Reactive attachment disorder, also known as RAD, is a serious mental health condition that affects children and adolescents. Those who grapple with the symptoms of this condition are known to have a great deal of difficulty forming healthy relationships with others and abstaining from problematic behaviors, such overt aggression and hostile reactions, that ultimately render consequences that can significantly impact a youth’s life. The cause of this disorder is widely believed to be due to the occurrence of trauma during a young person’s formative years. At Southwood Psychiatric Hospital, we understand how disruptive RAD can be in the lives of youth and their families. As a mental health provider that specializes in the treating the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive concerns that plague young people, Southwood Psychiatric Hospital is dedicated to delivering high-quality care that greatly improves the lives of youth battling conditions such as reactive attachment disorder so that a healthier life can be realized and achieved.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Parents and caregivers of children and adolescents with reactive attachment disorder often experience a wide range of emotions when trying to effectively parent a youth with this condition. These emotions can include feelings of frustration as attempts to form a close bond with a child with RAD can seem futile when a symptom of this condition includes a hindered ability and desire to be emotionally and physically close with others. Additionally, some parents and caregivers may feel worry and even fear for their child with regards to his or her future as other emotional and behavioral disturbances often cause a number of obstacles in a youth’s life. As a parent or caregiver, you can be your child’s advocate and seek beneficial treatment that can ultimately improve your child’s life and alleviate the pervasive worry you may be experiencing. Consider doing the following:
- If you are unsure if your child is battling RAD, you can consult with a mental health professional to acquire a definitive diagnosis for your child.
- Should your child be diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, it is helpful to learn all that you can about this mental health condition.
- If you were not provided with referrals for treatment at the time of your child’s diagnosis, or if you strongly feel that your child is battling this illness and wish to engage your child in treatment, it is a good idea to research viable options for care that are specialized in treating young people.
- Contact your treatment provider of choice and ask about the process of admissions, types of treatment offered, and other details about the therapeutic process.
Finally, once your child is engaged in treatment, it is necessary to be an active participant in his or her care. By being part of your child’s treatment, you are showing your support, learning new methods for helping your child once he or she is home, and you can find your own support from professionals who understand how cumbersome it can be to parent of a child with reactive attachment disorder.
Why Consider Treatment at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital
Youth who have reactive attachment disorder typically experience a number of adversities when trying to function in healthy manner in several settings. At school, these young people often have a hard time forming healthy relationships with peers their own age and may get in trouble with school personnel more often due to acting out behaviors. Within a youth’s home environment, there may be increased conflict among siblings or discord with caregivers as children and adolescents with RAD lack closeness with loved ones and misbehave or display exceeding amounts of verbal aggressions towards others in the home. Furthermore, these young people may have more interaction with law enforcement and the legal system should these acting out behaviors become illegal. No less concerning than the aforementioned possibilities is the fact that many youth with RAD are susceptible to developing additional mental health concerns and/or substance abuse problems if treatment for this mental illness is not sought and received as soon as symptoms become apparent. What is important for caregivers, parents, and other loved ones to know, however, is that there are treatment options available that can significantly reduce the likelihood of these detriments occurring in a youth’s life.
Types of Treatment Offered at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital
As a foremost provider of child and adolescent mental healthcare, Southwood Psychiatric Hospital is devoted to providing the most effective mental health treatment, education, and assisted living services to youth who are battling emotional, behavioral, and cognitive concerns that are unique to young people. We believe that it is necessary to address and care for every need for each of our patients so that the most favorable treatment outcomes are the result. We believe all people are capable of change and possess the capacity to learn new skills and abilities that can serve well for a lifetime. Based on this belief, we facilitate a therapeutic environment that is conducive to healing and change so that each youth entrusted into our care has the opportunity to gain insight about his or her own life and develop positive skills for healthy functioning.
The methods for care utilized at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital include cognitive-behavioral approaches that implement crisis and reality theories. We believe that these approaches, coupled with a structured setting, produce lasting healing and promote interpersonal growth. Cornerstone to the care supplied by Southwood Psychiatric Hospital is individualized treatment planning within a therapeutic milieu that incorporates these approaches within several therapeutic methods. We also encourage each patient’s family to be involved in the therapeutic process so that every child and adolescent reaps the benefits of having ample support while bettering him or herself.
The following treatment methods are those that are featured within the programming offered at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital, methods that are proven to improve the lives of the population we serve:
Medication management: When symptoms of a mental health condition, such as reactive attachment disorder, or other co-occurring condition require the use of pharmaceutical intervention in order to alleviate said symptoms, the use of medication may be incorporated into a youth’s treatment plan. A psychiatrist assesses the need for medication and can then prescribe, monitor, and adjust the medication(s) if it is deemed necessary for a youth’s care.
Additionally medical personnel, such as nurse practitioners and nurses, assist in the supervision of medication management so that the most effective dosage of a given medication produces the most favorable results. These professionals have contact with patients on a daily basis.
Individual therapy: Held every other day on the child and adolescent inpatient units, individual therapy sessions are afforded to patients so that one-on-one time with a mental health professional can be had in order to help each youth process emotions and monitor treatment goals while in our care. This is a time in which a young person can talk about his or her successes and explore areas for improvement.
Family therapy: The involvement of each patient’s family is integral to the treatment at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital. We facilitate family therapy sessions at least one to two times over the course of a youth’s treatment. During family sessions, youth, caregivers, and other loved ones can work through familial conflicts, improve communication, and learn how to work as a team in ensuring lasting recovery from mental health concerns, such as the presence of reactive attachment disorder symptoms. Additionally, we put forth every effort to make sure each young person in our care is able to have contact with his or her family at least once a day.
Group therapy: A myriad of groups are part of the treatment feature in our inpatient programming. Groups allow patients to practice new skills that have been learned, receive additional support from our staff as well as peers, and learn new methods for managing emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Groups are held four times a day and are led by Master’s level clinicians, nurses, and other experienced professionals. Topics covered within these groups include the following and are based on the cognitive-behavioral therapeutic approach:
- Stress management techniques
- Social skill development
- Effective methods for coping
- Teamwork and team building skills
- The importance of and how to follow directions
- Recreation groups
- Anger management
- Diagnosis education
- Medication education
Experiential therapy: In order to encourage creative expression and stress the benefits of physical activity, Southwood Psychiatric Hospital incorporates numerous experiential therapies into its inpatient programming. The following are examples of the experiential therapies patients are able to participate in during the course of treatment:
- Opportunities for recreation outside
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
While the programming offered within Southwood Psychiatric Hospital is focused on patients being able to achieve their treatment goals, we remain dedicated to helping those who come to our hospital for care in succeeding once they have completed their treatment. From the moment a youth is admitted into one of our programs, our staff begins formulating aftercare recommendations that will meet the child or adolescent’s needs. Inpatient treatment, by nature, is designed to stabilize a youth so that the therapeutic process can continue at a lower level of care. Therefore, we conduct an ongoing assessment of needs in order to ensure that referrals to another treatment provider will help a patient continue his or her success long after leaving Southwood Psychiatric Hospital.
Our staff of compassionate and caring professionals will work in collaboration with each youth and his or her family to establish how the youth will retain skills learned and which services in the community will refine and build upon those skills.
Whatever your child or adolescent’s mental health needs may be, let Southwood Psychiatric Hospital be your treatment provider of choice when trying to help your child achieve the life that he or she deserves.