La Casa Implements a Modified Dialectical Behavior Therapy Track

In Long Beach, California, Telecare operates a (MHRC), a (PHF), and a (MHUCC) on one campus known as "La Casa".

As a background, some of Telecare’s consumers with a history of trauma or abuse can have maladaptive behaviors that lead to legal, social, and health-related challenges in the community. These consumers exist at all levels of care in California, from Full Service Partnership (FSP) and Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs all the way up to high-level locked programs such as La Casa MHRC. These behaviors can include, but are not limited to, self-injurious behaviors such as cutting, head banging, striking out, and drug seeking. Some of the problematic behaviors seen in these consumers are not always fully correctable with standard supportive therapy and medications.

For this reason, La Casa created a multidisciplinary committee in 2015 to create a strategic plan to implement a Modified Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) track in the MHRC, and some of its surrounding sister programs (La Casa PHF, , and the MHUCC). The program uses the term "Modified DBT" as the training and curriculum does not necessarily follow the traditional DBT format given that consumers have a concurrent serious and persistent mental illness and are often in an inpatient environment.

There is continued work being done at all of these programs, but La Casa is pleased  to report the first phase of the implementation is complete at the MHRC and selected consumers have finished the first eight-week cycle of treatment. 

CAHF Music & Memory Project at La Paz

At La Paz Geropsychiatric Center, staff members, Erish McInnis and Kristen Crowe, project leads, show off their mobile Music & Memory cart!

in Paramount, CA was chosen to be a part of the pilot study of through and UC Davis; the program seeks to enliven and enrich the lives of those who have been diagnosed with dementia. La Paz received 15 iPod shuffles from the Music & Memory study program, and 15 residents with a diagnosis of dementia were chosen to participate in the program. Each resident was interviewed to find out more about their favorite music: what artists they enjoyed, what live concerts they’d seen in their youth, any musicals they enjoyed, or what genre was most appealing to them. Rehabilitation staff then worked to download the music on to each resident’s personal iPod.

Although the study is to last for three years, so far there have been some encouraging results:  

  • Residents who prefer to spend their time in their room have been more social with others.

  • Those who are sometimes loud and difficult to redirect, listen to their music quietly with big smiles on their faces and sway to the beat.

  • Others who can be rather disorganized and difficult to understand find their voices and sing full songs with proper lyrics.

We are looking forward to see what other changes may come about in the future to improve the overall well-being of these residents!