Special Programs

Special Programs

Special Programs



Intensive Treatment Program

When an individual is not coping at home, school, or work due to behavioral, emotional, and social issues and needs more help than they can receive in a weekly therapy session but does not meet the criteria for hospitalization, the Intensive Treatment Program at The Woodlands Behavioral Health & Wellness Center is an option. The Intensive Treatment Program works with those who are experiencing the following:
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Severe depression and anxiety
  • Anger, rage, aggression
  • Eating disorders
  • Erratic mood swings 
  • Oppositional defiant behaviors
  • Self-harming behaviors (cutting etc.)
  • Runaway behaviors
  • School suspension or expulsion
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Severe ADHD
  • Post-traumatic stress
We specialize in the evaluation and intensive treatment of those who cannot cope in school (or work) due to emotional or behavioral issues. After resolving the issues involved, we work closely with all involved to get them back into the classroom or to work. If the client is a student and able to cope in school, treatment is scheduled after school hours. After the intensive treatment, we continue to work with the client, family and their school/employer to monitor progress and ensure that they maintain their improvements. 

Key components of the Intensive Treatment Program:
  • A comprehensive assessment identifies a primary diagnosis, the causes of the client's distress, any risks and any co-existing disorders that also need to be addressed during treatment.
  • The integrated treatment team including Clinical Psychologists, Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and a Wellness Counselor work together to develop and implement an individualized integrated treatment plan for each client.   
  • Plan can include (with the client's authorization) contact with the school, primary care physician and/or employer initially to inform them about the client's situation and how it is being managed and to ensure continuity of regular outpatient treatment when the patient is discharged from the intensive program.
  • The team closely monitors the client's progress through regular treatment team meetings and adjusts the treatment plan when necessary. For parents, there will be ongoing communication about their child's progress. 
  • Discharge plan will be implemented to ensure client and family knows what to expect after completion of the program. 
  • The Intensive Treatment Program has been successful in helping clients avoid hospitalization however if the team determines that inpatient treatment is necessary they help the client and parents identify the most suitable in-patient treatment program for the client and work with this program to facilitate the smooth transfer of the client.
Highlights of treatment: 
  • Significant others and/or family intensively participate in treatment. A client's behavioral, emotional, social, and cognitive issues always have an impact on their family system therefore therapy with the child and their family is a critical part of their treatment.
  • Therapy focuses on helping the client develop more effective coping skills. Clients learn to identify situations that trigger their anxiety, depression, anger and the negative thought patterns they have developed related to these situations. They are then taught to change these negative patterns to more positive ones to facilitate more positive and productive behaviors. 
  • Some clients will have the opportunity to learn and practice social skills while participating in a peer group.
  • Parents receive ongoing parent counseling both individually and in groups to learn skills and strategies to manage and support their children more confidently. When necessary, a behavior treatment plan, using positive reinforcement, will be developed for younger children to reshape problem behaviors to pro-social behaviors.  
  • Coaching will help adolescents and adults learn strategies to compensate for their deficits in organization, planning, self-monitoring etc. when the lack of these skills are undermining their academic/work progress. 
  • Sleep, nutrition and stress management is directly related to a client's cognitive, emotional, social and behavioral functioning, therefore meeting with our wellness counselor will be included on the treatment plan. 
  • Clients and parents have the option, when appropriate, of consulting with our Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist to determine whether medication could be used to treat the client's symptoms. Alternatives to medication such as behavioral treatment plans, supplementation, biofeedback and Cogmed Working Memory Training are also available.

Autism Spectrum Program

Our integrated treatment model implemented by our multidisciplinary treatment team is the ideal approach for treating children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. 

Autism Spectrum Assessment 
Our center administers a series of assessments that have been deemed the “gold standard” for diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder. Through these different assessments, our qualified doctoral level psychologists make an accurate diagnosis, while determining if a co-existing disorder is present. We frequently see depression or anxiety accompany an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, however, there are many other possible co-existing disorders. A comprehensive report of the findings will be written; included will be a diagnosis, if there is one, recommendations for treatment, and academic accommodations, if appropriate. This report includes the required assessments schools and colleges require for academic accommodations.

If a client already has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, they will complete the Initial Diagnostic Assessment. This assessment reviews previous testing, the client's developmental, medical, academic and psycho-social history. This assessment uses rating scales and a clinical interview to identify the clients current functioning, presenting concerns, any possible co-existing disorders, and then will determine the client's specific treatment needs.

