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Helping Everyone Grow

WHAT WE TREAT

WHAT WE TREAT

PERSONALITY DISORDER

PERSONALITY DISORDER

The first goal we have when working with someone with a personality disorder is to utilize the therapeutic relationship and develop a trusting alliance with the client. Many clients with personality disorders struggle with this step and have been engaging in dysfunctional behaviors for long periods of time. After following these dysfunctional patterns of relating to others, the

patterns then become familiar and are repeated. Treatment has to begin with the recognition of that behavior. We work along with the client as they recognize that they are experiencing a problem in relationships. Clients with personality disorders develop belief systems that are fixated and rigid. Our attempt is to help clients understand that these are only symptoms and not who they are. Our intensive treatment approach has been successful at helping clients see that these ways of relating to others are symptoms of other underlying conflict. By engaging our clients in healthy and supportive therapeutic relationships, we prepare them to begin to address these conflicts. Borderline Personality Disorder: Those suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder need a very supportive environment in which they can feel motivated. People suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder experience intense feelings, and they will go to great lengths to avoid the intense pain associated with those feelings. Their feelings are not integrated. Rather, their feelings are split into good feelings and bad feelings, and they flip back and forth between them. At Balance, we work to help them integrate their feelings so that they can learn how to have one relationship in which all of their feelings can be expressed and valid.

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BIPOLAR DISORDER

BIPOLAR DISORDER

When treating Bipolar Disorder, Balance has a two-pronged approach. Our first goal is to stabilize the mood. We have experience in stabilizing mood with the least amount of medication. Ronald Sager, M.D. has over 50 years of specialization in the successful treatment of Bipolar Disorder. Dr. Sager has successfully treated hundreds of patients with Bipolar Disorder in levels of care ranging from

acute psychiatric inpatient units to outpatient settings. Our second goal, while clients are being stabilized with medication, is to focus on the identification of any personal conflicts that are making them more vulnerable to emotional instability. Part of the struggle with Bipolar Disorder is that everything is experienced to an extreme degree. It feels like you have the volume of the television on full blast. Any depression, anxiety or emotion is expressed to the extreme. Our intensive treatment approach goes beyond the day-to-day issues people face, and looks for the long-term character issues. We want to eliminate the components that cause the instability in mood.

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MAJOR DEPRESSION

MAJOR DEPRESSION

When treating Major Depression, our intensive approach is to attempt to identify all the unconscious contributions to the origin of the depression. We believe that these premises have broken down and no longer work for the client. Without identifying these early, flawed, negative beliefs about themselves, people are likely to continue the same cycles throughout their lives.

We use a psychodynamic and psychoanalytic approach and utilize nightmares, dreams, and fantasies to help us find the earliest false beliefs that clients have developed. Our approach is aimed at uncovering and restructuring these beliefs as a long-term solution for depression.

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PSYCHOSIS

PSYCHOSIS

Most people treating psychosis are afraid to approach the unconscious in a person experiencing psychotic symptoms. We initially work on stabilizing the psychosis in terms of the active positive symptoms with the least amount of medication. Once that is established, we work to trace the origin of these positive symptoms (i.e. hallucinations, delusions, intrusive thoughts) and

help the client identify their own unconscious conflicts contributing to the development of the psychosis. We are not afraid to pursue a psychotic symptom in order to trace the original conflict associated with the psychosis. Doing this work for many years, we have found that the psychosis has origins and is often a response or a solution that our clients have developed to help themselves when they feel overwhelmed with their thoughts and feelings. Once we work on alleviating the original thought and feeling and stabilize the medication, we find that the psychosis diminishes. Whereas other treatments only aim to contain the psychotic symptoms, we are trying to make changes to the underlying belief system. With our treatment approach, we can create change.

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PTSD AND TRAUMA

PTSD AND TRAUMA

The symptoms of PTSD and the symptoms of trauma can have devastating effects on people’s lives. People with trauma often also suffer from extreme anxiety. While this anxiety can be treated with medication, we further seek to address the pre-trauma conflict that becomes fixated by the trauma. Other treatment approaches focus on the trauma alone. At Balance, we work at a deeper

level addressing the pre-trauma conflicts utilizing leading forms of trauma therapy such as psychodynamic therapy, EMDR, and neurofeedback.

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ANXIETY

ANXIETY

Anxiety is a symptom. More often it is anticipatory anxiety and is a reflection of some unconscious problem that the person is experiencing. Their unconscious is attempting to warn them that they are getting into trouble. We try to identify why they believe that they are getting into trouble. Anxiety is difficult to treat because people often get anxious about their anxiety. Part of the

treatment is getting past this initial anxiety, and helping people recognize that anxiety is a signal to them of something else. It is an alarm that goes off to help them see that they are getting into trouble.

