Mission & Philosophies
At PCH Center, we provide clinically sophisticated psychological treatment programs designed to help clients with psychological trauma, emotional dysregulation, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, OCD, personality issues, psychotic states, dual diagnosis and other mental health issues. We focus on helping clients manage their emotions, feelings, thoughts and behaviors to live a better life. The success, satisfaction, and well-being of our clients is our priority.
PCH is a primary mental health treatment center, not a drug and alcohol center that “also treats” psychological problems. PCH is owned and managed by clinicians and features a highly qualified and experienced clinical team that expertly manages moderate to severe mental health problems. We have over 50 doctoral and masters level therapists, each of whom have between 10 and 45 years of experience and are a part of one of our specialized treatment teams: individual psychodynamic therapy, individual cognitive behavioral therapy, group and family therapies and program management. We also have six board-certified psychiatrists on staff, acting as an adjunctive service to the psychological treatment team (as opposed to other facilities that use it as a primary form of treatment). Our experienced therapists and clinicians work hard to empower clients as they become more self-aware, self-sufficient, and skillful. We teach our clients to create and maintain their own sense of emotional control and wellness.
Avoiding Stigmatizing Labels and Diagnoses
PCH believes that clients do not benefit from psychiatric and psychological labels with negative connotations such as “Borderline Personality Disorder.” Rather than asking what is wrong with a client, we want to know what has happened to them. PCH views each client in the context of their past, present and future. We evaluate and treat psychological trauma and focus on symptoms and behaviors, not diagnoses. We believe that during times of stress every person moves into different, and sometimes less regulated states. Our goal is to provide insight to our clients and teach them tools and skills to stay out of these dysregulated states and to learn better ways of regulating their emotions when they are in them.
Real World Treatment Model
PCH clients live in a supportive home-like setting while participating in a daily immersive treatment program. We consider our treatment to be a hybrid model of acute and transitional care. At PCH Center, we foster as much autonomy as is safe and effective for each individual client. Therefore, medication is self-managed, family members are welcome to visit, and client residents are free to explore the rich cultural and recreational activities found in West Los Angeles and the Southern California region without being confined to a residential facility. Our model of treatment more closely replicates the “real world” to which clients will be returning following treatment. PCH is best-suited for people needing intensive psychotherapy who can manage their self-care and medications and maintain their own safety. Our clients do not need the restrictions that a psychiatric hospital or State Licensed Residential Treatment center demand. At the same time, we do not shy away from helping people with complex mental health challenges that other treatment centers may not be equipped to treat.
Minimizing Medications and Avoiding Addictive Substances
There is much controversy around medicating within the fields of psychiatry and psychology. We believe there is gross overuse of psychotropic medications. This can be related to misdiagnoses or unnecessary medicating. Our philosophy can be summarized as “careful medicating when needed.” Certain psychological states such as Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia necessitate the use of medication on a long-term basis. However, many psychological issues such as trauma-related personality issues and certain types of anxiety and depressive disorders may require medication for a limited period of time or may not require medication at all in the containment of our psychological milieu. Research supports that psychotherapeutic interventions, education and lifestyle modifications can be as efficacious as medication in the treatment of certain psychological issues.
At PCH Treatment Center we believe in using medication only when necessary. We find that many clients arrive at PCH on multiple medications including addictive substances. For example, a client may be misdiagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder and be on multiple mood stabilizers including antipsychotic medications. However, we may find that they do not have bipolar disorder, but in fact have personality issues involving emotional dysregulation. Emotional lability can mimic a mood disorder, and when a careful evaluation is not performed, a misdiagnosis may occur. At PCH Treatment Center, our psychiatrists frequently remove medications from a client’s regimen that they feel are unnecessary or counterproductive. We adamantly avoid addictive substances and will taper clients off of benzodiazepines and narcotics. Stimulants will be maintained only if clear evidence of attentional problems has been presented (such as psychological testing).
Diversity of Treatment Modalities
PCH Treatment Center offers a wide array of treatment modalities. We provide psychodynamic psychotherapy, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy. We supplement our primary individual therapies with Somatic Experiencing, Sensorimotor Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). We offer both Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and mentalization to address emotional lability. Our groups include process, trauma timeline, sleep hygiene, writing, and psycho-education. The PCH arts program helps clients to learn to self-regulate through drawing, painting, pottery, knitting, and music. PCH also incorporates an exercise and nutrition program and we have a Certified Nutritionist on staff to assist when needed. We also emphasize neurofeedback and holistic activities such as trauma-informed yoga, meditation, and mindfulness based stress reduction. We believe that providing clients with a variety of therapies and activities gives them a bigger toolbox to help themselves in the future. While some treatment centers focus on a single primary modality, we believe that clients benefit from exposure to many modalities, and they can find what works best to promote their healing and well-being.
Substance Abuse and Chemical Dependency
We do not treat people whose only issue is substance abuse, but rather focus our expertise on what we know best — psychological problems. However, we do treat those for whom chemical dependency is found in conjunction with psychological issues (dual diagnosis). At PCH, we will design a custom treatment plan and coordinate with a 12-step program when appropriate. At PCH, we find that substance abuse is frequently intertwined with deeper psychological issues which are often undiagnosed or ignored. For more information on how we treat dual diagnosis, contact us.