The PCH Approach to Depression
PCH Treatment Center has a unique approach to treating depression. We have extensive experience treating mild to severe depression which frequently occurs in conjunction with anxiety and other psychological issues. Traditional treatment of depression focuses on medical management with or without psychotherapy. At PCH Treatment Center, our first line of treatment for depression is psychodynamic psychotherapy along with an aerobic exercise program and exposure to a wide array of psychotherapeutic and holistic sessions and activities. Our emphasis is on optimizing a person’s sleep habits, nutrition, exercise activities, relationships and even work and family environments. Our psychiatrists evaluate each client’s medication regimen and adjust or optimize it accordingly. Often, when a client is in our treatment milieu, medications can be tapered or eliminated, as determined by our medical staff.
Each client, upon arriving at PCH Treatment Center, receives a thorough initial assessment. This assessment explores the client’s specific symptoms and the effect these symptoms have had on their day to day functioning. Interference with work, school, interpersonal relationships, and overall sense of well-being is common for a person suffering from depression. After admission, each client is evaluated by a member of our psychiatric team, to evaluate and optimize their medication regimen. Clients with depression are assigned to a specific program director and individual therapist; these clinicians have extensive experience treating depression and any co-occuring psychological issues that may exist. For example, most people suffering from depression have experienced a significant loss of some kind. It may be the loss of a love one, a relationship, a job or an experience of psychological or physical trauma. Most people with depression also suffer from moderate to severe anxiety. Also, personality issues may further contribute to the depression.
At PCH Treatment Center, we offer in-residence and day treatment programs that focus on the treatment of depression. Our intensive programs feature four individual psychodynamic psychotherapy sessions per week with a fifth day session of somatic experiencing or sensorimotor therapy. Group therapies including mentalization, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), trauma timeline, mindfulness-based stress reduction, process group and sleep hygiene are complemented by neurofeedback sessions, and holistic modalities including yoga, meditation, and as discussed, an aerobic exercise program. We find that most persons suffering from depression feel debilitated and apathetic, which contributes to a lack of structure in their day. Someone who lacks meaning or purpose and feels they have “no where to go” will experience feelings of depression. At PCH Treatment Center, our full daily schedule provides that essential structure needed to help the person suffering from depression to recover a sense of meaning and purpose. Our programming provides insight and tools to allow them to not only become less depressed, but to insulate them from future depression when life’s inevitable conflicts and losses occur.
An integral part of all of our intensive programs is the PCH Family Therapy Program. Included in the first month of intensive treatment is a three-day family weekend. During this time, clients and their families learn from our clinicians about how to create an optimal home environment, how to provide appropriate support, how to identify warning signs and how to live with their family member’s psychological problems in the most beneficial manner possible. Families also interact and learn from other families and clients. Individual family sessions can also be arranged (not included with the program), to allow continued work between the client and family and the family on their own.
At PCH Treatment Center, we believe our staff of clinicians is one of the most experienced and successful at treating even the most difficult cases of depression (with or without other co-occuring psychological issues). PCH Treatment Center receives clients with depression from other treatment centers, hospitals and referring clinicians all over the country. We pride ourselves on our ability to treat depression and we offer a unique approach that is predicated on the clinical experience of our psychologists, psychiatrists and staff, our therapeutic milieu, and our unique and highly-refined clinical programming.
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