Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care

Specialized Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care: What to Expect

Learn more about how mental health treatment in residential care can make all the difference in achieving lasting wellness.

Our Approach to Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care

Mile High Recovery Center (MHRC), located in Denver, Colorado, is dedicated to providing comprehensive addiction and mental health treatment. This is why we incorporate effective mental health treatment in residential care.

Our facility is built on the foundation of recovery, emphasizing a safe and supportive environment where your lifelong journey toward wellness begins.

We aim to help you discover your unique path to recovery, offering the foundation needed for a successful long-term recovery story and a meaningful, purposeful life.

Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care

Importance of Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care

Mental health treatment in residential care is essential for addressing complex mental health issues in a structured and supportive setting. At MHRC, we understand that mental health is just as important as physical health.
Our residential program goes beyond the traditional addiction treatment approach. We incorporate evidence-based therapies and interventions specifically designed to address mental health concerns.

Understanding Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care

Mental health treatment in residential care is a structured approach designed to provide intensive support for those struggling with mental health disorders. This type of treatment involves clients living in a facility where they receive around-the-clock care from trained professionals.

Length of Stay and Focus

The length of stay for mental health treatment in residential care can vary. This depends on individual needs and the treatment program. It can range from a few weeks to several months to even longer if needed.
The focus is on creating an environment that fosters healing through both evidence-based practices and holistic methods.

Evidence-Based Practices

Evidence-based practices refer to treatment methods that have been scientifically tested and proven to be effective.
These may include:
  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication
  • Skill-building activities

Holistic Methods in Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care

Holistic methods refer to approaches that consider the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of a person’s well-being. These may include mindfulness practices or experiential therapies, such as art or music therapy.

Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care: Addressing Mental Health Disorders Alongside Addiction Treatment

When someone struggles with both addiction and a mental health disorder, it’s known as co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis. Treating both conditions at the same time ensures a comprehensive approach to recovery.
Often, addiction can be a way of coping with underlying mental health issues. If only the addiction is treated, the untreated mental health disorder can lead to relapse.
In mental health treatment in residential care, the integration of mental health treatment ensures that clients receive the necessary support for both conditions.

Collaborative Care

Clients have access to a team that works together to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses their specific needs. This collaborative approach helps in understanding the root causes of addiction and mental health issues. This provides a more effective path to recovery.

Supportive Treatment Environment

Mental health treatment in residential care provides a safe and supportive environment. Being in a controlled setting removes the distractions and triggers that might exist in daily life. This allows people to focus solely on their recovery journey.
Clients can engage in therapies and activities designed to:
  • Build coping mechanisms
  • Improve mental health
  • Prevent relapse

Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care: Comprehensive Assessment and Diagnosis

When someone seeks Mile High Recovery Center’s mental health treatment in residential care, the comprehensive assessment process begins immediately. This initial step is designed to create a personalized treatment plan tailored to each client’s specific needs.
The assessment involves multiple stages, including:
  • Substance use history: Information about past substance use, patterns of abuse, and triggers that may lead to relapse.
  • Mental health evaluation: Current symptoms, past mental health history, and any co-occurring disorders are identified.
  • Physical examination: Any potential health complications related to substance abuse or mental health disorders.
  • Psychosocial assessment: This includes evaluating personal relationships, family history, living situation, and support system.

Diagnostic Evaluation

Following the initial assessment, a diagnostic evaluation identifies any co-occurring mental health disorders alongside addiction. DSM-5 often serves as the basis for diagnosis. It outlines the criteria for each substance use disorders and mental health disorders.1
During the diagnostic evaluation, clients may take part in structured interviews and standardized tests.
These tools help our team assess a person’s mental health status and identify disorders such as:
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Differentiating Between Conditions

One key aspect of this evaluation is differentiating between symptoms caused by substance use and those stemming from a mental health disorder. For instance, substance-induced depression can mimic major depressive disorder, but the treatment approach may differ.

Assessing Cognitive Functioning

The evaluation also explores cognitive functioning and any potential neurological impacts of substance use.
This includes assessments of:
  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Executive functioning
Cognitive impairments can affect a person’s ability to engage in therapy. This requires specific interventions to support recovery.

