McLean 3East

A dialectical behavior therapy (dbt) program for adolescents with emerging personality disorders

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McLean 3East FAQ

What is the phone number to make a referral to McLean 3East?

The phone number is 877.967.7233.

How old are the patients who attend McLean 3East?

Regardless of the level of care, McLean 3East serves adolescents and young adults ages 13 to 20.

What is borderline personality disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, emotions and impulse control. It can be provisionally diagnosed in adolescents when symptoms persist for more than one year. While by nature the personality of adolescents is still developing, the diagnosis of BPD can be made with great care and on the basis of a thorough history and evaluation of an adolescent's thinking style, emotional coping patterns and interpersonal mode of functioning.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has been shown to be one of the most successful and effective treatments for these patterns of behavior. Currently, 3East is unique in offering an intensive, immersion course of DBT in a residential setting to adolescent and young adult females. 

What is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral treatment approach that emphasizes the development of four skill sets: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance. DBT was developed initially to treat suicidality in adults with borderline personality disorder; however, it now is being used effectively in adolescents with similar self-harm behaviors as well as other co-occurring psychiatric illnesses such as depression and anxiety. DBT is an empirically supported technique, meaning that it has been clinically tested for its effectiveness in adolescents and adults.

What kind of parental involvement is required?

Parental involvement is critical to the initial and ongoing success of treatment. Parents are kept in close communication with staff throughout the course of their child's stay. For parents of young teens enrolled in the 3East Residential Intensive program, parents participate in the initial evaluation and receive a program orientation. Parents are allowed scheduled visits, and passes are used as opportunities for teenagers to practice new behaviors and skills.

Because teenagers consistently make more effective use of treatment if their parents learn the same skills as them, parents are encouraged to attend skills training groups offered at 3East every Monday from 9 am to 11 am. Additionally, staff members may be paged anytime for coaching. Family meetings and telephone conferencing further support families in practicing new skill sets.

How is discharge planning handled?

Upon completion of the McLean 3East Intensive Program, the treatment team works closely with each adolescent or young women and their family to develop an appropriate, individualized aftercare plan. Based on a teen's or young woman's clinical and academic needs, their situation, progress made during treatment as well as the vocational goals in mind for the teen or young adult, the treatment team may recommend that continued treatment, at a less intensive level, be provided at McLean Hospital's 3East Program. The continuity of care offered at McLean 3East Intensive Step-down Program and McLean 3East Partial Hospital Program reinforces the skills learned in a familiar, supportive and caring environment, minimizing disruptions in treatment by allowing the teenager or young women to keep the same individual therapist.

Parents can also be provided with referrals to educational consultants who can further assist with the transition of returning to an academic environment outside of the McLean grounds.

Can I have visitors while at 3East?

Visits are arranged to avoid overlap with clinical programming. Parents are allowed brief visits in their child’s bedroom. More extended visits, or visits from non-family members, take place in a common area, kitchen or if privileges are earned, off the unit.

Please see our visitor accommodations list in order to find convenient overnight lodging for friends and family.

Are academics offered?

Academic tutoring is available upon request to 3East patients. Program staff works with an adolescent's home school to assist the family in developing a realistic and appropriate academic plan that may be implemented during treatment and after discharge. Upon completion of the intensive phase of the treatment, teenagers may elect to attend McLean's Arlington School, an accredited school for students in grades 7 to 12.

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