San Diego Center for Children - Serra Mesa

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San Diego Center for Children - Serra Mesa is a nonprofit rehab located in San Diego, California. San Diego Center for Children - Serra Mesa specializes in the treatment of mental health.

San Diego Center for Children - Serra Mesa Focus:

Mental Health

Mental Health Treatment Centers focus on helping individuals recover from mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, clinical depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and more. Mental health professionals at these facilities are trained to understand and treat mental health issues, both in individual and group settings.

Dual Diagnosis/Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment

Many of those suffering from addiction also suffer from mental or emotional illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety disorders. Rehab and other substance abuse facilities treating those with a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder administer psychiatric treatment to address the person’s mental health issue in addition to drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Rehab Services:

Psychotropic Medication

Psychotropic medications (aka psychodynamic medication) are any medicines used specifically to affect and/or alter a patient’s mind, emotions, and behaviors. Such psychiatric medicines are often used to change chemical levels in the brain that impact a person’s mood and behavior. These medications include mood stabilizers, antidepressants, anti-ADHD drugs, and anti-anxiety medications.

What does San Diego Center for Children - Serra Mesa offer?

Outpatient (OP)

Outpatient programs are for those seeking mental rehab or drug rehab, but who also stay at home every night. The main difference between outpatient treatment (OP) and intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) lies in the amount of hours the patient spends at the facility. Most of the time an outpatient program is designed for someone who has completed an inpatient stay and is looking to continue their growth in recovery. Outpatient is not meant to be the starting point, it is commonly referred to as aftercare.

Treatment Types:

Family Program

Research clearly demonstrates that recovery is far more successful and sustainable when loved ones like family members participate in rehab and substance abuse treatment. Genetic factors may be at play when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction, as well as mental health issues. Family dynamics often play a critical role in addiction triggers, and if properly educated, family members can be a strong source of support when it comes to rehabilitation.

Therapies Offered:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a therapy modality that focuses on the relationship between one's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It is used to establish and allow for healthy responses to thoughts and feelings (instead of unhealthy responses, like using drugs or alcohol). CBT has been proven effective for recovering addicts of all kinds, and is used to strengthen a patient's own self-awareness and ability to self-regulate. CBT allows individuals to monitor their own emotional state, become more adept at communicating with others, and manage stress without needing to engage in substance abuse.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a modified form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a treatment designed to help people understand and ultimately affect the relationship between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. DBT is often used for individuals who struggle with self-harm behaviors, such as self-mutilation (cutting) and suicidal thoughts, urges, or attempts. It has been proven clinically effective for those who struggle with out-of-control emotions and mental health illnesses like Borderline Personality Disorder.

Individual Therapy

In individual therapy, a patient meets one-on-one with a trained psychologist or counselor. Therapy is a pivotal part of effective substance abuse treatment, as it often covers root causes of addiction, including challenges faced by the patient in their social, family, and work/school life.

Trauma Therapy

Trauma therapy addresses traumatic incidents from a client's past that are likely affecting their present-day experience. Trauma is often one of the primary triggers and potential causes of addiction, and can stem from child sexual abuse, domestic violence, having a parent with a mental illness, losing one or both parents at a young age, teenage or adult sexual assault, or any number of other factors. The purpose of trauma therapy is to allow a patient to process trauma and move through and past it, with the help of trained and compassionate mental health professionals.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is any therapeutic work that happens in a group (not one-on-one). There are a number of different group therapy modalities, including support groups, experiential therapy, psycho-education, and more. Group therapy involves treatment as well as processing interaction between group members.

Couples Treatment

Whether a marriage or other committed relationship, an intimate partnership is one of the most important aspects of a person’s life. Drug and alcohol addiction affects both members of a couple in deep and meaningful ways, as does rehab and recovery. Couples therapy and other couples-focused treatment programs are significant parts of exploring triggers of addiction, as well as learning how to build healthy patterns to support ongoing sobriety.

Animal Therapy

Animal therapy (aka pet therapy or animal-assisted therapy) can be very healing, as it allows patients to bond with animals, who give unconditional love. This is particularly useful for those who suffered trauma by the hands of people, who may be able to trust and form closer attachments to animals than humans at certain stages of rehabilitation.

