The obsessive and compulsive symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as OCD, can prevent a child or adolescent from functioning in a healthy manner in a number of settings. Knowing the significant impact this disorder can have on a young person’s life, Millcreek Behavioral Health is proud to offer effective and appropriate care that can greatly improve the lives of young people who suffer from this destructive disorder. The programming at Millcreek Behavioral Health helps children and adolescents struggling with OCD symptoms learn new methods for alleviating anxiety and implements ways for young people to identify when they are developing obsessions and giving into compulsions. Sadly, youth who do not receive such care may develop other mental illnesses or resort to unhealthy methods for coping, such as self-harm, if symptoms of OCD persist. Seeking care can prevent these outcomes and allow these youth to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives.
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. Maintaining our standing as the largest private provider of services to children and adolescents in the state, we strive to provide programming that emphasizes the individualization of treatment based on each child’s strengths. Our highly trained and qualified staff works towards increasing the self-esteem of all children who are entrusted into our care in order to build their confidence and increase their ability to successfully navigate through treatment. When children and adolescents come to us struggling with the symptoms associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder, we will do everything in our power to help them overcome their challenges while also teaching them the skills needed to embark on a bright and successful future.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Children and adolescents who battle obsessive-compulsive disorder can present with an array of symptoms. The following behaviors and thought processes may suggest that OCD is present in your child’s life:
- Ritualistic behaviors
- Rigid thinking pertaining to the order and arrangement of items
- Frequent hand washing or cleaning
- Inability to cope with change that disrupts ritualistic tendencies or behaviors
- Extreme anxiety when not able to control certain situations or environments
- Marked distress when not able to engage in ritualistic behaviors
- Poor functioning due to anxious feelings while at school, home, and/or in the community
As a caregiver, you can be your child’s advocate and consider treatment when this disorder is a factor in your child’s life. Below are some steps you can take to initiate treatment:
- Research treatment options that are catered to the needs of young people
- Contact a treatment center and inquire about their programs
- Consult with a mental health professional to determine which type of treatment option will meet your child’s needs
- Schedule an evaluation with a mental health professional at a treatment center so that you and your child can ask additional questions about the therapeutic process and begin treatment as soon as possible
Finally, it is important to remain part of your child’s treatment; doing this can solidify your child’s support system and help you acquire tools for assisting your child once he or she completes treatment and returns home.
Why Consider Treatment at Millcreek Behavioral Health
The ritualistic behaviors and intense desire to maintain control over one’s surroundings can prevent healthy functioning in a number of ways. Young people with obsessive-compulsive disorder may be unable to engage in social interactions with peers, achieve academically, or effectively cope with unexpected stress when obsessions and compulsions govern their whole being. Sometimes, the symptoms of OCD can be brought on by a trauma or other distressing trigger, which can further hinder a young person’s ability to develop emotional wellness and mental stability. Because this disorder can affect a youth on a developmental level, several options for treatment have been developed that can offer children and adolescents relief from this tormenting mental health condition.
When the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder envelop a young person’s life, a more intense form of treatment may be necessary to put an end to the obsessions and compulsions that are cornerstone to this disorder. Psychiatric residential treatment, an effective option for care that treats OCD, is available and affords youth who suffer from this disorder the ability to work towards and achieve healing that is lasting. Within psychiatric residential treatment, youth can gain a better understanding of how their obsessions and compulsions are halting their lives, as well as learn new tools for combatting intrusive obsessions and resisting overwhelming compulsions. Furthermore, children and adolescents in this type of treatment have access to mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, who can design treatment planning that addresses any and all presenting concerns, as well as the underlying issues that triggered the onset of this disorder. Those who engage and complete this type of treatment ultimately go on to lead happy lives without the stunting symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
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 to everyone with whom we come in contact. We pride ourselves in our quick response to inquiries and referrals, and 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 that are tailored to meet each of their specific needs, while simultaneously enhancing and building upon the strengths they already possess. We use a cognitive behavioral approach to therapy in our programs here at Millcreek, which ensures that maladaptive thinking patterns are changed and positive behaviors are reinforced. Research-based journaling is utilized throughout individual and group therapies, which assists patients as they find success in their own treatment path.
The dedicated staff at Millcreek Behavioral Health is 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, Exploration, Knowledge, Motivation, and Achievement, and is accompanied by identified safety levels that reward children on their progress through treatment. Such progress is acknowledged through each patient’s journaling and includes helping children identify triggers that lead to their behaviors, as well as helping them come to understand the importance of accepting the consequences of their behaviors.
The following therapeutic interventions are incorporated into the overall, comprehensive care provided to patients in our psychiatric residential treatment program:
Medication management: In some cases, children who are suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder may find relief from their symptoms through the implementation of certain psychotropic medications. Such needs will be determined on an individualized basis. We have board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists on staff and on call 24/7, as well as 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 designed to be a time for children to 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 a minimum of 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 a minimum of twice per month. We also afford children the ability to make phone calls or visit with their family on a regular basis, ensuring 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:
- Recreational therapy (held daily for all patients)
- Music therapy (including individual music and choir dance)
- Art projects
- Fitness club (intensive fitness programming is offered along with nutritional education)
- Walking club
- Book club
- Gym time (including activities such as flag football, volleyball, etc.)
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we understand how intimidating the end of treatment can be for many children and their families. 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 as the next, most appropriate level of care is determined. 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.