Individualized Treatment Plan
An individualized treatment plan is developed for each client based on the psychologist’s assessment and treatment recommendations to address the client's specific treatment needs. 

To address the impacts of an autism spectrum disorder, specialized treatment services will be included in the treatment plan. These can include, cognitive behavioral therapy will be used to address self-esteem, manage their feelings of anxiety, anger, depression, and reduce their feelings of inadequacy arising from their difficulty communicating and interacting with others. Role play, life skills coaching, exposure therapy to triggering situations, social skills training, and group therapy will help the client develop and implement more effective social skills and become more confident in social situations. 

Teaching parents research-based strategies in parent counseling, parent child interaction therapy, behavioral treatment plans and family therapy are effective in helping parents feel more effective and competent in the management and support of their child. 

Therapists can also work with the child's teachers to help them implement more effective accommodations, and behavioral management plans in the classroom. Therapists can also provide teachers with more effective intervention strategies when the child becomes overwhelmed by anxiety or has explosive outbursts.

Parent support and counseling groups are valuable in helping parents meet, support, and learn from other parents coping with similar situations.


Failure to Launch

The Launch Program helps young adults who have not achieved independence from their parents, due to mental illness such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder or substance abuse. As part of this program, the young client and their family receives a combination of individual treatment, life and executive skills coaching, patient self-management skills training, support therapy group meetings, and family therapy, along with ongoing psychiatric follow-up. 

A multidisciplinary treatment team works intensively with both the client and the family to develop skills to facilitate the young adult's independence. Under the guidance of the treatment team the family sets up an "individual apartment" within the family home where the young adult with therapeutic support for their mental illness and special skills training learns to independently take responsibility for the management of their mental health or substance abuse issues and their general living until they are ready to transition to their own separate living environment. 

An individualized treatment plan is customized for each young adult and their family after an initial assessment, which may include some of the following services:

Initial Diagnostic Assessment / Comprehensive Testing 
An initial diagnostic assessment is conducted to screen the client's cognitive, psychological, social and academic or vocational functioning. If the symptoms identified during the initial assessment indicate a more serious chronic mental health disorder and the client has never been tested and/or diagnosed then a more in-depth comprehensive assessment will be recommended such as a Cognitive Assessment to diagnose ADHD, Neuropsychological Evaluation, Personality and Psychological Assessment or a Specific Learning Disability Assessment. A comprehensive assessment with standardized testing is valuable in making a more accurate diagnosis, to identify any co-existing disorders and other issues such as insomnia and to identify the client's specific treatment needs. The results of this testing can also be used to obtain academic accommodations for college if the client wants to continue their education at a college level.

Vocational testing and guidance is also available for client's who are not sure of their career path, the academic requirements for those careers or who want to change their career. Through testing the program is able to match careers with the client's interests, personality and aptitudes.

Individual Therapy 
Intensive individual therapy which may include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) techniques to promote his identification of situations that trigger his unwanted emotions or behaviors and thinking patterns resulting in negative emotions such anxiety, depression or frustration and behaviors such as substance abuse, anger outbursts or cutting. CBT then helps the client learn more effective coping skills to manage their emotions and behaviors related to these trigger situations more effectively. 

Medication Management  
A psychiatric, complex medical evaluation or existing medication review by our adult, adolescent and child psychiatrist to identify whether medication could be used to treat the young adult's symptoms or determine whether their existing medication regime is effectively treating their symptoms. The psychiatrist will then closely monitor the client on a regular basis to determine whether they are benefitting the medication prescribed to target his symptoms.

Patient Self-Management Skills Training
Patient self-management I the primary treatment goal of the program. Skills training to help the young adult take responsibility for managing their mental illness with the support of their doctor and therapist rather than just relying on their parents to intervene when they cannot care for themselves is a critical part of this program. Patient self-management skills training includes:
  • Educating the young adult about their mental illness, how the treatment they are receiving actually works. 
  • Recognizing the importance of treatment compliance to prevent relapse.  
  • Maintenance of a routine that includes regular exercise, good sleep hygiene, and a healthy diet.
  • Stress management skills and recognizing and avoiding stressful situations that will put them at risk for relapse.
  • Recognizing their early symptoms which signal their relapse.
  • Recognize the importance of early intervention and develop an intervention plan for when these early symptoms start. 
Family Therapy and Parent Counseling                                    
Family therapy is a critical part of this program to help the parents and family members stop enabling the young adult and facilitate their independence. Family therapy is also used to promote the young adults coping skills, improve communications between family members, resolve conflict, understand roles and set appropriate boundaries.   
                                             
