silver spring

Maryland’s Approach to Chronic Mental Health Issues and Therapy

We work with many individuals and families who live with a family member with chronic mental health issues.  As Maryland residents, there are a variety of different programs to help support and meet the needs of people living with chronic mental health diagnoses.  These include both therapy and rehabilitation elements to help with recovery.  Chronic mental health conditions can include: schizophrenia, schizoaffective, bipolar, and major depressive disorder.  

The Assertive Community Treatment model (ACT) is traditionally used to help best provide services for someone with chronic mental health needs.  This model allows a team approach to provide the best level of care and meet each person where they are in life.  

What program support does Maryland provide funding to in order to provide the best mental healthcare?  Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programs (commonly known as PRP) provides both in-home and community-based rehabilitation counselor visits - occurring at least six times each month.  The team includes a licensed therapist who helps develop a recovery plan with their client along with their case manager’s help.  

Case managers can help provide support in conjunction with a client’s rehabilitation plan both in home, as well as in a group atmosphere at a counseling agency.  Both community group support, along with home support and crucial elements in recovery for chronic mental health issues.  For more information and recommendations about psychiatric rehabilitation programs for you or a loved one, please give us a call at: (301) 960-8991 and we are happy to discuss referral options in the community that will be best for your needs.  

A New Perspective on Addiction: Research Suggests Some People May ‘Grow Out’ Of Addiction Phase

How much do we know about addiction?  And there was an alternate way to view people who are struggling with addiction issues?  Addition has traditionally fallen under the category of ‘disease’ – something that individuals who have will need to work on and face throughout their entire lives. 

But what if there’s a new way to conceptualize addiction?  This year, Maia Szalavitz, offered a new theory that addiction is a development disorder.  In her book, “Unbroken Brain: A Revolution New Way of Understanding Addiction” she posits that our brain chemistry may be constructed in such a way that some individuals are likely to struggle with addiction – and that this brain chemistry may change as we age (Szalavitz, 2016).  

Szalavitz challenges us to view addiction instead as a learning disorder, something that many individuals can overcome by learning disorder.  “Addiction, Szalavitz notices, is, predominantly, a problem of youth. Most addicts get started when they're still kids. And, remarkably, most addicts give up their addiction by the time they reach their 30s. In effect, they age out of their addiction. (NPR, 2016).”

Her research challenges many of the evidence-based practices that clinicians formerly used for addiction treatment.  She encourages people to rethink whether 12-step programs are most effective and instead believes cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy may serve as best practices when working with addiction. 

At Sun Point, we view people and issues holistically and work with each person to determine how they view addiction in their life.  We use a client-centered motivational approach to determining whether addiction is an issue in your life by using evidence-based practices like cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself before starting talk therapy for addictions-related issues:

·      What changes do you want to see in your life? 

·      How are substances impacting your ability to achieve your goals?

·      What are your relationships like with family, loved ones, and friends?  And how do other people in your life describe your substance use impacting you?

·      What has life been like at a different point when you were not using substances?

Feel free to call Sun Point anytime for recommendations on other literature or other substance use treatment.  We’re here for you – and for our community - we work with individuals to achieve their full potential everyday. 

Works Cited:

NPR. (2016). “'Unbroken Brain' Offers New Insights On Addiction” Retrieved from:

Szalavitz, M. (2016). “Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction”.