Residential Treatment and Day Treatment for Adults with Depression

At Skyland Trail, we tailor the treatment plan to each individual. In addition to optimizing the use of pharmacologic therapies, our holistic recovery program gives our clients the opportunity to learn about their illness and practice skills and strategies to cope with emotions and situations that may trigger depression.

Residential treatment is our most intensive level of care for depression treatment. Residential treatment often is the best next step for adults leaving a hospital or acute care facility. Adults with depression may also admit directly to our day treatment program in Atlanta.

Effective Medication Therapy for Depression

Effective medication management is an important tool to reduce the symptoms of major depression. While there is no one recipe for success, our six staff psychiatrists are all skilled at developing an effective medication strategy for each client, one that improves mood, concentration and energy, while minimizing side effects.

Melissa C and anxiety

“Skyland Trail provided me with a community, with a wealth of skills to manage my mental illness and with a perfect launching pad for my journey to self-love.”

Melissa's Story >>

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Depression

Clients with no symptoms of psychosis likely will participate in our cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) specialized recovery community.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a well-tested specialized type of psychotherapy shown to be effective in treating depression. CBT suggests that individuals' thoughts, behaviors, and feelings are inextricably linked and affect one another. The goal of CBT is to control and change thinking, actions, and feelings through collection and use of observable data. Homework assignments and peer group reflections help in that process.

CBT focuses on what a person is experiencing here and now; it is not focused on going back and reviewing the hurts of your childhood. While we acknowledge the role or your past on your current illness, we focus treatment on the present, specifically on recalibrating thinking.

Our CBT recovery community is led by clinicians with specialized expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy. Ultimately, clients learning CBT develop skills to prevent mood problems, intrusive thoughts, and problematic behaviors from diminishing their quality of life.

CBT for Depression

Skyland Trail psychiatrist Dr. Mary Burns describes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and how it is used to treat depression.

Treatment of Depression with TMS

Skyland Trail offers transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as a service for our residential and day treatment clients. TMS is an FDA-approved noninvasive treatment for adults with depression. TMS uses a low intensity magnetic pulse to create an electrical current in the brain. The electrical current is narrowly targeted to stimulate the left prefrontal cortex, which is implicated in depression. Multiple studies have indicated that TMS is an effective treatment for major depressive disorder with low risks and minimal side effects. TMS may be an appropriate and effective therapy for adults:

  • with treatment-resistant depression
  • whose depression symptoms have not responded to medications
  • who cannot take antidepressant medications due to allergies or other contraindications

Depression and Alcohol or Substance Use

If clients need help recovering from a substance use problem, we help them address both their depression diagnosis and their substance use issue simultaneously, which research shows is essential for full recovery.

Clients with co-occurring substance use disorders are assigned to a recovery community like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to address the symptoms of depression as well as an additional dual diagnosis (DD) recovery community. Clients in the dual diagnosis recovery community meet in an additional daily group focused on understanding the addictive process, managing cravings, utilizing community supports and preventing relapse.

Tony's Story

Tony struggled with depression and substance use. Residential treatment at Skyland Trail helped him make important changes and reclaim his life.

Depression and Psychosis

Some people who have major depressive disorder also experience psychosis, often in the form of paranoia. Young adults may experience a first episode of psychosis (FEP) as part of a depressive episode. Medication is critically important for psychosis because everything gets worse every next day someone lives with untreated psychosis.

Young adult clients ages 18 to 24 experiencing depression with psychosis, likely will enter the cognition and first episode (CAFE) recovery community. Clients ages 25 and older with depression and psychosis likely will enter the social integration (SI) recovery community. Once the psychosis is resolved through medications and therapy, clients may transition to the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) recovery community if clinically appropriate.

All clients experiencing psychosis participate in computer-based cognitive training to prevent cognitive decline and improve executive functioning.

Depression and Trauma

Trauma – particularly when experienced in early childhood – is very predictive of developing all mental illnesses, including depression. Skyland Trail practices trauma-informed mental health care. Trauma-informed care allows trauma survivors to first address the symptoms of a diagnosed mental illness like depression before processing their trauma.

Throughout treatment, care providers acknowledge that the client has experienced trauma and validate the emotions arising from that experience. But the treatment team does not ask the client to describe or re-live the trauma in any way. Treatment strategies are focused on helping the client develop skills to handle difficult emotions and stressful situations in healthy ways.

Completing trauma-informed psychiatric treatment for a mood disorder like depression allows clients to develop insight, adopt skills, and build a strong foundation for healthy living. Clients who are trauma survivors  are then better prepared and equipped to pursue formal trauma treatment with a specialized mental health provider.

Help for Young Adults Experiencing Depression

People of all ages can experience depression. However, many people experience their first episode of major depression as a young adult. Some young adults may have been dealing with symptoms of depression for years with help from their families and support networks, but new situations or stressors exacerbate their symptoms. Such situations or stressors might include:
  • Going to college
  • Having new financial responsibilities
  • Experimenting with alcohol or substances

If young adults do not have healthy coping skills and an effective treatment strategy in place, they may find themselves in crisis or unable to function on a day-to-day basis.

We offer more than 150 different groups each week. Some groups are more general and are appropriate for clients of all ages and diagnoses. Other groups are more specialized. Examples of groups that address the unique challenges of young adults are those focused on healthy relationships in young adulthood, identity and insight, and social and assertiveness skills.

Understanding Midlife Depression

Many adults in their 30s, 40s, 50s or older begin to struggle with depression in new ways as an older adult. Medical problems and the losses we experience as we age can affect how we view ourselves and how we relate to the world.

Treatment of Chronic or Treatment-Resistant Depression

Skyland Trail's residential and day treatment programs for major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder are also effective for midlife, mid-career, and older adults. Transitions in this stage of life can trigger an episode of depression after several years of remission. Some triggers might include:<

  • the death of a parent
  • becoming a parent
  • losing a job
  • experiencing divorce

Other individuals may have struggled with depression symptoms for many years, trying different medications and therapies without getting better.

We offer more than 150 different groups each week. Some groups are more general and are appropriate for clients of all ages and diagnoses. Other groups are more specialized. Examples of groups that address the unique challenges of this age group are those focused on loss and grief, finding work-life balance, anger and acceptance, codependence, and healthy relationships in middle to late adulthood. A men's peer support group, women's peer support group, and LGBTQ peer support group also are offered as part of the holistic curriculum.

Treatment-Resistant Depression

Specialized, evidence-based treatment can help people battling treatment-resistant depression reduce their symptoms, improve functioning, and feel better.

A Holistic Approach to Wellness

In addition to medication and therapy, through our horticulture, arts and music programs, individuals can build confidence, identify and externalize potentially difficult feelings, and address symptoms through creative expression and social interaction. We provide education about the increased risk for medical diseases and help prevent those diseases through our primary care and wellness program.

Our clients have the opportunity to explore potential spiritual resources through interfaith spiritual counseling. And, because an important part of therapy for individuals with depression is shifting their focus outside of themselves, our clients participate in organized humanitarian efforts and in our  vocational services program to set and work toward goals for school, work or volunteer activities.