Academic and Executive Skills Coaching for College or Career   
Many young adults have ended up living at home after not coping with college due to mental illness or executive skill deficits in skills such as organization and planning, prioritizing, impulse control, emotional regulation, shifting from one activity to another, Initiating and completing tasks, self-monitoring, time-management and working memory which have resulted in procrastination and the student becoming overwhelmed and failing. The Initial assessment will identify any executive skill deficits and executive skill coaching is provided to teach the client strategies and tools to compensate for the deficits identified. In addition to general academic support and encouragement coaches is focused on the client's day to day challenges and includes topics such as:
  • Developing a timeline which includes assignment due dates, and dates for tests and exams in order to successfully juggle college demands.
  • Effective study habits, time management skills, organization, and planning ahead to meet deadlines. 
  • Completing research papers and projects using mind mapping software.  
  • Applying for academic accommodations if the client qualifies.                                                    
Job Search/ Job Maintenance Skills  
In order to achieve more financial independence, the client learns job seeking skills. The counselor facilitates the client’s progress in applying and interviewing for a job then maintaining his job. 
               
Life Skills Coaching  
  • Meal planning, grocery shopping, food preparation, kitchen skills, household upkeep and laundry.  
  • Financial management, budgeting and household shopping.         
  • Personal safety, hygiene, sleeping and organization.   
  • Essential social skills and self-advocacy.                          
Relationship Skills / Young Adult Group
Participation in our young adult support group helps the client develop more effective social skills in a safe environment and helps the client to promote positive relationships and identification with similar-aged peers.  
                                                
Ongoing Monitoring 
The client's frequent contact with members of the treatment team allows the team to monitor the progress or changes and/or worsening of their symptoms as an essential component of their treatment. 


College Program

Transitioning from high school to college is a significant challenge for most students. The characteristics of students who are most at risk to struggle transitioning include the following:
  • Poor study skills
  • Poor executive functioning (i.e. poor planning, organization, initiation, and time management skills)
  • Poor attention and working memory skills
  • Difficulty interacting with peers
  • Perfectionistic or obsessive-compulsive tendencies 
  • Lack confidence and overly dependent on parents 
  • Poor impulse control and/or emotional dysregulation 
  • High anxiety levels and/or depression 
  • Unsure of career goals 
Who can benefit from our College Program?

Testing or Re-testing for Academic Accommodations: Students diagnosed with ADHD, a learning disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or any psychiatric disorder, such as a Major Depression, are eligible for academic accommodations.
 
Preparation for College - when the student or his/her parents anticipate that the student may have difficulty due to previous diagnoses or academic, social or emotional challenges.

Not coping academically/ socially/ emotionally – when the student is achieving poor grades, is lonely or homesick because they are not making friends, or feeling anxious and emotionally overwhelmed in their new academic environment. 

Unsure of career goals – when students are confused about their career goals, their motivation and consequently, their academic performance deteriorates. Vocational testing can assist them in identifying careers that suit their interests, aptitudes and personality. Vocational guidance can support them in selecting the required college courses to qualify for those careers.

Expulsion – when the student's mental health issues may be a mitigating factor related to the expulsion.

Medical Leave – when students cannot cope with academic demands resulting in emotional issues, they can be granted medical leave by the college to receive the necessary intensive treatment before returning to college.

Academic Suspension, Probation or risk of losing their Scholarship - When students who have mental health issues related to their poor performance need to appeal the above decision.

Assessment  

Rating Scales - the student's current attention, executive functioning, psychological, and social functioning are screened using a health history questionnaire and standardized rating scales to identify factors that may be undermining the student's functioning. 

Clinical Interview – the psychologist will evaluate the student's current functioning and identify any symptoms they are experiencing, such as, distractibility, mood swings, forgetfulness, suicidal ideation etc. The psychologist will also inquire more about factors identified in the screening process that may be related to the difficulties they are experiencing.
 