Evidence-Based Therapies for Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care

Psychotherapy is a fundamental component of mental health treatment in residential care. It involves various therapeutic techniques to help people understand and manage their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
At MHRC, we use a range of evidence-based therapies to provide comprehensive mental health treatment in residential care.
These include:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to psychological distress. CBT is structured, time-limited, and goal-oriented. This makes it a practical approach for conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
There are several CBT techniques to help people manage symptoms and improve their mental health. These include:

Cognitive Restructuring

This involves identifying and challenging distorted thoughts, such as all-or-nothing thinking and catastrophizing. Clients work with therapists to reframe these thoughts into more balanced and realistic perspectives.

Behavioral Activation

This technique helps people engage in activities that bring pleasure or a sense of accomplishment. This can counteract the inactivity and withdrawal often associated with depression.

Exposure Therapy

For anxiety disorders, exposure therapy gradually exposes clients to feared situations or objects in a controlled manner. The goal is to reduce their anxiety response over time.
This can involve both imaginal exposure (visualizing the feared situation) and in vivo exposure (real-life confrontation).

Skill Building

CBT also focuses on developing practical skills, such as:
  • Problem-solving
  • Assertiveness
  • Stress management
These skills are essential for coping with daily challenges.

Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care: DBT

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is another type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder. It has since been adapted for other conditions, particularly those involving emotion dysregulation and impulsive behaviors.
DBT combines elements of CBT with mindfulness techniques and an emphasis on acceptance and validation. The core principles of DBT include:2


DBT is based on the principle of dialectics, which means finding a balance between opposing forces. This can be applied to:
  • Emotions
  • Thoughts
  • Behaviors
  • Relationships
DBT aims to help people find balance and acceptance even when faced with conflicting thoughts or feelings.


In DBT, therapists will work to validate a client’s experiences and emotions, rather than dismissing or minimizing them. This can help them feel understood and accepted, which in turn can increase motivation for change.


A key component of DBT is mindfulness training. This involves intentionally bringing awareness to the present moment without judgment. This can help people become more aware of their thoughts and emotions and better able to manage them.

Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care: ACT

This is another method of mental health treatment in residential care. Acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT, combines mindfulness techniques with values-based actions to help people develop psychological flexibility.
This approach is based on the idea that trying to control or avoid difficult thoughts, feelings, or sensations can actually make them worse in the long run.3
ACT enhances psychological flexibility and helps people live a values-driven life through:

Acceptance Techniques

These involve learning to open up to and make room for difficult emotions and thoughts without trying to avoid or change them. Techniques might include mindfulness exercises and strategies to help get distance from unhelpful thoughts.

Values Clarification

This process helps people identify what is truly important to them in life. Through guided reflection and discussion, clients pinpoint their core values and use them as a compass for making meaningful life decisions.

Committed Action

Once a person’s values are clear, ACT focuses on taking concrete steps toward goals that align with these values. This might involve setting specific, achievable goals and creating action plans to achieve them.

Cognitive Defusion

This technique helps people alter the way they interact with thoughts. Instead of getting entangled in them, clients learn to see thoughts as just words or pictures in their mind, reducing their impact.

Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care: EMDR

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a non-invasive psychotherapy approach that was initially developed to help people process traumatic experiences.

But, it’s since been used for a wide range of mental health concerns, including:
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Phobias
During an EMDR session, the therapist guides the client through a series of eye movements (or other forms of bilateral stimulation) while recalling distressing memories or experiences. This process helps the brain reprocess these memories, reducing their emotional intensity and impact on daily life.

Phases of EMDR

The phases of EMDR include:
  1. History and treatment planning: In this phase, the therapist gathers information about current symptoms and past experiences to create a treatment plan.
  2. Preparation: The therapist will work with the client to develop skills and tools for managing distress and preparing for the reprocessing phase.
  3. Assessment: This step involves identifying specific memories or experiences to focus on during the reprocessing phase.
  4. Desensitization: During this phase, the therapist guides clients through bilateral stimulation while focusing on distressing memories or experiences.
  5. Installation: Here, positive beliefs or feelings are strengthened and associated with the previously distressing memory.
  6. Body scan: In this phase, the client will check in with their body and notice any changes that have occurred as a result of the previous phases.
  7. Closure: The therapist helps clients return to a calm state if needed at the end of each session.
  8. Reevaluation: In subsequent sessions, the therapist revisits previous memories to ensure their emotional intensity has continued to decrease.4

Benefits of EMDR

One of the most empowering aspects of EMDR is that it actively works to reprocess traumatic or distressing experiences instead of simply coping with or avoiding them. By addressing these experiences head on, clients gain a sense of control and agency over their own healing process.
EMDR also emphasizes the importance of positive beliefs and strengths in overcoming challenges. The installation phase specifically focuses on incorporating positive thoughts and feelings into trauma processing. This helps people feel more empowered and capable in their daily lives.

