Frequently Asked Questions



How long do your treatment programs last?

The average stay for young people at our Paradigm Treatment Centers is between 30-45 days.  Our programs are designed to be intensive and thorough, which allows most teens to make meaningful, sustainable changes in their lives, in this amount of time.  Our many years working with young people and families has shown us that intensive and brief treatment is the most successful approach, for supporting teens to get the help they need and then return to their families and everyday lives.  Along these lines, we never make the recommendation for a teen to stay longer than 30 days up front, but only offer extensions on a case-by-case basis, if this is something the treatment team and family thinks is best.

Who provides treatment and how is this different from other programs?

Of all the things that set Paradigm Treatment Centers apart from the rest, it’s our team of highly skilled, world-class professionals that make us most proud, every day.  Each of our teams at our Paradigm Treatment Center locations is made up of certified and/or licensed professionals who have dedicated their careers to working with and helping young people and their families.  The core of our Paradigm Treatment Centers team has been working together for more than 15 years and all of our therapists, teachers, and staff members are devoted to supporting teens to address their struggles at the deepest levels possible, in order to make meaningful changes that will radically improve their lives.

Who else will my child be in treatment with, at a Paradigm Treatment Center?

Many treatment centers don’t have strict admissions criteria, which leaves teens and families very vulnerable to an unpredictable treatment environment, where teens might be introduced to new dangers and/or unhealthy behaviors.  This aspect of treatment should be carefully considered by parents.   At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we’re dedicated to a screening process that allows us to carefully consider how each young person will fit into the larger treatment environment.  We’re committed to a safe, supportive environment where each teen is benefitting as well as contributing to a healthy therapeutic space and to this end, we don’t accept young people with any known history of violence, fire starters, sexual perpetrators, affiliations with gangs, or any sort of history of behaviors that put others at risk.

How often do teens receive individual therapy?

At all of our Paradigm Treatment Center locations, teens receive one-on-one therapy sessions every day while in treatment.  These sessions are with teens’ lead therapists and serve as the cornerstone of their treatment plans, with group sessions and therapeutic groups providing an excellent supplement.  Our experience has shown us that while group therapy sessions can be extremely beneficial and useful in treatment young people, individual therapy sessions are necessary in order to ensure teens are addressing their struggles at the deepest emotional level.  Whereas teens can often benefit from group reflection and processing, it’s the consistency of individual sessions that help keep teens focused and on track with making insights into themselves which will promote positive change in their lives.  Because of this, when facilities only provide one or two individual sessions per week, valuable opportunities are missed and the treatment time is undermined, as a result.

Who owns and operates Paradigm Treatment Centers?

At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we strongly believe in transparent, clear communication about all aspects of the treatment experience.  We believe parents and teens have a right to know who operates any treatment program they are considering, which is why for each of our Paradigm Treatment Centers, all team members are listed on our website staff pages, and the Paradigm founders are listed with complete bios.  Families with teens at Paradigm Treatment Centers interact directly with the founders and team members, including cell phone numbers and emails.  We are dedicated to ensuring that we meet or exceed each family’s expectations of the Paradigm Treatment Center experience and pride ourselves in open, honest, frequent communication every step of the way.

How does treatment affect school work?

Many young people that come to us are currently struggling in school, and feel overwhelmed at the idea of taking time off.  Many teens experience high anxiety or stress in school and may feel hopeless as to how to make the appropriate changes, to do better.  At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we understand that school is a central responsibility in teens’ lives and often a central source of stress as well.  Because of this, we’ve designed an educational program that addresses each teen’s unique academic needs, whether it be getting back on track; figuring out new, improved learning strategies; receiving individual tutoring; reducing stressful academic situations; and/or finding healthier ways to cope with demanding AP and/or honors classes.  To meet the varying and unique academic needs of young people, each Paradigm Treatment Center has an on-site teacher who collaborates with therapists.  We also provide academic tutors from local universities to provide teens with the additional individual support they need to be successful.

Do I have to do chores while I’m in treatment?