Standardized Testing - According to the rating scales and clinical interview, the psychologist will decide whether they need to administer some of the following tests to make a more accurate diagnosis:
  • Cognitive testing: ADHD and working memory. 
  • Neuropsychological Testing: traumatic brain injury resulting from an accident, concussion or brain disease such as meningitis.
  • Psychological and Personality Testing: make a more accurate diagnosis and to obtain a profile of the student psychological functioning and personality traits.
  • Autism Spectrum Testing: history of difficulty interacting and communicating with others resulting in them having difficulty making friends and suffering from social anxiety. 
  • Learning Disability Testing: history of difficulties with reading, or math, or written expression. 
Treatment 

An Individualized Treatment Plan is developed for each student addressing that student's specific treatment needs identified in the assessment.  
  
Multidisciplinary Treatment Team works together to provide a wide range of treatment services to implement the treatment plan and monitor the student's progress.

Treatment Services focus on:
  • Client Self-Management is the primary treatment goal to ensure the student receives the education and skills training to take responsibility, in partnership with their provider, for managing their symptoms. 
  • Development of more effective coping skills using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This will help the student cope more effectively with the challenges they face at college.  
  • Development of more effective executive functioning skills (i.e. organization planning and time management). Poor executive functioning is the primary reason students fail at college. Executive skills help the student set goals, get things done, and regulate their behavior and emotions.
  • Development of better life skills to help them budget their finances and learn social skills. 
  • Helping families with the difficult task of encouraging their child to function independently, yet monitoring their progress and providing the right kind of support. 

Out of Town / International Program

Some areas in the United states and in other countries have limited mental or behavioral health resources to assess, diagnose and treat the more complex mental health disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Specific Learning Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Eating Disorders and other Psychiatric Disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Woodlands Behavioral Health & Wellness Center specializes in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of these more complex disorders. Our Assessment Center is able to provide a wide range of specialized comprehensive assessments administered by trained doctoral level psychologists to assess the whole child and their significant others. Assessments focus on the cognitive, developmental, psychological, social and educational deficits that accompany these disorders An individualized treatment plan is developed addressing the child's specific treatment needs and is implemented by a multidisciplinary treatment team. Our Center is located in The Woodlands, in the North Houston Area of the United States. We offer affordable and customized treatment for out-of-town and international clients who can travel to our clinic for a short amount of time.

Pre-Travel Assessment Stage 

Complimentary Consultation
A complimentary phone/online teleconference consultation will be scheduled, in response to the client or parents request for more information, with one of our clinicians to discuss the client's issues and the assessments and resources available to accurately diagnose and effectively treat the client. Information and a financial estimate for the recommended services will be sent to the parents or adult student prior to scheduling any services.

Initial Diagnostic Assessment 
If the client decides wishes to complete the first step of the program an Initial Diagnostic Assessment is scheduled to determine whether the client needs to travel to our center for the comprehensive assessment. The Initial Diagnostic Assessment is an online teleconference consultation conducted by a doctoral level Psychologist. The psychologist bases her decision on information about the client's developmental, medical, psycho-social and educational history obtained from a Health and History Questionnaire, and information about the client's current cognitive, executive functioning, psycho-social and academic performance obtained from rating scales completed online by the client, his parents and teachers and a clinical interview conducted by the psychologist which includes a mental status evaluation. During the clinical interview, the psychologist completes a mental status evaluation of the client and interviews parents and the child separately to conduct a more in-depth evaluation of the significant areas identified in the questionnaire, and rating scales. 

A feedback/treatment planning session is scheduled for the following week where the parents receive a brief report of assessment findings and recommendations for assessment and treatment. An individualized treatment plan is developed by a consultant and the client or his parents, which may include traveling to our center to complete a comprehensive assessment for accurate diagnosis, psychiatric consultation for medication or a consultation for alternatives to medication with our health psychologist. 

The assessment report and treatment plan are emailed to the parents and if a comprehensive assessment is recommended a financial estimate for services recommended for the child's travel package is also forwarded to the parents. Arrangements will be made for parents to complete a Health and History Questionnaire and the parents, child and teachers to complete the rating scales online prior to the Initial Diagnostic Assessment. The fee for this assessment is $300 and must be prepaid.     

Out-of-Town Package completed at The Woodlands behavioral Health and Wellness Center.

Our center works with the parents to determine what services they would like to receive. Once the schedule of services and travel plans are finalized a deposit of 50% will be required to complete scheduling and develop the client's itinerary. We do not bill insurance; however, we do accept personal checks, American Express, Visa, Master Card, and Discover. We do provide necessary documentation for clients who wish to claim reimbursement from their health insurance company. Please note the deposit is refundable only if the appointments are cancelled five days in advance. 

