Elk River Review
In 2005, the Elk River Treatment Program (ERTP) was founded by a group of medical professionals as a co-ed residential treatment center, in Huntsville, Alabama. It offers specialized programs for troubled teens 12 to 18 dealing with behavioral and emotional issues, as well as drug rehab for teens struggling with addiction. It is accredited in Behavioral Health Care by The Joint Commission and its academic program is accredited by AdvancED/SACS. Clients do not fall behind in school while receiving care. This unique program insists that caregivers participate in the program’s family therapy component while their child is in treatment. ERTP provides a 12-step component to its overall holistic approach.
Accommodations and Food
Located on the 120-acre property are outdoor and indoor facilities that include a commercial kitchen, cafeteria/gym, fully equipped medical clinic with around-the-clock medical supervision, large school building with highly qualified and state certified teachers, horse barn, in-ground pool and cabins for advanced clients. The only electronics allowed are computers in school.
ERTP utilizes the outdoors as a therapeutic teaching tool. Boys and girls sleep separately in groups of six to eight in yurts that are heated and cooled. The yurts are constructed on wooden decks and are spaced so that an awake night staff can closely monitor for health and safety. All meals are planned by a dietitian and prepared by a former chef who has worked with at-risk teens for several years.
Treatment and Staff
Treatment at ERTP is heavily weighted on CBT but the program is not tied to one form of therapy. ERTP uses a therapeutic milieu or structured group setting in which members of the groups are expected to hold one another to following rules. More advanced residents are expected to model appropriate behavior for newer residents. If one violates the rules, others who were aware of the violation but did not intervene may also be responsible for the rule violation. Within the trusting therapeutic milieu of their group, patients often feel comfortable trying out new coping skills.
The length of treatment varies depending on the child’s issues and response to treatment. While in treatment with Elk River clients attend school for four hours a day, during weekdays. The remainder of the time and weekends are spent taking part in different therapies. Group and individual therapy, vocational training and equine-assisted learning as well as physical fitness classes are offered every day. Specialized group sessions available cover trauma, grief, abandonment, adoption and attachment issues, anger and defiance, co-occurring disorders like anxiety, ADD, ADHD and ASD, depression and bipolar disorder, as well as divorce and family issues and more which clients attend according to their individualized treatment plan. The treatment team meets often to re-evaluate clients’ progress while weekly updates and parent coaching are facilitated by clients’ primary therapist.
ERTP also offers on-site AA meetings and parenting workshops. ERTP staff includes licensed mental health professionals and support staff with Bachelor’s and Master’s level degrees in social services. Psychiatric care and medication management are coordinated by a child, adolescent and forensic psychiatrist while physicians and nurses provide any necessary medical care, 24/7.
ERTP provides evidenced-based treatment with the disciplined, highly structured and respectful environment necessary for life-changing discoveries to occur. The program uses the Counseling Stages of Change, motivational enhancement therapy and engagement strategies to provide a directive, person-centered approach to therapy that focuses on improving our clients’ motivation to change—leading to long-term positive outcomes.
Elk River Treatment Program Location
Elk River Treatment Program is a program of Pinnacle Behavioral Health, Inc. located at:
4812 Commercial Drive NW
Huntsville, AL 35816
Elk River Treatment Program Cost
ERTP is a private program that accepts private pay and private insurance.
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