Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) was founded in 1975 with hopes of providing quality adolescent mental health counseling both privately and at a number of schools in central California’s Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Since then, it has opened several locations throughout the region. In 1991, ASC began offering substance abuse treatment to adolescents in their Palo Alto office. The facility offers Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and outpatient programs to adolescent males and females suffering from drug and alcohol related problems.
Treatment and Staff
The treatment process at ACS begins with a three-hour assessment with the counselor, client and his or her family members. This meeting covers family history, a private discussion with the teen about their substance abuse history and emotional health, as well as the counselor’s professional recommendations for the client, including whether the IOP or outpatient program is a better fit. If the counselor determines the client needs a higher level of care, he or she is referred to an outside residential or detox program.
The IOP lasts for 16 weeks with clients meeting for nine hours a week, while the outpatient program lasts for 12 weeks and convenes for four hours each week. Both programs consist of group and individual therapy. The meetings take place in the evenings from 6:00pm to 7:30pm as to not conflict with the client’s academic schedule. The group meetings consist of relapse prevention, CBT and teaching coping skills and mindfulness.
ACS offers adolescent AA meetings once a week and clients are required to attend these while in the program. These meetings consist of only other teen clients and graduated clients. Clients are also highly encouraged to find a sponsor while in the program.
Both the groups in the IOP and outpatient programs consist of only ten to 15 clients at a time. The groups are run by a licensed MFT as well a number of interns who have completed schooling for counseling but are still in the process of coming certified. The program is dual diagnosis and offers mental health counseling to clients with co-occurring disorders through ACS’s Community Counseling Program.
ACS offers a family program that consists of group meetings with all of the families and clients in the program as well as individual meetings with just the client and his or her family. Both meetings focus on healthy communication tactics in the home and how to heal in the wake of active addiction. Both the group and individual meetings are required for the IOP and recommended, but not mandatory, for the outpatient.
ACS also offers both on-site and on-school-campus LGBT support groups for adolescents through their “Outlet” program. These groups are offered at different schools and locations in the Santa Clara and San Mateo County areas. The groups generally meet either weekly or bi-weekly.
Although ACS does not have an official aftercare program, counselors determine a follow up program for the client with specific goals to prevent relapse. Clients are recommended to come back to the 12-step meetings on a regular basis.
Adolescent Counseling Services is a great fit for adolescent clients in the Palo Alto area who need outpatient treatment that easily accommodates their school schedule. The focus on including family members in the process allows clients and their family to heal and grow together. Also, the adolescent AA group provides teen clients with the ability to share and connect with other teen clients, an alternative to potential discomfort or hesitation around sharing with adult members at a normal AA meeting.
Adolescent Counseling Services
1717 Embarcadero Rd, Ste 4000
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Adolescent Counseling Services Cost: Sliding scale. Reach Adolescent Counseling Services by phone at (650) 424-0858 or at [email protected]. Find Adolescent Counseling Services on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube
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