After the deposit is received, a staff member will customize the schedule based on client’s travel schedule and clinician availability. The staff will work with the client to maximize efficiency while visiting.  

The Comprehensive Assessment administered by a doctoral level Psychologist will be scheduled first to identify symptoms and the impact of the disorder on the client's cognitive, behavioral, psychosocial and academic functioning. The assessment will obtain a baseline of the client's strengths and areas needing treatment, and identify any co-existing disorders that need treatment. Client or parents receive a detailed report of the assessment findings, confirmed diagnoses, and recommendations for treatment and academic accommodations.  
 
Psychiatric Evaluation for Medication - If the client or parents wish to use medication Complex Medical Evaluation with our Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist can be scheduled with a follow-up consultation before or afetr the client returns home to check on the effects of the medication. 

Consultation for Alternatives to Medication - If the client or parents do not wish to use medication an Alternatives to Medication Consultation can be scheduled with our Health Psychologist to learn how supplementation, dietary changes, good quality sleep, exercise, biofeedback, and Cogmed can be used as alternatives. 

Other Treatment Appointments - Clients also have the option of family therapy, individual therapy, parent counseling, substance abuse counseling, executive skills coaching, stress management, a sleep protocol and nutritional counseling with different members of our team specialized in that type of treatment.  

A Wrap-Up Session with the client and family will take place at the end of the visit during which members of the client's treatment team will give a report on the clients and family's progress during the visit and the next steps for the future treatment. A Wrap-Up Report will be provided to the family. 

Treatment after returning home
Many of our services such as counseling, coaching, Cogmed, and medication follow ups can be continued using online teleconference after returning home. Follow-up appointments for these services can be set up prior to the client leaving for home. If the client and family is able to arrange treatment in their area their treatment records can be released to that clinician if the parents or client send us a signed authorization to release these records to the clinician/facility of the client’s choice.


Biofeedback & Neurofeedback

What is Biofeedback?

Biofeedback may be used to improve health, performance, and the physiological changes that often occur in conjunction with changes to thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Biofeedback is a technique that trains people to improve their health by controlling certain bodily processes that normally happen involuntarily, such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and skin temperature. 

Biofeedback is a process of gaining greater awareness of many psychological and physiological functions through the use of instrumentation that mirrors these psychological and physiological processes of which the individual is not normally aware. Electrodes attached to your skin or scalp to measure these processes, which are usually considered involuntary, and display them on a monitor. With help from a therapist, you can learn to change your heart rate, blood pressure, or brainwaves for example. Biofeedback allows the person to receive information about the status of his own biological state, and using this information, learns to gain control over involuntary biological functions. At first you use the monitor to see your progress, but eventually you will be able to achieve success without the monitor or electrodes. 

Some of the processes that can be controlled include brainwaves, blood pressure, muscle tone, skin conductance, heart rate and pain perception. It has been commonly used to treat blood pressure, tension headache, migraine headache, chronic pain, and urinary incontinence. Recent research has now found that a type of biofeedback called neurofeedback is also very effective in the treatment of ADHD. 

NEUROFEEDBACK FOR THE TREATMENT OF ADHD

Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that can be used to train children with ADHD to change their brain wave patterns to be more attentive. Using an electroencephalograph to monitor the brain waves and a system of positive reinforcement, the children learn how to make their brains become more attentive. The result is that there is a significant reduction in ADHD symptoms and improvements in behavior, relative to how well the children learn to control their own brain function.

Brain cells communicate with one another, in part, through a constant storm of electrical impulses. Their patterns show up on an electroencephalogram, or EEG, as brain waves with different frequencies depending on whether we are in a focused state or day-dreaming. Neurofeedback teaches the child to produce the brain-wave patterns associated with focus. 


CogMed

Working memory is a better predictor of academic success or failure than intelligence according to research completed in the United Kingdom (Gathercole, S.E., Pickering, S.J. et al). CogMed is an evidence-based computer program for helping children, adolescents and adults sustainably improve attention by training their working memory. It was developed in Sweden by neurologists and neuropsychologists involved in research related to the plasticity of the brain, and the finding that working memory can be strengthened if it is intensively exercised over an extensive period.  

