Residential Treatment and Day Treatment for Adolescents with Depression

Residential treatment in Atlanta is our most intensive level of care for teen depression treatment. Residential treatment often is the best next step for adolescents ages 14 to 17 leaving a hospital or acute care facility.

The goal of our teen depression treatment program is to help adolescent clients learn skills to manage symptoms and reduce impulsive behaviors. Family programming helps parents and other caregivers learn to support their teens effectively while fostering healing and growth for the whole family.

Effective Medication Therapy for Teen Depression

The Skyland Trail staff adolescent psychiatrist works individually with each adolescent client to determine if medications are appropriate to manage depression symptoms. Residential treatment allows the psychiatrist to work intensively with adolescent clients to adjust dosing incrementally to balance therapeutic benefits while addressing any potential side effects.

Evidence-based Therapy for Teen Depression

Adolescent clients in our treatment program for teen depression participate in individual and group therapy sessions focused on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with elements of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). This approach is referred to as DBT-informed CBT. Clients also participate in group based on ecological systems theory. Behavioral activation (BA) also is used to get teens active and engaged with their peers.

CBT for Teen Depression

Teens with depression often have developed negative or skewed beliefs about themselves and how they fit into the world. These negative thoughts become a lens through which they see the world. Negative beliefs about their self-worth or abilities may lead adolescents to isolate or withdraw from activities and relationships they once enjoyed.

Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches teens how reframe those negative thoughts and beliefs. CBT encourages adolescents to remove those negative filters and intentionally notice evidence that they are loved and that they are capable. Over time and with practice, teens can learn to have more control over their thinking. Healthy thoughts lead to improved mood.

Behavioral Activation to Improve Mood for Adolescents

In addition to changing thoughts, adolescents clients are encouraged to change their behaviors to improve mood. Teens learn the connection between what they eat and how they feel. They can see over time how exercising and being active with peers helps them feel less depressed and more connected. Sometimes when our depression tells us to isolate and stay at home in bed, we need to push ourselves to get up, get out and engage with the world.

DBT & Mindfulness to Improve Distress Tolerance

Elements of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are incorporated in individual and group therapy. DBT helps teens learn to be uncomfortable. Teens learn specific strategies to tolerate stressful situations without acting impulsively. Adolescents and their families also learn mindfulness skills. Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present moment without ruminating on the past or worrying about the future.

Adolescent Residential Treatment for Depression

Adolescents ages 14 to 17 entering the residential treatment program admit to the J. Rex Fuqua Campus. The J. Rex Fuqua Campus includes 26 units bedrooms and private bathrooms. Teens participate in a structured daily structure including evidence-based therapy, academic instruction, and expressive therapies like art and music therapy.