About Behavioral Health

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At first, it may seem like young people are simply exhibiting “bad behavior,” but these behaviors may actually be signs of something more serious. Some of the common warning signs that indicate that teens may have an emotional or behavioral condition include:

  • Cutting or other self-harming behaviors
  • Harming other people or animals
  • Drinking, smoking or drug use
  • Failing in school
  • Stealing or lying
  • Frequent arguments and/or temper tantrums
  • Skipping school
  • Sleep problems (e.g., insomnia)
  • Impulsivity
  • Hyperactivity
  • Fidgeting or constantly moving
  • Crying for no reason
  • Anxiety
  • Oppositional behavior
  • Eating problems
  • Criminal activity

Behavioral And Emotional Problems In Teens

Behavioral and emotional issues that begin during the teenage years can actually be signs of a mental disorder. Teens who start drinking and using drugs to cope with their problems – whether because their peers are doing it or just for fun – can also increase their risk of developing a substance use disorder. Teens who develop substance use disorders compulsively use alcohol and/or drugs and may have difficulty stopping, even when their drinking or drug use leads to serious problems such as trouble with law enforcement, failing grades in school or poor health.

Behavioral and emotional problems can affect teens’ ability to live happy and fulfilling lives, but effective treatment can help teens overcome these issues.

Sovereign Health’s Rancho San Diego facility offers specialized behavioral health treatment to young men and women who have emotional and behavioral problems, including those that are indicative of a mental disorder, substance use disorder or eating disorder. Rancho San Diego also offers a dual diagnosis treatment program for teens with mental disorders that co-occur with alcohol and/or drug abuse.

Location And Patients Treated

Our behavioral health program for teens is offered at our Rancho San Diego location in El Cajon in San Diego County, California. Our Rancho San Diego facility treats teens ages 12 to 17 who have emotional and behavioral problems. Rancho San Diego’s behavioral health program is licensed by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and accredited by The Joint Commission.

Emotional And Behavioral Conditions We Treat

At our Rancho San Diego facility, comprehensive behavioral health treatment programs are offered to young men and women who are affected by emotional and behavioral difficulties such as suicidal ideation, self-harming behaviors, grief and loss, and anger problems.

We also treat the following mental health conditions that affect teens:

  • Depressive disorders (e.g., major depressive disorder)
  • Bipolar and related disorders
  • Anxiety disorders (e.g., generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias)
  • Trauma- and stressor-related disorders (e.g., adjustment disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (e.g., trichotillomania, or hair-pulling disorder)
  • Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, including substance- or medication-induced psychotic disorder, brief psychotic disorder and schizoaffective disorder
  • Substance use disorders

Our Multidisciplinary Treatment Team

Our treatment team at Rancho San Diego is dedicated to providing compassionate and high-quality treatment and care to every adolescent. Our multidisciplinary team is comprised of professionals from diverse fields and consists of:

  • Psychiatrist
  • Primary therapist
  • Psychologists
  • Case managers
  • Nurses
  • Marriage and family therapists
  • Certified counselors
  • Yoga instructors
  • Equine therapy instructors
  • Nutritional chef
  • Registered dietitian
  • Clinical concierge
  • Patient advocates
  • Family therapist

Tailored Treatment

Our holistic approach to behavioral health treatment is individualized to meet teens’ needs. During the admissions process, adolescents are thoroughly evaluated with medical, substance abuse, psychosocial and psychiatric assessments.

These assessments are utilized to diagnose any mental disorders, determine whether any co-occurring disorders are present and create an individualized treatment plan specific to each student’s needs.

Behavioral Health Treatment At Rancho San Diego

Our goal at Sovereign Health’s Rancho San Diego facility is to provide teens with the most effective care possible utilizing evidence-based and complementary treatments that fit their specific needs.

Teens receive a combination of individual and group therapy from diverse therapeutic approaches designed to enhance their treatment and help them develop skills to cope and deal with problems effectively. It also helps to replace and minimize dangerous or harmful behaviors such as substance abuse or self-harm.

Trauma-informed, compassionate care is provided to adolescents in the behavioral health program. Some of the evidence-based and complementary treatments offered at our adolescent facility include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Play therapy
  • Solution-focused therapy (SFT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Equine therapy
  • Music and art therapy
  • Meditation
  • Family therapy


Teens attend three to six groups each day in the behavioral health program. Monday through Friday, teens attend groups from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Various group sessions are offered to assist teens in different areas of their lives, and include group topics such as:

  • Process groups
  • Anger management
  • Stress management
  • Symptom management
  • Coping with addiction
  • Sobriety groups
  • Substance abuse educational groups
  • Expressive groups
  • SMART Recovery (a non-12 step support group)
  • DBT skills
  • Art activities

The behavioral health treatment program at Rancho San Diego’s adolescent residential facility offers family therapy and groups as an effort to incorporate the family members into the teen’s treatment and recovery.

For more information about the behavioral health program offered to teens at our Rancho San Diego facility, contact our 24/7 helpline to speak to a member of our team.

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How can we help your teen succeed?

Sovereign Health offers comprehensive and high-quality treatment programming for substance abuse and mental health. Call our 24/7 helpline at any time to reach our admissions team.

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"There was more than just therapy. There were life skills that were taught and everyone here cared genuinely." - Jack

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