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ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISCORDER (ADHD) AND LEARNING DISCORDERS

ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISCORDER (ADHD) AND LEARNING DISCORDERS

At Balance, we understand that ADHD and learning difficulties are very complicated conditions. Often ADHD and learning difficulties are early symptoms that lead people to develop negative views of themselves. Many studies have concluded that children with ADHD later develop depression, anxiety or a variety of other mental disorders. This development can begin in

childhood. A child with ADHD can be so disruptive that teachers and others in their environment find them to be objectionable and treat them negatively. The child then develops a negative view of themselves and may go on to develop severe depression. Our treatment is to help ADHD symptoms with medication, when possible, but also to eradicate the negative self-image that the child developed as a result of their “bad behavior”. Because people with ADHD and learning disorders have experienced actual learning and behavioral difficulties, they believe that there is something wrong with them. When the environment, including teachers, peers, and even parents, treats them as objectionable, the belief that there is something wrong with them deepens. Our approach is to separate the two: to provide the client with a reassurance that they are not objectionable, and to help them deal with the other effects of the ADHD or learning disorder.

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GENDER AND SEXUAL IDENTITY

GENDER AND SEXUAL IDENTITY

Gender identity issues and sexual identity issues influence how people relate to themselves and to others. People in the process of understanding their sexual or gender identity need a very supportive environment as they may have formed wrongful negative beliefs about themselves. Our approach is aimed at uncovering and restructuring these beliefs to help them create a positive

experience of themselves. Our goal is to decrease the anxiety that evolves and can often develop into depression or other serious mental health concerns.

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DUAL DIAGNOSIS

DUAL DIAGNOSIS

Most programs for the treatment of dual diagnoses are geared toward helping people cope. That approach leaves people with the feeling that they are still flawed or broken, and their way out is to accept that and find ways to endure. We are attempting to go beyond that and actually make a change. People don’t have to feel that they have failed and can only seek to find a means of dealing

with that failure. Humans can go further. As long as people are alive, there is a possibility to change. At Balance, we look at why people use substances. Understandably, people have strong feelings, ideas and filters that vary to a large degree when it comes to addiction and how it is treated. The industry has over 50 different definitions for abuse and addiction, and there are a number of different treatment models practiced. Balance views substance use as a continuum ranging from using to addiction. Many treatment programs are geared toward the far end of that continuum. This neglects millions of people that fall in between, and often struggle to find their place in such programs. At Balance, we work to find the obstacles that are behind the beliefs people are holding perpetuating the idea that they can never change and leading to anxiety, depression and beyond. Uncovering these faulty, and often long-held beliefs, can finally end the recurring cycles of dual diagnosis behavior.

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FAMILY AND MARITAL DISSATISFACTION

FAMILY AND MARITAL DISSATISFACTION

All the programs at Balance involve strong family and relationship work as these are important components to providing treatment with lasting success. Building supportive relationships and learning to communicate are key. We work to reduce the amount of blaming, and we work with each family member in owning their contribution to the dynamic. We work with family members

on positive contributions and offer positive ways to communicate with all family members. We are not only listening, but also looking at the relational transactions in the family.

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ATTACHMENT

ATTACHMENT

Attachment is an essential component to mental health and wellbeing and can be the deepest unconscious problem. People hate the idea that they are dependent upon someone else. It may make them feel week and insecure or that someone has control over their life. People often have misperceived beliefs about attachment. They are afraid they will be used, abused, taken

advantage of, or rejected. Often the fear of dependency prevents people from getting the help they need. Some people need to learn how to be attached. We provide a safe environment where people can be authentic and learn to attach without getting hurt. Balance treats attachment through the therapeutic alliance and conceptualization of how attachment pertains to each of our clients. In our residential program, or staff is aligned and consistent, providing a 24-hour safety net. In our outpatient programs, we help clients identify behaviors that have interfered with their capacity to attach to other people and to the group.

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OPPOSITIONAL AND DEFIANT BEHAVIORS

OPPOSITIONAL AND DEFIANT BEHAVIORS

We have a structured group setting that allows clients to act out their oppositional behavior within the group, allowing them to identify how that behavior interferes with their capacity to form friendships. We emphasize the social aspect. The cycle is that by being oppositional people may be ostracized leading them to internalize the negative belief about themselves and become even more

oppositional. We are tolerant of clients’ stubbornness in the beginning, within limits. We work to help them identify how their behavior interferes with having the kind of relationships that they would like to have. We want to identify the root of the behavior. We don’t focus on the oppositional behaviors, but rather how those behaviors cause problem for clients with their friends and associates. Once we identify the origins, we work to make changes.

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