At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we want the focus of teens to be to their therapy and self-care, so that they can make the very best use of each moment they’re in treatment.  We have a full-time housekeeping staff that addresses all household needs and we only ask teens to pick up after themselves and maintain their own bedrooms.  We don’t believe in punishing teens or motivating behaviors by giving them chores.  It continues to surprise and disappoint us how many treatment programs require excessive chores and implement different labor responsibilities, as a way of trying to shape behaviors and/or “humble” young people.  This is simply not part of the Paradigm approach to treatment.

What kinds of assessments and diagnostic testing takes place as part of treatment design?

We firmly believe that a treatment plan’s strength is a direct result of the assessments upon which it’s based. To this end, we incorporate a number of different assessments for each teen admitted to a Paradigm Treatment Center, which provide the information which is then used in the treatment design process. These assessments include addressing teens’ social, academic, physical, nutrition, and behavioral needs and include but are not limited to evaluations by: a Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, a licensed clinical psychologist, a Nutrionist, a specialist in addiction, and a Teacher. These team members work together to build a complete assessment which considers and addresses the teen as a whole person. The result is that Paradigm treatment goes above and beyond just addressing symptoms and behaviors, and provides the foundational support and tools necessary for teens to radically change their lives and improve their overall well-being.

It’s worth noting how and to what degree our methods differ from so many other treatment programs insufficient diagnostic approaches. Unfortunately, many treatment programs simply use an unlicensed professional who considers outward symptoms in order to determine if the teen warrants further examination by a professional. Even in cases where teens do meet with a psychologist, the process is often hurried and limited, usually only with the goal of recognizing enough symptoms that a diagnosis and subsequent treatment plan can be generated, regardless of myriad other factors which may be contributing to teens’ current needs and struggles. The result is unfortunately often incomplete, if not improper, treatment, which leaves teens vulnerable to continued struggles.

What will be asked of other family members?

Parents and family members play an integral role in our teen treatment programs and we strongly believe that family participation is imperative in order to ensure the most successful and thorough treatment experience possible.  With this said, we fully appreciate that sometimes family members are unable to participate in person, due to geographic location and/or work commitments, which is why we offer family sessions and other services by phone, Skype, or any other means that best work for the family.  We have numerous family programs designed to help educate and support family members, including Individual Family Therapy, Group Family Therapy, Sibling Support Groups, Parent Effectiveness Training and Education, Parent Coaching, and more.  Furthermore, our therapists and team members are available to answer questions and offer guidance throughout the entirety of the treatment process.  Lastly, we also offer free ongoing after-care services for all families.

Do you use phase systems and/or point systems?

None of our Paradigm Treatment Centers implement any sort of phase systems, point systems, or other outdated forms of behavior modification. We strongly believe that in order to support young people to make lasting meaningful changes in their lives, the motives of treatment must be transferable to their everyday lives. In short, we believe it’s our responsibility as treatment providers to help teens recognize the deepest value in their recovery and therapy, and to base efforts and changes off their own understanding and desire for better, happier lives.

It’s unfortunate and all too common how many treatment facilities continue to use manipulative, archaic techniques to try to alter teens’ problematic behaviors. One of the primary reasons for this is using point systems is indeed the cheapest and easiest way to provide treatment. However, successful treatment requires a much more sophisticated, thorough approach which supports teens to do the difficult introspective work necessary in order to identify and treat the roots of the struggles in their lives.

Do Paradigm Treatment Centers provide gender specific treatment?

Paradigm Treatment Centers provides treatment that is gender specific and furthermore, is designed to meet each teen’s individual unique needs, in every respect.  This treatment design approach allows us to support young men and women to focus on aspects of their struggles as they relate to gender and which can be particularly challenging during adolescence.  With this said, we believe it’s important to support young people to learn healthy behaviors and practices in a setting that emulates their lives.  This way, if issues or challenges do arise, we can work with teens to address and process them, during the course of treatment.  Therefore, while some treatment centers segregate genders or only treat one gender, we choose to avoid treatment approaches that create an artificial environment, which might allow teens to thrive temporarily, only to be faced again with struggles, once they return to their lives, in a co-gendered world.  By providing treatment in the setting we do, we’re able to support teens to process any struggles they might have, and learn to form and maintain healthy relationships with people of both genders, both in the treatment setting as well as in their lives.