Holistic Modalities for Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care

At MHRC, we believe in a comprehensive approach to mental health treatment in residential care.
Alongside evidence-based therapies, we integrate holistic modalities to address the whole person – mind, body, and spirit.
Each of these modalities promotes:
  • Self-awareness
  • Emotional regulation
  • General well-being

Art Therapy

Art and music therapy involve creative processes to help people explore emotions that may be difficult to express verbally. These therapies provide a non-threatening outlet for expression, which can be particularly beneficial for those who find it hard to talk about their experiences or feelings.

Art Therapy

In art therapy, clients might engage in activities such as painting, drawing, or sculpting. These activities help people:
  • Process emotions
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve self-esteem
The act of creating art can be calming and meditative. This allows people to focus on the present moment and explore their inner world in a safe space. This makes it a useful component of mental health treatment in residential care.

Music Therapy

Music therapy uses music as a therapeutic tool. This might include listening to music, playing instruments, singing, or writing songs.
Music therapy can help people:
  • Express feelings
  • Enhance mood
  • Improve cognitive functioning
  • Experience relaxation and emotional release
Both art and music therapy are facilitated by trained therapists who guide clients through the creative process and help them interpret their creations or musical experiences. These therapies foster self-expression and provide insights into a person’s emotional state and mental health.

Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care: Equine Therapy

Equine therapy involves interactions with horses as part of a person’s therapeutic process. This modality is based on the idea that building a relationship with a horse can reflect and help improve one’s own interpersonal relationships and emotional health.
In equine therapy, clients may take part in activities such as grooming, feeding, and leading horses. These activities require:
  • Patience
  • Communication
  • Mindfulness
This can translate to improved emotional regulation and self-awareness.

Benefits of Using Horses in Therapy

Horses are highly sensitive to human emotions and can mirror feelings. They provide immediate feedback about a person’s emotional state.
For instance, if someone is anxious or agitated, a horse may react with similar nervousness, prompting people to manage their emotions more effectively.
The skills gained by working with horses make equine therapy an invaluable addition to mental health treatment in residential care.

Importance of Bonding with Horses

Working with horses also helps people develop trust, empathy, and non-verbal communication skills.
The bond people form with the horse can:
  • Enhance self-confidence
  • Provide a sense of accomplishment
  • Improve mental well-being

Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care: Outdoor Adventure Therapy

Outdoor adventure therapy involves engaging in challenging physical activities in nature to promote mental and emotional health. This modality leverages the therapeutic benefits of nature combined with physical exercise and adventure.
Outdoor adventure therapy activities might include:
  • Hiking
  • Rock climbing
  • Kayaking
  • Team-building exercises
These activities are designed to push people out of their comfort zone and encourage personal growth, resilience, and self-discovery.

Benefits of Being in Nature

Being in nature has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. The physical challenges of outdoor activities can also boost self-esteem and provide a sense of achievement.
Working through obstacles in a natural setting can also mirror the challenges people face in life. These experiences teach perseverance and problem-solving skills.

Connecting with Others

Outdoor adventure therapy promotes teamwork and social interaction. This can improve a person’s ability to connect with others and build supportive relationships. The combination of physical activity and nature’s calming effect provides a holistic approach to improving mental health.

Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care: Medication Management and Psychiatric Support

Medication management is a crucial part of mental health treatment in residential care. It involves the careful selection, prescription, and monitoring of medications to manage mental health symptoms effectively.
At MHRC, our approach ensures clients receive the right medications at the right dosages to support their treatment plan.

Initial Evaluation and Prescription

If someone is new to mental health treatment in residential care, our team of psychiatrists will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to understand their mental health history and current symptoms.
Based on this assessment, they will prescribe medications tailored to each client’s individual needs.
When making these decisions, our psychiatrists consider various factors such as:
  • Age
  • Medical history
  • Potential side effects
  • Interactions with other medications 
They also take the time to explain the purpose and possible effects of each medication prescribed.

Common Medication Options

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to medication management. Different people may respond differently to the same medication. Our psychiatrists carefully monitor a client’s response to medications and make adjustments as needed.
Some common types of medications used in mental health treatment in residential care include:
  • Antidepressants: These medications help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
  • Antipsychotics: Used to manage symptoms of psychosis, including delusions and hallucinations.
  • Mood stabilizers: These medications can help regulate extreme shifts in mood and are commonly used to treat bipolar disorder.
  • Anti-anxiety medications: As the name suggests, these medications can reduce feelings of anxiety and promote relaxation.

