychiatric residential treatment program, they will partake in a number of therapeutic interventions while simultaneously enhancing and building upon the strengths they already possess. Here at Millcreek, we use a cognitive behavioral approach to therapy in our programs, which ensures that maladaptive thinking patterns are changed and positive behaviors are reinforced. Additionally, research-based journaling is utilized throughout individual and group therapies, which assists patients as they find success along their own treatment path. Furthermore, in order to meet the specific needs of each child’s personalized struggles we ensure to individualize each treatment program.
We are proud to offer a positive-reinforcement based approach to care, guiding patients as they work through a Phase System throughout the course of treatment. This Phase System includes four distinct phases including: Exploration, Knowledge, Motivation, and Achievement. Additionally, it is accompanied by identified safety levels that rewards children on their progress through treatment. Progress is then acknowledged through each patient’s journaling and includes helping children identify triggers that lead to their behaviors, as well as helping them recognize the importance of accepting the consequences of their behaviors.
We incorporate the following therapeutic interventions into the comprehensive care provided to each patient:
Medication management: In most cases, medication has not been proven effective in treating oppositional defiant disorder, however, if an additional disorder is present, it may be used to help control additional symptoms. All medication needs will be determined on an individualized basis. We employ board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists who are on call 24/7. Additionally, we have psychiatric nurse practitioners and family physicians who are available to meet any needs that our patients may have. Children are seen at least once each week for medication management.
Individual therapy: Individual therapy sessions are provided so that children can meet one-on-one with their therapists in order to track treatment progress, discuss any concerns or challenges they are facing, and to work on individual skill-building. These sessions occur at a minimum of once each week, but most patients benefit from additional sessions, as determined based on need or when requested.
Group therapy: Group therapy sessions occur at least three times per week, but are typically held more often. All group sessions are individualized based on the needs of the children present, but common topics of discussion include anger management, coping skills, relationships, independent living skills, trauma, and patient/student rights.
Family therapy: At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we recognize how important family involvement is in a child’s healing process and therefore hold family therapy sessions at least twice per month. We also allow children to make phone calls or visit with their family on a regular basis. This ensures that all family involvement is individualized in order to promote the most positive interaction possible for our patients and their families.
Education: All patients attend our onsite school Monday through Friday from 9am-3pm. All classes are led by Highly Qualified Licensed Teachers and classrooms have a student to teacher ratio of 10:1 maximum. There is at least one therapeutic aide present in all classrooms and one-to-one aides are provided for children when academically necessary.
Experiential therapies: In order to provide a fully holistic approach to treatment, we offer a number of additional therapeutic options on top of the traditional therapeutic methods. Such options include:
- Art projects
- Walking club
- Book club
- Recreational therapy (held daily for all patients)
- Music therapy (including individual music and choir dance)
- Gym time (including activities such as flag football, volleyball, etc.)
- Fitness club (intensive fitness programming is offered along with nutritional education)
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we understand that, for many children and their families, the end of treatment can be an intimidating time. For this reason, all discharge and aftercare planning begins at the time of admission. Appropriate discharge criteria is created for each patient depending upon his or her needs and treatment goals. Once that criteria has been successfully met, the patient’s treatment team works with him or her to determine the next most appropriate level of care. Aftercare planning includes recommendations from the patient’s treatment team for medical, educational, and psychiatric services. Our staff will do everything in our power to ensure that the transition back into a less restrictive setting is a smooth and comfortable one for all parties involved, knowing that the most important thing is that your child continues to be successful.