The quality of Phoenix House Academy staff may be measured by the variety of invitations they receive to discuss their programs and treatment approaches. Frank Sanchez, MFT, Director of Mental Health and Family Services at Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles, presented our approach to treatment at a Special Lecture on “Developmental Treatment Approaches to Transition Age Youth (TAY).” The lecture was co-sponsored by the County of Los Angeles Department of Public health, Substance Abuse Prevention and Control with UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs and Pacific Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center.
The event was held on Friday, September 14, 2012 at SAPC Auditorium in Alhambra, CA. Mr. Sanchez spoke about Phoenix House’s evidence-based continuum of care for transitional age youth during the Panel Discussion: “Providers’ Experience with Treating TAY: Challenges, Barriers, and Successes.” The panel, moderated by Beth Rutkowski, MPH, Associate Director of Traning at UCLA ISAP, featured also Victoria Simon, Ph.D. Executive Director of Project 180 and Cassandra Alexander, Counselor at Antelope Valley Rehabilitation Center. John Sheene, SPSW, from the county’s Department of Mental Health (DMH) spoke on the TAY demographics (youth ages 16 to 24), substance use prevalence and available programs and services. Sermed Alkass, PsyD, also of the county DMH talked about the Seeking Safety curriculum and its use in treatment of PTSD and substance abuse. The presentations and discussion were recorded and will be posted on Substance Abuse Prevention and ControlWebsite.
Phoenix House’s unique approach to transitional age youth, takes into account their developmental characteristics and age-related issues, especially attitudes of oppositional defiance, lack of motivation for treatment, and a propensity for extreme emotional outbursts, including inability to control anger. In response, our treatment features evidence-based programs targeting anger (Aggression Replacement Training), trauma (Seeking Safety), and motivation (Motivational Interviewing techniques used throughout). Phoenix House offers residential treatment for youth up to age 18, as well as outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment for youth up to age 24, as well as counseling services and home-based case management for at-risk youth and families. Our residential program serves the entire Los Angeles County, while the outpatient programs, both at our offices and in the community, focus on clients within 20 mile radius of our facility in Lake View Terrace, CA.