Patient Information
Child & Adolescent
College Mental Health Program


Adolescent Dual Diagnosis Residential Services

Landing at McLean® Hospital

Adolescent Acute Residential Treatment (ART)

About Our Treatment Methodologies

What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a structured, goal-oriented short-term therapy based on principles of learning. The focus is on the idea that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interrelated and that negative thoughts and behaviors can significantly affect mood. There is strong scientific support for the use of CBT in treating mood, anxiety and substance use disorders in youth.

In CBT, adolescents are first taught to better understand their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and to learn the connection between them through psychoeducation, monitoring, and tracking exercises. At The Landing, adolescents are taught techniques to help them identify and reassess their negative thinking patterns and behaviors and learn more helpful and realistic ways of interpreting and reacting to events and situations in their lives. The goal is to make positive changes in thinking (cognitive restructuring) that will influence mood and behavior. In addition, adolescents are provided with opportunities to experience stressful situations, difficult emotions and challenging cues in a safe, monitored setting to help them learn how to better manage and adapt to the situations that occur in their lives.

What is Motivational Interviewing (MI)?

Motivational Interviewing is a client-centered method for enhancing motivation to change. Motivational interviewing is goal oriented; the therapist is intentionally directive in trying to examine and resolve the adolescent's ambivalence and in reinforcing the adolescent's own motivational statements of problem recognition and intention to change. Click here to learn more about motivational interviewing.

What is Contingency Management (CM)?

Contingency management is used in mental health and substance abuse treatment as a way to increase the likelihood that a positive behavior will occur. Positive behaviors typically include adhering to rules and treatment plans, functioning well as part of a community, and abstaining from drugs or alcohol. Frequently, abstinence is measured with urine drug screening.

Contingency management works by providing adolescents with incentives (rewards) that effectively compete for those obtained from substance use or other negative behavior. Contingency management approaches have been well researched and shown to be effective in increasing abstinence in adults. Recent research applying contingency management to adolescents has shown promising results as well.

What is 12 Step-facilitation?

Twelve-step programs involve a set of principles that people can use to guide their course of recovery. Twelve-step meetings are based on a mutual support principle and have been found to be highly effective in the recovery process.

What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)?

DBT is a cognitive behavioral treatment approach that emphasizes the development of four skill sets: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance. It has been shown to be a successful and effective treatment for patterns of behavior that include interpersonal difficulties, emotional dysregulation and impulsivity. DBT was developed initially to treat suicidality in adults with borderline personality disorder; however, it now is being used effectively in treating adolescents with self-harm behaviors and other psychiatric illnesses. DBT is an empirically supported technique, meaning that it has been clinically tested for its effectiveness in adolescents and adults.