Will my family’s confidentiality be protected?

At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we take confidentiality very seriously and our efforts to protect each client and family’s privacy exceed the highest industry regulations and standards.  Every employee undergoes a thorough background check and signs a strict confidentiality agreement.  We take great pride in the approach our team takes to confidentiality and privacy here at paradigm and are happy to say we’ve never had a breach of confidentiality.

Are teen treatment programs different from adult treatment programs?

Adolescents have needs that are specific to their time of life and their emotional, physical, social, and mental development.  As such, successful teen treatment requires a different approach, knowledge base, skill set, and environment than treating adults.  Because of this, it’s important to know if a treatment center and its staff have experience in successfully treating adolescents and if the program has been built to address these unique needs and struggles of teens.  When it comes to the individual staff members providing treatment, Paradigm Treatment Centers prides itself in having a team of people who has dedicated their education and careers toward treating young people.  Paradigm Treatment Centers are dedicated exclusively to adolescent treatment.

Do you provide any other services besides residential treatment?

At Paradigm Treatment Centers, our exclusive focus is residential adolescent treatment.  We don’t just funnel clients into other programs after a given period of time, but offer unique treatment approach and experience that helps young people to recover, heal, and then get back to living their lives.  We believe this single focus is reason for much of our ongoing success.

When I come to Paradigm, what do I need to bring with me?

Please bring comfortable clothing to last between 7-10 days. Depending on the location of the facility you’re entering and season, you may want or need to include layers such as jackets, coats, and/or boots. We also recommend that teens bring their own grooming supplies such as the soap and shampoo they prefer. Paradigm provides blankets, pillows, and towels, though teens are welcome to bring their own, if they prefer. Teens are also able to bring a stuffed animal, photos, or other items that might help add a personal touch to their room and/or provide a sense of comfort, while you’re in the program. Please keep in mind that we discourage teens from bringing highly valuable items that are irreplaceable and/or sentimental, as we can’t guarantee their safety.

In order to protect the healthiest therapeutic environment for everyone and to keep everyone emotionally and physically safe, we prohibit the following items: cell phones, cameras, audible music players, personal computers, alcohol, non-prescription drugs, and/or any clothing or music that promotes violence or drug use in some way.

Do you use the 12-Steps in your programs?

At Paradigm Treatment Centers, each treatment plan is designed according to the individual teen’s specific needs and goals.  We draw upon a wide range of strategies and modalities, and therefore only implement the 12-Steps as one part of a greater treatment plan, in cases when it’s best suited to the teen.  This not only ensures that all of teens’ specific needs are met, but better equips us to address the underlying clinical factors which may be impacting behaviors, and therefore support teens to achieve a deeply rooted sobriety.

Are parents and family members allowed to visit teens during treatment?

Yes.  We strongly believe that treatment is a time to promote open, honest communication and to strengthen family relationships.  Parents may call their children any time they wish and teens are able to call their parents any time as well, so long as it’s deemed clinically appropriate.  Each Paradigm Treatment Center location hosts a Family Day each Saturday. In cases where parents are unable to visit on Saturdays, we’re happy to make special arrangements to accommodate you on another day.  We also recognize that sometimes during treatment, there is a special family occasion such as a wedding or other event, which is important for the teen to attend.  We understand the value of these experiences and are happy to work with families on an individual basis in order to ensure that teens can stay engaged in important family events.

I use drugs because I feel anxious and sad. Can you help me?

Yes.  It’s extremely common for young people to have feelings of depression and anxiety, and in order to find relief, turn to alcohol and/or drug abuse.  When teens are struggling with a mental health condition along with substance abuse, this is called Co-Occurring Disorders and is very common among teens.  Our program is designed to help you sort through and address all different aspects of your current experience and specializes in diagnosing and treating Co-Occurring Disorders.  In order to do this, we have a wonderful team full of professionals that can provide you with a comprehensive assessment, and then an intensive and individualized treatment plan.  The goal is not just that we will help you overcome your substance abuse behaviors, but we will work with you to address the deeper reasons for anxiety and sadness and help you to find answers and relief that will last.