San Diego Center for Children - Serra Mesa Highlights:

At the very inception of the San Diego Center in February 1887 for Children were charitable community leaders wanting to provide to those less fortunate what government and social services could or would not do.
For over 130 years the need for behavioral health improvement in our children is great, but also ranges greatly based on level of need. The San Diego Center for Children is committed to a Continuum of Behavioral Healthcare for children and families to access better health, improved relationships and greater quality of life.
The Center is one of the handful of children’s behavioral healthcare organizations in California to have earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for accreditation. This prestigious recognition demonstrates our commitment to the national healthcare standards of The Joint Commission for the safety, quality of care and superior level of treatment we provide our community’s children and families.
Whether a child is referred by a parent or caregiver, the child’s school or through foster care, many of the behaviors presented at home and in school are generally consistent. And in many cases, these are significant indicators that the child needs attention and help.
School can be considered the child’s “workplace” and they have a need – and right – to receive a formal education. This education provides academic, living and social skills that sets a core foundation in a child’s life. When problems arise in the school setting, or a child is refusing to go to school, these are often indicators of larger issues that need to be addressed.
Behavioral health disorders can cause significant disruption at school and many times contribute to poor academic performance as well. When learning and school progress are affected, parents and caregivers may be able to work with the school to get the child on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP.) These plans outline various strategies and goals that can adjust the child’s school environment with a goal to improve overall performance.
When other models and therapies have been proven not effective, or a child presents such significant behaviors that it is no longer safe to live at home, Residential Treatment may be the necessary option to consider. At this intensive level of therapy, a child receives 24/7 supervision and support within with a structured environment to build various coping, communication, social and independent-living skills.
Each program approaches the behavioral care of each child with a focus on holistic wellness through comprehensive therapeutic programming and strength-based approaches. Additionally, our trauma-informed care approach implemented throughout our campus equips us to treat children and teens with sensitivity to backgrounds of physical and sexual abuse, or other types of severe trauma.
The core practice throughout all our programs is therapy. While we deliver proven and evidence-based practices, we also know that when engaged through other, more relevant forms, a child can actually make faster, more sustainable progress in their healing and skill-building.
Every child has a right and need to receive an education. This is a child’s primary “job” and sets the foundation for the academic, social and life skills learned during childhood. Having an education means being equipped with the tools and knowledge to direct their future and can have a great impact on a child’s direction in life. Behavioral health disorders should not impede a child’s ability to receive an education, experience success and realize full potential.
In a healthy and happy environment, what does a parent strive to give their child? These are the activities, events and celebrations that later bring fond memories of being a child. The camping trips, dance lessons, summer camps, birthday parties and so much more that are synonymous with the joy of childhood. Enrichment isn’t an “extra” as we can fund it. We know each child in our care needs – and deserves – to have their childhood rooted in feelings of joy, happiness and self-worth.
Our surroundings play a significant role in our overall health. The sounds around us, the noise levels, the smells, colors and textures, access to outdoors, fresh air and sunshine… not to mention the importance of a physically and emotionally safe environment, free of abuse, trauma and stress. You can receive all the counseling and skills to fill a lifetime, but based off the environment that surrounds you, health can either flourish or deteriorate.
This interwoven aspect involves our children, their families and our community. Within any program at the Center, our goal is to transition children back to a state of normalcy, health and well-being. Many treatments occur outside of “normal life” scenarios and in order to give real-life application, the integration back into the community – with newly-learned skills – is critical. It’s the experiences to teach about living independently, civic engagement, or how their individual strengths can change their world that give a sense of higher purpose and achievement.
Day School Available for patients

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  • LGBT Outstanding programs available
  • Men and Women Allowed
  • Facility for Children And Teenagers
  • Smoking is not allowed during the treatment
  • Bilingual therapists and staff (Spanish)
  • Hearing impaired friendly facility
  • Treatment for emotionally disturbed children
  • Special programs for patients with HIV or AIDS