Ongoing Monitoring

Once clients are on a medication regimen, our team will regularly monitor progress and make adjustments as needed.
This may involve:
  • Changes in dosages
  • Adding or removing medications
  • Exploring alternative treatment options
It’s important for clients to communicate openly with our team about any changes or concerns regarding their medication. Client feedback is crucial in ensuring the effectiveness and safety of the treatment plan.

Individualized Treatment Planning

Every person’s mental health journey is different. An individualized treatment plan takes into account their:
  • Specific mental health conditions
  • Personal history
  • Any co-occurring disorders
This tailored approach ensures that the therapies and interventions clients receive directly relate to their situation. This increases the likelihood of successful outcomes.

Addressing Preferences and Goals

The treatment plan is not just about addressing symptoms. It’s also about considering a client’s personal preferences and life goals.
Treatment plans are more engaging when they incorporate what matters most to a person, whether it’s:
  • Returning to work
  • Rebuilding relationships
  • Achieving personal milestones

Dynamic and Flexible

Mental health is not static, and neither is our approach. Individualized treatment plans are dynamic and flexible, allowing for adjustments as clients progress through treatment.
Regular reviews and updates ensure that each plan evolves with the client, continually meeting their changing needs and circumstances.

Client Involvement in Decision-Making

At Mile High Recovery Center, we believe in a collaborative approach to treatment planning. Clients are active participants in creating their treatment plans.
This means they are involved in decision-making processes, providing input on what therapies they feel comfortable with and what goals they aim to achieve. This collaboration enhances their commitment to the treatment process and empowers them to take an active role in their recovery.

Planning Session

Following the assessment, clients will have a planning session with their treatment team. This session is an opportunity for them to express their preferences and goals.
At Mile High Recovery Center, we take an integrated approach to mental health treatment in residential care. This means combining different therapeutic modalities and coordinating care among various healthcare professionals.
A treatment plan may include a mix of:
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Medication management
  • Holistic therapies such as art or outdoor adventure therapy
By integrating these different elements, we can address all aspects of a person’s well-being.

Personalized Goals and Milestones

Setting specific, personalized goals is a key part of the individualized treatment planning process. These goals are not only related to symptom management but also to broader life objectives.
For example, someone might set goals related to:
  • Improving their social skills
  • Returning to work
  • Developing new hobbies
Milestones are set to mark progress, providing motivation and a sense of accomplishment as clients move forward.

Group Therapy and Peer Support

In mental health treatment in residential care, clients will meet people who are going through similar challenges This allows people to connect with others who understand their struggles and provides a sense of comfort and belonging.

Validation and Shared Experiences

In a group therapy setting, clients have the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings in a safe space. As others listen and relate to their experiences, clients receive validation. This can be incredibly affirming.
Understanding that others have faced similar challenges and emotions helps normalize experiences and reduce stigma. This shared understanding promotes emotional healing and builds resilience.

Skill-Building and Learning

Group therapy sessions at Mile High Recovery Center are designed for both emotional support and practical skill-building.
Clients will learn:
  • Coping strategies
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving techniques that are essential for managing mental health symptoms
Group activities often include role-playing and interactive exercises that help people practice these skills in real-time. This helps prepare them for real-life situations.

Fostering Connection

Group therapy naturally fosters connections among participants. By sharing personal stories and engaging in group activities, clients build relationships based on trust and mutual respect. These connections can provide a strong support network that extends beyond the therapy sessions.
Knowing that there’s a group of peers who understand and support someone can significantly enhance their sense of security and well-being.

Developing Empathy

Listening to others’ stories and challenges helps people develop empathy. Understanding different perspectives and experiences enhances a person’s ability to relate to others and respond with compassion.
This growth in empathy not only improves relationships within the group but also positively impacts interactions outside the therapy setting. This leads to healthier and more fulfilling relationships.

Encouraging Interpersonal Growth

Group therapy provides a unique environment for practicing interpersonal skills. Clients will have opportunities to:
  • Give and receive feedback
  • Navigate conflicts
  • Express needs and boundaries
These interactions are facilitated by trained therapists who guide the group in constructive communication and conflict resolution. Over time, these experiences help people develop greater self-awareness, confidence, and social competence.

Family Involvement and Support in Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care

At Mile High Recovery Center, we recognize the profound impact that family dynamics can have on a person’s mental health and recovery journey. That is why we incorporate family into mental health treatment in residential care whenever possible.
Our comprehensive family therapy sessions and educational resources are designed to support families and promote a deeper understanding and healing process.

Family Therapy Sessions

Family therapy sessions are structured to address the unique needs of each family. These sessions are facilitated by experienced therapists who specialize in family dynamics and mental health.
The goal is to create a safe space where family members can express their feelings, concerns, and perspectives.
Sessions Include:
  • Identifying family patterns and dynamics
  • Improving communication skills
  • Addressing conflicts and unresolved issues
  • Setting healthy boundaries and expectations
  • Creating a supportive environment for the person in recovery

Importance of Family Involvement in Recovery

Family involvement in the recovery process promotes a deeper understanding of mental health conditions. It also helps people in recovery feel supported and less isolated.
When family members are educated about the nature of these disorders and the challenges their loved one faces, it fosters empathy and reduces stigma. This understanding is crucial for creating a supportive home environment that encourages recovery.
Family involvement can also help prevent relapse and improve treatment outcomes. When loved ones are actively involved in the recovery process, they can provide essential support and accountability for their family members.

Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care: Aftercare Planning and Continued Support

As clients approach the end of residential treatment, our team conducts a comprehensive assessment to understand their progress, ongoing needs, and any potential challenges they might face post-treatment.

This assessment includes evaluating:
  • Mental health status and any remaining symptoms
  • Level of functioning in daily life (e.g., work, relationships, self-care)
  • Any risk factors for relapse

Personalized Aftercare Plans

Based on the assessment, we develop a personalized aftercare plan tailored to each person’s unique needs and goals. This plan includes specific strategies and resources to help them transition smoothly from residential care to everyday life.
The aftercare plan often covers:
  • Therapy continuation: Recommendations for ongoing individual or group therapy sessions to provide continuous emotional and psychological support.
  • Medication management: A schedule for follow-up appointments with a psychiatrist or primary care physician to monitor and manage any medications prescribed during treatment.
  • Support groups: Information about local or online support groups where people can connect with others who are also on their recovery journey.

Ongoing Support Services and Resources

To ensure a smooth transition from intensive residential treatment to independent living, Mile High Recovery Center offers step-down levels of care. These levels provide varying degrees of support depending on a person’s needs.
These options include:
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP): For people who need a structured and supportive environment but not 24/7 care.
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP): For those who have made significant progress but still need more intensive support than traditional outpatient therapy.
  • Outpatient therapy: For people who have completed residential treatment and are ready to integrate back into their daily lives while still receiving therapy and support.

Alumni Support Network

As part of our commitment to supporting clients on their recovery journey, MHRC also offers an alumni support network. This network connects people who have completed treatment at our facility and serves as a source of ongoing support and encouragement.
Through regular check-ins, group activities, and events, the alumni support network fosters a sense of community and reinforces the importance of continued self-care.

Mental Health Treatment in Residential Care: Your Path to Lasting Recovery

At Mile High Recovery Center, we provide a comprehensive and integrative approach to mental health treatment in residential care.
Our program combines evidence-based therapies, holistic modalities, and individualized treatment plans to create a supportive environment conducive to successful mental health recovery.

Comprehensive and Integrative Approach

Our approach to mental health treatment is rooted in the belief that recovery requires a comprehensive and integrative approach. This means addressing not only the symptoms of mental illness but also the underlying issues that may contribute to it.
Our team works with clients to identify and address these underlying issues through evidence-based therapies such as:
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Individual and group counseling

Personalized Care

Recognizing that each person has unique needs and goals, our personalized treatment plans are tailored to address their specific needs. This ensures relevant and effective care.
Regular reviews and updates to the plan keep treatment aligned with each person’s progress and evolving needs.

Explore Our Programs

If you are seeking effective and personalized mental health treatment in residential care, Mile High Recovery Center is here to help.

Our comprehensive care approach ensures the best outcomes for your recovery journey. Begin your path to a meaningful and purposeful life with us today.

Your lifelong journey toward recovery starts here, supported by a safe and nurturing environment where you can discover your unique path to wellness. Reach out to us today for more information about how we incorporate mental health treatment in residential care.

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Reach Out Today to See How Mile High Recovery Center Can Help You Heal

If you or a loved one are ready to regain autonomy over your lives and well-being, recovery starts here. Let us guide you toward sustainable wellness and sobriety through our personalized treatment plans tailored to your unique needs and experiences. We look forward to hearing from you!