CogMed is a computer-based program using a computer at home. With more than 55 peer-reviewed publications as of May 2015, the findings that are repeatedly reported on CogMed include sustained improvements on working memory and attention in both children and adults. Versions of CogMed have been developed for pre-school children, school aged children and adults. The client is assigned a coach who initially trains the client and the caretaker (if the client is a child) to use the program. The client downloads the program to their computer with a unique ID and password and will complete daily sessions that are recorded for the coach and client can monitor progress. 

The program has 25 training sessions which last 30- 40 minutes and it is completed over a period of five days a week for five weeks. The client’s assigned coach monitors progress and meets with them once a week to discuss progress, resolve problems and to support and motivate the client. At the end of five weeks, the coach and client have a wrap up session at which point the client receives a report of their achievement in the program.  

When working memory is improved with CogMed, research has shown that clients will be better able to pay attention, increase self-management skills, decrease distractibility and be better equipped to learn. 

*Gathercole, S.E., Pickering, S.J., Knight, C. & Stegmann, Z. (2004). Working memory skills and educational attainment: Evidence from National Curriculum assessments at 7 and 14 years of age. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 40, 1-16.


Pain Management

What is Chronic Pain?
Pain is the body's way of telling the person that something is wrong. Everyone experiences pain during their lifetime usually from minor incidents such as cutting their finger or pulling a muscle. These minor injuries heal quickly and the pain stops. 

Chronic pain however can last from three to 6 months or longer. Chronic pain can begin without any obvious cause for example arthritis but it usually starts after a more serious injury or as a result of health condition such as cancer and can last from three to six months or longer. Other causes of chronic pain include migraines, surgery, injuries, fibromyalgia, back problems, and nerve damage.

How We Process Pain?
When someone injures them self the injury turns on pain sensors in that area. These sensors send a message in the form of an electrical signal, which travels through their nerves until it reaches the brain. The brain processes the signal and sends out the message that the person is hurt. The sensation of pain therefore comes from a series of messages that move through your nervous system.

When the body repairs the wound or injury the cause of the pain is resolved and the pain signal usually stops however with chronic pain the nerve signals can keep firing even after the wound or injury has healed. Chronic pain however can also be related to medical conditions which don’t heal but continue to deteriorate such as cancer or arthritis.

How does Chronic Pain Affect a Person?
Chronic pain can significantly undermine a person's day to day life and keep them from doing the activities they want and need to do. These often dramatic, forced changes in a person's lifestyle sometimes accompanied by loss of independence can result in:
  • Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and loss of motivation. 
  • Health issues such as sleep deprivation, fatigue, loss of appetite and muscular tension.
  • Cognitive issues such as difficulty focusing, forgetfulness, and deterioration of judgement and decision- making skills.
  • Social and relationship issues caused by withdrawal, irritability, and loss of libido.
  • Significant economic consequences such as loss of a job.
Chronic Pain is a Complex Phenomenon
Injury signaling, negative emotion/cognition, and stress are interdependent in that these three feed one another making it difficult to disentangle them. Pain also raises an individual's stress levels and interferes with their sleep causing sleep deprivation and increased stress which makes the pain feel stronger. We also know that there is a link between your emotions and pain which can create a cycle. When you hurt, you're more likely to feel depressed which makes your pain even worse. The link between depression and pain is why doctors often use antidepressants as one treatment for chronic pain. These drugs can help with both the pain and the emotional strain it causes.

Studies researching the neurobiology and pathophysiology of chronic pain indicate that chronic pain negatively impacts multiple aspects of patient health, including sleep, cognitive processes and brain function, mood/mental health, cardiovascular health, sexual function, and overall quality of life and found that the negative impact on these different aspects of a person's life are interdependent causing the pathophysiology of the chronic pain to become increasingly more complex and this potentially more difficult to treat over time. 

Pain Medication
Opioid pain killers are frequently prescribed to help the person initially cope with the acute pain following major surgery or severe injury. The short-term use of pain killers such as hydrocodone and hydrocodine is valuable in helping a person initially cope with acute overwhelming pain however the long-term use of these opioid painkillers to treat chronic pain places the person at risk for developing chemical dependency and addiction disorders.

Early Effective Multimodal Therapies to Prevent Opioid Addiction 
Research studies indicate that it is important that chronic pain is managed with the objective of minimizing or avoiding its associated long-term complexities and consequences such as opioid addiction. Early and effective multimodal treatment strategies, including analgesic therapy that controls pain intensity, anti-depressant treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy to relieve the inevitable depression that accompanies chronic pain, are essential to improving outcomes and returning patients to normal levels of function.