My teenager is out of control. If I’m considering a wilderness treatment program, should I also consider a Paradigm Treatment Center?

When searching for a treatment option that will best fit your child, it’s important to identify what your goals are and how the treatment process may or may not meet those goals. There are many different experiential and wilderness programs, some of which offer quality services. Depending on your child’s particular needs, we encourage you to ask questions that will help you understand how the program might directly support your teen. How many adolescents return home after a 45-90 day stay? Are there services available to help teens address academic challenges and/or needs? Is there a diagnostic and treatment process in place for complex and/or Co-Occurring Disorders? Are families involved in the treatment process and if so, how often? How does the treatment plan design get carried out and how will it ensure my teen’s specific struggles are addressed?

I already have a therapist. Can they be involved in my treatment?

Yes. We believe that support teams for young people are instrumental in helping them to make positive changes which will improve their lives, and fully respect the important role that mentors, teachers, and/or counselors play in teens’ lives. With the consent of the teen and parents, we welcome these people to be a part of the treatment process, in helping teens to successfully engage in their therapeutic work, and to transition smoothly back into their lives, following treatment.

I have to go to court because I was caught with marijuana. Is there anything your programs can do to help with this?

Sometimes adolescents enter treatment because of legal matters.  In these instances, we’re specially equipped to assist with these matters and have multiple staff members available to help you to navigate questions and intricacies of the legal process and system. We also have a number of relationships with established judges who are familiar with the meaningful work we do with young people, and our experience has made us knowledgeable and aware of what the courts need to see, as a result of the treatment process.  With this said, please note that it’s never our goal or motivation to assist young people in the avoidance of natural consequences, but we will work with teens and families to address their mistakes responsibly and thoroughly, so that errors made from chemical dependency and/or a mental health conditions do not result in permanently blemished records.

Do you have to wait until a teen “hits bottom” before they will be ready for treatment?

No.  It’s a somewhat common but false belief that teens need to hit bottom before they’ll be ready to receive help.  In the vast majority of cases, however, teens tend to go too long before ever talking openly to someone about what they’re thinking and feeling, which only leads to symptoms progressing and growing more severe.  We believe that teens deserve the help they need today and there’s no reason to wait a day longer than necessary or to let teens continue to struggle on their own.  Research shows that the earlier treatment begins following the onset of the illness, the easier it will be to treat and the quicker teens are likely to experience relief.

Does Paradigm accept insurance?

Yes.  Paradigm Treatment Centers accept insurance payments from most companies and we offer assistance in the pre-authorization process, in order to help families understand what financial commitments might be.  To learn more specific details on this process, please call us or visit our Insurance page.

What other payment options are there, beside insurance?

If you believe that a Paradigm Treatment Center is right for your teen, we are committed to helping families find the financial solution that will work best for them.  We offer a number of different financing options, in addition to insurance.

What happens when I go home?

Your entire treatment plan is focused on the day you return home.  This is because all of the therapy sessions, group activities, and therapeutic classes you take during treatment are designed to be directly applicable to the real challenges and joys of your everyday life.  We work directly with teens and families to ensure they have proper support in place at home, in order to sustain and continue the growth and progress teens have made, while at Paradigm.  Furthermore, we provide free ongoing after-care services, including individual and family sessions (either by phone or in person), parent support services, and case management.

What if I have another question that hasn’t been answered here?

If you have questions for us we haven’t answered here, please give us a call. Whether you or your loved one comes to a Paradigm Treatment Center or not, our first priority is to provide people with help they need, during this challenging time. We are available to assist you in any way we can, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We know how scary it can be to reach out and ask for help, but encourage you that it is truly the most important and powerful step on the road to recovery and furthermore, to a healthy, happy life.


Call us anytime toll-free in the US and Canada: 855-780-8336. All calls are confidential.

You may also email us at: