Banner Thunderbird Medical Center is a hospital network spanning the greater Northwest that offers healthcare services to more than 1,000,000 people. The center was first formed as a community-based hospital in 1960 and, in 1985, a behavioral health branch was opened in Glendale, Arizona. By offering extensive psychiatric and chemical dependency inpatient and outpatient programs for adults, as well as an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for adolescents, Banner Thunderbird Medical Center offers hospital structured help for those wanting substance abuse and behavioral recovery.
Accommodations and Food
BTMC is a hospital, and as such, the 44-bed inpatient living facility is simple and utilitarian. Rooms are shared with one same-sex roommate and come equipped with twin beds; some also have TVs that clients are allowed to watch in the evening. Personal computers and cell phones are not permitted during treatment.
Food at BTMC comes from the hospital cafeteria. Meals are served three times daily and while the cuisine is nothing fancy, clients with dietary restrictions are always given extra options. Sugar and coffee are allowed.
Treatment and Staff
Treatment at BTMC is composed of three programs: inpatient, outpatient and intensive outpatient for adolescents. Inpatient treatment begins with an extensive assessment to determine the best individualized treatment plan for the client—a combo of individual therapy, group therapy, 12-step meetings, family therapy and a weekly meeting with the on-staff psychiatrist. Groups focus on understanding addiction, coping with cravings, relapse prevention and goal setting. BTMC does offer a medically-supervised detox for those who need it for an additional $1,000 a day (for three to seven days). If, after the initial assessment, BTMC believes a client is suffering from a co-occurring disorder, specialized therapy will be provided that focuses on both parts of the diagnosis.
Clients in outpatient treatment meet three times a week, either in the morning or the evening, for three hours. Individual, group and family therapy are still utilized in the outpatient program, with the focus on CBT and relapse prevention. Groups discuss long-term recovery, the disease of addiction, coping mechanisms and recovery tools.
BTMC’s intensive outpatient adolescent program meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for three hours. It is an eight-week program that uses CBT techniques on kids between the ages of 13 and 17 who struggle with suicidal ideation, emotional volatility, panic attacks and self-harming tendencies. All treatment is conducted by a team of licensed MFTs, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses and physicians.
BTMC offers a family program where adult family members of the client attend one family session per week to help them understand addiction and offer support to their loved one. BTMC’s aftercare program is a relapse prevention group that meets on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Although a hospital-like setting may be a deterrent for some, BTMC goes out of its way to provide individualized treatment plans for all their clients, helping them feel safe, secure and attended to during the crucial early months of sobriety. While BTMC’s program doesn’t offer many of the popular mindfulness techniques that nearly every treatment center at this price point, they do employ evidence-based treatment and a foundation of the 12 steps so that all clients have tools to stay sober once they have completed treatment. The family and aftercare programs at BTMC help clients build a safety net for themselves as they transition into their new sober life. For those who can afford it and are drawn to a more institutional facility, BTMC could be the spot.
Banner Thunderbird Medical Center
5555 W Thunderbird Rd
Glendale, AZ 85306
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