The Woodlands Behavioral Health and Wellness Center works in conjunction with pain management doctors providing analgesic therapy interventions to provide assessment and the following multimodal treatment strategies:

Psychological Assessment required by private and federal health insurance programs for authorization of analgesic therapy interventions.

Psychiatry, antidepressant medication and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which is the gold standard treatment approach to alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety that inevitably develop as a result of chronic pain.

Clinical massage and Relaxation Therapy to reduce muscular tension related to chronic pain and help the client sleep. Massage can reduce stress and relieve tension by enhancing blood flow. Guided visualization another relaxation technique, may be another worthwhile pain-controlling technique. 

Weight loss achieved by a combination of dietary changes and increased physical activity has been shown to be helpful for some people suffering from osteoarthritis. 

Neurofeedback and biofeedback to teach clients how to voluntarily reduce their symptoms of stress without having to resort to tranquilizers, which are addictive.

Trans cranial stimulation (TMS) which is effective in reducing depression and consequently pain.

Family /Marital Therapy to improve relationships that have been negatively impacted by one partner's chronic pain. 

Clinical Nutritional Counseling and Supplementation, which educated the clients how to make changes in their diet which will help them manage their chronic pain more effectively. Changing dietary fat intake and/or eating plant foods that contain anti-inflammatory agents may help ease pain by limiting inflammation. Evidence indicates that glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate relieve pain due to knee osteoarthritis and increase mobility.  

Alternative Addiction Services which help clients on an recover from opioid addiction or other chemical dependency disorders such as alcohol abuse. 
 
Sources:
American Academy of Family Physicians: "Chronic Pain."
American Psychological Association: "Coping with chronic pain."
American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine: "Types of Chronic Pain."
Fine, Perry, Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, Pain Research Center, Salt Lake City, 
Institute for Chronic Pain: "Understanding Chronic Pain."
Mayo Clinic: "Is there a link between pain and depression?"
Medscape: "Chronic Pain Syndrome Clinical Presentation."
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Chronic Pain."
Nemours Foundation: "Why Do I Have Pain?"
NIH Medline Plus: "Chronic Pain: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment."


ADHD Program

The Behavioral Health and Wellness Center has specialized in the assessment and treatment of ADHD for the past 12 years. Initially as a unique pilot program our multidisciplinary treatment team developed new unique services for the treatment and diagnosis of ADHD when medication used to be the only treatment modality available.

Assessment and Diagnosis of ADHD and Co-Existing Disorders 
Our trained doctoral level psychologists administer comprehensive cognitive assessments for school and college students that can include standardized cognitive, psychological and academic testing at our assessment center according to the school or college requirements for academic accommodations.

An adult ADHD Assessment containing standardized tests is also administered to diagnose ADHD in adults. Our services and most primary care providers require this assessment before they prescribe medication for the treatment of ADHD.

Clients receive a comprehensive report containing test results, which may include diagnoses such as ADHD and any co-existing disorders such as depression, anxiety and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. The report also contains recommendations for treatment and academic accommodations.

Individualized Treatment Plan
An individualized treatment plan is developed according to the treatment recommendations in the assessment report. This plan contains treatment services to address the client' specific treatment needs related to ADHD and any co-existing disorders. Services are designed to focus on skills training to help the clients compensate for the emotional impacts, executive skill deficits and poor social skills and family conflict arising for their ADHD. Services may include individual and family therapy, parent counseling, parent child interaction therapy, executive skills coaching, social skills training and counseling to improve the quality of the client's sleep, diet and stress management skills.

Multidisciplinary Treatment team and Specialized Treatment Services 
The treatment plan is implemented by a multidisciplinary treatment team all under the same roof. In addition to formal team meetings team members work together to maximize the client's treatment, monitor the clients progress and update the client's treatment plan when needed.

Working with Parents and Teachers
The treatment team works closely with the client's parents if the client is a minor in order to inform the parents what skills we have taught the client and how they can support and prompt the client to implement these skills at home. Parents also provide valuable feedback about the child's everyday progress. Treatment team members also work closely with the client's teachers by keeping them informed about the child's progress in treatment and helping teachers with special strategies to more effectively manage and motivate the child. They also obtain valuable feedback from the teacher which help them determine whether the child is responding to the treatment.

Share by: