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The Power of Evidence-Based Treatment Modalities for Teen Mental Health

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The utilization of evidence-based modalities is a clinical priority for Newport Academy. Evidence-based practice means making decisions about client care based on the conscientious use of the latest scientifically validated treatment strategies.

This research-oriented approach results in an evidence-based treatment model that supports integrated healing. A long track record of successful recovery outcomes proves that evidence-based modalities work for clients and their families.

Evidence-Based Modalities Lead to Long-Term Recovery 

These scientifically validated treatment approaches result in real, sustainable behavior change. The most effective modalities not only help clients uncover underlying issues, they also positively impact brain function and activate the parasympathetic nervous system—healing the damage done by childhood trauma.

Having been studied and applied over time, these evidence-based practices have been refined, resulting in applicable and impactful approaches. Evidence-based practices go through rigorous testing and professional examination. Based on sound scientific research and implemented practice, evidence-based modalities offer a greater chance of long-term recovery and healthy outcomes.

Emphasizing Evidence-Based Treatment + Empirically Supported Treatments 

Empirically Supported Treatments (ESTs) and Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) refer to specific mental-health treatment modalities that are proven to be effective in controlled studies. According to a clinical research article catalogued in the US National Library of Medicine, “EBP has been shown to improve patient care, increase patient safety, improve clinical outcomes, reduce healthcare costs, and decrease variation in patient outcomes.”

The Newport Academy approach emphasizes evidence-based practice to empower teens and restore families. In treatment settings, hope is a valuable commodity, and proven track records lead to an abundance of potential. Our clinicians create a tailored plan for each client, combining a variety of evidence-based modalities in response to each client’s unique history and constitution.

The Five-A Method of Effective Evidence-Based Treatment Practices 

The five As of evidence-based practices support the development of a scientifically validated treatment program, such as that practiced by Newport Academy. The five As outline the evidence-based approach taken by clinicians around the world in a variety of disciplines.

The five As of an evidence-based treatment program include:

  1. ASK the clinical question that applies to the client.
  2. ACQUIRE the most relevant and best evidence to answer the question.
  3. APPRAISE the evidence critically for validity, relevance, and applicability.
  4. APPLY the evidence, along with critical expertise, while keeping in mind the client’s preferences and values.
  5. ASSESS the effectiveness and efficiency of the previous four steps, then seek ways to improve the process.

Now let’s take a look at some of the most effective evidence-based modalities.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) 

DBT helps clients identify their strengths and build on these positives. At the same time, DBT identifies thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions that make life harder. Developed by Marsha Lineman and proven in multiple contexts, DBT counseling provides new skills, helping to manage painful emotions that have become habitual. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is one of the few evidence-based treatments for Teen Borderline Personality Disorder.

The core evidence page of Behavioral Tech, a Linehan Institute Training Company, provides links to multiple studies of successful DBT results.

Evidence-Based Treatment

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 

Cognitive Therapy, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is one of the modalities used in individual therapy sessions at Newport Academy. CBT helps clients shift negative outlooks and behaviors by highlighting the thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs underlying them. By revealing a client’s cognitive processes and how these processes relate to their behavior, a CBT program can help shift negativity into positive growth that promotes healthy recovery.

“Why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is the Current Gold Standard of Psychotherapy,” a research paper published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, details the latest viewpoints supporting CBT as the most effective evidence-based treatment option available.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) 

EMDR therapy was developed specifically for the treatment of trauma and PTSD. EMDR processes the traumatic experiences that cause pain and suffering, without using talk therapy. Rather, EMDR utilizes an innovative approach that involves engaging brain mechanisms through repeated movements of the eyes.

While it sounds like an unconventional approach, EMDR is an evidence-based modality that has been proven to relieve symptoms of trauma within a single session, with the positive effects maintained at a three-month follow-up.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of mindfulness-based therapy that helps clients examine their thoughts and feelings, and subsequently make a commitment to creating change. Here’s another acronym associated with ACT:

  • Accept your reactions.
  • Choose a direction you value.
  • Take action.

This evidence-based therapy has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression.

Somatic Therapy

The word “somatic” means “relating to or affecting the body.” Somatic approaches seek to return the body and nervous system to a state of balance—positively impacting the mind as a result.

Among various somatic therapy approaches, Peter Levine’s somatic experiencing is based on extensive research on nervous system functioning. Studies on the impact of this approach for PTSD show a significant reduction in symptoms

Seeking Safety

Seeking Safety is an evidence-based treatment model primarily used to address PTSD and substance abuse. Rather than delving into distressing trauma narratives, this approach focuses on helping clients stay in the present, by teaching a set of 25 coping skills. Grouped by categories such as relationships, honesty, healing from anger, and compassion, these skills help heal trauma while addressing co-occurring substance abuse.

Evidence-Based Experiential Therapy

Experiential therapy is a therapeutic approach that employs self-expression tools and activities to help clients address challenges and issues. These activities can include, but are not limited to, art therapy, music therapy, Equine-Assisted Therapy, horticulture, Adventure Therapy, and other activities. Experiential therapy helps clients develop new skills and provides a safe space to process emotions.

There is extensive evidence for the effectiveness of experiential psychotherapies for a number of mental health challenges, including anxiety, depression, and substance use disorder.

Evidence-Based Modalities: An Ongoing Priority 

At Newport Academy, the implementation of evidence-based modalities is an ongoing priority. Every treatment practice is seen through the lens of evidence-based practice.

Ultimately, the goal remains the same: safe and sustainable recovery of teens and young adults from the challenges they face—leading them into a bright and hopeful future.


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