Is your teen suffering from depression? Have you found that outpatient therapy is not enough to manage their mood disorder? The mood disorders program at The LifeLaunch is a residential program that combines evidence-based care for depression and mood disorders with wraparound care and support for all aspects of your child’s mental health. 

If the symptoms of your child’s mood disorder are interfering with their ability to take care of themselves or to be successful in their academic and social lives, consider The LifeLaunch. Many parents find that an investment in The LifeLaunch is well worth it as their teen gains the skills needed to stay happy and healthy in high school and beyond. 

Who is the mood disorders program at Sheppard Pratt’s LifeLaunch for?

The LifeLaunch is for teens age 12-17 with depression or other mood disorders that would benefit from a higher level of care and attention than is available at the outpatient level. Our goal is to stabilize teens and progress them to the point where they can transition to a lower level of care.

Because The LifeLaunch provides evaluations when necessary, it is also appropriate for teens who have symptoms of depression or other mood disorders but need diagnostic clarification. Our treatment team will be able to determine the appropriate next steps for every resident once a diagnosis is made.

What does The LifeLaunch’s mood disorders program offer? 

To effectively address treatment-resistant depression and other mood disorders, we offer a multidisciplinary approach including a number of therapies and clinical approaches.

These may include:

What is different about the residential mood disorders program at The LifeLaunch? 

The LifeLaunch offers highly individualized programming tailored to the needs and symptoms of each resident. Because of the residential nature of the program, treatment is continuous 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, giving our team of experts time to observe evolving behaviors and the efficacy of treatment mechanisms. The LifeLaunch offers the kind of intensive clinician focus that cannot be replicated in outpatient treatment, with a goal of identifying patterns and changing behavior. Our multidisciplinary team provides a holistic perspective on each resident, and our low clinician-to-resident ratio ensures that every teen in our care gets meaningful one-on-one time with our highly trained therapists.

In addition to the depression and mood disorder specific programming, residents at The LifeLaunch also participate in a broad array of programming for overall improved mental health.

  • Additional forms of recreational therapy
  • Academic support
  • And access to the full continuum of care across Sheppard Pratt, an organization renowned worldwide for its mental health and social services—including specialized expertise in autism spectrum disorder, trauma, eating disorders, mood disorders, and neurological disorders 

Why do our treatments work? 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) have been proven to be useful for treating mood disorders like depression. CBT works by stopping negative thought patterns and responses to stressful situations. CBT helps residents identify problems that are contributing to their mental health conditions and then break them down into smaller, more manageable parts. By addressing negative thoughts or concerns one at a time, a clinician using CBT can help a resident to replace negative thought patterns with more constructive ones.

DBT is a method of treatment that validates a resident’s feelings while also helping them learn new life skills and cope with the ups and downs of daily life. It emphasizes accepting troubling thoughts and feelings and finding healthy ways to respond to them.

DBT uses dialectical thinking—the idea that two true ideas that are seemingly opposed to one another can exist at the same time. For example, a clinician can use DBT to help a resident accept where they are in the moment, while also cultivating the motivation to change. Using the DBT skills of mindfulness and distress tolerance, residents can learn to experience difficult situations or emotions and to improve their capacity to control and react to them.

In combination with techniques like CBT and DBT, our clinicians will often use psychodynamic therapy with residents, a type of therapy that involves examining a person’s past in order to address their present situation. This work helps a resident become aware of emotions of feelings that may have been repressed, so that those unresolved problems can be dealt with. Becoming aware of these subconscious emotions can provide insight into behaviors and defense mechanisms that may be self-destructive.